Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

Most people spend their time trying to connect the dots to all facets of their life.

The so-called work-life balance.

It’s a common complaint and many would say they never seem to accomplish it.

I’m not sure who coined the phrase ‘work-life balance’ but I believe it’s the wrong focus.

What individuals should be striving for is ‘Foundational Fitness.’

Asking the question, “Am I emotionally, spiritually and physically fit?’

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We can’t be one without the other or some aspect of life will be off quilter. A slight nag that drags us down. The aspect that makes life seem out of balance.

For instance, the super successful career that leaves no time for emotional or physical devotion. The divorce that has caused sudden weight gain or weight loss which gnaws at energy reserves. The stay at home mother who allows herself to become emotionally drained.

Rather than look for balance, attention needs to turn towards what we ignore.

When we can achieve all three: Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Fitness – the nagging voice that tugs at us will disappear. Thus, there is a need to stop looking at the world in terms of a ‘work-life’ balance. Work is an aspect of our lives. It is not a core concept. It stems from emotional fitness. Knowing who we are and what we want and what drives us in life.

The goal should be ‘Foundational Fitness.’

We can’t really feel happy or completely satisfied if our core foundational thirsts are not quenched. Once they are, there is no longer this need to connect the dots. Instead, they just fall into place.

 

1. Emotional Fitness:

We need to examine our emotional health. 

Are we caregivers while continuing to work at a job with excess travel? Are we divorcing and fighting for small things that do not matter? Have we maxed ourselves out to put our kids in private school when a quality of life adjustment would bring relief? Are we staying in an unhappy relationship convincing ourselves nothing better exists?

And more, so much more.

What is emotionally nagging at you in life?

What adjustments need to be made? Be they large or small, simple or scary. 

Make a list of anything that is troublesome, worrisome or just slightly off in your life. There is always another job, another town, another school, another relationship. We tell ourselves we can’t afford to quit. That all bosses are difficult, all jobs demanding, all marriages troubled, but they are not.

How many emotional pounds are you carrying yet need to lose?

 

2. Spiritual Fitness:

Spiritual fitness rises far above our core beliefs. It is how we enrich our lives daily to maintain a faithful foundation to sustain us through daily life – not just through the ups and downs.

For some, it is reading the Bible or a daily devotional. For others, it is daily Mass or a spiritual podcast. For others, it is a practice of reaching others with kindness and generosity.

Spiritual fitness is akin to physical fitness. There are a plethora of exercises which can strengthen it and they can be done via intervals or long endurance runs. Each person must decide which not only is appropriate for them but which they will maintain.

How can you achieve daily spiritual fitness?

If reading devotionals does not elevate your spirituality but music does – sing with the choir or turn up the gospel hymns. If you find your day too busy listen to Joel Osteen as you fall asleep. If you mean to spread spirituality yet are forgetful – write a post-it note to remember to pay for the Starbucks customer behind you or the car behind you at the toll.

And more, so much more.

What is spiritually nagging at you in life?

What adjustments need to be made? Be they large or small, simple or scary. 

Make a list of ways you allow God to guide your personal life and maintain your spiritual fitness.

 

3. Physical Fitness:

Let’s be honest. We can attempt to ignore our physical health but it reminds us every day if we eat poorly, fail to exercise or gain a few pounds both our energy and attitude become drained.

In fact, physical fitness is the easiest of the three to approach because it’s concrete.

We know we need to eat well, not skip meals, get enough rest, and exercise daily.

 

And more, so much more.

What is physically nagging at you in life?

What adjustments need to be made? Be they large or small, simple or scary. 

Are you eating well, but not exercising? Are you exercising and using it as an excuse that you can eat anything? Are you tired and not logging enough hours of sleep? Are you always putting off exercise until tomorrow?

 

We can’t be completely foundationally rich unless we are all three – Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically Fit.

One feeds the other.

We should make lists of each deficit and goals for each.

Balance will no longer need to be sought but rather simply exist.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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My mother once said, “He loves you as much as he’s capable of loving anyone.”

I was recently reminded of her wisdom.

At the time my mom did not speak these words to me but even then it was clear she was speaking of her own truth and experience.

My father loved my mother. Unfortunately, drinking was an illness he was never able to conquer. Thus, over time my mother accepted he could only love her so much. Frankly, the bottle took precedence.

