Posts tagged ‘Divorce’

February 12, 2009

I’ve just got divorced…. do I have to wait…..?

by Rod Smith

“I am very recently divorced and everyone tells me to wait before getting involved again. My husband and I were married for 10 years but the last five we ‘existed’ in the same house. We were not really married. Doesn’t this count?” (Edited)

Order through link on the right

Order through link on the right

The tone, the tenacity, expressed in your longer letter suggests you have a man waiting in the wings. You apparently want your friends (or me) to give you permission to dive into a new relationship before the ink on your divorce decree is fully dry.

I have learned to get out of the way when someone is set on getting what he or she thinks he or she wants. Go ahead – get involved – it is unlikely you will heed my suggestions anyway.

But, — the aftertaste, the hangover, the unresolved tensions of your 10-year marriage will surface in your new relationship. You will see life differently post-divorce if you allow your eyes and your brain time to re-focus. Now, you are attracted to a man who is not your husband. Given time, you will be attracted to a man simply because of who you have become, and for who he is – I’d wait. I hope you will.

January 29, 2009

I want a divorce, she does not….

by Rod Smith

“I want to know how one can facilitate an amicable divorce when the other party opposes the prospect. We’ve had marital counseling for 6 months. Despite telling the psychologist the past 40 years of our marriage was torture, my wife refuses to accept that we have irreconcilable differences. Our life as a couple is a sham but appears good. She wants us to stay together to maintain an air of perfection. It is purgatory. I am miserable. She is attractive and intelligent so does not need ‘us’ to succeed. I am willing to provide for her and ensure she is secure and comfortable financially. When I broach the subject of divorce, she threatens to protract any divorce proceedings until I die and turn my (adult) children against me. She is more than capable of doing this. How can I be expected to stay with those vindictive threats? How do I leave this toxic relationship without hurting anyone and in particular without losing my children?” (Minimal edits for space)

dsc_0642“Amicable divorce” is possible when mutually desired. Even then, it is tough. You want war without casualties. Hurt is inevitable and inescapable. Your relationships with your adult children, if sound, will weather any storm. Speak your truth to your wife AND your adult children.

January 7, 2009

He left because I didn’t cook or clean…

by Rod Smith

“Everything was going well with a man I love. We had a child and were so happy. We were planning to move to another city because of the economy so I packed and went to live with my parents because he said we were going to save. After I left I tried phoning him but he did not want to talk. Finally he said he did not love me anymore. After two months I found there was another person. It was my friend’s sister who I had invited to my son’s birthday party. She was already living in the home I had left. I saw her picture in his wallet were my picture was once. I am hurting and I don’t know what is going to happen next. He tells me he left because I did not cook or clean much. I don’t know if he will ever come back because physically she is better than me. Do you have any comment?”

Order through link on the right

Order through link on the right

This is not about cooking or cleaning. You’ve loved a deceitful, irresponsible man who has moved on to his next victim. As tough as it is, I’d suggest you to take your future into your own hands and do what you can for you and your children.

January 5, 2009

The women always make the decisions in the end…

by Rod Smith

“I have been in a four-year relationship with a married man. I still believe in his love but also believe he needs a push to do the right thing. I told him he has to own up to the affair and tell the wife himself, or I will tell her. I am not walking away with nothing after giving four years of my life. Then the wife can either have the choice of working things out with him or getting a divorce. It’s the women always make the decisions in the end.”

dsc_0642You might believe in “his love” (for you) but it is hard to believe you have any love for him. You clearly ignored any “push” to do the “right thing” and regard married men as “off limits.” While you are apparently vengeful and determined, you will most certainly find only temporary and limited personal peace.

I hope you will have some dramatic moment of insight, some divine encounter, an event of sorts that transforms you from within, and makes you ready to learn and ready love in ways that are helpful to you and to all persons in your sphere of influence.

April 24, 2008

What DO I, and what do I NOT, owe my ex?

by Rod Smith

I get an inordinate amount of mail from men and women about the difficulties of how to treat a former husband or wife. Here are some guidelines:

What do you owe your ex?

1. Common courtesy as offered to all other people – no more, no less.
2. Respectful interactions pertaining to the children.
3. Efficiency and reliability regarding the children and visits.
4. Absolute care and protection of the children whom you co-parent.
5. Respectful return of phone calls, emails, and messages regarding shared child concerns.
6. Efficient paying of accounts as prescribed by the terms of the divorce (school fees, medical bills, etc.).
7. Common courtesy expressed toward any new significant other.

What you do NOT owe your ex?

1. Intimacy or sex of any kind (conversational, physical, emotional).
2. Financial assistance other than specified by the terms of the divorce.
3. Time alone. In cases of severe mistreatment you may insist on the presence of a third party for all necessary interactions.
4. Explanations of how, where, or with whom you spend your time.
5. Anything “extra” in terms of birthdays or holidays because of your shared history.
6. Any form of so-called “closure.” The divorce IS the closure.
7. Any platform to hurt or abuse you.

