Saturday, August 29, 2009

An inspiring song for single moms...

I received an email this evening from a singer Kevin Burdick. Here is what he wrote:

"I’ve a special place in my heart for how difficult it is to be a single mom. One of my songs off of my 2nd Album was called “Firefly” and I’d like to dedicate it to you and your readers. Moms, especially single moms, are the real heroes in this world"

Sometimes being a single mom can feel like a thankless job. Taking care of children and being their primary source of support can feel overwhelming at times. How wonderful that Kevin appreciates single moms and wrote a song to honor them! Watch his video and listen to his song below:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have some great news. SWWAN (Single Working Women's Affiliate Network) is holding a series of online workshops from August 2- August 8th and my readers are invited to attend for free!

You won't want to miss "Secrets You Wish Your Mom Told You". 8 experts will talk about solving real-life issues--stuff you can take home and use immediately in your everyday life.

Pick your topic or topics, and when you register, SWWAN will give you a 100% discount--you'll get your sessions free (except for a 99 cent ticket fee).

When you register, use the code "speaker" (no quotes) to get your discount. Go to:

Here are some of the exciting presentations that you will have access to:

* "How to Write a Whole-Brain Resume" - Cat Thompson, video star and guru to the modern woman. Make your resume about REAL you. * "Living Fearlessly" - Michelle Kunz, owner of PEL Coaching, opera star, and advisor to the SWWAN Foundation. Learn how to conquer fears that get in your way.
* "The Emotion behind Money" - Julie Murphy Casserly, owner of JMC Wealth Management and author of the book, The Emotion behind Money. Learn how flawed beliefs about money can keep you from getting all you want.
* "How to Use Social Media for Marketing and Profit" - Chris King, owner of Creative Keys, publisher of Portfolio Potpourri, and professional storyteller. Demystify Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
* "Surprising Truths about Being Single in the Workplace" - Dr. Karen Gail Lewis, provider of unique women's retreats and author of "With or Without a Man." Learn how to deal with hidden prejudices that keep you back.
* "Pursuit of Power through Networking" - Katrell Mendenhall,entertainment rerporter/writer and Founder of 100% Woman. Learn to develop personal power by networking the right way.
* "How to Package Yourself for Success Online" - Paula Constantino, founder of 1000 Women Can Change the World and the Women's Support Team . You already have skills that can make you money. Learn an easy way to package them into a product you can sell online. * "How to keep more of what you make in your home-based business" - Tina Frizzell-Jenkins. A home-based accountant tells all the secrets she's learned in 20 years.
Dates, times, course descriptions, and info about these dynamic experts are at:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Has Your Divorce Made You Fat?...

Divorce is one of the most painful life experiences you can encounter, so it is no wonder that people gain weight after a divorce. If you have used food for comfort in the past, you are at high risk for overeating during a divorce. Filling yourself up with the foods you love can temporarily relive the pain. That is until you step on the scale and beat yourself up for gaining weight.

Some people will go to the opposite extreme and actually lose weight during a divorce. They completely lose their appetites. Others will reach for alcohol, prescription drugs or worse to soothe the pain. No matter what you use, it is a temporary fix. The pain you feel will be there to greet you again after you have finished that bag of chips or drank that bottle of wine.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution. There is nothing out there that can ease the intense pain and suffering you are going through right now. Only time and allowing yourself to experience the grief and sadness can make you feel better.Working through and releasing your emotions in a healthy way is the best medicine. So let it out by punching a pillow, writing a letter to your ex and burning it and allowing yourself to have a good cry. Try to look for other, healthier ways to release your emotions instead of using food to make yourself feel better.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce..

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Do Separate Bank Accounts Lead to Separation?
Some couples decide to keep their finances separated after they marry. They maintain separate bank accounts and even divide the bills up each month, each contributing their share of the household expenses. Is this a good idea or do couples who do not share their money get divorced more often?
I am not sure. If either the husband or wife is not comfortable with keeping individual bank accounts during a marriage, then it can become a problem. Sharing your money with your partner is the ultimate sign of commitment. It is also a sign of trust to put your money together with your spouse and make decision together concerning purchases and finances.
A partner who refuses to allow his or her partner access to bank accounts, investments and other assets may be someone with something to hide. Any assets acquired during a marriage are considered martial property, so why hide them? Marriage is about commitment and sharing. But
if both parties are happy with keeping the finances separated and and it works for them it should not have any negative impact on their marriage. This is defintely an issue that should be decided and agreed upon before getting married to avoid any conflict later.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Back Together with an Abuser..
I just read on that singer Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together after he was arrested several weeks ago for allegedly beating and threatening her. How sad. It makes me think about all of the married women who are abused and yet cannot escape their abuser.
I had an aunt whose husband beat her up regularly. My father told the story of how, after my aunt had been hit yet again by her husband, he went to her house and beat up his brother-in-law. As he was hitting him, my aunt jumped on my father and screamed "Don't hurt him!". My father was shocked that she would defend her own abuser. The abuse finally stopped for my aunt when her husband left her. He also left his 6 daughters, never to be seen again and never sending one dime of child support.
Why would a woman defend, forgive and take back someone who hurts them? I think is is a combination of low self-esteem and psychological manipulation on the part of the abuser. For Rihanna, we see a beautiful, young, famous, wealthy woman who is not trapped with an abuser because she has no where to go or no income. Does she really "love" someone who is capable of hurting her so badly or is she addicted to someone she thinks she cannot live without?
Looking at an abusive marriage or relationship from the outside, you want to tell the woman to please get out, to protect herself and end the abuse. But the reality is many women will stay in an abusive relationship until it is too late. If you are reading this and are being abused, please know that you are worthy of respect, love and kindness. No one deserves to be hurt, either emotionally or physically. If you cannot think highly enough of yourself to leave, then do it for your kids or family or even for the man you claim to love. Allowing yourself to be abused does not help the abuser. You become an enabler and your abuser will never get the help he so desperately needs if you continue to be his punching bag. Gather your inner strength and stand up for yourself. Believe that you are a worthwhile, valuable person who deserves to be in a healthy, safe, loving relationship.