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So exactly how much can broken people love?

I believe, borrowing from my mother’s wisdom – only as much as their illness allows.

When we fall in love with substance abusers, narcissists, and others who have types of abuse or mental health issues they are broken.

And fixers love to fix broken.

But we can’t.

And worse, they have no true ability to love us while we spend hours emotionally toiling away.

Trying to make life pretty for them. 

Trying to guide them towards the help they need.

Trying to prove to them love conquers all – OUR LOVE.

Gradually breaking ourselves along the way.

As the quote goes…

“A girl once told me to be careful when trying to fix a broken person for you may cut yourself on their shattered pieces.”

I am not certain who those words can be attributed to – only that they speak the truth.

Yet, we sit in counselors offices trying to save a relationship which clearly can’t be saved. We ignore the wisdom of qualified professionals. We tenaciously choose this broken person who has hurt us over and over again because their illness limits their ability to love.

To truly, truly love us. 

Only the broken can fix the broken.

Only they can choose help and awareness to conquer an illness which consumes them.

And as long as we believe broken people can love…

They will remain broken.

Because ironically the fixer is aiding their brokenness.

There is no incentive to put themselves back together while their wounds are lovingly attended to.

Sadly, it allows too much light into their broken world – 

When it needs to be dark enough to be forced to reignite their own light.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

 

This is a hard one.

We tell ourselves that bad things happen for a reason – until they happen to us.

We can take the ‘little’ bad stuff but the ‘big’ bad – not so much.

It’s not that we don’t have the faith to accept our pain as our purpose but rather we wish we could choose the which pain will be that purpose.

We can’t.

God chooses how He uses us and our gifts.

He decides the impact we will make in this life.

And if we understand that we have the opportunity to live a life far more enriching than any we could have imagined.

3 Steps to Accepting Your Pain as Your Purpose:

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1. Surrender: 

We must surrender to our unwanted outcomes.

We must use our own free will to do everything in our power to make our situations better. However, if door after door closes or regardless of our efforts the result is still the same – it may be time to accept we are being turned in a new direction.

We can ‘Fight God’ or when the time comes accept that a marriage is over, a job has ended, or other painful realities exist in our lives.

We must let go and surrender to our unwanted challenges before our pain can become our purpose.

2. Examine:

Nothing is harder than confronting an unwanted truth.

But we must and it’s critical to examine and be open to why this might be a part of our calling in life.

Does this experience make you more empathetic or insightful? Could it help another person confront that same difficulty or trauma? Does your knowledge motivate you to do philanthropic work or additional research in that arena? Is it so painful that instead, you choose to make quiet financial contributions?

What does it all mean?

We must examine our troubles in conjunction with our personalities and gifts before our pain can become our purpose.

3. Accept:

We must accept and believe this is the path we were meant to take.

We begin life with much of our own hopes and expectations. And we don’t really like these being altered. We have built a plan for ourselves because naturally, we know what we want. We understand ourselves and our dreams.

We can surrender but if we don’t accept we won’t begin interpreting our pain as our purpose.

 

There is no greater difficulty than finding purpose in hardship.

Our greatest pain can disable us, embitter us, confuse us, and disillusion us.

It can make us better people…

Or it can make us worse.

It can exhaust us, limit us, and devastate us.

But when we allow our pain to be our purpose it can transcend us.

It can erase anger, confusion, sadness, resentment and more.

It can slay fatigue, stress, and hopelessness.

It can reveal our spiritual individuality.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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We have to move.

I know you don’t understand. 

I am so sorry.

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This is where you met your pack.

Where you traveled from room to room  – carefully choosing whose bed you would jump into and who to snuggle next to at night.

Where you peered out a window perch to make sure all of your people came home to you.

The four walls where you kept us safe – your four-legged walls.

The place where you barked at scary strangers. Where you wiggled your backside until the UPS guy would gift his trademark treat. Where you greeted the take-out person and then disloyally hopped back over the threshold towards the scent of food.

In this house, you kept watch over babies…chased after little boys…and comforted young men.

I am so sorry.

I know this is where you feel most safe.

I know you will miss the room where you seek sanctuary and feel comforted until I return in your favorite car.

I know you will miss the woods and the squirrels you play tag with.

