When we are going through the end of a relationship and contemplating separation or divorce, it's easy to relate to the winter darkness. It feels like walking through a long, dark tunnel. There are only occasional rays of light and they don't seem to last long enough. At times, we may believe that we will never find our way through.
The traditions, the families, the expectations, the disappointments. If you are facing your first (or second, or … ) holiday season after a separation or divorce, all of these challenges get magnified — and the joy can often seem elusive.
As soon as a girl hits puberty, people start warning her of the dangers of lecherous men–if not her parents, then the media and various well-meaning mentors. The subjects of these warnings run the spectrum from garden-variety “bad boys” to creepy, relentless stalkers. Most likely, women will have some exposure to the former and hopefully little to no experience with the latter. Fortunately, by our 20s, we realize that most men do not fall into these categories and our choice to withhold our personal info is not always based on our personal safety alone.
Does this happen to you? You are at a party, or a single’s event, and you meet someone where you are attracted physically to them. You talk about fifteen minutes on very superficial subjects such as the latest new restaurant or the upset of the local football team. No real connection was established and one of you finds a way to move on. No phone number was exchanged and the possibility of making a first date is not mentioned. And you leave the party or event with no new dating prospects.
The most couple-friendly time of year is upon us and so it is easy to fall victim to your inner Scrooge if you are single. Even the mall is seemingly no longer for all of us — couples strolling hand in hand, families taking their young children to see Santa and beaming newlyweds searching for the perfect gift. It is almost enough to make me want to say inside for the entire month of December, watching reruns of Sex and the City with a pint of ice cream.
Caroline would like to say that she is a trusting person, but she’s not. She can’t bring herself to trust one of the most important people in her life-- her own husband. Before she met her husband Andy, she was in a nasty and painful relationship. Her ex stole money from her and cheated again and again and again.
Singles have become a huge and lucrative market for savvy marketers. There are a lot of people out there taking advantage of single people looking for love. They see these individuals as desperate, needy, and gullible. They will sell you a lot of baloney on the promise that they can deliver “happily ever after.” They have all the right words, promises, magical solutions, and bonuses galore, all of which depend on you believing a lot of hype and ignoring a lot of truth. I am appalled at what lengths some people will go to sell singles.
What choices do you have if your husband is doing something that’s bad for him, bad for you, breaking agreements that you have made, refusing to acknowledge that there’s anything wrong, and blaming you, telling you that you’re crazy for calling the problem to his attention? Marilyn couldn’t decide whether to take the kids and leave him, act like a flaming bitch to get his attention, just go ahead and live her own life and ignore his behavior or just go along with his new obsessions.
A few years after we got married, I really didn't have any clue what to ask for for Christmas. So, instead of giving my wonderful husband any direction, I just said "figure it out." Bad mistake on my part!
It could be that your child gives up easily when faced with a challenge. It could be that your child wants to quit piano or a sport halfway through the season. Or maybe your child is afraid of “failing” or looking “dumb.” Or perhaps your perfectionist child won’t even try a new challenge for fear of not measuring up.