What Do People Really Think About Your Divorce?
With the divorce rate so high, most people know someone who is divorced. In this day and age, we would think that the old stigmas of the past about divorce are gone. But do people secretly judge you for getting a divorce?
They won't say it out loud of course, but what really runs through someone's mind when you tell them your divorced? Do they pity you or blame you?
It is interesting because I think even divorced people judge each other. I recently met a man who told me he was going through a divorce and I have to admit I caught myself thinking "Why is he getting a divorce? Was he a jerk to his wife? Did he cheat?" It then hit me that maybe these are things people are thinking about me as a divorced woman!
Women may see a divorced man and question whether he is at fault and men might look at a divorced women and think the same thing about her. Thoughts like "Maybe she was a terrible wife or maybe she cheated" might run through their minds. Unfortunately, we are a society that loves to judge others. It has become second nature to judge everybody and everything we see as good or bad.
We have come along way with accepting divorcees in society, many years ago a divorced woman was looked down upon, even if the divorce was not her fault. But I think a divorce stigma, although unspoken, still exists. Maybe if we looked upon divorce differently, as an ending to a relationship that did not work and could not be fixed we could suspend our judgements and not view a divorce as a personal failure.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are You Ready to Get Naked Again?...
Dating after a divorce can be traumatic and overwhelming. You may wish there was a guide book for women that told you how to get back in the dating game and find a new relationship that won't result in heartache. Getting Naked Again by NY Times best selling author, Judith Sills does just that.
This book is a godsend to divorced, widowed or dumped women in their thirties and beyond. Ms. Sills helps women get back out there again and not be afraid to date. Going through a divorce, especially if you are over 35, presents a whole new set of challenges. There are children to deal with, insecurities about age and looks and a whole slew of emotional issues to contend with.
Dating again after a divorce in your twenties is not the same as dating again in your forties. If you try your hand at dating without doing some inner work and developing your own inner confidence, you may find yourself retreating and backing off from the dating scene. Rejection stings at any age, but it is especially difficult when you have already been emotionally scarred from your divorce and convince yourself your "too old" to date or that there are " no good men" left. If you find yourself sitting home on the weekends, watching netflix movies and drinking wine, this book is for you.
I like this book because the author explores the divorced and widowed woman's psyche, understanding the feelings, emotions and concerns a woman feels after the loss of a significant relationship. Her savvy and often humorous advice will help you "get naked again" and not be afraid to let down your guard and allow a new love into your life.

Are You Scared to be Single Again?
With all of the doom and gloom about the economy bombarding us every time we turn on the TV, it is no wonder people are fearful. With job loss at an all time high, the high rate of foreclosures and a plummeting stock market, most people are nervous. if you are married and your spouse loses his job, you may have to live on one income. But if you are single and lose your income there may be no income coming in at all.
It can be scary to be divorced and single again. At least when you were married there was someone there to share your fears with. Together, you knew you could get through tough times . Now you are all alone and may have to be the primary caregiver and breadwinner in your family. This can feel overwhelming. You may even wonder why you got divorced in the first place. Was your marriage really that bad?
It is easy to let the fear take over but you need to take a deep breath and have some faith in yourself. You will be okay. Being single has many benefits, one is that you are free to call your own shots and create your life exactly how you want it to be. If you feed into all of the negativity that surrounds us nowadays and panic, you will see your worst fears realized.
Being responsible for your own financial and emotional well being can be frightening but it can also be empowering. Now is the time to take control of your emotions and face your fears. Some singles may be tempted to jump back into a relationship again to gain security, but is having so called security worth your freedom and happiness?
Hang in there and have faith. Things will improve, despite all of the dire warnings to the contrary. We will all get through these tough times. By being hopeful and having confidence in yourself as a single person, you will make it on your own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Health Insurance and Divorce: What You Need to Know
If you are going through a divorce and are a stay at home parent, you need to make sure that your soon to be ex does not take you off the family health insurance plan. You may be thinking that your spouse cannot legally remove you from the policy, but that is not true. Technically, the court will agree that health benefits stay in place until the divorce is final, just like they say that no martial assets are to be sold, but the reality is that these things happen anyway, despite the court's warnings.
During my own divorce, my ex sold martial assets and removed me from the family health insurance plan. He was given a verbal warning from the court but no action was taken against him. I was forced to find and pay for new health insurance.
If you are not employed, finding affordable, decent health insurance is not easy nowadays. Try and prevent loss of health insurance by making sure your lawyer informs your spouse's lawyer that you need your health coverage continued. You should also have a clause added in your final divorce agreement that your spouse will continue to provide health insurance benefits until you can find an affordable policy on your own. Remember, if you have a pre-existing condition and then lose your benefits for a certain amount of time, the pre-existing condition may not be covered on your next plan.
Also, make sure to spell out clearly in your divorce agreement who will put the children on their health insurance plan and include exactly who pays for the deductibles, co-payments and any uncovered expenses. If your children will need braces, work out an agreement now on who will pay and exactly how much each parent will be responsible for. You can prevent many conflicts and problems with your ex post-divorce by taking the time now to include these issues in your divorce agreement.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Should Cheaters Pay More in the Divorce?

I read recently that the state of Arizona is reconsidering it's policy on "no fault" divorce. Meaning they may now allow a judge to consider evidence of an affair and compensate the "injured" party monetarily.

Some states do allow a divorcing couple to bring in evidence of an affair or abuse while many others do not consider it at all. I was divorced in New Jersey and was very surprised when my lawyer told me that judge did not care that my husband was having an affair and that assets were divided based on equitable distribution only, not emotional or physical damage.

What I think is unfair in no fault divorce states is when a cheater spends martial funds on the girlfriend or boyfriend. This should be considered. I also believe the person who has been cheated on and did not want the divorce should be awarded additional assets for pain and suffering. I know a woman whose husband cheated and gave her herpes. Logic would dictate that she should be financially compensated for pain and suffering because of her husband's actions.