I know you will miss the kitchen counter where you steal food you believe to be yours.

And your friends.

I am so sorry.

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I know you will miss them.

The walks down the street. The four-legged language only you understand. The way just hearing their names can evoke the joy of a doggie Christmas morning.

I am so sorry.

I know how you love to chase the deer. That they were your puppy role models and it’s why you spring up and down in their native form as you chase after them.

I am so sorry.

There won’t be any deer where we are moving. You won’t have your neighborhood buddies. You won’t rest your head upon the window sill that made this your home.

But I promise you, you will still have your pack.

The boys who wrestled a bit too rough with you when you were just a baby and who held you way too tight when you were lost for an entire night. You human brother who said he would come home from college in the middle of the night to search for you. Your other human brothers who spent hours keeping vigil.

I am so sorry.

You don’t understand this change to your pack.

But I promise you we are your people.

Where we go you will go.

No rental without pets will do for us. No new friend who doesn’t like dogs will catch our attention. No home without you will be our home.

For we are not just your pack.

For YOU are also our pack.

And just as you wait for us each day. We wait to see you. We call your name as we enter the house. We wait for you to snuggle safely beside us. We laugh while you try and open doors and chase after squirrels who can never be caught.

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We have to move.

I know you don’t understand.

I am so sorry.

But we ARE your people. Our walls will always be four-legged walls.

We will once again find a place for our pack to feel safe – and brand new squirrels who won’t ever let you win the game.

 

(Photos Personal)

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Very few people know this about me, even my closest friends. I just never told them even back then.

When I was just twenty-three years old and newly engaged, I said a prayer.

I asked God to give me a sign if my marriage was not meant to last. 

I know, it doesn’t sound congruent with most young girls dreams of walking down the aisle.

But I wasn’t just any young woman.

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I was an adult in the body of a five-year-old child who watched her daddy walk out the door to essentially never return. Sure, he came back a few times here and there, but not long enough for any memories except for my five-year-old inner child to remember.

The really great ones… When he say songs in the car, took me for ice cream, snuggled next to me on the couch, and held my hand while I skipped beside him. 

That is the gift I hold onto. Yet, I knew at a young age that I did not want to experience the pain of divorce twice in my life. Once as a child was enough.

I do not think I am the exception. 

I know there are many children of divorce who passionately seek to not replicate that pain.

So I prayed. 

I believe in signs. I always have. God’s way of giving you a wink and a nod when you are unsure of your path.

I waited and watched.

I thought the sign would be earth shattering. Bells and whistles, alarms sounding. Something so alarming I would definitely know not to proceed with the wedding. 

My husband never knew I prayed for a sign. Something which I now find curious. Not about him but about me. My life is an open book. I will talk to a stranger if they will listen. Yet, I never told him I said this prayer. Perhaps, because I thought it might hurt him. When in reality it had nothing to do with my love for him and everything to do with me.

He was the love of my life. 

I was absolutely afraid of marriage, but I was willing to do it if it meant I would lose him.

He had given me an ultimatum. 

Either we get engaged or he was moving on. It seemed reasonable. After all, we were dating nearly five years by the time he announced it. He was anxious to get married and start a family. I was looking to avoid all long-term commitments.

So I said, “YES.”

Might I add against my greatest fears!

Again, not for doubt of my love or him, but for what I already knew.

Two people could love one another more than anything in this world. My parents did far after they had parted ways. And it was not enough.

The year we were engaged we bickered. Not a lot, but enough. My mother had always said she had never seen two people get along so well. So the arguments were unusual. Of course, knowing what I now know about counseling – we weren’t two people who had never gotten along so well. I was a pleaser and a fixer who avoided arguments at all cost. We didn’t fight because I was always making the peace. And of course, we were young and still in the party phase. Thus, there wasn’t a whole lot to argue about.

So why am I recounting this story?

When I finally had to face the end of my marriage, I will not lie. I was angry. 

Even I can’t believe the depth of faith I had at such a young age. Because I absolutely would have walked away from getting married to the love of my life if I had gotten a big sign. The arguing wasn’t earth shattering or unusual enough to get my attention. I knew lots of couples who suddenly started arguing when they were planning their weddings and involving families and they were arguing far more.

Therefore, I confidently got married.

And my family and friends confidently backed me. It all seemed right.

