The divorce rate in America is extremely high. It is at 50%. That means that every couple that gets married has a 50/50 chance that they will not make. We all know that anytime something has 50/50 odds… it is a big gamble. No wonder many people or opting to get married later in life or not at all. There are many things contributing to this discrepancy. One is a lack of communication. We have become a nation built on fast pace and technology. People want what they want and they want it now. There is no communication, no reasoning, no compromise, and no empathy. Anytime a person feels like they are not being heard or their need are not being meet…they leave. Another major issue is we, as a country, no longer value love. No one wants to hold hands anymore. People don’t sing about love only about sex. Couples do not court anymore. If you are not ‘putting out’ by the second date in most cases there will not be a third. Not only has love all but vanished, but so has pride integrity, and respect. Men are degrading women and women are degrading themselves. People want to talk about how much we have evolved, and about how there is no reason to be stuck in the 50’s. The problem with this way of thinking is that people seem to think that there is no progress unless there is a complete change. There is nothing wrong with dating or passing notes. What happened to chivalry and opening doors for women? Why is holding hands and romance a crime. These things collectively make up love and if properly executed will create longer marriages. Marriages are supposed to be til death do us part and put together by God. He knew that a marital life would not be without its trial and that’s why vows say until ‘for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part’. We must get back to the basics when couples stuck out the hard times because of love and commitment.
An affair is the most painful betrayal a spouse can experience in marriage. Individuals are getting tempted more then ever with technology like Facebook and texting. Most start off innocently and get tangled up with an emotional affair not realizing they are doing anything wrong. If you are experiencing a deep wound as a result of infidelity I want to share with you that there is hope. Your relationship can recover and heal, and you can have a marriage that exceeds anything you could have imagined. I have seen it and have been a part of this transformation with many couples.
If an affair has entered into your marriage it is vital to get professional help immediately. Contact with the lover must end immediately. There cannot be any contact with that individual. Once these two steps are made, then healing can start by looking at underlying issues that led to this. Intimacy between the two spouses can be rebuilt by rebuilding safety and trust. This can be accomplished by meeting each others needs and filling each others love tanks. Trust can be rebuilt with consistency and time. Forgiveness is a vital step as well. If you are caught up in infidelity take the fist step and seek professional help. We are here to help guide you in the healing and rebuilding process. Please give us a call.
When we experience a loss in our life (family member, friend, pet, career, etc.), we feel a lot of emotions. In my last blog, I wrote about how I lost my past boyfriend due to suicide. Through talking with loved ones and friends, I was able to reach the last stage of grief within a few weeks. However, I am not Superwoman and there is a great possibility of going through the cycle of grief upon anniversary dates, pictures of him and/or even among chat from mutual friends. It is okay to repeat the cycle of grief… after all, we are only human! It is natural to experience these feelings. As Psychcentral.com’s web article on the 5 stages of grief states “Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, nor one ‘right’ way to do it.”
1. Denial and Isolation: Denial of the loss is a way to rationalize our overwhelming emotions. This defense mechanism buffers the shock of the news. We may have disbelief of what we have seen or heard. Some examples of thoughts may be “This has to be someone else…” or “Yeah right, I just spoke/seen this person yesterday.” This stage is temporary and assists us through the pain of the first wave of loss.
2. Anger: Anger is a secondary emotion. Underlying the emotion of anger lies hurt/pain and fear. With a loss, we are more feeling the hurt/pain. Anger appears when reality sets in and the emotion is either directed at the loss or towards others (strangers, friends, family). We may feel resentment and/or guilt along with anger. Rationally, we know that we’re not angry at the person that we’ve lost; however, it assists with our emotional side.
3. Bargaining: Have you ever found yourself asking God why not you or someone else instead of him/her? If so, you have reached the bargaining stage. In this stage, the emotions of helplessness and vulnerability appear. My example of bargaining from my last blog post was “Why did a so-called Christian man have to leave?” Maybe it would have been easier for me to overcome a loss if that someone was not a Christian.
4. Depression: There are two types when mourning – 1) reaction to practical implications of the loss and 2) private, quiet separation towards loss. In the first one, we may worry about the costs and burial for loss. Maybe we didn’t spend enough time with those that are still on this earth during our mourning period? To ease this type of depression, a few kinds words and cooperation from loved ones can help. With the second type, we may be saying our “good-byes” to the loss. Hugs may be the best action during this process.
5. Acceptance: Not everyone may reach this stage of grief. During this stage, one reaches calmness (NOT happiness). Acceptance of the life cycle – birth and death – exists and you may return to some “normalcy”. Nobody can technically help you through the grief process to reach this stage, but yourself. Having others around is comforting, but you are the only one that can personally overcome the emotions of grief. The best advice in reaching acceptance stage is to allow yourself to feel the grief. Counselors at Family First Counseling (FFC) are able to assist you with this process. Contact FFC today if you are finding difficulties in overcoming a loss that you have experienced!
