Articles Tagged with divorce recovery

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn:

My ex-spouse is harassing me with emails and text messages. This ex is saying very mean, nasty things and calling me names. It just won’t stop. I hate to give up my cell phone number and my email address, as it would be quite complicated to change. I feel threatened. It’s like I am being followed all the time. My ex always seems to know where I am. I still have my cell phone from the marriage. Is it possible there is something planted in the phone? What can I do?

Carolyn Answers….
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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses two questions about money and real estate. Our first reader asks if his daughter’s rent can be awarded to her as part of her alimony, as she is financially unable to move back out after divorce. Our second reader wants to know if he’s required to hire a real estate appraiser even though he already knows the value of his home.

Dear Carolyn,

My daughter is living with me after separating. I’m not charging her rent, but she wants her own apartment. Her ex is saying he does not have to pay for her apartment because she is living with me rent free. This is sort of a “chicken and an egg” situation. She cannot get the apartment without help from him, so she does not currently have the expense. She has been asked to fill out a statement of income and expenses. Her only income is disability from Social Security. So what gives? Does she have to live permanently with me, or can the court award her alimony to get her own place to live? I love my daughter, but she is 40, and it seems unfair that she would have to live with me forever for free just because her ex is ridiculous.

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

I am sixty-nine.  I have been in a fifty-year marriage.  I sure would like to be out of the marriage, but I fear I am too old.  I would like my retirement to be stress-free and with someone else. Do people my age really divorce?

– Old, but Fiesty

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Venn Crawford

Valentine’s day is aimed at couples, and those who are single often feel left out or disenchanted. But while the focus of Valentine’s may be romance, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate love of all types.

Platonic love is perhaps one of the most underrated kinds of love. Our friends are the people who support us every day, comforting us when we’re hurting, laughing with us when we’re not. But we don’t recognize that love nearly as much as we do romantic love.

The love we share with friends, siblings, and parents is just as worthy of celebration as the love of a significant other.  So if you’re feeling down about being single on Valentine’s day, try celebrating the other types of love in your life.

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Venn Crawford

It’s almost a new year – the days are already getting longer, sunlight stretching out a little further every evening. You can feel a fresh sort of energy in the air. And, like many, that energy might inspire you to think about how you’ll change this year, how you’ll make efforts to be a new, better, you. You might even make a New Year’s resolution.

But, in two weeks, or a month (or for some of us the third day of January), most of us will give up on our New Year’s resolution. That inspiring energy fades, and life gets in the way. We just can’t make our resolution stick.

The thing is, changing our habits is hard, and New Year’s doesn’t change that. But if you approach it right, you can make a change any time of the year.

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Venn Crawford

The holidays are here, and with them, colder weather, hot chocolate, and Christmas music in nearly every store. The Walmart near me even has the poles outside dressed up as candy canes. As soon as December hit (earlier even), the whole country began to celebrate. Some traditions are old – decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, and gift giving. Others, like the Starbucks holiday cups, are newer. No matter what holiday you celebrate, the yearly traditions we cherish are part of what makes the holidays so special.

For families, traditions bring us together and create special memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. We carry many of our parents’ traditions into our own home, and we create some of our own to share with our children. Those who are new parents, newly divorced, or celebrating the holidays on their own for the first time may want to find new traditions to make the holiday their own. Below are some traditions from around the world that you can bring home this holiday season.

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Ligligan Parul – The Giant Lantern Festival (Philippines)

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Venn Crawford

Being divorced is difficult, and being divorced with kids during the holidays is even more so. But though it may be difficult for you, it doesn’t have to be for your children. Below are tips for making the post-divorce holiday season fun and love-filled for you and your kids.

Make the holiday about the children. The winter holiday season is magical for children, and they’ll cherish the memories you make for years to come. Embrace the giving spirit of the holidays and set an example of generosity and kindness for your children.

Establish a new tradition to fit this new situation. You don’t want to keep everything exactly the same, or your kids might feel like they’re celebrating “Christmas minus mom/dad.” Instead, break from your habits a bit and bring in something new. You could have a special dinner you make as a family or open advent calendars together each night – no matter what you do, make it special for you and your kids.

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Venn Crawford

Every year we gather around a table with our family, friends, and a roasted turkey to celebrate. But what are we celebrating? We’ve all heard some version of a historically inaccurate story about pilgrims and Native Americans, but a lot of times we seem to miss out on the thanks part of Thanksgiving. We may go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, but do we really sit down and spend a moment sitting in gratitude?

For most of us, the answer is no. The day that’s set aside for “giving thanks” is usually overshadowed by turkey and family drama, and the rest of the year we have too little time and too much to do. So when do we make time for gratitude? We should be making time for it every day.

Gratitude Makes Us Happier

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Venn Crawford

Sometimes we feel like life has chewed us up and spit us out on the pavement. Perhaps your confidence was shattered by career problems, loss, or an abusive relationship. Maybe you’re just having a slew of bad luck and aren’t sure how to turn things around. Either way, you can build self-confidence by taking control of your life and exercising your ability to change it.

Make Small, Reachable Goals

Building self-confidence takes time, so don’t pressure yourself to feel like a rock star immediately. Yes, we want to change. We want our lives to be better, and we’ve listed out all the ways to do that. But if we try to change every bad habit at once, we won’t succeed. We’ll be proud for two days, then eventually it will feel like too much. The bigger the effort required, the easier it is for us to allow ourselves to “forget” to do it.

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Venn Crawford

Last week, we discussed embracing change as a part of recovering from a breakup or divorce. Today I’d like to suggest a change which helped me tremendously – learning how to love yourself.

Yes, it sounds vague and empty. People always tell you that “you need to love yourself,” but they never tell you how to do that. Personally, I’m not sure half the people who say it know how to do it anyways.

It’s Easy to Love Others