When years later I wept on tear soaked sheets I yelled at God.

I was so faithful and so devout in my beliefs I would never have done this if I didn’t believe it was right!

I prayed to you!

I told you that I could never again feel the kind of pain I felt as a child. I told you I wasn’t strong enough to do this twice in my life. I told you I would walk away if I wasn’t doing the right thing. If I wasn’t getting married for the rest of my life. To just give me a sign. How many twenty-three-year-olds pray for that? Most young girls just want to marry who they want to marry. They pray for what they want. Not the grace to walk away from what they want if it isn’t meant to be.

I put all my faith in you and I would have walked away if I had gotten a sign.

That is how strong my faith was when I was just a baby in life. How could you let this happen? 

How could you lead me down this path?

It took a very long time to reconcile my faith with the ending of my marriage.

Again, because I hadn’t asked God to give me what I wanted. I had asked him to show me the way if it wasn’t meant to be.

I often joke that if someone had said, “One day you will write about divorce,” I would say, “Thank you very much! I don’t want to be a writer that badly.” 

But God had a different plan for a young twenty-three-year-old girl who didn’t want to duplicate the youthful losses she had suffered.

He didn’t send any big earth-shattering signs.

Because it wasn’t just her He was helping.

 

He was using her to help the other twenty-somethings.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
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When I began attending professional writers conferences I would eagerly sit and listen to editors speak of ‘finding your voice.’

At the time, all I could think was…’What the heck does that mean?’

I’m writing my heart out. Isn’t my voice obvious?

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It took a while before I became seasoned enough to understand their message and my own voice.

Fast forward to the years of unimaginable destruction.

A woman who naively believed obtaining an attorney and moving on from my marriage was resolving my heartache – not resurrecting it!

Now I was using my voice to pray.

I not only prayed but listened intently as others told me to rely on my spirituality. While even more asked me where my spirituality was.  After all, if I was indeed devoutly spiritual I wouldn’t possibly be as stressed out, maxed out, and worn out as I was.

Night after night I would question myself as I attempted to coax myself to sleep.

If I am really faithful why can’t I let go of my fear?

If I believe God is paving my path why am I stressed?

If everything is happening for a reason why am I fighting it?

If I am devoutly spiritual why am I up all night worrying?

I began to question my own spiritual integrity.

Eventually more, doubt crept in.

Perhaps, I am not spiritually strong?

Maybe I am weak. 

Or, am I  ‘Conditionally Spiritual’ rather than ‘Unconditionally Spiritual?’ Could I be a good time Charlotte? Someone who is faithful as blessings pour my way and a no show when they abruptly halt?

Who was I spiritually? Why wasn’t my faith as incredibly strong as I believed it to be? Why was I succumbing to the human condition?

Why was I allowing my worries to dilute my faith?

After all, if we wholeheartedly BELIEVE there should be an absence of fear, worry, stress and the other ugly counter-intuitive spirituality vocab words.

But here I sat…

As eager as I once was to ACHIEVE my writer’s voice – begging to ACHIEVE my spiritual voice.

In the elusive and exclusive literary world, rejections littered my path. In the ultra-competitive spirituality world, other forces were at work…

Once the owner of three homes, I now met foreclosure notices, repo guys, debit cards declined and more than could ever be mentioned. All because I dared to leave a man. The more people who knocked on my door to collect debts, the more my children declined. The more my children suffered the more I worried. And on and on.

All the while cognizant God was at work yet the intensity, duration and exponential effects led me from spiritual feast to famine. 

The nights I tossed and turned and believed I was spiritually defective. A phony. A fake.

A real believer would sleep through the night. They would greet the mortgage company representative and the tax collector at the door with a smile.

God was opening that front door with them.

It’s taken some time.

More than it possibly should have but…

This week as my computer broke, my puppy swallowed part of a stuffed toy, more unexpected bills showed up, and I found out I am still months away from finalizing this eternal divorce

I am calm.

I am sleeping through the night again.

I couldn’t force myself into finding my writer’s voice all those years ago. It was a process. An evolution. One day I put the pen to the paper and the key to the computer and it all just made sense. This great passion of mine finally had a voice. I had spent years praying for it and working hard for it and wondering why it wasn’t happening.

I had even doubted myself.

If I was, in fact, a writer – how could it not be unfolding sooner?

