Posts Tagged ‘BadMarriage’


Huffington Post Article: When Divorcing a Narcissist, Prepare for the Rage

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

When Divorcing a Narcissist, Prepare for the Rage

By: Lindsey Ellison at Huffington Post 

When you first met your narcissist, you probably once viewed him as a majesty who could give you the keys to his fairytale kingdom. His charm, wit and charismatic personality won you over, because you so badly craved a prince charming to save you. Conversely, your needing a prince charming is exactly what attracted him to you, as it gave him the opportunity to validate his narcissistic fantasies of himself, that he is, indeed, a fairytale prince.

But now that you’re married, your prince charming has turned into a monster, and his once magical kingdom is now your inescapable cage.

Two things may happen: You will stay in the marriage and endure many more years of abuse, to the point where your low self-esteem tells you there are no other options. Or, you will have had enough and decide to divorce him.

The latter (in which you divorce him) may be the first time in your life where you are setting boundaries. You have come to the conclusion that you deserve better and you refuse to tolerate bad behavior.

But this one victorious act of boundary setting is what makes for a potentially horrific divorce. Few victims are prepared for it, and their lack of preparation can cost them thousands of dollars in attorney fees, leaving them broke and emotionally drained.

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Huffington Post Article: 16 Reasons To Be Grateful For Divorce (Yes, Divorce)

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

16 Reasons To Be Grateful For Divorce (Yes, Divorce)

By: Brittany Wong at Huffington Post 

Divorce may seem like an odd thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. But as plenty of HuffPost Divorce readers and bloggers will tell you, nothing forces you to reevaluate your priorities quite like a split.

Below, they share the new relationships, opportunities and strengthened bonds with their kids that made their divorces entirely worth the trouble.

1. “I am thankful to be able to breathe again. I no longer walk on eggshells.” –Tamara W.

2. “My divorce made me a stronger, more secure woman. I had no idea until after the divorce was final what an impact his hostility had on me. To be honest, divorcing him was the best decision I’ve ever made.” –Teresa F.

3. “I’m grateful I have sole custody of my daughter! I have raised her myself for seven years now. I wouldn’t change a thing. I found out what kind of man and father I was because of my divorce. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.” –Doug S.

4. “I’m thankful for my divorce because through it I learned the truth of the saying, ‘Sometimes good things have to fall apart so that better things can come together.’ Nearly five years after my first marriage failed, I’m a blissful newlywed of three weeks! He is -– and we are –- so much better than I could have imagined.” –Penney Berryman

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Huffington Post Article: 9 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Headed For Collapse

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

9 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Headed For Collapse

By: Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW for Huffington Post

After decades of being a therapist and lover of self-help books, I’ve come to realize that red flags usually appear fairly early on in a relationship that can signal eventual disaster if they’re not dealt with. For instance, most couples report that their relationship problems didn’t surface suddenly but are the result of buried resentment that can fester for years.

Likewise, when a couple splits, most state that their problems were rarely processed or resolved in a healthy way. As a result, they felt criticized or put down by their partner and say that they argue about the same things over and over (and over) again. In many cases, couples become detached and eventually lose fondness, admiration, and love for one another over time.

Sweeping issues under the rug only works for so long – when couples have deep-seated resentment it can be a challenge to forgive and forget. A healthy intimate relationship is built on trust and vulnerability which involves sharing your innermost feelings, thoughts, and wishes. It’s important to remember that all couples have perpetual problems and can develop tools to deal with them.

Let’s look at Katie and Brett, a couple in their mid-thirties who came to my office ready to throw in the towel because their arguments had escalated recently. Brett reported: “Katie and I fight about everything from who is taking out the trash to money problems – we throw it all into the kitchen sink when we argue. I just can’t seem to please her.” To this Katie responded: “Yeah, and his way of dealing with things is to go out with his friends and to come home late, so I end up feeling alone and hurt.”

Unfortunately, the common theme in Katie and Brett’s remarks is focusing on their mutual resentment rather than ways they can repair the relationship. According to author Claire Hatch, LCSW, “If you’re bottling up feelings of sadness or anger, you end up suppressing your feelings. You’ll find yourself feeling less joy and love, as well.” In other words, if you can’t talk about the hard things, you’ll also feel less warmth and affection; and over time less fondness and admiration for your partner.

