Pets Help Children During Divorce Process

Posted by Brooke M.
pets-help-children-during-divorce-process

If you have ever had a pet before you can recall the sense of unconditional love and affection they bring into your life. Children often bond special relationships with their pets and this often comes in handy during traumatic life experiences like a divorce. Having a pet around your children and family during a divorce is proven to have great emotional benefits.

First and most importantly having a pet means having unconditional love.

A pet is source of support and unconditional love for children especially during a traumatic event like divorce. A pet has the ability to create emotional stability for children because of all the changes that come with divorce which make children feel vulnerable. While everything is changing their pet remains by their side which helps them feel stable and that things aren’t completely different. More than any other animal, dogs have evolved to become acutely attuned to our behavior and emotions.

Pets help to bridge the gap of communication between adults and children.

A pet can be a source of calm when Mom and Dad are running around distracted by the divorce process. Pets are an outlet that kids confide and share their deepest secrets with. When no one else is around to share their deepest feelings, their pet is there as an outlet to let all of these emotions. Pets can often detect when you need them especially if you are upset.

There is a sense of security that comes with having a pet in the family.

During  divorce it is easy for a child to feel alone, vulnerable and abandoned which is where a pet has the ability to boost their sense of security and control. Pet relationships develop a deep sense of security that helps children cope with the divorce. A divorce often means downsizing and potentially moving from the family home. If this is the case, a child still has their family pet which will remain the same no matter what changes occur through the divorce. A pet has a similar emotional attachment to a stuffed animal but rarely does a child outgrow their furry friend, even into their teen years.

Lastly, a pet is a best friend, that will have your back no matter what.

Pets not only are understanding but they will always love you back and are judgement-free. Pets are nurturing and comfort children who greatly need it as they transition into their new lifestyle. Contact with animals has the ability of bringing great joy to children and adults alike especially during a stressful time like divorce.

10 Signs You Are Over Your Ex

Posted by Brooke M.
signs-you-are-over-your-ex

The end of a relationship can be devastating whether you are the one ending it or the one being broken up with. No matter what way you slice it usually the only thing that will help you get over your ex is time. Usually during a break up you will go through multiple stages from depressed and emotional to angry and resentful. Some days will certainly be harder than others but one day you will wake up and your ex won’t be on your mind. You will go through an entire day realizing that they never crossed your mind. We have created a list of 10 signs that your ex is in your rearview.

  1. They aren’t on your mind. You are not constantly seeing things that remind you of your ex and getting instantly depressed about it. Maybe “your song” comes on while on your commute to work, but your heart no longer sinks when you hear it. You go about your daily activities as you normally would without  broken strides.
  2. You no longer blame him/her for everything. Your best friends are probably relieved you are no longer talking their ear off about how much of a loser your ex was. In order to mask your devastation it was easier for you to work through the break up by playing the blame game, but now things have changed. You take responsibility for your actions in your failed relationship. You no longer hold resentment for the poor decisions you or your ex made during your relationship.
  3. What was once endearing you can’t stand now. The way your ex used to snort when they laughed used to be cute and now the thought of it makes your cringe. If you are no longer finding these quirks charming about them this is a sign you are no longer love sick.
  4. You know the relationship wasn’t meant to be. You may feel as though you dodged a bullet and feel luck or appreciate the fact you are no longer stuck in that relationship. It becomes clear to you that you were blinded by love and that you deserve more than what your ex could provide in a relationship.
  5. You no longer check their status’ on social media. I know this sounds silly but if you have stopped constantly hate-stalking your ex on Facebook and checking their updates on social media this means you don’t care what they are doing, who they are dating, or updates on their lives.
  6. You have a new love interest. Does someone else give you butterflies or make you nervous whenever they come around? If the idea of going on a date with a potential love interest excites you as opposed to depresses you than that is a tell-tale sign that you’ve moved on. Dating should be exciting, fun and new so if you feel those emotions you are ready to open your heart again to find love.
  7. If you ever (or never) hear from them again, you’d be just fine. If they contact you and you don’t put your day to a screeching halt then that is a great sign they no longer have the same effect on you. You might have once had a lump in your throat when you see their name come across your phone screen but now you are indifferent.
  8. You don’t constantly compare your current partner to your ex. Your ex does not stack up to the new person you are dating and there is no comparison because you’ve upgraded completely. There is no reason for you to bring your ex up in a good or bad way because you are completely content with your new relationship.
  9. Your life isn’t lacking without them in it. You feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders and you are able to live freely. You view your past relationship as a learning lesson and you know that your life is better without them in it. My last relationship was toxic and I never realized until I finally cut my ex loose how my quality of life has increased since our break-up.
  10. You are happy and hope they are too. At the end of the day when you are done with being bitter after a break up and you are truly content with life you want the same for your ex. Once the bad blood has been washed away there is no reason to wish ill-will towards them. You have officially reached the point where you are completely over your ex so enjoy your new found freedom!