I AM A WRITER. I was always a writer. I just hadn’t perfected it.

I AM SPIRITUAL. I was always spiritual. I just hadn’t perfected it.

True spirituality doesn’t arrive instantaneously. It takes years of praying for it and working hard for it and wondering why it’s not happening.

It takes…

Foreclosure notices, electricity turned off, the indignity of your card being declined at the grocery store, having only $4 to put in your gas tank, and more.

It takes watching your precious children suffer because of choices you once made.

In the ultra-competitive spirituality world,  it means never giving up. Never losing sight of your faith. Never doubting yourself. 

And of course, remembering…

God is opening that front door with you.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
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I remember chatting with my friend during the final demise of my marriage.

She pondered whether there was really just ‘one’ person for each of us in life. 

I was horrified! Me, the idealistic writer. Of course, there is only ‘one!’ – – THE ONE!

After all, at thirteen my best friend and I had most assuredly figured this out! We were certain of it. We promised to live side by side and sip coffee while chatting over our white picket fences. The houses which were to be built as soon as we each found ‘the one.’

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Now life had forced me into considering there may indeed be more than one.

A hard pill to swallow for a rainbow and butterflies kinda girl.

But if I digress from my Pollyanna ways and consider divorce is a fifty billion dollar industry…

A significant amount of people are  finding another ‘one.’

No matter…I still went down fighting. Praying for more rain and therefore rainbows. I loved my husband. The man who once gave me butterflies. I wanted him to remain my ‘one.’ So much so I destroyed much of my own internal ‘one.’

I remember years ago someone telling me there is always someone in your life you never get over.

The mystery of unrequited love.

Another testimony some people do in fact fall in love with more than one person. You can be with someone new while a little part of your heart never lets go of another.

It can’t be helped.

The heart does not listen well.

Nor does it easily let go.

So where does this all leave the world of love? I believe what I have always believed. I have now just tweeked it a bit. Some human beings do in fact find ‘the one’ early in life and stay with just that one. Some muddle through a few to eventually find ‘the one’ and also remain with them for life.

And others have yet a different path. They may have found ‘the one’ and lost them. They may have found ‘the one’ and outgrown them. And more…

We were all meant to have different paths and love doesn’t always follow directions well enough to keep up.

Furthermore, love takes two even if you believe you have found your ‘one.’

Either way, what once horrified me I now accept.

I have let go of rainbows, butterflies and white picket fences.

After all, my thirteen-year-old self never ended up sipping coffee with my best friend. At least not over the symbolic wooden structure we once believed signified relationship utopia. I did; however, get close to it. I ended up being neighbors with most of her family.

An adjusted version of our original.

I’m realigning my vision of ‘the one’ as well.

I’m ready to find my NEW ‘one.’

Because fences come in all shapes and sizes…

And the rainbows and butterflies still find them.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
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Divorce is a huge loss for children.

Life as they know it has forever changed.

It is at the same time – a new beginning – a healing of past pain and a stronger, more positive future.

Children need to know everything is going to be okay.

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They need to have their home restored to a joyful place again.

They are relieved to be in a more peaceful environment yet many changes continue to happen both inside and outside of their home.

They are watching their mom and dad adjust to single parenthood.

They may now have more responsibility to help around the house.

And they are not necessarily surrounded by the same family and friends due to the divorce.

Just as the children should have always been the number one priority in the marriage so should they be in friendship.

Sadly, a lot of focus in divorce is placed on ‘couplehood.’

Rather than remembering these children need to continue to be surrounded by those they considered close enough to be family. And friends should simply include both parents if they are that caught up in feeling as if they should choose sides in the divorce – don’t. Just err on the side of caution and try to do things with both spouses and the children separately.

Invite the children and mom one time and the next the children and dad.

Whatever it takes to make the children be the absolute number one priority and to ensure they suffer even fewer losses than the relationships they have already had to sacrifice.

And the truth is, it doesn’t take long for the children to show signs of a healthy divorce where both parents are mature and behaving well enough OR to gravitate towards the parent which is most stable in their lives.

Therefore, watch the children and their behavior and as a friend, you will understand exactly what they need from you.

The best advice though is to simply get involved. Do not stand back if you were once a close friend and say you do not want to get involved, or take sides, or get in the middle of it.