The downside to allowing evidence of an affair in the divorce courtroom would be longer courtroom battles and more more legal fees. Producing proof of a spouses' affair might also require hiring a private investigator. But maybe if people knew they might have to pay more in their divorce settlement if they cheated, they might reconsider cheating in the first place.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Like We Never Loved at all"....
Does this sound familiar? You are going through a divorce and feel as though your heart as been ripped out of your chest, yet your soon to be ex has not shed one tear and does not seem to even care. You wonder, after all of the years of marriage-years of sharing your lives together-how can he just walk away feeling no pain and worst of all, no remorse?
It seems to defy logic. A person is supposed to feel bad while going through a divorce, right? Seeing your partner move on with his life without a care in the world can intensify your own pain. You want him to suffer, to feel what you are feeling, to wake up every morning with that sick knot in his stomach. His reaction is downright insulting. Does it mean he never loved you and that your marriage was a farce, a joke that meant nothing to him?
There is a song by Faith hill that sums this up perfectly. The lyrics go" How can you just walk on by, without one tear in your eye, don't you have the slightest feelings left for me? Maybe it's just your way of dealing with the pain, forgetting everything between our rise and fall, like we never loved at all..."
The truth is that everyone deals with grief in different ways. What may seem like your ex's ability to recover from your divorce with ease may in reality be his way of suppressing and hiding his emotions. Men are very good at that. After all, many men were brought up to believe that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. This may be your ex's way of keeping it together. Not falling apart emotionally may be the only way he can get through the divorce.
Another issue to consider is that your ex may have been unhappy in the marriage and has been slowly grieving it's end for years now. By slowly detaching, little by little, over time, the actual breakup does not hit him like a ton of bricks. He appears to be over the divorce, but in actuality already has mourned the death of the marriage a long time ago.
Knowing why your ex is not suffering from the pain of your divorce may give you little comfort. Your hurting and you want him to hurt too. You were married and created a life together and you want that time spent together to have meant something. The fact is you may never see your ex express sadness or remorse over your divorce but it does not mean he is not feeling it. Since you cannot know what another person is thinking or feeling, you can choose to believe that he is sad but unable to show it. Whether it is true or not, is irrelevant.
You need to believe that the person you married did have a heart and once upon a time loved and cared for you. Your marriage was once meaningful. No one can take away the memories you have of the time you spent as a couple, they are yours to remember and reflect on. Focus on your own grieving process and allow yourself to fully mourn the end of your marriage instead of wondering if your ex is feeling badly too. Before you know it you will get through the dark times and just like your ex, be able to move on with you life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Staying Together for the Sake of the Kids is Not Always a Good Idea...

We hear so much about how damaging divorce is to children and how kids are almost always better off living with two parents who are married. But if your home is filled with shouting, anger and disrespect, a divorce may be better for your kids in the long run.

I was watching an episode of "Marriage 911" a show where a marriage counselor spends time with a family on the verge of a divorce. This couple was so mean to one another. The husband called his wife a "fat slob" in front of the kids and the wife told the kids that "dad is a moron". The fighting was endless, with the couple battling it out in front of the children.

Finally, the older daughter wrote a sign that said "Breakup or Shut up". Her parents were shocked, but realized the kid was right. All of their fighting and put downs was emotionally damaging their kids. Fortunately,this couple (with the help of the marriage counselor)was able to save their marriage and stop fighting.

The fact is children who are subjected to years of witnessing their parents fight, will suffer emotionally. They risk growing up and entering into their own dysfunctional relationships. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, but just staying together for the kids' sake, think again. Unless you can repair your marriage and start treating each other with respect, you are not doing your kids any favors.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Date Etiquette After a Divorce...
Going out on your first date after your divorce can bring up many questions. Just how much information do you disclose about your life and your divorce? You may be tempted to reveal all of the gory details of your divorce, especially if you hit it off with this new person. But is it okay?
It all depends on how you approach it. If you date asks about your divorce, it is fine to let him or her know the basic details. The problem occurs when you find yourself dumping all of your emotional garbage on your date, leaving him or her feeling more like a therapist instead of a potential new mate.
It is always a good idea to be the one asking the questions on a first date instead of doing all of the talking. People love to talk about themselves and when you express a sincere interest in a person and let them tell you about their life, they feel more comfortable around you. Keep the conversation light, if possible. Remember, the first date is all about finding out if this is someone you would like to go on a second date with, not if he or she will be your next spouse. Keep that in mind during the conversation and ask the questions that are important for you to know about this person.
Talking about careers, family, favorite hobbies and interests are all good ways to get to know someone. If the divorce comes up and you went through a particularly rough one, you can simply state the facts without getting emotional. Time will tell if this is someone you will want to open up to and share your personal stories with. You don't want to scare off a new date by making them feel you have not gotten over your divorce yet or that you are still in love with your ex.
Most of all, try to have fun and not have high expectations. If you secretly hope that this date will turn into a lasting relationship, you will be disappointed if your date does not feel the same way. By viewing the first date as a fun way to get to know a person, regardless of the outcome, you protect yourself emotionally. It may take many first dates before you finally meet the right person, so try not to take any rejection personally.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sharing Your Kids with Your Ex's New Love....
I was watching "Desperate Housewives" tonight and the storyline hit home for many divorced parents. "Susan" a character with a young son was having a hard time accepting that her son actually liked her ex-husband's girlfriend. It was very threatening to her that her child would want to spend time with her ex's new love and this fictional character tried to forbid her ex's girlfriend from spending time with her son.
Feelings of jealousy of the ex's new girlfriend or boyfriend can crop up. The jealousy divorced parents feel is not a romantic kind of jealously but rather a feeling of having your place as a parent threatened by this new person in your kid's lives. On one hand you want your kids to like the new girlfriend or boyfriend and hope he or she is a good person. But on the other hand, you may feel like your child may like this person better than you and you could lose your child's love.
Although these feelings are completely normal, they are unjustified. Your children know who their mom and dad are and will not replace you with someone else in their hearts, no matter how nice they might be. It helps to try and think of it in a different light. If your ex has found someone special who is going to be in your kids lives, be grateful if he or she is a good person and will have a positive impact on your children. Many divorced parents find themselves in a horrible situation when their ex's new love does not treat their children well.
If your kids have a good relationship with the new girlfriend or boyfriend, try to be supportive. When it comes time for you to introduce your kids to your new love, you will have an easier time if the kids have already been through all of the emotions associated with accepting a parent's new relationship.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are You Really Ready for a New Relationship?
After getting divorced, many people delude themselves by thinking they need to jump into a new relationship right away. The pain from the divorce can be overwhelming and finding a new love becomes a distraction and way to feel good again.
But the reality is you may not be ready for a new relationship after your divorce just yet. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to determine if it is wise for you to get back into the dating scene and meet someone new:
1. Have you properly mourned the end of your marriage? The grieving process for getting over a divorce can take years, so I am not suggesting that you put your life on hold and not date, but it is important that you have least begun the process and are in the latter stages of grief. It is unfair to a new mate to begin a relationship if you have not emotionally let go of the previous one.
2. Are you ready to invest time and energy in a new relationship? The time period after a divorce can be a wonderful opportunity to be selfish and fulfill some of your own needs. Without a husband to worry about, you are free to make your own choices. You can call your own shots and enjoy your new found freedom. This may grow old after a while and you may find yourself longing for companionship. However, if you enter into a new relationship too quickly after a divorce without giving yourself some "alone time" you may regret it later.
3. Are you happy with your life as it is now? If you are looking for someone to ease your pain, rescue you and make your life better, you are in for a rude awakening. Get your own life settled and in order before bringing someone else into it. Find a new love when you are happy and fulfilled and that person will be a welcome addition in your life, not someone you desperately need to make you happy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are Money Problems Weighing You Down?
These are tough times for many Americans. Especially hard hit are single parents and people going through a divorce. When you are worried about money it seems like you have a dark cloud over your head that follows you everywhere. Money problems are draining and sap your energy, leaving you depressed, overwhelmed and desperate.
If you feel like your life is a struggle and you just can't seem to get ahead, there is a story you should read. I found a website that is giving away a free e-book of the award winning, best selling story "The Jack Rabbit Factor" by Leslie Householder. You can get it at: . This story shows you how you can set and achieve any goal by learning to recognize and trust your gut - that inner voice that literally shows you the way.
Sometimes a book or a simple story can give you hope and uplift your spirits during hard times.
The important thing to remember is that no matter how rough things are right now, your life will get better. Winter is always followed by Spring. Nothing lasts forever and whether it is money problems, a divorce or some other life altering issue, good times are coming once again. You just need to hang in there and have faith.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Octuplet Rage: Is America Biased against Single Moms?

