Here is a video from Henry Winkler offering the secret to a long marriage. There is a lot if truth in what he says and it doesn’t matter if you are married, divorced people trying to co-parent, a parent and child relationship in conflict or even experiencing issues between friends. It is not about how you meant it, but how it lands! See what Henry Winkler says…
Many people do not know that Life’s Doors Mediation offers much more than divorce services. We also offer Marital Mediation and relationship coaching services. Our goals is to improve relationships. No matter where two people are in their relationship, they can move beyond conflict and reach a peaceful coexistence. We’ve had married couples and unmarried couples come in to learn communication and conflict management skills without any mediation at all, but we have also helped parents with teenage children and couples who are struggling to stay together negotiate their way to a workable relationship through non legal mediation processes. Agreements do not have to be written. It gives people a chance to discuss their needs in the relationship and try to get to a place of understanding from the other side. Many couples want to discuss their needs and desires and agree to a way forward. Couples who use marital mediation can avoid divorce, but it has nothing to do with any court process. It is simply an agreement between two people. The agreement can be written or simply be a verbal agreement. It is a matter between the two people involved whether they wish an agreement be written or not. Because these types of agreements are usually not very involved, the fees are much lower than it would be for a court involved case.
If you would like more information on informal marital or relationship mediation, please contact Susan Carpenter at Life’s Doors Mediation via phone, 763-566-2282 or email: email@example.com. You may also want to check out High Conflict U for our relationship, communication and conflict skill building classes and programs. There are times when you may be able to save your marriage or restore a relationship. As Henry Winkler said, both people have to willing. If that is where you are at, despite any problems you are having, reach out and see if Life’s Doors Mediation or High Conflict U may be able to help.
Have you ever sat and watched birds? There is such great symbolism available to apply to human life and when you stop to take in the awe of any of God’s creatures, it can bring some much-needed “Aha” moments. I would encourage you to sometime sit and watch birds.
I remember when I was younger I used to see birdwatchers’ guide books all over the place and there were bird watching clubs out there, too. I am not sure if there are any left in this day and age and it is a real shame if there isn’t. Today, everyone is busy watching things on their iPhone. Everyone wants technological answers to life, but the complexities of life can never be summed up on a website. That is why God shows us the answers all around us if only we’d get off of our little technological machines and look at the world around us. Nature provides beautiful answers and they are always at our disposal. We don’t have to type anything into Google. All we have to do is sit and patiently wait for it.
Just the other day, I was at a stop light, thinking about some life difficulties that I have been experiencing. My thoughts were all about what direction I should go. How can I meet my goals? If I am to listen to God and follow his direction, why is this road I’m walking not an easier path for me? I also had a big nagging question on my heart. The question? Should I just give up? Go back to sleep? Forget that God ever put me on this path in the first place and go live a simpler life? God always tells me to keep at it and it frustrates me because it is a path of much resistance. Sometimes I wonder why God would send me on this mission and not make the road easier and filled with helpers and resources and yet I believe that everything will happen in god’s timing, not mine.
So I was sitting there at a stop light, feeling disheartened and I saw them, two sparrows. It was a windy day and I watched one of them try to fly from a roof to a nearby tree. The wind kept pushing him in a different direction than he seemed to want to go. There was another bird with him and that bird seemed to stay on course longer than the other, but they both were struggling to accomplish their goal and get to their destination. As I watched them, I saw that they would try every few seconds, get taken off course by the wind, and head back to the roof. When it seemed as though they had simply given up, you could see the winds had changed and when it did, they took advantage of having things going their way and effortlessly made their way to the tree.
This short presentation by nature made me realize that the birds know. How can the birds know and deep down I know, too, but I question too much. I doubt too often. Of course God will get me there! When the time is right!
Think of the messages that were delivered to me from the birds that day:
Reaching your goals is not easy
You will struggle
You will be blown off course
Timing is everything
Sometimes, you have to wait for the winds to change
When the right time comes, go for it
We can all learn a lot from birds.
Luke 12:22-27 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a]26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin
When you devote much of your day in fear of your ex, or thinking about what your ex is doing, you are allowing them to live rent free in your head. It is completely understandable that if you have had many negative experiences with your ex and experienced a prolonged, bitter custody battle, you would become afraid of having to deal with them in the future. Still, the best thing to do is to get them out of your head and out of your life as much as possible.
I do not want to make light of the situation. I hope to help people move forward and stop giving their ex more attention than they deserve. If you have become overwhelmed with thoughts and fears about your ex, you have to work on changing your thinking. It is not going to happen over night, but it can be done. You will have to work hard at it and things may get worse before they get better. What I mean by that is the controlling, abusive, meddling ex will do their best to make you fail in your quest for freedom. That is reason enough why you must do it. When you start paying less and less attention to them and no longer cower in fear of them, they are going to get in your face a little more before they slither away and the fact remains, they may never slither away completely. You see, the problem is not with you. It is with them.
Your ex has been masterful at turning the tables on you and keeping you off balance. Because their behavior is not normal, you may be confused about why they are behaving the way they are. Worse, you may also be confused that in the real world, people view your ex as very nice, smart, thoughtful, etc. They may have a new relationship that seems just peachy and you may be questioning if you really are the problem. Trust me, you are not the problem.
Keep in mind that most people in the real world only get a glimpse of who your ex really is and when your ex wants to, he or she can really turn on the charm. The same goes for the new relationship. They must make their new partner see you as a crazy person. It helps them ensure that you will never go near their new partner and that they will steer clear of you as well. No one can talk to each other that way. The angry ex’s secrets do not get divulged. This keeps their new love in the dark about who they really are and it helps keep you wondering what the heck is going on…and they LOVE that. Remember how they treated you early on and how wonderful you thought they were. The new partner will also be charmed.
