Posts Tagged ‘BadRelationships’


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: 7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

By: Brittany Wong for Huffington Post

Arguing with a significant other is never pretty. You may feel like each petty, overblown disagreement is breaking new ground, but the truth is, countless other couples have been there before.

Below, experts share seven of the most common arguments couples have and how to solve them before the words “split up” start getting thrown around.

  1. The need for attention Everyone wants to feel wanted and desired, but letting your S.O. know that you aren’t feeling those things can be difficult. Whatever you do, don’t keep those feelings bottled up; they could come back to hurt your relationship in serious ways, said Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.

“The thing is, we each need our partner to show us attention and when we feel we aren’t getting enough, we can start arguments, act out, and create more problems,” Nelson said. “Most arguments that appear on the surface to be about things like flirting and jealousy are many times about the need for more attention.”

If broaching the subject proves difficult, Nelson recommended a simple exercise: “Try telling your partner three things you appreciate about them every day. And have them tell you the same,” she explained. “The focus on what your partner likes about you and what you like about them brings the attention to the relationship in a positive way, instead of increasing the conflict.”

  1. The in-laws Meddling in-laws have been a problem for couples since the dawn of time. And now that everyone is hyper-connected thanks to social media, your in-laws can take their micromanaging of your marriage to a whole new level.

What’s the fix? Both spouses need to be proactive in addressing the problem, said M. Gary Neuman, author of Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship.

“The role of mediator ultimately rests with the spouse with the over-involved parent,” he said. “If something needs to be said to parents about changing their behavior, it should come from [their own kid].” (Let’s face it: There’s a greater likelihood your parents will listen up and be less resentful if you’re the one delivering the message.)

If you’re the son- or daughter-law in this equation, try to set realistic expectations for in-law relations. “You may not grow to love them like your own parents, but you do have to endeavor to like them,” Neuman said.

  1. Cellphone use If your spouse has become a tech-crazed monster who hides behind his iPhone at dinner, it might be time to establish some hard-and-fast cell phones rules, said Laura Wasser, a famed Los Angeles-based divorce attorney who has run into this issue in her own relationships. (“My ex actually referred to my cell as my ‘boyfriend.'” she admitted. “He once stormed out of a restaurant because I was texting with a client during our meal.”)

“The fact is, consideration of the person you’ve chosen to spend you some down time with has to be shown,” she said. “Think how you’d feel if you were the one sitting across the dinner table while your date was texting, reading and smirking at the phone?”

She added: “If it’s possible, leave the phone at home, in the car or turn it off during meals or movies or important conversations. If not, limit your use and apologize in advance for what might be an interruption.”

  1. Sex There’s a quote by “The Soup” host Joel McHale we love. He says that the best part about being married is “you get to have sex with your best friend.” The worst part? “When you get denied sex by your best friend.”

It’s true — nothing is more frustrating in a relationship than being on different pages when it comes to sex. To work through your issues, Nelson suggested a little game she calls, “What I make up about this.”

“When you begin to talk about your sex problems, start your discussion with the phrase ‘What I make up about this is…’ and then tell your partner how you feel about the problem,” she explained. “For instance, if the problem is not having enough sex, start off by saying, ‘The story I make up about our sex life is that we only have sex twice a week and I feel that you aren’t really into me anymore.’ When your partner’s turn comes up, you might be surprised to hear how differently he or she is interpreting things.”

Nelson said this kind of open, non-judgmental dialogue ensures that each person has a chance to air their grievances. “The focus is on understanding each person’s perspective and how to compromise, and not who’s wrong,” she said.

  1. Time spent with the kids From soccer meets five cities over to pressing diorama projects for science class, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with your kids’ to-do list. And that much more difficult if your spouse isn’t shouldering some of the responsibility.

If you’re starting to feel like a de facto single parent, it’s time you speak up, said relationship expert Marina Sbrochi, the author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life.

“Sit down with your spouse and go over your schedule and figure out how to divide and conquer,” she said. “Even scheduling 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with your child per day can make a difference. Let dad take over bedtime and read stories. Get the kids to help with breakfast. Carve out time to have family meals together. Schedule time with your family just as you would schedule anything else in your life that is important. “

  1. Money “Marriage is about love, divorce is about money,” the old saying goes. The road to divorce, however, often begins with knock-down-drag-out fights over financial issues. (A recent Money Magazine survey showed that married couples fight over money more than anything else.)

So what should you do get a handle on money-related fights before they sabotage your marriage? Have a heart-to-heart about how each of you approach money, said financial advisor Gabrielle Clemens.