9 Warning Signs That Your Marriage Or Relationship Is In Trouble:

  1. You argue about the same things over and over again and never seem to clear the air. You both feel like you’re the loser and that you often have to defend your position.
  2. You feel criticized and put down by your partner frequently and this leaves you feeling less than “good enough.” According to renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, criticism is one of the main reasons why marriages collapse.
  3. You have difficulty being vulnerable with your significant other and when you do your worst fears are actualized – you’re left regretting that you revealed your feelings and desires.
  4. One or both of you put your children or others first. Therapist and author Andrew G. Marshall writes: “If you put your children first, day in and day out, you will exhaust your marriage.” He posits that many parents fall into the trap of putting their children first and the outcome is resentful, alienated parents and demanding, insecure children.
  5. You don’t enjoy each other’s friends or families so begin socializing away from one another. This may start out as an occasional weeknight out. But if not nipped in the bud, it can spill over into weekends – ideally when couples have an opportunity to spend more time together.
  6. You have ghosts from past relationships that surface because they were not dealt with. You may overreact to fairly innocent things your partner says or does because it triggers a memory from a past relationship.
  7. Your needs for sexual intimacy are vastly different and/or you rarely have sex. Relationship expert Cathy Meyer writes, “Whether it is him or you that has lost interest, a lack of regular intimacy in a marriage is a bad sign. Sex is the glue that binds, it is the way us adults play and enjoy each other.”
  8. You and your partner have fallen into a pursuer-distancer pattern – one of the main causes of divorce. Over time, it erodes the love and trust between you because you’ll lack the emotional and sexual intimacy that comes from being in harmony with each other.
  9. When you disagree you seldom resolve your differences. You fall into the trap of blaming each other and fail to compromise or apologize. As a result, you experience less warmth and closeness.

What are the best ways to break the negative pattern of relating that can lead to the demise of your relationship? First of all, it’s important to become conscious of your expectations. Dr. Brené Brown writes, “The fastest way for an expectation to morph into shame or resentment is for it to go unnoticed.” Dr. Brown also recommends that we drop our prerequisites for feeling worthy based on conditions – such as having our partner’s approval or a perfect relationship.

4 Things To Try Before Giving Up On Your Relationship:

  1. Stop criticizing your partner. According to Dr. John Gottman, talking about specific issues will reap better results than attacking your partner. For instance, a complaint is: “I’m upset because you didn’t tell me about the phone call from your ex. We agreed to be open with each other.” Versus a criticism: “You never tell me the truth. How can I trust you?”
  2. Practice resolving conflicts as they arise. Don’t put aside resentments that can destroy your relationship. Experiencing conflict is inevitable and couples who strive to avoid it are at risk of developing stagnant relationships. Take responsibility for your part in a dispute. Avoid defensiveness and showing contempt for your partner (rolling your eyes, ridicule, name-calling, sarcasm, etc.).
  3. Boost up physical affection and sex. According to author Dr. Kory Floyd, physical contact releases oxytocin (the bonding hormone) that reduces pain and causes a calming sensation. Studies show that it’s released during sexual orgasm and affectionate touch as well. Physical affection also reduces stress hormones – lowering daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  4. Nurture fondness and admiration for your partner: Remind yourself of your partner’s positive qualities – even as you grapple with their flaws – and express your positive feelings out loud several times each day. Search for common ground rather than insisting on getting your way when you have a disagreement. Listen to their point of view and avoid stonewalling – shutting yourself off from communication.

The best way to create a relationship built on love, trust, and intimacy is to take responsibility for your own actions and to practice acceptance and compassion for your partner. The truth is that all couples have problems, even the ones who seem like a perfect match. The thing to keep in mind is that realistic expectations and damage control can keep resentment from building and causing serious relationship problems.


In Huffington Post’s article “9 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Headed For Collapse” Terry Gaspard gives serious indications on where your marriage could be headed. The good thing is there are ways to help save your relationship and she gives advice on what to do if you feel as though you or your partner is ready to give up. The information that Ms. Gaspard gives seems easier said than done, but putting forth even just a small amount of effort can go a long way for your relationship.
 
If you feel backed into a corner and have tried everything listed in her article and still continue to undergo problems in your marriage, please contact our office. We will assist you in finding a solution to your situation.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: When To Divorce: Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending Your Marriage

Friday, June 13th, 2014

When To Divorce: Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending Your Marriage

By: Leigh Newman for Huffington Post

What do you need to think about before calling it quits? The experts weigh in.

1. Do I Have A Hard Or A Soft Problem?
If you have what marital therapists call a “hard” problem, for example, your spouse is abusing you or has untreated addictions, says William Doherty, PhD, lead researcher on the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota, then you need to get out the situation immediately. But let’s say you’re like most people in a tough relationship, and, on thinking about ending things find yourself saying things such as, “We’ve grown apart,” or “We’re just not in love anymore.” That’s code, says Doherty, for another, unrecognized problem. Are you lonely or feeling isolated? Do you feel disliked, criticized or ignored? If you don’t know the specifics of what’s making you unhappy, it’s pretty hard to figure out the specifics of what will make you happy — whether these things have to do with your current partner or anybody else.