I am surprised by the public outrage against the woman who
gave birth to octuplets. It is odd for a single woman to have 14
children by in-vitro fertilization, but this woman's situation seems to have sparked intense anger and disgust from the media, bloggers and even the woman's own mother. People are angry that she has gone ahead and given birth to all of these children without a husband. Many assume she will be on public assistance and the tax payers will foot the bill for raising these children.

But no one questions the couple on the TV show who now have 18 children or the couple who star in the show "Jon and Kate plus 8". Jon and Kate were not well off by any means when their sextuplets were born. We do not know how the mom of the octuplets will support her children yet or if the natural father will help raise the kids , so to rush to judgement about her is unfair. I even read that diaper companies and other baby companies are not giving this woman freebies. Other couples who have multiple births get free diapers, baby food, clothes and even donated homes for free. But here is a single mom who is being offered nothing because she is not married? Or maybe it is because we think she is mentally unstable?

Whatever the reason, America has forgotten that 8 healthy babies have been born at once. These babies are the only surviving octuplets in our country. It is a miracle that they are alive and doing so well. How they were conceived is not our business. Let's not rush to judgment.
Children do deserve to have two parents and grow up in a loving home, but as many of us have found out through divorce, that is not always possible. I think it hits a raw nerve with people when a woman decides to become a single parent on her own. The bottom line is that these 8 babies are here and no amount of hatred and ill will towards their mother will change the circumstances surrounding their conception.

You may feel that this woman is off her rocker and disagree with how she conceived her children but the babies deserve our well wishes and good thoughts. I sincerely hope that people will rise above their judgments and lend a helping hand to this woman for the babies'(and her other children's) sake.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This Dad Should be Ashamed of Himself...
Dow Jones heir Jeffery Stevenson lied about his income and hid assets during his divorce in an attempt to reduce child support payments to his child. He told the court he was only making $38,000 a year as a Carpenter and was ordered to pay only $512 a month in child support. He child even qualified for reduced free lunches.
It was recently revealed that Stevenson failed to disclose trust funds worth at least $4 million during his 1997 divorce. At a trial in 2007, Stevenson admitted he was not a professional carpenter and testified his net worth was $17 million. He also receives at least $358,000 in annual income from five different trust funds, In addition he owna a $3.3 million home in Key Largo, Fla., $600,000 in other real estate and $275,000 in vehicles. His child support payments have been increased to $5,500 a month and he will have to pay at least $160,00 in retroactive child support payments and his ex-wife's attorney fees.
How pathetic. This man knowingly allowed his child to live in poverty while he lived like a king!
Thankfully, justice has been served in this case, but how many other parents are out there who have hid assets during a divorce and lied about their income and are getting away with it? Sadly, the men and women who commit these acts think they are getting over on their exes but the they are hurting their own children instead.
If you have reason to believe your ex is hiding assets or lying about income, then you need to be proactive and find the proof you need to take him or her back to family court. It won't be easy, but with a little detective work you may be able to uncover hidden money you never knew your ex had. There are many online websites that can track down a person's assets and current employer. Do some research first so that you know you are dealing with a reputable company and most of all, don't give up! Your children's financial future and quality of life is at stake.

