When Divorce Shakes the House

download (2)Why it’s so hard?

This shout is bubbling up in the chest of many who suffer in their marriage. I wouldn’t touch this subject if I wouldn’t have been there. I wouldn’t bring it up just like that, but I have friends who suffer and don’t know where to turn to.

He says, ” she wants the divorce.”

She says, “he wants the divorce.”

He says ,”she has somebody else.”

She says, “he has somebody else.”

Some are in an abusing relationship.

The alienation between the two doesn’t fall down like a bomb, at least not most of the time. The separation starts well before somebody can see it. But the two can feel it. They know something is not right. And when something is not right today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, it has to be addressed.

Where can she go when he already closed all their bank accounts? What are the kids going to eat during the long time when the law would settle the financial issues? There are questions that need answers. There is heavy desperation. There are the nasty feelings of abandonment.

I’m not a marriage counselor, but women in difficulty come to talk to me.

We sit together and evaluate the broken pieces. Sometimes we just sob. And pray. Then we start to see what’s the next step. There are so many scenarios.

He left.

She left.

He is an alcoholic and destroying their marriage through violence and abuse.

She got sick. He packed his bags and moved in with his mistress.

His business prospered. He went to live the life of his dream.

Money, affairs, pride, abuse…They split the union.

Counseling can help restore a relationship if both want the restoration. I know people who made it. I know others who didn’t. I and my ex-husband were in counseling, but it didn’t work.

I want to bring up a few things that can help your relationship.

1. Depart from the bad influence. I knew a family who had to move to be far from one of the mother’s interference. Others had to put an end to a particular family friendship.

2. Kisses help. Kiss for no reason. He doesn’t need to deserve it. She doesn’t need to deserve it. I remember a man I admire, and he used to teach us this principle almost every single time.

3. Don’t wait for things to go from bad to worse until you ask for assistance. Revealing your pain can be hard, but better be hard now than latter. It’s easier to resuscitate somebody who fainted than somebody in clinical death.

4. If you believe in prayer, pray. Ask many to pray for you and with you.

No matter the outcome, don’t abandon hope.

Don’t want to die.

There is precious life ahead of you.

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You Handle the Switch, Man

images (6)I was teaching a workshop years ago after my divorce and I showed a picture to the public.

It was a professional picture of myself that was taken in a photo shop while I was young and still married. I wore my best dress, I was supposed to look the best I could.

After many years, when I found that photo and saw my eyes, I was shocked.

I LOOKED LIKE SOMEBODY SWITCHED OFF THE LIGHT INSIDE ME.

We didn’t have the technology to show that picture large, on a screen, so the audience passed it around. The room got quiet. It took a while until the people could talk and somebody asked me out loud:

“What did he do to you?”

1. FEAR OF HIM

That switches off the light and brings trembling. Sadly, this didn’t happen only in the eighteen century.

2. UNTRUE ACCUSATIONS

They burden and crook the soul.

3. ABUSE OF ALL KINDS

They take away any hope and open the door to suicide.

Now, when I see women with that kind of look, my heart aches. We are able to carry heavy stuff and handle it well when the light inside us is on. But darkness kills.

Despair, fear, abuse, they shrink life.

It took many years for me to recover and have the light shining inside me again.

Handling the switch is a great responsibility.

Because Marriage Is Like a Boat

images (3)“We are gathered here today to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony.”

So, you are on board now.

1. LEARN HOW TO SAIL TOGETHER

Keeping the same rhythm can help.

2. WATCH THE WAVES

You can’t avoid them, but you can use them to take you in the right direction.

  1. WHEN DOCK ON THE SHORE

Sometimes you have to dock on the shore for different reasons.

Interruptions may not be what you want, but make the best of them.

  1. KIDS ON BOARD

Change of course. No comment.

  1. HUNGRY PELICANS

Don’t feed them because it’s hard to get rid of them.

  1. BEWARE OF SHARKS

They come to eat you.

  1. DON’T SHAKE THE BOAT

Don’t.

If, unfortunately , you have to sink the boat, be sure you know how to swim or that the shore is near.

This Will Take You Where You Aim

download (1)I took a management class in the past and there were a few practical things that stayed with me over the years.

Knowing how to manage your time can make the difference between living with purpose and living in chaos.

What works for me is The Eisenhower Method. He said:

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important.” (From “A Man’s Life, Personal Development” by McKay; Brett; Kate. )

Eisenhower doesn’t claim this perception to be of his own, but to a “former college president.” ( August 19, 1954, “Address at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches” )

This time management principle is known today as The Eisenhower Decision Principle and focuses on priorities.

Everyday tasks are evaluated and placed under the important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent criteria.

What to do:

1. Address the issue immediately and personally when it is important and urgent.

2. Plan ahead and do it personally when the problem is important but not urgent.

3. Delegate anything that is urgent but not important.

4. Drop anything that is not important and not urgent.

Five Ways of Cheating on Yourself Frequently and Loving It

imagesEverybody knows cheating is bad, but there are ways of cheating on yourself and be happier.

1. When you make the monthly budget, round up the amount you have to pay for your bills. Let’s say, if you regularly pay $76 on your phone bill, think of it as $80. Do the same with the other bills, and by the time the money gallop out of your account, you’ll be glad to see some “leftovers.”

2. When you go and get yourself a Starbucks gift card, buy 2. Put one in your wallet to use it and the second one in a place where you don’t look every day. You’ll “surprise” yourself when you’ll “find” it.

3.When you have cash, take a few small bills and put them away to “hide” them from you. You’ll be happy to stumble over them later.

4. I know this one is old, but it works well: put your alarm clock 10-15 minutes earlier in the morning, if that works for you. It could be a great time to start the day, walking a few steps outside the door and taking in the quietness.
When everybody’s up and running through the house, you are ready for the day.

5. When you have to do a project that would take more than a session, try to do more work in the beginning. Next time when you go to continue it, you’ll be pleased to see you have less to do.

Why Reading Fairytales Took Me on a Wrong Direction

imagesI figured out life from books while my parents worked in a communist factory. Since I was little they kept telling me that “you have to get good grades in school and you will be somebody.” Reading was an important piece of that plan.

As much as I liked to see mom placing the shoe parts on the moving belt for her colleagues to sew and my dad giving directions to the people under him, working in the shoe factory wasn’t my dream.

When I started to read, I got one book now and then. In a short time my father saw that reading was my passion and he bought me books as often as he could. That was a great investment every month since my parents’ salary was low. Most of the children’s books in the bookstore were fairytales and fantasy. Maybe that was a way for the communist regime to form a generation of adults anchored in fiction and not in the hard reality.

I read fantasy and fairytales every single day and fed my imagination with unreal things. I read them over and over again and I learned one thing:
“If you find a prince and marry him, you two would live happy for the rest of your life.”

I was a young adult and this statement ruled my search for a prince. Then I found one, but when I hit the wall, I was in my honeymoon and shocked.

The fairytales taught me that in marriage I would be adorned. That wasn’t true.
They let me think that life was to be easy and beautiful. That wasn’t the case.
They told me that the two of us would be happy together to the end of our lives. Well, a few days ago “we celebrated” 19 years from our divorce.

Read the same thing over and over again and you would believe it. It would become part of your present and future.

What to do when our children read fairytales and fantasy?
Be sure that you remind them that in real life princes and princesses can hurt each other. In real life princesses cry, and sometimes they can’t find comfort.
Keep a balance in showing them both sides of the story. Pass along hope because “the end of a thing is better than the beginning of it,” says the wisest man on earth, Solomon.