That is a message being sent to the adults in the relationship.

It is the wrong thing to do to the children who still want as many as those that love them to remain in their daily lives.

And children are smart. While some misguided adults try to force their opinion of the situation by their actions or by retreating, the children are fully aware of what truly transpired between their parents. All the more reason to focus on the children rather than evaluating what you believe a mother or father should or should not be doing in divorce.

Make home happy again!

10 Ways to Help Your Friend’s Children Through Divorce:

1. Bring a Meal AND Stay:

Love has left the house.

It needs to be brought back in.

Stop by and bring lunch or dinner and sit and eat with them. Do not just drop it off. This action not only focuses on love and friendship but it detracts from the feeling their house has become empty with the loss of one parent.

2. Drop Off Inspiration:

Think of things which make a house joyful.

Stop by periodically and drop off flowers, candy, and other feel good things which brighten the inside and outside of a home.

3. Offer Rides:

Divorce can cause time as well as financial constraints.

Don’t wait to be asked to drive because the children are well aware of the fact they have new limitations. Offer rides without hesitation and with generosity so the kids do not feel as if they now are a burden to other people.

4. Mentor:

Often children of divorce have one parent who may have let them down. Who may not be as present in their lives as they once were.

Show up and mentor these children just by taking an increased interest in them. And take note of what parent might seem to be absent. If it’s the father perhaps a male friend could make a significant difference by stepping in to be a positive role model and if it’s the mother then vice versa.

For children, it is about love and not roles.

A loving person can make a tremendous impact and fill a huge void in the life of a child of divorce.

5. Organize Fun:

Divorcing parents are strained and drained. 

They may not be initiating or organizing the type of family/friend events which they used to.

Children need healthy releases and distractions in divorce.

Check with their mother or father to get the okay to plan something fun and athletic at their house. Organize a soccer, football or baseball game. Or just a good old-fashioned kickball fest.

Again, the focus (if the single parent gives the okay) is to have these gatherings at their own home so they equate home with a place of joy once again.

6. Support Their Parents:

Children of divorce are suddenly thrust into a position of worry.

They now fret about their single parent(s).

Anything you can do to show consistent support of your friend lifts the burden from the children.

So make those phone calls not just texts, stop by with a bottle of wine, ask your friend to coffee or lunch, stop by for no reason, and more. You can ask your friend what they need or just try and be thoughtful.

The more you show up in your friend’s life – the more you are showing up in the children’s life.

7. Do Not Add to the Confusion:

It’s difficult. Everyone has strong opinions about divorce. This person should do this and that. They shouldn’t do this and that. They should show up with their ex-spouse. They should not talk about them. And on and on.

Look, no one is happy with their behavior in divorce so judging them just compounds it. 

Don’t force your own opinions on what you think your friend should or shouldn’t do. It adds to the stress and the stress in the house can transfer to the children.

It’s hard to comprehend but divorce is far more catastrophic than the person who has not experienced it understands so be supportive, not opinionated.

8. Be Vocal:

Tell the children you are thinking of them.

How much you love them.

That you will always be there for them.

Ask the children if there’s anything they need.

Reinforce that you are one of the people who divorce will not be taking out of their world.

9. Communicate In Other Ways Consistently:

A lot of children who are in pain do not feel like talking but they do want to know you are listening…to their pain that is.

It doesn’t take a lot of words to be a solid support system to a child.

You can text them an emoji. A heart, a smiley face or anything which will brighten their day and let them know you are consistently there in the background and thinking of them. Even if they are not seeing you all the time. It doesn’t need to be daily or weekly but a few times a month at least.

They will remember you were always there for them.

10. Household Maintenance:

Even if it’s as unpleasant as yard work or cleaning the house it needs to be done and a single parent isn’t always immediately equipped to deal with everything as they rebuild their lives.

Especially household maintenance such as fixing a pipe, or drywall or things such as that.

 

You could get a few friends to help or once a month ask if there are any pressing issues you or your spouse will be happy to fix.

What is difficult for one person is often easy for another.

All the more reason, to help in the ways which come most easily to you.

 

The long and short of it is divorce makes some friends circle the camp and others retreat.

All ten of these things focus on one very simple principle…

Show up in the life of the divorcing children you know.