“Money is emotional and fighting can start because individuals in a relationship have different views about money,” she said. “You and your partner need to have a basic discussion about how each of your families handled money while you were growing up, covering everything from how money was spent and which parent made the financial decisions, to questions about whether they were forced to scrimp and save to have the things they needed or wanted.”

Knowing how your spouse relates to money emotionally should help you understand their perspective when fights arise, Clemens said.

  1. “Nothing” at all You know how it begins: Your spouse shouts or passively aggressively mutters, “Why are there so many dirty dishes in the sink? Can’t anyone do the dishes around but me?” Before you know it, the two of you are locked in a screaming match and neither of you willing to cave in and end it.

It’s a fight over “nothing” — where “nothing” is a stand-in for so much more, said Sbrochi.

“It’s likely masking a larger issue,” she said. “When he says, ‘why can’t anyone do the dishes,’ your mind goes back to all the times you’ve felt like nothing but a maid to your family. What’s a few dishes compared to everything you do? You’re pissed off over principles.”

The next time a seemingly insignificant issue triggers an overblown fight, Sbrochi said to pause and consider what really set you off.

“Take note of the times when nothing ends up turning into a big fight and write down what you are really feeling,” she said. “Maybe you’d like more help at home and you feel overwhelmed. Instead of suffering in silence then blowing up over something small, open up and ask for help. A great relationship is a true give and take and it begins with good communication.”


In Huffington Post’s article “7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them” Ms. Wong lists some areas that can cause tension at home and a few ways to resolve those problems before it becomes larger than it needs to be. The advice is well worth trying with your significant other if you feel you are in a constant battle over trivial issues.
 
If those concerns are not trivial and you need real help dealing with a difficult situation at home that you feel is beyond your control, please contact our office for assistant.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

 

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.

Spring Cleaning; It’s Time to Clean House of Your Bad Relationships. It’s Never Fun, But Must Be Done! By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

If you’re like me, spring cleaning is right up there with doing your taxes. Similarly, taking an honest look at what needs to be done in your relationships can be challenging. No one wants to admit or face that their relationship need work or reassessment, and yet doing so can be a   refreshing start to a healthier you.

Relationships, just like our homes, need to be refreshed, cleaned up and have the excess removed from them throughout the years.

This list can help you clean up those bad relationships with a little “Spring Cleaning” terminology.

  1. Open the windows: Take the time to clear the air by addressing what needs to be addressed and/or forgiving what needs to be forgiven so you can breathe easier within each relationship. If you can’t let go of the past, forgive or forget, you need to reevaluate what is taking up space in your relationship‘air’. If you cannot be authentic in your day to dayfeelings, you aren’t in a healthy place nor in a healthy relationship.
  1. Get rid of the Junk: In this case, junk can be relationships that are emotionally draining, verbally abusive or worse, physically harmful to yourself and/or your children. In my opinion this needs to be thrown out immediately. Start putting yourself and your life first!
  1. Donate: Your friendship and understanding can go a long way for a friend or family member in need of a helpful hand or a shoulder to lean on. Going through divorce or separation can be difficult to do alone. On the flip-side, sharing your feelings with others can help you realize you aren’t alone in this journey; that there is life after divorce. Be a good friend or relative and donate your time in whatever capacity you can.

No one can tell you if you are ready for a divorce, but when you know you have the support around you, making that next step can be that much easier. Good luck to you and let us know how we can help.

For more information, and a complimentary consultation call the LAW OFFICE OF STEVEN B. CHROMAN P.C. today at 661-255-1800.

Author of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com

Huffington Post Article: 12 Red Flags That Could Spell Doom For Your Relationship

Friday, May 16th, 2014

12 Red Flags That Could Spell Doom For Your Relationship

By: Taryn Hillin for Huffington Post

It’s only natural that you’re overcome with lovey-dovey feelings when in a new relationship. But as time goes on, little red flags may start to rear their ugly heads as you start questioning whether or not this person is really right for you.

Trust us, everyone has doubts at some point — but some doubts are more serious than others. So we turned to the experts to find out which warning signs may actually spell doom for your relationship.

1. One person has all the power.

Relationships are about balance, so if you find yourself in an unbalanced partnership where you feel belittled, worthless or not heard, it’s time to leave. “If one person dictates everything, and the other has to choose between being a doormat or taking the highway, the highway is the better choice,” says marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert, who specializes in high-conflict divorce.

2. The relationship is seriously lacking fireworks.

“Lack of a sexual life can be a big source of frustration for one or both of the partners,” says sex therapist Sari Cooper, who tells The Huffington Post that she sees this problem all the time with her clients seeking help.