Monday, February 02, 2009

How to Cope with Being Divorced and Single on Valentine's Day...
Well it's that time of year again. The stores are flooded with hearts, chocolates and corny greeting cards. Reminders are everywhere that the "day of love" is fast approaching. There is no escaping Valentine's Day. If you are divorced and not dating anyone special this can be a particularly painful time.
You may feel lonely and unloved and wonder if you will ever meet that someone special again. Many people dread being single this time of year. It can trigger emotions and memories of the past when you were married and in love. Now, single and alone, you may feel like you have nothing to look forward to this Valentine's Day.
But there are some ways to not only get through Valentine's day while being single, but actually enjoy it. One way is to call up your single friends and plan a night out on the town. Since you are all in the same situation, why not go out and have a fun night out? If you rather stay home with the kids, have your own Valentine's day party. Bake some red cupcakes, put some red food coloring in ginger ale for the kids and buy some pink champagne for yourself. Celebrate all of the love you have in your life, the love you feel for your children, parents, pets and friends.
Do anything that makes you feel happy and appreciative. Try not to dwell on what is missing in your life this Valentine's Day and instead focus on what you already have. With a positive attitude and a little planning, you may find yourself actually looking forward to Valentine's Day this year.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Father's Nightmare and How You Can Help...
Did you watch Dateline last night? I was so shocked and upset
after hearing how New Jersey father David Goldman's has not been able
to see his son in four and a half years after his wife abducted the boy
in 2004 and fled to Brazil.
Since then David Goldman has been living a nightmare, fighting the Brazilian court system, trying to get back his son. The story become
even more bizarre when his wife (who divorced him in Brazil and married
a Brazilian Lawyer) died in August after giving birth to her second child.
Even though their son now has only one living parent, his ex-wife's husband will not give back Sean Goldman to his father and has even petitioned the Brazilian court to remove David Goldman's name form his own son's birth certificate. He has also defied a court order allowing Mr. Goldman a weekend visit with the boy by hiding the child.
It is frightening to think that a parent can kidnap a child, move to another country and get away with it. As divorced parents we need to send a clear message to our government and governments around the world that this is unacceptable. Sean Goldman is an American citizen who has been kidnapped, yet our government has not demanded the Brazilian government return the child.
Please go to and sign an online petition to help reunite Sean and his father. There are also other ways to help on the website. Let's help this divorced father get back his son.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Does Marriage Ruin a Relationship?
A couple dated for 9 years and then got married and one year later are getting divorced. Sound familiar? I am sure you have heard a variation of this story before. Why is that many couples who are happy living together decide to make their union legal and wind up ruining the relationship?
It seems that the celebrity couples that live together without getting married stay together longer too. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Jenny McCartney and Jim Carrey, Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford, plus a host of other celeb couples have discovered the secret of not getting married. Many divorcees have caught on too, vowing never to walk down the aisle again.
There are of course, reasons for a couple to marry, some of them practical and financial. Issues like health insurance, inheritance and being the next of kin should something happen to your partner are reasons some long term couples eventually do decide to tie the knot.
Another thing to consider is that sometimes couples will attempt to save a failing relationship by getting married or having a child and then split shortly after the wedding. So it wasn't getting married that wrecked the relationship after all.
I think getting married, whether after a divorce or for the first time, is a personal decision that one must make by following your heart and trusting your instincts. Not all marriages end in divorce and we still hear about couples celebrating their 20, 3o , 40 or even 50th wedding anniversaries. The key is finding the right person and having a healthy relationship and then it won't matter if you get married or not, you will be happy with the one you love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

When Your Kids Are Still Suffering from Your Divorce..
You would think that with the divorce rate at close to 50%, most kids would be going to school with other children of divorce. Apparently this is not the case in my neighborhood. My kids have informed me that ALL of their friends live with both their parents and they are the only ones whose parents are divorced.
I find this hard to believe, but it does seem like the friends they hang out with live with both parents. Of course, this makes me feel bad for my kids. No child likes to think that he or she is the only one whose parent's have divorced.
What brought about this recent revelation was an argument my teenage sons had with a close friend. He made a comment that " at least he has a dad who lives with him". This hurt both my sons deeply, since they are still recovering from my divorce and they only see their dad a few times a year. They are both very angry with this boy and no longer want to be his friend.
Just when I thought my kids were finally dealing with the divorce, the old wounds were reopened. I guess children never fully get over their parent's divorce. A comment said in poor taste, reignited my sons' anger and hurt. And of course, when your children are feeling hurt, you want to do everything you can to protect them and shield them from the pain. Unfortunately, there is not much a parent can do to make up for the other's parent's lack of attention and involvement in their children's lives.
My ex and I live in different states but I only moved when it was painfully obvious that my ex was not going to give my kids the kind of attention they deserved. He would frequently miss his weekend visits and never once used his once a week dinner visitation. Ironically, once we moved, he did become a better father. He calls them more and when he does see the kids, he pays more attention to them.
The other side of the coin here is that although children suffer from our divorces, how much worse off do the kids whose parents stick it out in a miserable marriage suffer? Some the same kids my children might envy for living with both mom and dad may be living a nightmare behind close doors. Appearances can be deceiving. My own parents fought all of the time and when I was a kid and I wished they would get a divorce. Living for years in an abusive, volatile household will most likely inflict more damage on a child than a divorce.
Not many children grow up in a perfect family. All we can do is our best and provide our kids with love, attention and support. Hopefully, they will grow up to be compassionate, caring adults who learned important life lessons from being raised in a single family household.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3 Money Saving Tricks for Single Parents...

Has this bad economy gotten you down? Are you fearful about the future and wonder how you are going to make ends meet? Most people, even if they have not been directly affected by a job loss, a foreclosure or loss of investments, have tightened their belts and decided to cut back on unnecessary purchases.

Some people have even taken "cutting back" to the extreme. A couple I know, who both have good, secure, well paying jobs, has decided to no longer go out on the weekends at all because of the economy. As a single parent, it is necessary to make adjustments and find ways to save money, especially in these uncertain times. I have found a few painless ways to save money lately that I would like to share with you.

1. I love to eat out, but with my kids now too old for kid's meals, the bill can be ridiculous. I have found a few ways to still take the kids out to dinner on the cheap. Here is one: Most restaurants charge a much lower price for a meal for lunch. Lunch is usually served until 4:00 pm on the weekends. So, if you get there at 3:30pm and have an early dinner, you can shave a nice amount off your meal. We did this recently at a Asian/Sushi buffet. For dinner they charge $19.95 a person, but for lunch, it is only $12.99 a person. So we saved $7.00 a person for the same exact buffet by getting their an hour and half earlier than we normally would.

2. I was never one to clip coupons, but now I find it challenging to see how much I can save each week. Last week I saved a total of $54.00! The trick is to use coupons on the "buy one, get one" free deals for the best savings. Try to shop in the afternoon too when the teenagers are working as cashiers. They will give you less of a hard time if you use a coupon for a box of cereal that is for an 18 oz box and you get the 12 oz box by accident. There is nothing more annoying when trying to use coupons than being confronted by a mean cashier who hands you back your coupons.