Handling Relationships After Divorce

Posted by Brooke M.
new-relationships-after-divorce

If you have been married for a while and you are newly divorced the dating world can be an intimidating place. There are so many different platforms out there allowing you to connect with local singles including dating apps, online dating sites and networking events. Now that you are ready to find love again or at least start testing the waters there are some important tips to keep in mind.    

Avoid similar patterns and beware of red flags

It is easy to fall into a relationship with similar patterns as your last relationship, therefore it is important to avoid the same mistakes you have made in your past. In order to make sure you are not falling into the same pattern you need to understand why your last relationship was not successful. There are signs to look out for in the early stages of a relationship that reveal how that person might be once the honeymoon stage is over. According to Care Unlimited, a domestic violence program, if a person is pushing you to be exclusive or meet your family on the second or third date that can be a red flag for abusive behavior. If they are starting to isolate you from your friends or family that can be another red flag for abusive behavior.  

Communication is the key

Most failed relationships lack communication so it is important you don’t let things fester. Letting small little annoyances build up usually become a bigger problem at the end of the day. Festering small problems causes anger and resentment that leads to turmoil in a relationship which is never a good thing. Many failed marriages lack direct communication and honesty which is an important to have a successful relationship.

Be prepared for anything

When it comes to dating it is smart to be prepared for anything. I tend to live by the quote “hope for the best but be prepared for the worse” especially when it comes to putting yourself out there in different dating scenarios. In order to make sure you are prepared to start dating it is best to have been split from your ex for at least 6 months, but preferably 1-2 years. Dating too soon can hurt your chances to date successfully and hinder your own personal growth from the divorce. During the dating process you should expect rejection at one point or another because it is bound to happen. You might be wondering why your date never followed up and feel let down. If someone wants to spend time with you they will make it happen.

Feel comfortable about yourself

Like anything in life, practice makes perfect; the more you date the more comfortable you will feel about yourself. Most therapists suggest that you dip into the dating pool before diving into something serious. A dysfunctional marriage has the ability warp your idea of what a successful relationship should be; if you are still healing from a breakup start with casual dating and make sure you don’t jump into anything too serious. If you follow these simple but effective tips your relationships are bound to be more fulfilling and successful.

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8 Reasons Why Women Cheat

Posted by Brooke M.
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It is estimated that roughly 30-60% of all married individuals in the U.S. will engage in infidelity at some point in their marriage (Buss & Shackleford). As women are becoming more financially independent they are showing more trends of infidelity than ever before. Women tend to have emotional affairs which means they tend to cheat with someone in their social circle. In the world we live in there leaves much more room for opportunities for infidelity to happen on regular basis. Women have their reasons for cheating and we have narrowed down the 8 prominent ones.

1. Lack of Attention and Intimacy: A vital aspect of any romantic relationship includes attention and intimacy especially with women. We are emotional creatures and have a need and desire for physical touch and mental attention. If you are not getting this from your spouse than it is only a matter of time before you look for it elsewhere. Women who are deprived of attention and intimacy are susceptible to have emotional affairs.

2. Revenge: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is a coined phrase for a reason because women can be quite vengeful. According to relationship expert Seth Meyers if a woman’s spouse cheats then she may cheat for revenge, even if she doesn’t want to, she will just do so her spouse understands how much it hurts. She wants to fill him with the same shame and resentment that he has caused her. This might even bring the score in her eyes because cheating on a spouse changes her idea of what is acceptable in a relationship. Cheating can open up a can of worms that changes the game of love from a woman’s perspective.

