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Category Archives: Family & Friends Support

There’s Nothing Embarrassing About Reconciliation

We’ve all heard it, “You never miss your water, until the well runs dry”. And if you’ve ever had something great and that great thing went away, then you certainly know that old adage rings true. So it shouldn’t be a surprise, if your spouse wants to reconcile your marriage up until and even after the divorce has been final. I’ve had several people approach me about it and ask me my take on the reconciliation, hence the reason for this post.

I’d first like to go on record as saying that although I am divorced, I am a huge advocate for the institution of marriage and the importance of a strong family unit. I know that under the right circumstances, it is certainly a great relationship to have. However, I don’t think it’s something to enter into lightly, because it has and always will require a great deal of work to keep it functioning properly. But it shouldn’t be a surprise when I say if reconciliation is offered in sincerity, I believe it should be considered…..OK, before you get upset. I want to say that if abuse, especially physical abuse, is ever a factor, I would frown upon it unless for certain they had gotten professional treatment and was showing favorable behavioral changes. I believe that safety should always be considered first.

But for those cases where abuse wasn’t a factor in the divorce, I whole-heartedly believe that if the two of you are both dedicated to making it work, by all means proceed. Let’s face it, sometimes we actually need that break to wise up and truly re-evaluate what we have and work on overcoming the weaknesses we had, which may have caused the rift in the marriage in the first place. Now, I’ve never been a big proponent of couples living in separate residences when they’re considering a divorce (You’ll have to follow this blog, as I’ll be posting about this on another day). But I’m certain and have witnessed God take people whom I was sure were not meant to be married, re-unite them and it was better than it ever was before.

The one thing I will say is never allow anyone to discourage you from fighting for what you value? Anything you love and care about is more than definitely worth fighting for. The appreciation you have after you win the fight will be so much greater. It’s amazing how we’ll go to the depths to get those material things (the house, the car, the clothes, the career) most of which depreciates over time. And when we fight to keep those things, we don’t feel anyway remorseful about it. So why should one feel that way about a person, a living being, who’s value often can’t be quantified?

Lastly, I know some people will say that once this person has done something, they can’t ever be reformed. I don’t believe that at all. Only because I know of my past transgressions and I’d certainly hate for anyone to refer to me from it. I have been made new through Christ and certainly work hard to renew my thoughts daily (Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:23). And because I know of my evolution, I don’t have a right to believe that others can’t be renewed too. I try not to interject myself into my friends relationships. Mostly because we all have different levels of tolerance to pain. And what bothers one, may not bother another. So, if a friend of mine had dated a guy that I thought was a jerk in 2000 and they re-unite in 2011, I may think about his tendencies in my mind. And if she asked me about it, I may briefly mention it. But I wouldn’t talk against her getting back involved with that person. Because time truly does have a way of maturing most people. So I’m more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Make no mistake, there’s nothing embarrassing about changing, which is really what reconciliation is all about. But most importantly, I encourage you to reconcile to God, once again and it will definitely provide you with the strength to make the relationship everlasting.

God bless you all.

 

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Why So Many Men Never See Divorce Coming

I read this blog written by Judge Lynn Toler…you know, she’s the judge from Divorce Court! It was a shocker to me, because I originally thought that more men filed for divorce than women. But apparently there is a group of men, whose wives file for divorce and apparently they feel blindside. I’m reposting part of the blog she wrote for the Huffington Post here. I’d love to know what you think about it… 

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Lynn Toler

Divorce Court Host and Author of My Mother’s Rules

Posted: February 2, 2011 10:53 AM

I first heard it from attorneys who typically represent men in a divorce. I then began to see it in the cases that came before me. I remember the attorney who first mentioned it to me some ten years ago, he leaned back in his chair at a conference on divorce and said, “It never ceases to amaze me how many men come to me with their jaws on the floor saying they never saw it coming.”

Now, I am witnessing it in my own social circles. All around me long-term marriages are coming to an end. And as the studies show many of those jumping ship are women.

