28 September, 2009

Hope for Life Challenges

Life Challenges

Life Challenges will touch each and every one of us! Whether it’s you or someone close to you, you will undoubtedly face a personal trial in your life. Why? How do we cope when they hit? Where do we find hope and meaning in the midst of these Life Challenges? Click on some of the sites below to start your journey of help and hope…

  • Reflections of a Son: My mother’s last hours on earth reflected a powerful life of courage, strength, and faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Feeling Alone: Are you ready for a change? Find out how you can go from lonely to peace in your heart.
  • My Purpose in Life: God does answer prayers in mysterious ways. He answered my most fervent prayers for the soul of my beloved son.
  • God's Will: I developed a deeper relationship with God. I developed a deeper appreciation for God’s will in my life.
  • Healing A Broken Heart: Find helpful tools and tips for mending your heart from hurt and grief. Find comfort and healing.
  • Prayers for Healing: God is our hope and promise. He is in control and He does perform miracles. We are part of His family.
  • Breast Cancer Diagnosis: I questioned why God allowed this to happen. Hadn’t God just promised that He had a wonderful plan for my life?
  • Cancer Support Groups: As we share our journey with cancer, we get strength and hope from each other, from the Bible, and from prayer.
  • Dealing With Death Video: Brian Deegan and Ronnie Faisst talk about the death of their good friend Jeremy Lusk. What is the message they want you to hear?
  • Trusting God: Cancer has taught me to trust. When I release my cancer to God, He works everything out for good.
  • Parenting Plan: Learn the most important valuables to parenting and how to keep things running smoothly. Value what most important.
  • Breast Cancer Treatment Options: The overwhelming task of choosing doctors and treatment options -- Where do you begin and who do you trust?
  • Joy of the Lord: Cancer can make us bitter or better. I found that the joy of the Lord is very important in my healing process.
  • Breast Cancer Survivor: A personal story about finding peace, joy and hope in the midst of cancer and other trials of life.
  • Blessings of Cancer: It is better to add life to your years than to add years to your life. God can turn anything for His good.
  • Ripples of Influence: As a pebble in a pond creates numerous rings of influence, so did my mother in the lives of those she touched.
  • God’s Plan for my Cancer: I finally turned my cancer over to God and His plan. This helped me release much of my fear.
  • Guilt: Want to get rid of guilt? Understand the only way it can happen and take steps toward healing.
  • Total Surrender to God: I learned to give my total life to God. I would spend the rest of my life in total surrender to Him.
  • Breast Cancer Recurrence: I learned many lessons as a result of my recurrence. I learned to take a more active role in my health.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Read one man’s account of living with TBI – his struggles, alienation, and how he found hope for living.
  • How to Die: Are you at a point of no return? Has the meltdown occurred, and now thoughts of getting out are running through your mind?
  • Fantasize: Are they harmful or helpful to a relationship? Does it stimulate a sexual relationship to visualize someone else?
  • Emotional Infidelity: What is it and how can I prevent it for destroying my marriage and family? Discover answers and tips here.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Find information and helpful advice from girls who have been in your shoes. What did they learn?
  • Gifts From God: God gave me my last days to see His wonderful plan being worked out in the lives of those I love.
  • Life Challenges: Are you struggling with issues related to emotional or physical challenges, marriage and family, or addiction? Find help here.
  • Parenting Tips: What can I expect the moment I become a parent? Can I be truly ready? Find out here.
  • Stress Relief: How does stress affect me physically, mentally, and emotionally? Discover the facts here.
  • Coping With Separation: Separating from those we love is hard. Learn why you are having these feelings and find help for your hurting heart.
  • Self Worth: Where is my worth based? Can I improve it by doing things or is it something given to me?
  • Child Discipline: Why is discipline important? Learn practical tips and techniques.
  • Pancreatitis: The pancreas secretes the enzymes that help digest our food. What happens when those enzymes start digesting the pancreas itself?
  • Overcoming Jealousy: An emotion that can lead to bitterness and anger. Read one person’s account of how jealous feelings were removed.
  • Blended Families: It can be tricky to pull two families together and make it work. Find helpful information on being successful.