3. Bad Sex: If you are not being sexually fulfilled in your relationship this may prompt some women to look elsewhere to satisfy their urges. It is important to spice things up outside of the mundane routine. Women need to feel sexy and desirable. Younger women especially tend to desire more frequent or different types of sex according to Meyers. Younger women often have more opportunities especially with apps out there like Tinder or OKCupid that connect you with local singles in your area. Bad sex is something that can drive anyone to cheat.

4. Ego Boost: If a woman is feeling neglected or taken advantage of by her current spouse than she is susceptible and can easily give in to an emotional or physical affair. If another man makes her feel special or desired in a way her spouse has not made her feel in some time then it can be a huge ego boost. Women like to get attention and get wooed especially by an attractive man. Women tend to vent to those in her social circle and that often can lead to an affair if the opportunity presents itself.

5. Low Self-Esteem: Even if a woman is not conscious of it, cheating may be a way to get outside affirmation and temporarily increase feelings of positive self-regard. Some middle-aged women will seek an outside partner who is younger, more affluent, or more attentive than their current spouse to reaffirm her attractiveness. When you are feeling insecure about yourself usually one will seek validation from others which is one of the reasons why women cheat.

6. Feeling unappreciated: When you are in a relationship you want to please your spouse, whether that means cooking a romantic dinner or simply saying “I love you”. When you get comfortable in a relationship these signs of appreciation can be few and far between. If you stop getting this attention from your spouse than it can leave you feeling unappreciated. Women often seek an emotional connection like acknowledgment of their hard work and appreciation for what they do. A woman who is feeling unappreciated is more likely to entertain men who do show her appreciation.

7. Bored or Lonely: Women who are alone at home for long periods of time feel that their lives lack purpose and seek meaning through sexual encounters or deeper romantic affairs to fill the void. Women who have spouses who are absent for long periods of time for work may also turn to sex and affairs to fill up their time. Women will start to fantasize about being with someone else or entertaining other men. These types of desires excite women and eventually when the opportunity presents itself than these women are likely to succumb to their desires.

8. Feeling a relationship ending: When a relationship is ending you usually know far before you actually split up. When a woman feels that uneasy sense that a relationship is no longer working they start to distance themselves. It is harder for them to end the relationship than it is to go behind their partner’s back and find another man to fulfill their needs. She could cheat to test the waters of being single and gauge whether she actually wants to remain in the relationship. In some circumstances, a woman may cheat hoping to get caught to get out of the relationship.

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Learn to Love Yourself

Posted by Brooke M.
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According to the psychologist Antonio Borello, self-love is a process consisting of six components where a person can achieve ultimate self-awareness leading them towards a happy life and healthy relationships.  

These 6 components include:

  • self-attachment: feeling physically and emotionally attached to yourself
  • self-affection: feeling at peace with who you are
  • self-regard: unconditional acceptance of yourself including success and failures
  • self-worth: know you are valuable and able to be self-sufficient
  • self-knowing: the ability to see yourself from the perspective of your surroundings
  • self-caring: maintaining health and personal welfare

There are ways to practice self-love in different ways to gain personal growth in your life. We would like to share a list of 5 ways to build back your self-esteem after a divorce or heartbreak. Once you learn to look at your life from a different perspective you will be able to appreciate yourself and love yourself.  