Not only am I seeing a rash of fleeing women all around me, I also see what I first ascertained years ago: That a fairly significant number of men–especially in longer term marriages–never saw their divorces coming. There was, they say, no warning, no build up, no escalating tensions, just an unexpected, non-negotiable and seemingly unprovoked decision to leave.

Of course, this is not the norm. Most marriages careen into a ditch after traversing a noticeably bumpy road. Likewise, there are women who are surprised when their husbands decide to leave, but what I am talking about here is that not-so-small group of guys who are caught flat footed by their wives sudden and seemingly unexplained departure.

As with everything involved with the human condition, there is no one reason for any trend. But after having witnessed it from the bench and in my own backyard and from reading what I can, I do see one common mistake both men and women are making that seems to rear its head in a number of these unexpected abandonment cases. I mention it here because I think it ends some very salvageable marriages…

For the rest of the article…click here! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynn-toler/why-so-many-men-never-see_b_815502.html

 

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A Marriage Built To Last: Lessons Learned From My Grandparents

I ran across this amazing website entitled “Black & Married With Kids” . They recently posted this amazing blog written by Edward C. Lee that I just had to share with you all. It shares some awesome words of wisdom that would be helpful to apply to your marriages, those new and/or reconciled. I hope you will please take the time to read.

Grandparents

A Marriage Built To Last: Lessons Learned From My Grandparents

December 21, 2010

The Christmas holiday season always makes me think of my grandparents.

My grandfather, Buddy, and my grandmother, Thelma, were married on New Year’s Eve, December 31st 1935. They had been married 59 years when my grandfather passed away in his garden with his hands neatly folded on his chest and a smile on his face in 1994. With a nickname like “Buddy” it goes without saying that he was the friendly, giving type of person that everyone loved.

For as much as we all loved him, his passing gave the family time to really get to know my grandmother in deeper ways than we had to that point. Of course she dealt with her bouts of loneliness without her soul mate of almost 60 years by her side. But in those years she did not just survive but she thrived and grew in her independence until she passed away in 2008. One minute she was laughing with some friends at her assisted living facility over lunch and minutes later she had a stroke and was in heaven.

I love the way they died: happy, fulfilled, well-respected, well-loved and content. I aspire to live a life so that one day I might die as well as they did (think about that one for a minute). Yet as thankful as I am for how they died, it is the way they lived that has shaped me and my views of what is important in marriage.

So as I reflect personally, as I always do this time of year, I want to share some of the lessons my grandparents modeled in front of me as they persevered through their 59 years together.

1. Maintain a Light Spirit in Heavy Times

In the later years of my grandmother’s life I would take every opportunity to find out what life was like for her and my grandfather through the 1930‘s, 40‘s and 50‘s. She would often share stories of traveling from Pennsylvania back through parts of the South to get to Florida. She would tell of the network of people and lodging arrangements they would have to make to ensure that her, my grandfather, and their two small children were safe as they travelled through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida during the 1950s. Yet, given the backdrop of every story – danger, near misses, hiding, racial cruelty – she always told them with bursts of laughter woven into the seriousness. She could laugh because in the seriousness of what they faced they learned to remain light hearted. They did not turn on each other, but they stayed together and found ways to laugh through the heaviness of what they experienced. They never allowed the oppression to press them out of their character or turn against each other. In retrospect it fits with the advice my grandmother would always give me, “Give your wife a kiss, everyday, just love her even when you are mad, hold onto each other and you can get through anything. A hug and a kiss every day. Just hold onto each other.”

2. Avoid the Urge to Blame

In the mid-1980’s my grandfather was fixing the lawn mower in his basement and noticed some water from a recent storm had gotten into the basement. So he went to get a rag to wipe it up. Unfortunately, what he thought was water was actually the gasoline from the lawn mower. As he returned and knelt down to wipe up what he thought was water, the furnace exploded in his face. The force of the blast was so powerful that it knocked down my grandmother who was all the way up on the 2nd floor. Yet my grandfather whose face was inches from the blast did not have even a hair on his head singed. It is pretty amazing that he made it out of there alive. Perhaps even more amazing that there was never a word of blame spoken or expressed between them about the fire.