  • All About Parenting: Do you want your children to grow up to be responsible adults? Learn skills and advice from other parents.
  • Panic Attacks: You wonder if the acute indigestion you’ve been treating yourself for is really panic attacks. How can you be sure?
  • Managing Diabetes: I think I may have with diabetes! Is this a death sentence? What should I do first? Will I need shots?
  • Christian Family Counseling: A Christian home is a Christ-led and Christ-focused home. How do we pull this off?
  • Chronic Pain Relief: Dealing with this is a physical trial. Discover ultimate peace, acceptance, and value. Learn how to cope.
  • Christians and Porn: How does pornography affect a man's spiritual life and fellowship with God? Read this story of darkness.
  • Dealing With Depression: Do you want to laugh and enjoy life again? Learn how to be free from sadness and anxiety.
  • Adopting A Child: Have you and your spouse considered adopting, but heard far too many horror stories? One couple like you overcame numerous hurdles. Read here to see how!
  • Marital Infidelity: Statistics and facts regarding extramarital relationships are undeniable. Evidence points to these statistics being on the increase.
  • Empty Nest: Are you in the transition of accepting your empty home? Discover how to make the most of this life transition.
  • Discouragement: Where is God in your discouraged spirit? Why are you so sad? Find help from His Word here.
  • Separation Anxiety: Learn how to teach toddlers not to react negatively when you leave them with a sitter or family member. Leaving shouldn't be stressful.
  • Forgiving Infidelity: How can unfaithfulness in a marriage be cured? How can this hurtful addiction be broken? Find forgiveness.
  • Suicide Of A Child: Read how one mother expresses the loss of her son from suicide. She found hope among her grieving.
  • Coping With Divorce: A divorce is devastating for everyone involved. How do men cope with divorce?
  • Chronic Pain: A personal story of trial and denial. An answer to prayer. Turning pain into a deeper relationship with God.
  • Grief Process: Are you hurting due to the loss of a loved one? A greater understanding of loss will help you cope.
  • Alzheimers Support: How can you help someone suffering from Alzheimer’s? This article can start you off on that journey with some helpful ideas.
  • Love Addiction: Are you addicted to love and sex? Find out how the dangers and find out how to break free.
  • Inside The Mind Of A Sex Addict: Read how one man found help and relief from a strong porn addiction. Learn how to find help for yourself or a loved one.
  • Divorce Questions: Divorce rips at the heart of our society as it displaces and devastates kids. Find another way here.
  • All About Life Challenges: Find hope and comfort as you go through difficult times in your life. Learn principles to help you cope.
  • Marriage Conflict: How do we disagree in marital conflict and still come out of it loving each other? Learn techniques.
  • Spouse Abuse: Your spouse belittles and criticizes you, but has not been physically abusive. Is this acceptable? Should you be worried?
  • Anger Management Techniques: Would you like peace to replace anger in your life? If so, learn these helpful techniques for improvement.
  • Chronic Fatigue: Are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome serious? Can it lead to something more serious? What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
  • Hair Loss: My mother’s father was bald. Does this mean I will be, too? Can anything be done about it? Find out.
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery: Read one woman’s personal story of how this surgery changed her life and medical needs.
  • Verbal Abuse: Stuck in an abusive relationship? Want to know how to stop the abuse? Read steps others have taken here.
  • Husband Addicted to Porn: Did you find out your husband’s addiction? What should you do? How do you cope? Learn some helpful information here.
  • Christian Testimony Video: You have got to watch this story of Greg Outlaw who was pronounced terminally ill and what happened after that! You name it drugs, alcohol, sexual addiction, materialism, hedonism, and a lifestyle of debauchery -- nothing can change a life like God can!
  • Menopause: At what age does menses cease? What are hot flashes? Is there medication a woman can take for symptoms? Read.
  • Overcome Fear: Is it possible to conquer fears? Understand their origin and how to best counteract their power in your life.
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer: Discover renewed hope in your life battle. Read how one woman found peace and joy in the midst of pain.
  • Reverse Aging: Managing mortality is thought to be one of the biggest goals in life. Is it yours? Find out how to have a balanced perspective.
