Great post. One question: Is there anyway to change the system to limit the antics of a spouse or ex who just won’t let go and uses the courts repeatedly for revenge?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Parental Alienation

January 31, 2011

Parental Alienation Syndrome is dangerous territory, especially in the hands of a monied, narcisisst­ic, controllin­g parent … usually an abuser.

Post divorce, our Court appointed custody expert and family therapist (originall­y chosen by my ex’s attorney) revoked my ex’s limited visitation rights because he’d told our daughter’s I’d “never wanted them, hadn’t taken care of them when they were born, and didn’t love them.” PAS on his part?

Rather than improve his parenting skills, my ex hired Dr. Gardner to testify I was guilty of PAS. Without ever interviewi­ng me, our daughters, or the court appointed custody expert & therapist, Dr. Gardner testified that I needed to be thrown in jail “unless I got the girls to love their father.”

Our court appointed experts were furious with Gardner, saying he’d been bought and was a disgrace to their profession­. It turns out the Judge saw it the same way. I maintained my sole custody and over the years my ex rarely if ever exercised his visitation rights. (Oh, from the beginning it was my ex, a surgeon, who’d requested sole custody, not me.)

While my ex’s attempt to use PAS against me backfired for him, the frightenin­g aspect is my ex hadn’t yet depleted all my money via court battles. After years of using the courts as a means of post-divor­ce abuse my ex has succeeded in destroying me financiall­y. I shudder to think what would happen if he dragged me in today….
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Having divorced an abusive, controllin­g, severely narcissist­ic spouse who’s dragged me through the courts (divorce & post divorce) for nearly 15 years (yes it’s true, and that’s not a typo) I know how difficult it is to adhere to Stacy’s advice, but it is crucial to your child’s well-being­.

That said, I know how hard it is to take the high road when your ex is bashing you to the kids. I tell my clients when things get really tough, repeat this mantra to yourself: “I love my children more than I hate my spouse… I love my children more than I hate my spouse….­”

My nasty separation began when my daughters were 3 and 6. I read all the parenting materials through the years and was awestruck when at 16 my youngest voiced what the experts say. She desperatel­y wanted to speak to her father so I drove her out to his house. His wife (the mistress and mother of a love child they had while he was married to me) wouldn’t let her in the house to talk to her dad. My daughter sat down in his driveway and sobbed: “I don’t get it. I’m half him, half you. I love him but I hate him. Am I crazy to still love him?”

Proof that when you bad mouth your child’s parent, you bad mouth that part of your child. Not doing it is the greatest gift you can give your child.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

It’s National Anger Management week and, in it’s honor, the British Association of Anger Management is offering 2 free Keeping Your Cool Kits. Why? According to the Association, managing anger is a primary key to controlling stress, anxiety and depression.  Despite what Hallmark would have you believe, a British survey discovered:

          • The average family has their first argument at 9:58 Christmas morning.
          • Over 1/2 of all families have disagreements.
          • And 1/8 of couples said fights over the holidays made them want to split up.

My favorite recommendation? Remember Christmas is simply one day out of the year. Repeat to yourself to keep things in perspective.

And now, some tips from the Association’s Keep Your Cool Over Yule Kit:

Rules to Beating Anger

  1. STOP, think, take a look at the big picture.
  2. It’s OK to have a different opinion.
  3. Listen actively.
  4. Use your emotional support network (Anger Buddies).
  5. Keep an anger management journal.
  6. Don’t take things personally.

Have kids? When things get heated send them on a walk, suggest they put their head phones to good use listening to music, and let them get lots of sleep so they aren’t so grumpy.

Ditto for adults.

I couldn’t agree more with your statement “Scars left by a hearing or trial can have an impact for many years, not only on the other parent, but also the children.” Both my daughters were scarred, yet in different ways.

When they were only 9 and 12 years old my ex dragged our daughters into court. My oldest, who couldn’t wait to tell the judge what she thought, left the Judge’s chambers traumatize­d.

When I asked her why she was so upset, she explained it was “bring your wife to work day” and the Judge had brought his dying wife to work with him. When I asked her why she thought that, she said: “Well, the Judge was black and his wife (the only other black person in the room) was very sick and on a breathing machine. I was scared she was going to die at any moment so all I could do was cry”. No one had told my daughter about the court reporter..­.

Last year, 8 years after the fact, my youngest daughter wrote her college admissions essay about going to court to “tell the Judge” which parent she wanted to live with. My heart ached reading her account of how painful it was to choose one parent and betray the other. I doubt that’s what the Judge asked her to do, but that was her perspectiv­e which is all that really matters.

Sharon Zarozny
Brilliant Exits, LLC
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Did you know money is the #1 cause of divorce in the US? That even the most accomplished women, including CEO’s of financial companies, avoid handling family finances (I’m talking investments, not bill paying) because they fear loosing their husband’s love?

Scary thought. Barbara Stanny’s book Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money explores women’s emotions about money and how it holds them back.

No time for a book? Don’t Let Your Relationship with Money Ruin Your Love Life is a short article worth a read worth a read.

Like quizzes?  Is Money Ruining Your Relationship?

As always, wishing you the best!

Mel Gibson’s antics have been great fodder for the media and late night TV. Problem is, way too many of us end up struggling with a spouse’s mid-life crisis be it a motorcycle, funky hair style or having a fling.

Once upon a time, Mel eloquently told a reporter:

“You’re going to get ups and downs and you’re going to get days when you really want to strangle each other. That is just going to happen. It doesn’t matter who the other person is.
You can think, ‘Well, if I find someone else’, but that’s bullshit. You’re going to go through the same old shit with anybody. You just have to adapt and give and take and receive and give. So you might as well stay where you’re at and figure it out … when you come out the other side you’re just so much better at it.”

And then his Mid-Life crisis hit.

If it’s hit at your home check out this insightful article Surviving Your Spouse’s Mid-Life Crisis. And, if you have time take a moment to share your tips with the world… you just might have the answer someone needs.