For the next year they lived in a cramped two-bedroom apartment. Every thing that could be salvaged from what remained of their three bedroom 2 story with a basement home was jammed in this tiny two bedroom apartment – box upon box, from floor to ceiling. Yet there was never a word of complaint. My grandmother never said, “How could you have burned down our house…” not a word. She never blamed him, instead she supported him, cheered him on and just forgave. She later shared with me that she was more concerned with getting through the ordeal together than placing words of blame. Her reflection of what was most important to her at that painful time has been a point of challenge to me. There have been times in my marriage when I just want to say, “this is your fault!”. But grandmom is right, love and support are far more productive at keeping the family together than blame.

To read the remaining portion of this blog, please click… http://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2010/12/21/a-marriage-built-to-last-lessons-learned-from-my-grandparents/

 

What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?

Ok, this isn’t going to be one of those sappy posts, to encourage you to drown yourselves in your sorrow. Sure it’s Christmas time, a season of abundant commercials filled with sappy stories of husbands giving their wives, big diamonds and luxury cars or wives going out of their way to hide their husbands’ new plasma tvs. (No, I’m not bitter:))) I’m really not, because while we all would love to be showered by the one’s we vowed to spend the rest of our lives with. For many, that’s not a reality.

Having experienced a couple of lonely Christmases, immediately after I separated and later divorced from my now ex-husband. I’d like to share ideas on how to cope during the holiday season.

Let see…

First, go ahead and cry it out! That’s right let it flow. There’s no use in holding it in. Holding in that kind of emotion can kill you. So have a really good cry. But you’re limited to 1 hour on Christmas Day! You can do it all at once or 4 (15) minute sessions throughout the day. But 1 hour is all you’re allowed for that day. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with a cry, which cleanses the soul. But anything more than that will make you sick and exhaust you.

Next, take a really warm shower or bath. If you like, you can even combine your cry with your bath time. Those tears can just flow out of the tub or shower. That’s even better, because now you will have extra time in the day to do those things which are most important and healthy.

Spend time with someone! Now, because we didn’t have children, I woke up completely alone during Christmas. So I decided to spend the day with my mom. See, my dad had passed away a few months prior, so we both were dealing with significant loss. We leaned on each other for the holiday. But if you have children, why not spend it happily with them showing you what Santa (if they still believe) or whomever has gotten them. Either way, keep it positive! If you’re unfortunate to not have children, parents, or close friends to spend the holiday with, find someone in or around your neighborhood to spend it with. Or willingly find a shelter to volunteer to serve. It’s amazing how small our problems become, once we’re assisting someone with theirs. And in my experience, it allows God to work your problems out for you, without your interference, which can serve as detrimental to the situation. (But that’s another topic, for another day)

Next, eat well. Enjoy the meal that is prepared before you, whatever that may be. It’s a day to splurge a bit. Take your time and enjoy that dessert.

Nothing cures loneliness like laughter. Find humor throughout your day. Laugh long and big whenever you can. Watch a funny christmas movie. I had heard about the National Lampoon Christmas vacation. But I’d never watched it. So, I ordered it on Netflix and watched it that evening. It was really what I needed to pass the time in a positive way and filling my soul with joy.

At the end of the evening, journalize (Is that even a word? Oh well, it is now! LOL)your day. Talk about your emotions. Pour it out on paper. It will serve as a guide to your progress. Make sure your entry includes your day’s blessings. Itemize them, specifically. You’ll realize there are more than one blessing of the day. And besides, the greatest blessing is your life. With life, there’s always hope for a better tomorrow, which will come. Speaking of tomorrow, start planning for your new future. 2011 is right around the corner, so consider what you’d like to accomplish in it. It won’t hurt to have a plan b, c, & d. Because you never know what the future will hold.