  • Manage Attention Deficit Disorder: Have you or your child been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? There’s help available. Learn various treatment and how to find support.
  • Hepatitis C: Are you at risk to contract Hepatitis C? This article explores the definition, risks, treatments, and hope for the virus.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics: Dealing with parents who have addictive habits? Are they inebriated all the time? Want relief? Read here for answers.
  • Cancer Patients: Are you reeling from a cancer diagnosis? Wondering why this happened to you? Find out who to trust for comfort.
  • Signs Of Depression: Read a personal story of diagnosis and treatment. This person survived the trial and came out victorious. Learn more here.
  • Manic Depressive: Learn about the disorder, the treatment options, and the hope of recovery. Why does it affect mood, energy, and the ability to function?
  • Meaning in Tragedy: The news is continually filled with tragedy. Is there a purpose in it? Why does God allow these horrible things to happen?
  • Bed Wetting: Discover what causes this problem and how to respond to your child.
  • Trying to Conceive: Are you struggling with infertility and trying to cope emotionally? Consider these insightful tips for coping in a healthy manner.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: Learn more about BPD, the symptoms and treatment of this disorder. Find help and hope.
  • Anger Management For Parents: Learn how to control your anger and be an example for your children.
  • Coping With Loneliness: Friends can let us down when they turn away during a life crisis. When we're alone, who can we turn to?
  • Dealing with Difficult People: How do you handle difficult people? Do you know how to get past the insults? Find out here.
  • Cancer Treatment: Treatment can be so difficult. Read one woman’s story of hope and encouragement for those going through treatments.
  • Decision Making: What are the consequences of a bad decision? Selfish impulses usually lead to those consequences. Learn how to avoid them.
  • Premarital Sex: Is it morally right or wrong? How do I know for sure? What should I take into consideration when making this decision?
  • Single Parent: Identify your struggles and find support for your family. You have a tough job, but you can survive!
  • Family Conflicts: How can we help our families communicate better in order to resolve the conflict that so often occurs?
  • Miscarriage Statistics: The definitions and statistics underlying miscarriage. The physical and emotional effects.
  • Stillbirth: Read a personal story of a couple who coped through this devastating situation. How did they get through?
  • Obesity Help: Learn how to change your perspective and surrender your weight to God. Read one woman’s story here.
  • Coping With Depression: Do you know the options that are available to fight it? A combination of treatments may be best.
  • Coping With Anxiety: Do you worry too much? Is your body reacting negatively? Discover how to reduce stress and find lasting relief.
  • Post Abortion Syndrome: The medical and emotional pain. The long-term effects of depression and despair. A message of hope.
  • Television Addiction: Find out how the television obsession has impacted today’s culture. Discover how you can break the cycle in your family.
  • Dealing With Death: Are you searching for comfort after a loss? Learn how to find lasting acceptance and peace.
  • Christian Marriage Counseling: Are you looking for help and support in your relationship? Consider the expertise of counsel from a biblical perspective.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Learn the basics about OCD -- its symptoms, treatment possibilities, and how to find lasting and eternal peace.
  • Single Woman: Do you have a longing, a desire in your heart to be a wife? Read one woman’s story of her journey.
  • Late Term Abortion: Study the facts about this type of abortion. Read one young woman’s story about her life. Make an informed decision.
  • Working Mom: Are you a woman who wears many hats? Consider helpful tips and encouragement from someone who has been there.
  • Military Wife: Learn from others on how to cope when your spouse is away for a long period of time. How do you cope?
  • Retirement Planning: When preparing for this life transition, remember the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life. Be prepared in all areas.
  • Marital Intimacy: Learn more about marital intimacy and how to strengthen it emotionally and sexually. Find out helpful tips.
  • Caring For The Elderly: What is involved in care-giving? Learn helpful tips for transitioning into this time of life. Read a personal story.
  • Coping With Miscarriage: The truth about miscarriage and the ways to deal with the pain of early pregnancy loss.