2. Am I Already Divorced?
Maybe you’re living this scenario: You stay late at the office (the real office, with desks not beds), then meet with friends for a book club or a new play downtown. Meanwhile, he goes to the gym after work; then, he watches CSI and goes to sleep long before you get home. This goes on for a few years — or 10 or 15. At that point, a divorce feels like just a formality, says Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up . The natural assumption is: well, if we’re already split up emotionally, why not just take the plunge and do it legally? But Weil believes that’s the time to stop and ask, “What’s the rush now?” An official call for a breakup, she feels, is actually a call to fix the marriage, because a divorced relationship (read: a distant relationship) has become your norm and nobody comes into a counseling session looking to do more of what they’re already doing. It’s crucial — and often illuminating — to investigate why the two of you haven’t already ended your relationship. Yes, there may have been obligations, such as the kids or financial security, but was there something else, also? And is it still there?

3. Who’s Changing The Snow Tires?
If you’re in a troubled, miserable marriage, you’re often focused on the miserable part. After yet another long, ugly fight, a future outside that grief seems pretty appealing. But Doherty says that couples make a mistake when they focus on this post-marital-conflict snow globe of bliss. “The husband or wife can’t imagine everything that’s going to occur: breaking up the household; moving; dating.” Couples with children conveniently forget their fellow parent is going to be at the soccer game, the bar mitzvah, the grandchild’s 1st birthday party. He suggests couples write down who will handle the activities of each specific day and occasion exactly one year after the marriage is over, covering the mundane-but-somehow-crucial stuff too, like who will get the Le Creuset, or change the snow tires. These hard realities — which must include the even harder reality that 60 percent of all second marriages also fail — is a litmus test. If, upon consideration, the upheaval still seems worthwhile, you might want to get out. If it doesn’t, it’s time to rethink.

4. How Often Do I Use The Verb Deserve?
By the time couples bring up the d-word, most are pretty convinced they’ve done everything they can to save their relationship. That’s often not so, says Doherty. For example, try asking yourself how frequently you say to yourself, “I deserve to have a partner who earns 50 percent of the household income,” or, “I deserve to have a partner who thinks of me when he goes grocery shopping,” or “I deserve to have a partner who shows up on time,” or “I deserve” anything else on that long list of characteristics and behaviors you long for in a partner. You are worthy of someone who does most of these things. But no one gets a partner who does all these things. The more often you tell yourself what you deserve, the more you create a kind of dream spouse that overshadows the real one — the one you need to really evaluate. Could you find a way to live with some of his most-challenging qualities without, as Doherty says “damaging your human dignity?” Assuming he’s a good person overall who does some things that drive you nuts — and he’s not a big, mean jerk, because big mean jerks do exist–finding a way to co-exist with those very un-dreamy problems is actually what’s involved in doing everything you can to save the marriage.

5. How Afraid Am I Of Not Knowing?
One of most tortuous parts of a failing marriage is the wondering: Are things going to get better? Worse? Are they going to stay the same? Is he (or she) going to change? Are you? Dr. Weil says many couples go right to divorce, because they can’t stand the uncertainty. It’s easier for them to choose to break up — and to endure all that pain — than to stay in the situation without a guarantee that things will work out. (This is sort of like quitting a job because you can’t stand worrying about getting laid off anymore.) Yes, deciding to leave ends the worry. And yes, taking that step provides relief. But it’s a distraction-based decision, one that’s not about the divorce but about the anxiety over the divorce. Confronting the possibility that fear is the prime mover in your decision can save you from possible regret.

6. Can I Feel Even The Tiniest Snippet of Love?
Whether you decide to leave, or to stay in the marriage, you have to be able to love your spouse again, says Dr. Weil. Think about it this way: Leaving when you’re still so angry and upset that you can’t remember the time your husband tickled you silly in order to make you relax before dinner with his parents, or how he used to kiss you in the car at every red light, means that all you’re taking with you into your new life is exactly that — rage and pain. You’ll still be yelling at him in your mind for years, long after he’s gone. Walking away with some kind affection for him — in addition to all those other more tumultuous feelings — can help ensure some peace of mind for you — and for any other family members or children involved. Likewise, if you decide to stay, you’ve also got to remember those very same things to make the relationship work again. Is he funny, as well as irresponsible? Kind, as well as a little arrogant? Hilariously bad at cooking? Superbly talented at comforting? Love for the person — especially at the moment you’re least likely to feel love for him — is a sign that your decision to stay is one of those longed-for, sought-after, impossible-to-fake times in life when you know you’re doing the right thing.