And lastly, before you turn in, don’t forget to pray. Thank God that you survived the day. It will get better. Although, you’re more than likely going to feel some loneliness, remember you are never alone. God is always with us (Hebrew 13:5). So why not draw nearer to him? Let him penetrate you and ask him to provide you with the peace to handle whatever outcome is reached.

Just like everything else we encounter in life, this too shall pass! But to do it in a healthy manner takes determination and dedication. Dedicate your life to growing in  positive way. Choose not to allow Satan to rob you of your joy! May you be blessed with a very Merry Christmas!

 

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S.O.S. Seeking Out Support

One of the most difficult things for me to admit was that I was going through a divorce. Initially, I sought out support from people who had never experienced it. They were my friends and I’m certain they honestly thought all the things they said to me would help. But it really made things worse for me. This is partly because while they were sympathetic to my situation, they couldn’t emphathize with it. They didn’t know what it was like to be torn apart from a unit. Sure many will argue that if you’ve experienced a breakup, you should be able to handle a divorce. But I had been through several breakups and nothing compared to the feeling of losing a spouse.

My minister recommended that I join a Christian support group, Divorcecare, which was dedicated to helping people heal from divorce and separation in a healthy way. While living in MS, I took his advise.  On my first visit, I was completely nervous. I didn’t know what to truly expect. To my surprise, there were men and women. For some reason, I didn’t think there were men who wanted their marriages to work. Nor, did I think about the fact that men suffer from a divorce or separation also. As the facilitator started to talk about the program I began to feel more at ease. The first step was to state your name and admit that you were going through a divorce or separation. There were so many emotions that poured out from just the first step. There were some who cried, some who smiled, and some who chose not to say it yet. But for those who couldn’t admit it, there was no pressure. It’s a difficult thing to admit. But because it consisted of people who were going through it, the pain seemed a little lessened for me.

It was a 12 week program. Each session consisted of discussions on footage from real people in various phases of the divorce/separation. In addition to the discussion at the meetings, there were assignments for us to take home and complete before the following meeting. While the program was 12 weeks, you’re not expected to be completely healed by its conclusion. But they provide you with a tools and the group support that makes you aware that you’re not alone. It’s really what I needed to know.

When you’re going through divorce, it’s important to understand that you’re not the only one. Divorcecare was the place that those who were going through divorce/separation could meet and help each other cope, free from speculation and embarrassment. And because it’s a Christian-based support group, you’re provided with scriptures of encouragement to also ease the pain. It was a refuge for me, because when I expressed what I was feeling I wasn’t being told to just get over it. The people there empathized with me. They didn’t uphold me in my wrongs, but did admit that the feelings I had were ones they once felt. The men in the program shared their feelings, which was truly enlightening. It was great to get a man’s perspective on the subject.

There’s so much greatness and beauty in the support group. I contribute a great portion of  my healing success to the support group. We cried together. We laughed together. We checked on each other throughout the week. I actually took  the program twice. And it was even better the second time around. I was able to share more freely with new members and be an even greater supporter. I highly recommend this support group. For more information about it, go to www.divorcecare.com. You will be able to find your local support group, and the dates/times they meet. The program is completely confidential, so you don’t have to worry about what you share being discussed outside of the program. God bless you in your healing endeavors.

Sincerely,

Tanisha

 
 

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Welcome!

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my new blog site, dedicated to positively coping with separation and divorce. A few years ago, I was dealing with the same challenge. It’s difficult, but I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone. You can overcome it in a positive way and overcome the negative stigma that’s attached to the term.

I hope that you will share your comments and opinions openly. Feel free to pass the blog onto others that may be having a hard time dealing with a separation or divorce. Additionally, if your role is to support someone in divorce, I hope to provide you insight to dealing with the emotional stress that comes along with helping others.

I’m not claiming to be an expert on the subject. I just hope to expose some things about divorce and separation that others may be ashamed to speak about. I thorougly hope to help each and everyone of you overcome the experience in a positive way and start your life anew.

Sincerely,

Tanisha Rankins

 

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