Don’t get annoyed with your friend because you are worried about them or not happy with how they are handling things to the point where the children pay the price.

That’s exactly what the children saw modeled in their parent’s relationship.

Two adults who couldn’t resolve things enough to put them front and center.

Children are watching. They are always watching. They are looking for the adults to show them love and stability.

Find as many ways as possible to show up in your friend’s life. 

Throw away the immature and unhealthy judgments and opinionated sides of the divorce.

Follow the example of the parent(s) who sought the divorce to take their children out of a position of conflict in order to place them in a joyful home again.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
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There are resounding themes people will rely on to explain why they choose to remain in a bad marriage.

And they sound like really, really good reasons.

After all, we have as a society relied on these marital excuses for decades.

Who are we to fight convention?

However, there is a growing awareness of many of these historical myths. 

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3 Reasons Not to Stay in a Bad Marriage:

1.  What Will This Person Do Without Us?

How can we leave this person? They are already in such a bad way (affairs, drinking, gambling, etc.) how will they function without us?

We convince ourselves these individuals truly need us. 

And they do not.

We are not as special as we think. A person capable of repeatedly bad behavior simply needs another enabler in their life to take our spot. 

Somehow, we refuse to believe this.

We convince ourselves these are not selfish actions but they are. Every single person is responsible for their own behavior. We can’t make another human being choose to get healthy or get help. Only they can decide when they are ready to make a change in their lifestyle.

In a healthy relationship, a person would never stand by and allow their own pain and actions to hurt another person to the point of using them up.

This type of person won’t likely change while with you. There is no reason to. The system is working for enabling their habits.

 

2. We Need To Stay For The Kids.

There’s no doubt about it – divorce is not a positive experience for children.

However, children go out into the world and duplicate the relationship they see between their parents.

Nothing is black and white so some do have the insight to try and avoid parental mistakes while many others have no idea how to. The past simply repeats itself.

We foolishly believe two parents together even if a bad example is being set is somehow better. 

 

3. We Have Already Stayed This Long Why Leave?

 

The longer we stay the less likely we will leave.

Why would we start over after all these years?

It will be so much harder now. Where will we live? How will we make it? What about retirement? How can we afford to split all the assets?

The more frightening question is…How can we afford to stay?

How can our emotional and physical health withstand long-term stress, unhappiness, and strain?

Life is short. 

It should not be a compromise.

Every single human being deserves to celebrate who they are and find true happiness.

 

These are three of the biggest reasons people convince themselves to stay in unhappy marriages. 

It’s self-compromising. 

A deal of rationalization to justify long-term unhappiness. Imperfection is a normal part of relationships; therefore, I must remain.

On the contrary, ordinary imperfection does not require one to sacrifice themselves but rather learn and grow and become better people….

Together.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I am chatting with a few girls.

“Hey, don’t talk about my friend like that!” says my friend who I will nickname ‘Rainbow.’

At first, I am startled. Did I just say something about someone I shouldn’t have?

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Oh, that’s right…I wasn’t talking about another person I was talking about myself in a self-deprecating manner.

‘Rainbow’ was sticking up for me.

Obviously, I have forgotten how to…have my own back that is.

I will admit, I have always been somewhat self-deprecating but divorce has oddly supercharged it.

I’m not sure whether divorce makes us temporarily lose our self-esteem or self-respect, but sadly it often does.

I talk to people who have left marriages due to affairs, drinking and more – they still despite their anger – lose a part of themselves  – their dignity and self-respect and self-esteem.

It is bewildering the person who feels worse in divorce is the one who did not behave badly but rather fought to save their marriage. Yet, we over time, become a part of a unit and we attach ourselves to that union. And of course, staying in that fractured union too long makes us behave poorly which feeds the need..to self-deprecate.

The good news?

With truly good counseling AND time your dignity and self-respect and self-esteem returns.

But the bad habits can remain.

I was beating myself up over a few pounds I have gained when ‘Rainbow’ stuck up for me. Well, more than a few.

Okay, to be truthful I feel like the before and after pics of the Presidency. 

You know what I am talking about. Four long years does even the youngest President in. The wrinkles and the gray dominate the place where youth and optimism once ruled.

That’s me – the before and after of divorce.

Luckily for me…

A woman named ‘Rainbow’  doesn’t let me talk about her friends.

 

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com