  1. Get to know yourself. The idea here is to get to know your personality traits, your core values, your body, your likes and dislikes and your dreams. Write a list out for each of these topics to determine who you are and what exactly you want to have a fulfilling life. It is also a good idea to write a list of your accomplishments and failures to determine how you reached those points in your life.
  2. Begin a journal and reflect for 10-15 minutes a day. A journal is a way to not only reflect on the present but it will allow you to look back and understand your thought process. Your journal will provide you a place to gain clarity and increases your self-awareness. You have the ability to express your innermost thoughts in a journal and can weigh out the pro’s and con’s of a situation without the opinions of others. Think of it as your own self-learning guide for the inner workings of your mind.
  3. Enjoy a solo activity once or twice a week. This can include setting a goal for yourself and carving out time to do so during the week. Doing these solo activities will help you appreciate your own company. If you decide to set a goal, then you should break this goal down into parts so is more digestible. Write down exactly what steps you need to take in order to reach your goal and schedule your time accordingly. Think big on this one, maybe you want to write a book, run a marathon or start a business.
  4. Take care of yourself: not only physically but emotionally. Live healthy by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. Try to do something you enjoy every day which could be anything from painting to watching your favorite TV show. Find time to relax during your day whether through yoga, meditation or a nature walk. Remember it is okay to be selfish at times so make sure you are taking the time to. 
  5. Always listen to your subconscious. It is the voice of reason inside your head giving you advice to avoid self-sabotage. Talking to yourself about a problem might sound crazy but it is actually resourceful to find the right solution. Many people are able to give great advice to their friends on situations they are going through but fail to act on the same wisdom when it comes to their own problems. Borello refers to this as the “Best Friend Test” which is when you imagine how you would support your best friend in the same situation. Using this technique strengthens your self-attachment and self-knowing.

Follow these tips, make these your habits, get to know yourself, appreciate who you are and, yes: just love yourself. Isn’t it where your life growth and success starts? Just try and see for yourself :)

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Top 7 Mistakes you’re making with Online Dating

Posted by Brooke M.
mistakes-with-online-dating
  1. Your profile pic. All of your profile pictures should be normal but flattering, don’t use the best picture of you. The goal is to make sure you are showing your potential dates pictures that reflect you and your lifestyle. You should probably refrain from using any filters or too many editing features that take away from how you look naturally. Make sure to avoid too many group photos because it takes the attention off of you.
  2. Too much info in profile. Follow the “less is more” rule when it comes to creating your profile. The purpose of your profile is to get potential dates to message you so it is good to leave more to the imagination and be a little mysterious. You need to save something to talk about when you are actually on your date. A good profile should include elements of humor and your personality so people can strike up a conversation with you.
  3. Your first message.  Write something that shows you actually read their profile. Avoid using a generic message for everyone you decide to message because it lacks sincerity. Whatever you do, don’t just say “hi”, this will rarely get you a response and it lacks originality.
  4. Stating what you don’t want. You do not want to come across as a negative person in your profile so it is best to focus on what you are looking for versus what you are not. Avoid demanding language and try to keep things soft and inviting.
  5. Don’t go overboard on the first date. For your wallet’s sake do not make it a habit of dropping too much money on your first date. If you are going on multiple dates your budget will feel the pinch. Another reason is to set realistic expectations of what dating you will be like. You do not want to attract people who are interesting in your bank account as opposed to your personality.
  6. Don’t tell your sob story. This can be a real buzz kill for those potential dates who are excited to read your profile. Over-sharing can certainly deter people from messaging you. Everyone has baggage and a past of their own however your profile is not the place to put your past on blast.
  7. Spelling Errors. As simple as this sounds it can be a huge turn off if your spelling mistakes get in the way of your message. A quick proofread before sending a message or updating your profile is a simple solution to your problem. Lots of mistakes can be damaging for a first impression and distracting to the point you’re trying to get across.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating

Posted by Brooke M.
questions-to-ask-yourself-before-dating
  1. Am I doing this for a pick me up? Make sure you are not dating out of fear of being alone. This is a time to enjoy your independence and discover who you are and what path you choose to go on after your divorce. If you are ready to get back into the dating world it is good to be prepared for anything. If you think that dating is all positive you might be let down if rejection happens. Dating can be very exciting and a confidence booster however you can occur speed bumps along the way.
  2. Am I looking for a serious relationship? This will determine your dating approach when getting back into the single scene. If you are looking for something serious it is a good idea to probe your potential date with the important stuff before hand. Ask them about things that are important to you before setting up a date to make sure you are both on the same page. If you are using online dating resources make it clear what you are looking for to avoid disappointment or wasting your time.
  3. What can I do differently this time around? Time to ask yourself the tough questions about your past relationship to determine what you did to help it fail. Understanding what your role was in your own divorce will help you figure out what you need to work on to make your next relationship successful. In order for you to build a better future you must learn from your past.
  4. Do I have time to date?  If you have a job and kids it is hard to section off time for yourself nevermind planning a date. Of course your children are your priority but you deserve to make time for yourself to get out there and meet new people. Schedule a date night for yourself even if you don’t have one lined up yet. If you don’t have a date take this time to focus on improving your dating life.
  5. Am I looking to date multiple individuals at the same time? Tell your date if you are not interesting in a monogamous relationship to clarify what you are looking for. Honesty is the best policy and will help you maintain realistic expectations for your date. You do not want to waste anyone else’s time if they are looking for something more serious when you are interesting in something short term. It is understandable to not be ready for something serious after freshly divorcing, give yourself time to get there.
  6. What are my deal breakers? Compromising comes with the territory of dating and being in a relationship with another individual. It is good to have an idea of what your deal breakers are so you can avoid investing feelings in someone that will not be the right fit for you. Now that you have gained life experience from the divorce it is time to set your standards and stick by them. You know who you are and what you want from a relationship so make sure you are not settling for anything less than what you deserve.

8 Common Divorce Questions

Posted by Brooke M.
common-divorce-questions

As divorce specialists, we hear a lot of similar questions that many clients ask when initially starting the divorce process. We have created a list of the top 8 common divorce questions we hear on a daily basis that will clarify some of the steps and aspects of the divorce process. Most of the cases we handle are uncontested meaning both parties are in agreement to get the divorce.

  1. Where do I file for divorce? Many of our clients are unsure where they should file for divorce. Usually one would file where they are currently residing and there are certain residency requirements one must meet in order to file in a specific state and county. The requirements range anywhere from 30 days to 2 years in order for you to be eligible. If you and your spouse have children under 18 there are certain states that require you to file where your children live.  
  2. Do I need to live in the same state as my spouse to get divorced? It is not necessary that and your spouse live in the same state, however it is important to remember certain states may require both parties to attend your finalization hearing. Referring back to question 1 some states do require filing where your children are located so that might determine which spouse should be the filing party. 
  3. Do I have to get divorced where I was married? Many clients are under the impression that they should get divorced where they were married. This is not usually the case, for example, if you had a destination wedding in Hawaii than the courts don’t expect you to travel back to Hawaii to get divorced. Unless you are still residing in the same state where you were married then you would file wherever you meet residency requirements.
  4. What if I cannot find my spouse, can I still get divorced? Absent spouse cases are certainly possible in most states but usually more challenging than a regular divorce. Alternative routes may be taken to complete your divorce. A couple examples include serving your spouse at their last known address or publication through your local newspaper to serve your missing spouse. These routes are usually options for absent spouse cases.
  5. How long is it going to take to get divorced? This is a big question because most clients want the divorce process to be done as soon as possible. In most states the process can take anywhere from 30-90 days for your divorce to be finalized and it takes 6 months in the state of California. Some states require a specific separation period to file under uncontested grounds for divorce. The states that require separation may vary between living apart without cohabitation to living together but having separate lives. 

  6. Am I going to have to serve my spouse? Some states do require a formal serving process where you have a couple of options to serve your spouse. Usually, clients serve their spouse through a sheriff’s department, registered mail or even a friend or family member can deliver the papers to their spouse. Serving the spouse gives them time to respond to your agreement and either agree with the terms or contest you. Some states do not require a formal serving process as long as both parties are willing to sign the documents.

  7. Do I need an attorney to file for divorce? Clients have the option of many outlets outside of an attorney to get their divorce complete. These options include paralegals, mediation, and pro se (representing yourself). There are resources out there for individuals to complete a divorce on their own. Sites like CompleteCase.com help people prepare their divorce documents guiding you from start to finish on divorce process, provide them with 100% guarantee of court approval. 

  8. Do I have to go to court? Most states do require a finalization hearing so if you are representing yourself you are more than likely going to have to appear. Depending on the state and county you file in will determine if you will have to appear. If you are filing uncontested usually only the filing party will need to appear for the finalization of the divorce.