They LOVE having you fear them. They LOVE living in your head rent free. They do not even have to do anything because you fear them so much and try to anticipate what they will do next. It feeds their ego to know that they are always on your mind.
So how do you go about changing things?
First things first, you have to put your fear behind you. You may even need to get angry. You also need to retrain your brain to stop any and all thoughts of your ex whenever they crop up.
Second, have a diversion. If you are overwhelmed thinking about what your ex may or may not do about any given issue, have a friend or a hobby or even look for a new love interest and whenever you just cannot shake the evil ex thoughts, call on that person or take some time to work on it. If you choose a hobby, make sure that it is something that will keep you busy. Reading sometimes will not work because if your mind keeps wandering, you will not really be reading. Try exercise, too, and some stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, mediation or swinging your arms back and forth for 10 minutes. Trust me, it works.
Third, carve out “ex free” time. When you have the luxury of your child spending time at the other parent’s house or with grandma and grandpa or their friends, carve it out. Announce to yourself that you will not give your ex anymore time than they have already taken from you.
This can be done, trust me, I have done it. It takes some time and some practice, but once you master retraining your brain, the less you will think about your ex or care about your ex. It will become habit to you and you will be well on your way to a new and happier life. One last thing, it is natural to want to put your life on hold for fear that your ex will ruin anything that makes you happy, but that is just giving them more control over your life. You do NOT want to do that. Write down on a piece of paper in big letters the following:
NOT ONE MORE DAY. MY EX WILL NOT GET ONE MORE DAY OF MY LIFE. MY EX HAS BEEN LIVING RENT FREE IN MY HEAD FOR YEARS AND TODAY IS HIS EVICTION NOTICE. HE/SHE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF MY HEAD AND OUT OF MY THOUGHTS AND OUT OF MY LIFE STARTING RIGHT NOW. I DO NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED THE WAY I AM BEING TREATED. I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.
And then go live it. If you want to find a new love, seek them out. Your ex may try to meddle and he/she may try to make things difficult for you in unimaginable ways, but you are stronger than he or she is. Much stronger. They have a sickness that they probably cannot escape, but you will choose to get healthier. You will take steps to ensure that you never choose the same kind of psychopath as a partner again, and you won’t. Your new love will love you and because they love you so much, they will see what your ex is doing and they will stand by you no matter what.
When you see it, you will believe it and achieve it!
This article was originally posted on May 18, 2011. Due to its popularity, I thought I’d re-post it.
When hit with divorce some people decide that their life is over. They think that in order to be a good parent, they must make sacrifices. They decide that dating has to wait until the children are grown, or they decide that they must be alone FOREVER.
There are always those people who decide that “all men are scum!” or that “all women are man haters!” While it certainly feels that way as you try to heal the wounds of divorce, those statements are blatantly false. Just because one person hurt you, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a loving man or woman out there who has been hurt just as badly, and would love to find someone like you. Many people are looking for a decent, loving individual, with whom they can build a new life, but instead, they do not allow themselves to seek out a potential mate.
It is called fear, people. Fear holds them back from true happiness. Those who live in fear never get to live life to the fullest. They miss out on the joy life can bring. They miss out on sharing a life with someone wonderful.
We can take our past experiences and let them continue to hurt us, or we could chalk it up to experience and hop right back on that bicycle and try it again. What I think people find through dating, especially when they are a little older and have been through divorce, is that they matter, and that they are more beautiful and desirable than they think they are.
The period following divorce can be a chance to learn about yourself. It can be a time to figure out who you are and what your interests are. You can try people on for size and it will help you find the right one for you. Just because the last one turned out to be the wrong one, that is no reason to give up and hide under the covers. I truly believe that there is someone out there for everyone. Just make sure that you have examined your part in the failed relationship and that you are emotionally healthy and ready for a new relationship before you get deeply involved with a new mate. It will save many headaches later if you get your act together!
I have another take on that whole “sacrificing for the children” belief. I think that when you swear off dating, you are robbing your children of a good example. Here’s why: Since you ended up divorced, that was probably not the best example of a healthy relationship. Did you fight? Was there chemical dependency involved? Was your ex physically and verbally abusive? Children learn by modeling. They observe the relationships they see and it leaves an impression on them. The kind of relationship they witness will be the relationship they seek out in their own lives and they will do so without even knowing they are doing it.
One day, they will choose a significant other and have a relationship just like their parents had. Why? Because this is what a relationship looks like to them. Do you want that? Would it be better to show your children how to date selectively and then hopefully find that special person with whom you can have a healthy, lasting relationship with? What a great model to give them, especially if all of the relationships around them haven’t always been the healthiest! Do this for you, but also for your children, and for that new person you have yet to meet, the one who is just as lonely as you are. You just might surprise yourself and find the right one. I know I have.
Keep in mind that there is another reason to open your heart and mind to love, and all of the possibilities in life. Your ex. While I would never recommend dating just to get back at your ex, I do think the best revenge on an ex is for them to see you blissfully happy and successful in life! Go ahead. Have the last laugh.
This song was written by Dolly Parton as she was experiencing the loss of a significant relationship. This really captures that spirit when you have grieved the loss of something and are transitioning into the positive experience that loss ultimately brings. Beautiful.
I’m not a country music fan, but will post Dolly Parton’s version also, just in case you are.
A friend shared the following with me on Facebook. It is a story from Spirit Science. You can visit their website here. Now to the story:
A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it…?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.
You are special-Don’t EVER forget it.” If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it may bring. Count your blessings, not your problems.