3. Another way to save money is to groom your dog yourself, I save about $80 a month now by giving, Luigi, my Maltese, his bath and haircuts. I also have a trick for those of you who color your hair. I used to own a salon, so I am very hesitant about using store bought color, I have seen way too many disasters, especially if you are a blonde. But here is a way to extend the time in between salon visits. A few of the store bought brands now carry a root touch up kit for a about $8.00. That is alot cheaper than the $50 plus tip the salon will charge you. Another salon tip to cut out spending money on pedicures, is to use the pedi egg. You can order it from the infomercial or get at a drugstore like Walgreens. It works great, and if you can clip your own toenails and paint them, you can save money doing it yourself.

Anyone else have some great money saving tips to share here?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Divorce Challenge for You...
We use online blogs, forums and chat rooms to vent about our divorces, let off steam and do some ex bashing (often well deserved!). The Internet is a great way to connect with others going through the same situation and it gives us that much needed support during a very difficult time. But what if we tried something different here? What if everyone who reads this leaves a positive comment about their ex?
Now before you think I have gone crazy, hear me out. I have written extensively about my ex and all of his wrongdoings. My purpose is not to excuse or ignore anyone's ex-husband or ex-wive's bad behavior. What I think might be helpful is to find some good in our exes, the reason why we married them in the first place, and share it here.
Why? Because it is so easy to only look at all of the terrible things our exes have done and when we do that we certainly do not feel good. It is difficult to move on and let go when we view our ex as an evil person who has inflicted only pain on us. Now, for someone who has been physically or emotionally abused, remembering even one act of random kindness that your ex performed may be tough. But doing this is not for your ex's benefit, it is for yours. By finding a morsel of goodness in your ex, it might help you forgive and let go of some of the pain you may feel.
So this is my divorce challenge to you. I will go first:
"During my marriage, there were times when my ex was helpful, kind and considerate. He sometimes helped me clean the house, often cooked dinner or went food shopping. He once surprised me with a puppy I had fallen in love with at a pet store. About a year before we separated, he bought me a new wedding ring because he was never happy with the original diamond he gave me when we married. He had the waiter bring the ring box out on my desert plate to surprise me one night over a romantic dinner."
So these were some of my fond memories from my marriage. Now it is your turn, if you are up for the challenge. I admit, this is not easy. It is so much easier to remember all of the bad times and forget the good. But I think once you do this, you will feel better and it will also give you some nice memories to share with your children.
If you just can't bear to write one positive thing about your ex, then don't. By privately reflecting on some of the good moments in your marriage, you will begin the healing process. Life is usually not all black or white, good or bad. By accepting your marriage and divorce for what it is, a combination of both, you can free yourself of anger and pain and move on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are You a Divorce Victim?..
Has divorce knocked you down, sapped your energy and left you feeling defeated? Do you feel like giving up and just don't know how much longer you can take the pain?
If so, now is the time to take back control and dig deep down and find your inner strength. Life's greatest challenges can also reveal to us qualities we never thought we had. You can rise above your divorce and not only make it through, but come out on top.
There is always that pivotal moment when you question whether you can go on yet another day. You may feel crushed by grief as you mourn the loss of your marriage and scared about what the future will hold. In that moment you feel like you just don't have the energy to fight anymore. But what you choose in that moment defines the outcome of your divorce. Will it leave you feeling bitter and angry or will you become courageous and brave?
I remember during my own divorce when the world seemed to be crashing down around me. My father died suddenly at 59 years old, my ex refused to pay child support and alimony and I was receiving foreclosure notices on my home. My ex also filed a phony restraining order against me. To make matters even worse, he was fighting me tooth and nail for control of the salon we owned and then without warning half of all of my employees walked out, taking half of the salon's customer's with them to the salon across the street.( Ironically to the salon where my ex-husband was close friends with the owner. I guess he figured if he couldn't have the business, he would make sure I wouldn't have it either.)
I went through months of overwhelming stress and then I felt like I snapped one day. I did not want to get out of bed. I felt defeated and just didn't care anymore. But then something happened. One employee, who had remained loyal to me and stayed, said the words that turned everything around. He said he would help me rebuild the business, that together we would make the salon better than before. In that moment, I felt a wave of hope, a new energy took over me and I vowed not to give up.
I had a mission now. When my former employees spread rumors throughout the town that my salon was going out of business, it brought out my fighting spirit even more. I spent the next few months looking for new employees, and by miracle, 5 hairdressers from another neighboring salon came to work for me, bringing more clients than before.
The icing on the cake came when I put a large ad in the local newspaper with all of my new employees pictures, welcoming them to the salon. You can be sure my ex and the salon that counted on me going out of business were not pleased. It was sweet revenge. I was able to rebuild the business and sell it a year and half later and the salon is now the busiest salon in town, a thorn in the side of the salon owner who tried to destroy my business with my ex.
I share this story because no matter how overwhelming your divorce may seem to you now, there is always hope. You can either become a victim of your divorce or not. It is up to you. Things have a way of turning out for the best with time. Stay in the game and don't give up.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Get Over Your Divorce Once and for All.....
Are you finding it difficult to let go of the past and move on after your divorce? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle for years after a divorce trying to make sense of what happened and why their marriage ended. Some are still so caught up in past that they find it impossible to truly begin their new life, post-divorce.
If you are in this situation, it may be because you never fully mourned the death of your marriage. A divorce is a major life event, equivalent to the death of a loved one. If you did not take the time to face the pain while going through your divorce, that pain can linger with you for years.
Letting go of the baggage and facing the grief can feel overwhelming and most people try to avoid pain at any cost. That is why so many people suffer from addictions. Facing the pain in our lives becomes too much to bear, so we stuff it down deep instead and ignore it. When the pain rears it's ugly head, we turn to alcohol, drugs, gambling or even another relationship to avoid what is gnawing at us.
The only way to truly let go of the past and move on is to face our demons head on. By allowing the pain to surface and then looking directly at it and feeling whatever emotions arise, we can finally purge it. No one likes to feel pain and it requires courage and strength to do what is necessary to let go, but if the pain is allowed to remain, it will fester and continue to control your life.
If you are ready to move past your divorce, enlist the help of a therapist or close friend. Find someone who is willing to listen and be there for you as you grieve. The emotions you did not allow yourself to feel during your divorce are still there and will slowly surface. As you deal with them, they will disappear. As you move through this process you will find that if you are still stuck all of these years feeling intense anger towards your ex, that anger will turn into sadness then transform into acceptance of what is. You may even discover through self reflection that your divorce was a necessary catalyst that has changed your life for the better. Often our most painful life experiences are our greatest teachers.
By moving through the stages of mourning and dealing directly with the emotional baggage your divorce has caused, you will finally be able to let go and release the pain. Then and only then will you be free.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Divorce and Suicide: Are you at risk?