5 People to Avoid in the Dating Pool

Posted by Brooke M.
people-to-avoid-dating-after-divorce

Dating after divorce can be scary but it can also be exciting and refreshing to meet new people and build new connections. When getting to know someone it is important to decide who you should be investing your time in and who you should be steering clear of. If you know what to look out for it will be easier to determine what you want from a signficant other and avoid wasting your time. We have compiled a list of people divorcee’s should avoid dating.

 

The Bitter One: This type of person complains about their ex constantly and always finds a way to bring them up in conversation. When they do mention their ex it is always followed by negative connotations and they seem to think a date is the appropriate forum to vent about them. They are still holding on to resentment and anger from their previous relationship which is no way to start a new relationship.

The Bully: If someone has random acts of rage during your dates this should be a warning flag. Whether that be they are extremely rude to your server or they have some sense of entitlement this is a person who you want to avoid dating. This type of person is mean-spirited and this is a reflection of how they could treat you one day.

The Drinker: Social drinking is one thing but if your date is on their 3rd round and you haven’t even finished your appetizers yet that might be a red flag. People going through divorce are more prone to alcohol addiction. It’s safe to say that drinking is a way to get rid of first date jitters and get to know each other more but you want to recognize these signs early before getting into a relationship with this person.

The Serial Dater: This type of person loves to jump right into a new relationship and is already taking things seriously. This person is passionate and loves to be in love which makes it hard to tell if your connection is genuine. This person isn’t necessarily bad but you could just be a rebound for them so it is important to know what their intentions are. They are afraid of being alone so to ensure you are the real thing for them and not a rebound never move too quickly with this person.

The Emotional Wreck: This person is so obsessed with their last relationship still making it hard for them to move forward to the next. They might still talk highly of their ex-spouse to the point where they might be gushing. It is possible that this person might want to get back with their ex which is why you should keep your guard up. Try to detect the difference between a person who can get along with their ex versus a person still in love with their ex.

5 Tips to Help You Adjust to the Single Life After Divorce

Posted by Brooke M.
tips to help to adjust to single life after divorce

So you just got divorced and you’re newly single and you are thinking, now what? Dealing with a loss like divorce is not an easy task and getting back into the dating pool can be overwhelming. There are ways to ease this process and actually make it a new exciting experience in your life. In order to adjust to the single life we have 5 tips to make this transition as smooth as possible and help you create an identity for yourself which will hopefully lead you to a spouse that better suits you.

  1. First things first it is important to get to know yourself again before jumping back into dating. Your spouse usually helps shape your preferences and there are probably certain things you may have sacrificed for them. Re-discover who you are as an individual by redefining your likes and dislikes. Find out who you are without your spouse and you will be surprised to discover all that you had to compromise while being married.
  2. Secondly, you must allow time to heal all the wounds you have incurred through your marriage and divorce. Many therapists recommend waiting for 1 year before trying to jump into another relationship. Other therapists believe that you can start dating whenever you feel ready and there is no necessary time limit associated with that. Some people need longer than a year in order to feel grounded and at peace with the situation. At the end of the day you may never be completely over the situation but that is because it is a life experience and it becomes part of the fabric of what you have overcome.
  3. The next tip to help your adjustment is to make new friends and build a new network. When a divorce happens that often means the network you have built together with your spouse will more than likely be lost. Friends start to take sides and often married couples might get distant because it is different to hang around with a single person. Seek other single friends with common ground that way you have friends in the same position as you with insight and understanding. Having people to talk to can help with your coping and give you some new perception.
  4. Always remember to enjoy yourself while going through this new life change. Life will be different but that does not mean it can’t be rewarding and fun. Relish in your new freedom and do things you haven’t been able to do while being with your spouse. Take this time to be a little selfish by living on your own terms. Spending time alone will allow you to start appreciating your own company which will help you build a foundation for a better relationship in the future.
  5. The final tip for making the transition from married to single would be to take things slow and steady. This is not a race between your ex to see who can get re-married first or who has the better life. The best advice would be to not start dating until you are ready. Always remember to be yourself and avoid putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. A divorce has the ability to be a liberating experience if you allow it. You can re-discover who you are and allow you to find someone who brings out the best parts of you.