Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The New Year and Divorce

Did you know that more divorces are filed in February than any other month?  Why would that be?

The holidays are over and once more, they didn't live up to your hopes.  Maybe you thought that somehow some of the magic would be recaptured during that time, but it just didn't happen.  Maybe you had mentally given yourself until the end of the year for things to change.  Or maybe you just wanted to get through the holidays and not ruin them for the kids, before going to see a lawyer.

For these reasons, and I'm sure many more, the New Year is the beginning of the divorce process for many couples.  Usually January is spent meeting with and selecting an attorney, and the actual filing happens in February.

How did it get to this point?  Guest blogger, Brionna Kennedy, has written about it:

The Top Five Reasons for Divorce and How to Prevent them


Divorce is never an easy thing to go through. Often, even the most level-headed and compatible couples find themselves contemplating a call to a divorce lawyer. Here are a few of the top reasons listed for getting a divorce, and how to avoid them.

 1. Finances

Money is the number one source of stress for married couples. When one partner thinks the other is taking advantage of the finances, it feels like your livelihood is threatened. To combat this is, you must engage in constant communication about your financial situation. Make agreements about what each of you contributes, and consult a lawyer and financial counselor before any major purchases.

2. Cheating

Infidelity is another reason for leaving a marriage. People cheat for a lot of reasons: emotional detachment, lack of intimacy, pure selfishness. You can avoid this by maintaining regular emotional and physical closeness with your partner, in addition to regular counseling to keep your marriage healthy. There are many ways to avoid this outcome. By maintaining a strong relationship you will feel close and bonded to your partner.

 3. Stress

Once kids and balancing schedules come into the picture, stress skyrockets. This builds up until you've had just about enough and need to leave the marriage. You can solve this by carving a little time for yourself, and a little time for yourselves as a couple, to decompress and do something you enjoy. Building time management skills is a big help, too.

 4. Ennui

Ennui, or boredom, can be a death knell to marriage. You have to keep things interesting or they get old. This means regular dates, periodic reconnecting, and constant communication. It takes a lot of effort, but ennui is completely preventable if you want to stay in the marriage. If you do, the effort is well worth it. The closeness and security you can feel from a fully committed relationship is something you can find no other place. It is worth the time and effort it requires.

 5. Lack of Preparation

Some people simply aren't ready to be married. Either they're too young, or they moved too fast, or they were afraid of growing old alone. The only way to combat this is to make a serious decision about your partner. Is he or she the one you want to spend your life with? If so, contact a marriage counselor to see what can be done. Counselors have many different ideas and ways to help you work though any issues you might be experiencing.

There are times when a divorce can be avoided, and if both partners are willing to make necessary changes, a reconciliation can be successful. If saving the marriage isn't possible and divorce is imminent, there are many different choices and paths to proceed down. If there are children involved, make sure to keep them at the front of your mind. Don't let other feelings take over. Make sure they feel loved and cared for above everything else.
Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn't writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking. When researching for this article she took a lot of info from Kelsos, The Law Firm, Newcastle natives use them as a trusted resource.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Paying Attention to Your Relationships

As I stated in my New Years' post, it's important to think about where you want to focus your attention in the new year.  Obviously, your primary relationship deserves a significant portion of that attention, although often, it is exactly what we tend to let slide. 

I realize that jobs and kids and chores and personal care can all take away from this important task, but I think if you approach it as "quality over quantity," you'll accomplish the job.

Guest blogger, Tricia Borren, makes some suggestions in her post, below, but they might not be practical, affordable, or even desirable for some of you.  We all have different ideas about what is "special."  Sometimes just a couple hours alone with your partner taking a drive, having a picnic, or grabbing a soup and salad are all that are required.

This should be time to really talk - about your hopes and dreams, your concerns and frustrations, what's working for you (both individually and as a couple), and what's not.  It's a time for uninterrupted SHARING of your time and attention with your partner.

I suggest doing this once a week, if at all possible.  Have a "date night."  If cost is a factor, maybe you and another couple could trade babysitting nights - you have their kids on Tuesday, and they take yours for your Thursday date nights.  And remember, quality does not have to be expensive.  A long walk or a burger and beer are fine, as long as you are PRESENT for each other.

And, for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, you might want to try some of Tricia's ideas:

Escaping the Kids: Everything You Need for a Romantic Night Away

While it is a beautiful experience, parenthood can also be quite overwhelming. There are so many responsibilities involved in raising a child. These responsibilities often distract parents from spending quality time with one another. This can lead to major problems in the relationship, such as feelings of neglect. Fortunately, there are ways for parents to rekindle the magic. Here are four helpful tips for planning a romantic evening away from the kids.

Schedule a Babysitter

Before you can run off into the sunset, you must first take care of the kids. One helpful tip would be to hire someone to watch the kids for the evening. Be sure to make arrangements in advance in order to avoid any last minute disasters. It would also be wise to ask a friend or family member. This will allow more time away from home.

A Fancy Restaurant
Home-cooked meals are fine, but there are times when we need someone else to do the work. Both you and your partner can appreciate a dinner where neither has to do the cooking or cleaning. Make reservations at a nice restaurant. Because these moments are so rare, try to splurge a bit on the locations and meal selection. It will be a real treat for you and your partner.

A Nice Hotel
After such a romantic escape, it may be difficult to end it so quickly. Instead, the two of you can hide away at a lovely hotel for the night. Order champagne and flowers to create the right atmosphere. Request an in-room massage for the ultimate in relaxation and pampering. You may also want room service, in case you work up an appetite.

After giving so much for your children, it is natural to want to do something for yourself. Every parent could benefit from some adult time every once in a while. In fact, a little spontaneity could be good for your relationship. Use this night to rediscover the reasons why you first fell in love. Of course, this will take serious planning. However, if it brings you closer as a couple, then it will be worth the effort.
Tricia Borren
Mother and Blogger
Beverly Hills, CA