As horrible as my divorce was, I never considered ending it all. As a mother of four, I knew I had to be there for my kids and deep down I had faith that eventually the pain would come to an end and my divorce would be over. However, some people who are in "divorce hell" right now do not feel hopeful and actually consider taking their own lives.

I had never thought about his before until I received an email from a woman who has lost all hope. Her divorce is not going well. Her husband is abusive, controlling and seems to get away with everything, including disobeying court orders. I have heard this same story many times before, but what struck me was how this woman indicated that she just could not go on any longer and felt that things would never get better. She is in despair and feels hopeless.

If you are going through a terrible divorce and feel like justice will never be served, that your ex will win and leave you with nothing, please know that no divorce lasts forever. I know how much pain you are in right now and how hard it is just to get up everyday and face the nightmare of your divorce. You are emotionally drained and have every right to be depressed. But please have faith. Things will turn around for you.

Sometimes in our darkest hours we feel like we can no longer go on. The pain is just too much to bear. Life seems cruel and unfair. Especially if it appears your spouse is getting the upper hand and "winning". But you have to believe that eventually the truth will prevail and justice will be served.

In my own divorce, it seemed like my ex would never be held accountable for his actions. A year went by without him paying alimony and child support. And then, suddenly, the tides turned and he was sent to jail for a month. The judge finally saw through his antics and my divorce turned around. 6 months later we were able to settle our divorce, something I thought would never happen.

So please hang in there and know that many people have walked down the same road you are on. We have came out of the darkness and into the light. Our lives are now better than they were before. This can happen for you too, you just have to hold on and have faith that everything will be okay.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's With All of the Angry Divorced Men Lately?...

I have been seeing more and more stuff on the Internet from angry, divorced men. They are pissed off about paying child support and alimony
and joining together in groups to gripe and bitch about how unfair the court
system is and how their ex-wives are nothing more than lazy, money hungry (insert expletive) women, out to squeeze every last dime out of them.

Now even though I coach primarily women and my book, Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce is written for women, I do have many men contact me and tell me their stories. I found that there is a distinct difference between the angry men and the good guys who have gotten a raw deal. I have coached men who are getting the short end of the stick in their divorces, yet ironically these are the same men who would never dream of not paying child support or bashing their ex-wives. They are able to put their anger aside and do what is best for their children.

On the other hand, the vocal men, who write foul comments on blogs and forums calling their ex names are usually the deadbeats. They whine and cry about how unfair life is instead of manning up and doing what is right. I think these guys should stop complaining. If you are really paying too much child support or do not get enough time with your kids then get a lawyer and go to court. You say the court system is biased towards women? Then do something to change it. Take action instead of spreading hatred.
No one is saying that there are not men out there who are having a tough time. Maybe they have been laid off at work, are disabled or just struggling to make ends meet. It is not easy raising children and most single moms are struggling too, even with child support payments, to provide for the kids. The fact remains, that if you have children, whether you are a man or women, the kids' needs come first.

So for all of the men out there who feel like they got a raw deal during their divorce, remember that you do have a choice. You can continue to complain about your circumstances and tell anyone who will listen just how unfair the court system is or you can accept what is and focus on what you can do to positively improve your life and the lives of your children.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Are You Stuck in Divorce Limbo?
Divorce limbo is the time period between when you file for divorce and when your divorce is finalized. Many divorce limbos can stretch out for months and even years, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and fearful about your future. No knowing where you stand financially in a divorce prevents you from making plans for the future. So when you are stuck in divorce limbo your life is in a holding pattern. You cannot leave the past behind and start over yet because you are still dealing with court dates, lawyers and fights with ex.
My own divorce limbo lasted for 18 long, excruciating months. It seemed like my every waking thought during that time was consumed by the divorce. Looking back, it felt like I was being mentally tortured. Being on the brink of financial ruin, since my ex would not pay alimony and child support, it was one of the most stressful times of my life. My worst fear was that I would lose everything and be unable to care for my children.
Thankfully, my divorce nightmare did come to an end and I was able to clean up most of the financial mess it caused once the divorce was settled. There is no magic formula or great advice on how to survive divorce limbo. The one thing to remember is that it will come to an end and you will be okay. You may not believe that now, but hold on to that thought. No one stays in divorce limbo forever. The day will come when you are handed your divorce papers and your new life will begin and it will be better than before.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Isn't This Ironic?...
My ex-husband, a reformed deadbeat dad, who spent a month in jail for not paying child support is now dating a woman with 3 kids whose ex-husband is a deadbeat. He told me that his girlfriend's ex is a "scumbag".
The irony of this situation did not escape me. My ex even bought groceries for his girlfriend's family since she was left with no money to feed her children. My ex has been current on his child support payments for several years now, so he has learned his lesson. I just thought it was ironic
that he was once a deadbeat and now is helping a single mom whose ex does not pay child support.
I am actually thrilled to see that he is acting more like the man he once was. The man I married was generous and caring. During the divorce, I did not know who he was. It was like the movie invasion of the body snatchers. The man I knew disappeared and a mean, crazy person had taken over his body. I would have never guessed that he could be capable of not supporting his children for a year. It is good to see him acting kind and generous again.
We often label people (especially our exes) as being bad, but it is really their behavior that is deplorable. Most people do have some seeds of goodness in them. It is difficult to see that goodness when they are acting out and hurting us. It has taken me years to see my ex as anything but a selfish man, but I try to remember how he was before the divorce and some of the good qualities he had. I am happy that he has found someone who seems to bringing out the best in him.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are Single Moms Destroying America?
According to Author Ann Coutler they are. Did you see Coulter on the Today show last week blasting single moms?( here is the clip)
According to Coulter, single moms are responsible for raising children who end up in jail, are uneducated and are responsible for all of our problems in society.

As a single mom of four, I am personally offended by Ms. Coutler. This angry, mean spirited woman has no right to attack single moms and blame society's ills on us. Most single moms struggle daily to provide the best for their children and often must be both mother and father to children who do not have an father who is actively supporting them.