The truth is that sex matters, and as time goes on, a lack of sex can lead to much bigger problems. As Dr. Phyllis Goldberg, a marriage and family therapist, explains, “The longer a couple goes without being intimate, the more ambivalence they will feel. It’s like a vicious cycle, and this only increases the lack of trust, the awkwardness and the subsequent distancing.”

3. You’re not cheating, but your partner thinks you are.

If your partner is constantly checking your text messages, “accidentally” logging into your email and accusing you of cheating when you’re not, it’s a sign that they have trust issues.

“If you don’t trust your partner, that’s a problem,” says author and relationship expert Rachel Kramer Bussel. “It’s natural to be curious — who isn’t? — but taking that curiosity beyond the bounds of what your partner would be comfortable with crosses a line that could be dangerous for your relationship, not to mention your mental health.”

4. You like your partner, but hate their friends.

If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, it’s important to also like their friends. If you can’t manage to do that, you’re only setting yourself up for battles later on. “We know that couples who have parents, in-laws, and friends who support them as a couple are much more likely to go the distance,” W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project, told the Huffington Post.

Other experts agree. “If socializing continues to be a point of contention, think long and hard about whether you can accept your differences, because neither of you is likely to change,” explains Gilbert.

5. Even worse, you don’t get along with each other’s families.

If your family is not on board with your partner, there may be a good reason for it. “Friends and family often have a more objective view of your partner than you do,” said Wilcox. In other words, your family may be seeing red flags that you’re too blinded by love to pick up on.

On the flip side, if you don’t get along with your partner’s family, it’s a long and painful road ahead. “The truth is that the pressures a person’s family or your family might put on a relationship can be huge,” says life and relationship coach Bonnie Olson. “These people are going to interact with you forever and if you get a major ‘ick’ feeling about them, then do a reality check to determine if you can live with these individuals in your life.”

6. You feel like you’re in a dictatorship, not a relationship.

If you find yourself living someone else’s life — hanging out with their friends, listening to their music, and only doing what they want want to do — it’s time to take a stand. “Start taking ground” says Deverich. “You decide where you will go to dinner, what color to paint the dining room or what car you will buy … if they resist, push back. Most controllers don’t want to lose you and are willing to change.”

That said, if your partner doesn’t change, Deverich says it may be a sign they’re an abuser and you need to “get out!”

7. You don’t spend much time together, and you’re OK with that.

You should want to spend time with your S.O., even if it means just going to the grocery store together. “If that’s not happening, something is very wrong,” says author and life coach Honoree Corder. “Unless you look forward to spending time together no matter what you’re doing (or even if you’re doing nothing), you’re not partnered up right.”

In fact, studies have shown that making date-night a priority is key to successful relationships.

8. You can never just be together without an activity or distraction.

A relationship needs to stand on its own two feet. If you and your partner can’t just “be together” without help — such as alcohol, couples therapy, TV, fancy dinners or even other people — there’s a bigger problem afoot.

“If your second home is in your therapist’s office, and even when you leave, you can’t stop talking about your issues, it may be a sign that you’re more in love with the idea of a relationship than with your partner,” says Gilbert.

9. You seriously disagree on major life choices.

The truth is most people don’t change, so if you entered into the relationship knowing your S.O. doesn’t want kids and you want several, don’t resent him or her five years later when the answer is the same. If you don’t see eye-to-eye on major life decisions now, you’ll end up with major life problems later, says Cooper, explaining that disagreements on monogamy, religion and family are major red flags that pop up over and over again with her clients.

10. Your partner is physically violent.

We shouldn’t have to say it, but we will: violence is a major red flag and should not be tolerated. “Get out right now, do not look back,” says marriage and family therapist Amanda Deverich. “Safety first and hitting must stop.”

11. Communication is seriously lacking in the relationship.

We hear it time and again: communication is the key to a successful relationship. So it’s only logical that poor communication — or lack of communication — is the executioner.

“One of the most common roadblocks couples face occurs when they avoid confrontation and sweep their differences under the proverbial rug again and again,” says Cooper. “I find either couples fight unfairly in a bullying or threatening manner or they avoid conflict at all costs.”

12. You bicker about the small things, while the bigger problems go undiscussed.

Whether it’s picking a restaurant, a movie, or deciding where to spend the holidays, if everything ends in a fight, your relationship is in trouble.

“Bickering and fighting can be a sign of a deeper, more significant issue,” says Corder. “Sometimes what you really want to say is, ‘I’m done’. If that’s the case, take a hard look at saying that, instead of continuing down the path you’re on.”


In Huffington Post‘s article “12 Red Flags That Could Spell Doom For Your Relationship” provides suggestions to look out for if you consider your relationship troubled. Should you read the list and find that you easily fall into 3 or more of the categories call our office for a free consultation and we can assist you in making decisions for your future.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.