In Huffington Post’s article “When To Divorce: Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending Your Marriage” Ms. Newman lists 6 things to think about before ending your marriage. In the midst of an argument it’s easy to forget all the good things a marriage has to offer and focus in on all the ways you’ve been done wrong. You really want to remember that a bad moment isn’t a bad marriage.
 
There are circumstances which make it almost impossible to work through in a marriage. If you are in a situation that leaves you in a constant in a battle and there just isn’t any way to stop the fighting, then please call our office and we will assist you. You aren’t alone, we are here to help!
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: 6 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed For Divorce

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

6 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed For Divorce
By: Cathy Meyer for DivorcedMoms.com

If you are married, having problems and sticking your head in the sand, where is your marriage headed? Divorce court! I recently worked with a couple who were in year 21 of their marriage. According to both there had been trouble from “day one.”

Twenty-one year’s worth of problems that should have been dealt with starting at “day one.” Not dealing with their problems as the problems came up led to years of built-up resentment for both. Hurt feelings, anger and emotional detachment from each other meant it would take a lot of effort to get the marriage back on track.

If you love your spouse and are committed to your marriage, do not ignore the follow six signs of impending divorce:

1. You fantasize about a life without your spouse.
I have a friend who recently divorced. For years before the marriage fell apart completely she spent a lot of time daydreaming about how much better life would be without her husband. This isn’t unusual, but if it is something you do often and with great abandon, it is time to seek help from a marital therapist.

Talk with your spouse about whatever it is that is causing you to long for the single life. It won’t be a pleasant conversation, but your spouse should be given a heads up and your marriage (especially if you have children) deserves the second chance it might get through counseling.

2. The bad outweighs the good.
Problems in a marriage feed on inactivity. If you have problems and don’t seek solutions, the bad will soon outweigh the good. Marriages can become breeding grounds or a vicious cycle of one problem after another. Do you and your spouse a favor seek help and advice from a trained professional before the scales tip too far and you find yourself with unsolvable problems.

3. You don’t share your thoughts and feelings.
Yes, some things are sacred — you don’t need to share every thought or feeling — but you aren’t doing your marriage a favor if you don’t share marital unhappiness with your spouse. Unless you feel there is a threat of abuse (physical or verbal retaliation), communication is an important way to relieve stress and build a healthier bond with your spouse. And problems can’t be worked through unless you are both aware of the problem.

4. Engaging in negative defense mechanisms.
Does your spouse become overly defensive when you express a concern? Do you dismiss your spouse’s needs? Does your spouse criticize your beliefs, or engage in stonewalling tactics? If so, you are at high risk of divorce. If either of you engage in negative defense mechanisms when attempting to solve a problem, you are building more problems and solving nothing. This can be the kiss of death for your marriage.

5. You feel alone in solving marital problems.
My ex engaged in negative defense mechanisms. He avoided conflict at all cost. He was a master at walking away, refusing to communicate and dismissing my concerns over problems in the marriage. He kept his head so far up his butt he could see his tonsils!

If there were problems, I was responsible for solving those problems…with no help from him. He handed me full responsibility for our relationship on a silver platter and when I failed to solve the problems, as he saw them but failed to share with me, the marriage was over.

It takes two to make problems and two to solve problems. Hopefully you are married to someone who understands this concept.

6. One desires sex and the other doesn’t.
A marriage that lacks sexual intimacy and affection will either end up in divorce or end up being a marriage of convenience. Nothing is more damaging to a marriage or the self-esteem of a spouse than having a partner reject them sexually.

Want your marriage to die on the vine? Ignore the sexual bond with your spouse and stand back and watch it wilt.

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If you feel as though your marriage might be destined for divorce, read Huffington Post’s article “6 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed For Divorce” and compare the signs.  If you fit into 3 or more of the groups listed, it may be critical that you seriously evaluate your circumstances.

There are many ways to strengthen the bond of marriage when it feels like its shattering.  Consider counseling to help mediate problems in the relationship, having assistance from a licensed professional with an outside opinion can really become an eye opener for both parties.

If you believe you have already done everything you are able to do to work through the problems in the marriage or if you believe it’s just not working with your spouse and you are contemplating divorce then please call our office.  We can answer any questions you have during your complementary consultation to help guide you in the direction that best suits your needs.

Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation today!