If you are a single mom, please do not buy this woman's books. She obviously has no idea how difficult it is to parent children on your own. Most single moms are not single moms by choice. Ms. Coutler should attack fathers who abandon their children instead. What she is insinuating is that staying in an unhappy marriage, often fraught with fighting and tension is a better environment for children to grow up in than to raised by one , stable happy parent.

I think we are doing the best we can as single parents. Many of us left marriages that were unhappy so that our children would not grow up hearing constant fighting between parents. Although I do believe that a couple should do everything possible to save their marriage, including going to counseling, keeping your children in an unstable, often violent home environment will not give them a better chance in life.

Being a single parent is difficult enough. Many single moms raise smart, healthy, educated children who contribute greatly to society. Ms. Coutler feels that single moms and liberals are destroying America. I think she has another motive for her nasty comments. Considering that President Elect Obama was raised by a single mom himself, Coulter who is a republican, may be taking her frustrations out on single moms because she is bitter about her party losing the election. Why a talk show would have such a vile person like Ms. Coulter on is beyond my understanding. This is also the same woman who referred to the 911 widows as "griefzillas". We should not reward her lack of compassion and sensitivity by putting her on TV and rewarding her with book sales.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

And You Thought Your Ex was a Jerk....

You may think that no one could be worse than your own ex, but this guy wins the prize for "worst ex-husband ever". Dr. Richard Bastista of NY donated his kidney to his wife several years ago and now wants it back!

He is actually suing her. He says if he can't have the kidney back he will take 1.5 million dollars instead. He donated the kidney in 2001 and his wife filed for divorce in 2005. They have three small children.

When I read this online, I thought it must be a joke, but it is true. I think this divorce will go on record as one of the nastiest divorces ever. It is clear that this man feels hurt about his divorce and we do not know the details of why the couple is divorcing, but to ask for a donated body part back or over a million dollars in compensation because you are bitter about your divorce is insane.

This man is obviously so racked with revenge and anger that he cannot think rationally. Can you imagine what his poor children must think? To know that daddy wants to take back the kidney that helps mommy's body function properly? Dr. Bastista works at Nassau County Medical Center on Long Island in NY. Ironically, that is the hospital where my oldest daughter was born.

By going public with his outrageous lawsuit, he is also damaging his reputation as a doctor. Would you want a crazy doctor who wants to take back his kidney from his wife caring for you? This is just another sad example of how a divorce can cause a normal, sane person to become irrational and out of control.

Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Need an Increase in Child Support? Read this first...
With most of the nation facing tough economic conditions, many single parents may be tempted to take their ex back to court to get more child support. You need to be aware of a few things though before you attempt to get a modification of your child support order.
Most states calculate child support payments by using a computerized system where they input both parents incomes and then come up with a number based on a number of different factors, such as visitation, health care, etc. If you feel that your ex is earning more money than he was when the child support was first determined, you may be entitled to an increase in child support.
But be warned. By taking your ex back to court, he can also ask for a reduction. You need solid evidence that his income has substantially increased. If you do not have this proof, I would not advise trying to get your support order modified. I know a woman who went to court trying to get an increase and got a decrease instead after she could not prove that her ex-husband made more money. He owned his own business and was able to hide cash. Her ex, however, told the court that she had received a raise since their divorce. Since she worked at a company on the books and her income was easy to verify, she unfairly had her support reduced.
I know another woman whose ex owes her money for their children's health insurance and wants to go back to court. She is reluctant however, since her ex recently remarried and has a new baby. She is afraid he will apply for a reduction since he has a new child to support. She has a tough decision to make. Since her ex is not behind on actual child support payments, does she overlook the money she is owed for health insurance or take her chances in court and possibly have her child support payments reduced?
If you are receiving regular child support payments, now may not be a good time to rock the boat and take your ex back to court. Many parents are losing jobs and facing money problems right now. The last thing you want to do is go back to court and have your support payments reduced if your ex asks for a reduction.
If, however, you can prove that your ex is making more money and you have suffered a financial setback, you should file for a modification so that you can get the child support you need to take proper care of your children. Child support is not about trying to get more money from your ex for your own personal gain or attempting to reduce your support payments to get over on your ex-spouse, it is about two parents being responsible and doing their very best to financially provide for the children they brought into the this world.

Friday, January 02, 2009

What to Do When Your Ex Badmouths You ....

I am in the process of "deprogramming" my kids after they spent several days with their dad. Although my ex does not badmouth me directly, he likes to make jokes and wisecracks about me to the kids. Jokes about me being a vegetarian, about the books I read, and how mom is "chaotic" and "crazy" are the norm. I feel like my kids come home after a visit with their dad with a little less respect for me.

Many divorced parents struggle with an ex who blatantly disrespects them in front of the children. Lingering feelings of anger and resentment from the divorce are usually to blame for such behavior. The children are put in a no-win situation of having to either defend the parent being attacked verbally or go along with mom or dad's tirade.

There may be little you can do to stop your ex from badmouthing you in from of the children, but you can control your reaction to it and help your children deal with it. It is tempting to lash out or make jokes about your ex to your kids after hearing about his or her remarks, but that will only make things worse for your kids. Most divorced parents have been guilty of making a negative comment or two about the ex in front of the kids. Everyone slips up now and then. The key is to try and catch yourself and not let it become a habit. If you are feeling angry with your ex,vent to a friend in private when your children are not around. The damage comes when a parent continuously makes hurtful comments to the children in order to undermine the other parent.

I try and let my ex's little comments about me go and not make my kids feel uncomfortable when they tell me dad's latest "mom" joke. Of course, if your ex is trying to poison your kids against you and it has gone beyond the occasional comments and jokes, you need to take action. First, inform your ex that his or her behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This probably will have little effect, but you still need to put him or her on notice. Then focus on helping your children understand that mom or dad is feeling angry and upset and that although it is not an excuse to say mean things about you to them, you will not take it personally.

You can also advise your children to politely tell mom or dad that it upsets them to hear negative comments about their parents and they would prefer it if neither parent talked about the other to them. If the comments continue, you may want to consider professional counseling for your children to help them cope. No child should be forced to take sides during a divorce or forced to hear disparaging remarks about a parent. A therapist or counselor can help your children deal with a parent who continues to badmouth the other parent in front of them.