Divorce can be a scary and complicated process to go through. Once your divorce is final, when is it the right time to begin dating? I am a divorce mother of a special needs child and here are three things I did after my divorce to help me to begin dating.
1. Seek Counseling.
Going through a divorce can be an emotional roller coaster. It is important for you to talk with someone to help you with deal with your feelings|. You want to be able to deal with any anger or hostility toward your ex-spouse before you will be able to move on with your life. The last thing you want to do is to bring old baggage to a new relationship. Counseling gave me insight on how I wanted to move forward with my life as a single parent.
2. Get to know myself again.
Being a wife and mother for so many years, I forgot the person I was. I forgot the little things I like to do and all the things I liked about myself, so I begin to take myself out on dates. I went out to the movies and dinner. I had to learn how to be happy by myself. I also kept a daily journal. Although I do not write in it everyday, it helps me with writing down my thoughts and feeling on what is going on in my life. I love looking back on it to see how far I have come.
3. Begin to date again.
Scary!! Dating has change since I was single. Most of my friends are married so I had to find ways to meet new people. It was important for me to get myself back out into he world, so I could begin to find that special person. Singles group at church or online dating is a great way to get your feet wet.
Have fun dating. You should take the first few dates getting to know the person. Don’t go into it trying to make a love connection, just relax and enjoy yourself.
Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year to be without your child. Seeing all of the Christmas decorations and Santa’s in the malls, kids running around being festive about the holiday season can leave you feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Every parent wants to see their child wake up Christmas morning to open their gifts, so what can you do if your child will be with their other parent?
My first year was very difficult without my son, but since then I have learned three key things that have help me deal with this transition.
1. Celebrate Christmas early or late.
My son taught me that the date is not as important as the time spent at home. This year we had Christmas early. We plan a day when he was able to wake up early in the morning and open all of his gifts. He had all of his favorite meals and we played all day with his new toys. If you were not able to celebrate early, it’s okay to plan something for your child when they return home. It’s never too late to celebrate.
It is exciting to put a smile on someone else’s face. There are so many people who don’t have anyone in their life to care for them, or have lost a love one and the holiday season can be extremely difficult for them to get through. You can start be contacting your local shelter, senior citizen homes or church. It always great to give back to those in need.
3. Pamper yourself.
Don’t be afraid to take time out for yourself. You can treat yourself to massage, manicure or pedicure. Go see a movie that you been waiting to come out. If you not able to spend a lot of money, stay home and fix your favorite meal, watch your favorite program or sit quietly and listing to some music or read a book.
You have to find time to fine tune yourself so you can be a better person to yourself and your love ones.
Many years ago, the myth began to circulate that if parents are unhappy, the kids are unhappy, too. So divorce could help both parent and child. “What’s good for mom or dad is good for the children,” it was assumed. But we now have an enormous amount of research on divorce and children, all pointing to the same stubborn truth: Kids suffer when moms and dads split up. (And divorce doesn’t make mom and dad happier, either.)
The emotional scars have visible consequences. More than 30 years of research continues to reveal the negative effects of divorce on children. Most of these measurable effects are calculated in increased risks. In other words, while divorce does not mean these effects will definitely occur in your child, it does greatly increase the risks. The odds are simply against your kids if you divorce.
Research comparing children of divorced parents to children with married parents shows:
Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school.
Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.
Because the custodial parent’s income drops substantially after a divorce, children in divorced homes are almost five times more likely to live in poverty than are children with married parents.
Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families.
Before you say, “Not my kid,” remember that the children and teens represented in these statistics are normal kids, probably not much different from yours. Their parents didn’t think they would get involved in these things, either. Again, we’re looking at increased risks.
A few more statistics to consider:
Children from divorced homes experience illness more frequently and recover from sickness more slowly. They are also more likely to suffer child abuse.
Children of divorced parents suffer more frequently from symptoms of psychological distress. And the emotional scars of divorce last into adulthood.
The scope of this last finding – children suffer emotionally from their parents’ divorce – has been largely underestimated. Obviously, not every child of divorce commits crime or drops out of school. Some do well in school and even become high achievers. However, we now know that even these children experience deep and lasting emotional trauma.
For all children, their parents’ divorce colors their view of the world and relationships for the rest of their lives.
What parents see as a quick way out often results in emotional damage that the children will carry for 30 years or more. Divorce is no small thing to children. It is the violent ripping apart of their parents, a loss of stability and often a complete shock. While we often think of children as resilient, going through such trauma is a lot to ask of our kids.
In light of the fact that most marriages heading for divorce can be salvaged and turned into great marriages, parents should take a long pause before choosing divorce. While it may seem like a solution to you, it’s not an easy out for you or your kids. We are here to help. Give us a call and schedule an appointment.
Information retrieved from Focus on the Family.