April 23, 2008

My ex asks for money….

by Rod Smith

My ex asks for money all the time and it upsets my husband when I give it to him. He (my ex) is always going to pay me back to me but he never does. I find this very hard because I don’t like to see him down and I feel responsible for him since he is the father of three of my children. What can I do?

This issue is rooted in misplaced, distorted loyalties. You are not responsible FOR your ex while you are responsible TO your husband.

When you and your husband share the details of your finances in an open and honest manner you are being responsible TO each other. When you are buying your ex out of his financial woes you are being inappropriately responsible FOR your ex, and irresponsible TO your husband.

Turn off the tap. Give your ex not a penny more. Write the debt off to poor judgment. Learn from the experience, then move on in an open, honest manner.

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February 26, 2008

I am an expert in my behavior…

by Rod Smith

“You have written that I am blind to my own behavior but an expert in the behavior of my abusive boyfriend. Actually I am very aware of my own behavior to the point of being an expert in it, too. The problem is that I don’t know how to get away from him. When he loves he really loves. I need his approval. I already know I need to get out. I just do not know how. Please help.” (Synthesized)

While I am aware that my writing will appear to judge you for not moving on with your life (and for not moving out of his life), offering you understanding or empathy is unlikely to stimulate you to make necessary, bold moves.

To find your freedom there is no escaping necessary pain.

Gathering, becoming part of a supportive community, is essential in taking such a step.

Before you point it out, I am very aware that abusive men tend to isolate their victims so finding and developing a community feels impossible to the victim.

You must break out, become unpredictable and begin to forge a life without him. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Remember love is NEVER abusive (not at all, ever) and even a little abuse is enough reason to move on.

January 28, 2008

Will our grandchildren have issues….?

by Rod Smith

“Our daughter is seeing a man and with a bad track record. She has already been married once before. The problem we have is the impact her life has upon her children. The children (9 and 7) are torn between their mother, father, and the new man. They want to be loyal to all the adults in their lives but it seems no one stays for very long. The children get let down constantly. As grandparents we try to be as consistent as possible without interfering in our daughter’s affairs. Our only issue is the amount it affects the lives of our grandchildren and we often talk about how this will impact their relationships one day.”

Like each adult must, you grandchildren will face their individual histories and have to decide to make the best of what they have been offered.

Few people, without considerable work, can break the orbit a parent provides and so, yes, it is likely (although by no means inescapable) that your grandchildren will face some relational issues in their futures.

Continue to provide the sound platform you do provide, and trust the children to gain progressive and helpful insight into their lives.

Your job is to continually expose them to what is possible in a healthy relationship.

January 12, 2008

Adult son will not accept my new wife….

by Rod Smith

“I would like to reconcile with my son (30). He has children of whom I am very fond. Some years ago his mother and I were divorced after many years and my relationship with my son immediately thereafter seemed fine. A year after the divorce I met a woman and we married a year later. It appears that he does not want to be disloyal to his mother and does not accept my wife as my “primary relative.” He withholds the pleasure of my grandchildren from me. I have tried to reconcile. Are there some basic guidelines I can follow? (Letter shortened)

Your son apparently fails to see that loyalty to a father and accepting a father’s new wife does not necessitate disloyalty to his mother. He would, were he planning for the healthiest long-term outcomes for his children, regard embracing you, your new wife, and his mother, as absolutely essential.

His confusion expressed toward you, I’d suggest lies embedded in unresolved issues with his mother. If he can’t appropriately define himself with her, relating to your “new” family will cause him much discomfort. Issue your son a “here I stand” challenge. I will write more about this tomorrow.

January 8, 2008

Best things you can do if your husband says he doesn’t love you…. a woman (Ann) writes…!

by Rod Smith

I thank Ann for this comment...

I thank Ann for this comment...

“Hi Ladies, just a bit of advice, if your husband says he doesn’t want to be married or doesn’t love you anymore, as much as it hurts, the best thing you can do is nothing. Go about your business, act happy, be nice, don’t beg, don’t plead, don’t cry and make him try to feel sorry for you. Listen to me, as hard as this sounds, it works. Work on yourself, be your own person, let him always see you are happy. Men don’t want to pull away from happy women! They want to pull away from a woman who is yelling, and nagging. I am not saying this is your fault by any means.

“Starting today, start taking care of yourself, pamper yourself, love yourself the way you want to be loved, throw your energy into your kids and yourself. Any contact with your husband or boyfriend be nothing but pleasant and nice: no fighting, no blaming. If he brings up divorce, breaking up tell him you don’t want that but YOU’LL SUPPORT HIM IN HIS DECISION. And leave it at that.

“Get your hair done, nails done (if you can afford to do so) give yourself facials, make yourself feel good about yourself and it will shine through.

“Remember, no yelling, no begging him, no freaking out on him, that will only push him further away.

“And don’t keep bringing up the past of hurtful things he has said and did, that just creates more drama.”