27 September, 2009

How to prepare for your child custody case

Child Custody Battles - Getting Prepared

Today, it can no longer be assumed that the mother will get custody of the children. Instead, what judges consider during a custody trial is based on the "best interests of the child", and they try to give custody to the parent who will provide the best environment and upbringing for the children.

To win your child custody case, you will need to prove to the judge that it is in the best interest of the children to be with you. In preparing for a custody case, be aware that your parenting skills and daily interactions with your children will be thoroughly inspected by a judge. Just telling the judge that you are a good parent won't be enough. You need provide documentation and testimony from witnesses to back up your parental capabilities.

Keeping detailed, consistent records is critically important in child custody battles. You need to be prepared to show the judge that you have gone out of your way to nurture and care for your children. Because there is so much at stake, you also need to document any short-comings of your spouse that would be relevant to the custody case.

There are a number of ways that you can prove that you are a better parent. Below are some ideas:

  • Record activities with your children on a daily basis to help show that you are heavily involved in your children's life on a continuing basis.
  • Attend all school activities, such as parent-teacher meetings, assemblies, school plays, and musicals. Try to interact with your child's teacher and office support staff in an ongoing manner. Keep record of all the activities that you attend.
  • Be the parent who takes your child to the doctor and dentist. This will help support that you are a nurturing parent, plus provide witnesses that will testify that you are the parent who brought the children in most often.
  • Foster your child's involvement in church and family activities. This will help prove that you are providing for your child's moral upbringing.
  • Take your children on vacations and outings to show that you spend quality time with your children. If possible take pictures and keep mementos for extra documentation.
  • Get witness who have observed you interact with your child over a long period of time to support that you are a good parent. This includes relatives, teachers, doctors, child-care workers, neighbors, and friends.

While you need to emphasize that you are a good parent, you may also need to document the poor performance of your spouse with your children. Documentation on your spouse might include:

  • Evidence of an overwhelming work schedule that restricts interaction with the children,
  • Interference with custody, visitation times, or failure to pay temporary support for the children,
  • Incidences of domestic violence, such as police records, photos of bruises, etc,
  • DWI convictions, jail time, or proof of drug use,
  • Evidence of mental illness,
  • Activities that might endanger or could be detrimental to the child,
  • Any comments the children have made about neglectful, inappropriate, alienating or abusive forms of parenting by the other parent,
  • Cohabitating or exposing the children to over-night stays with a significant other.

As you can see, keeping detailed, consistent records is critically important in child custody battles. It allows you to pinpoint patterns of interactions or problems that would be important to the judge.

©Tracy Achen 2005
At WomansDivorce.com we have one focus - helping women survive divorce and rebuild their lives.

If you are facing a custody trial, you might consider using custody tracking software (such as the Custody Toolbox) to help your case. Custody software makes it easy to keep track of all the documentation relevant to your case and organize it into an easy to follow format.

For more information concerning child custody, and how divorce affects children, check out the following articles:
Recording Cell Phone Voice Messages
Preparing for Your Custody Evaluation
Custody Assessment Issues
How To Win Custody
Using A Parenting Coordinator
Custody Fight - Keep It Out Of Court
More Articles about Children

24 September, 2009

You Are Not the Cause of Anger or Abuse

Emotional Abuse
Note: Dr. Stosny posted some of this same material and much more on emotional abuse on the Oprah Winfrey website

You Are Not the Cause of Your Partner’s Anger or Abuse

Anger and abuse in relationships are about blame: "I feel bad, and it's your fault." Even when resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive people recognize their behavior, they are likely to blame it on their partners: "You push my buttons," or, "I might have overreacted, but I'm human, and look what you did!"

Angry and abusive partners tend to be anxious by temperament. From the time they were young children, they've had a consistent sense of dread that things will go badly and they will fail to cope. They try to control their environment to avoid terrible feelings of failure and inadequacy.

The strategy of trying to control others fails even if they are powerful, for the simple reason that the primary cause of their anxiety is within them, not in their environment. It springs from one of two sources: a heavy dread of failure or fear of harm, isolation, and deprivation.

The Silent Abuser
Not all emotional abuse involves shouting or criticism. More common forms are “disengaging” – the distracted or preoccupied spouse - or "stonewalling" – the spouse who refuses to accept anyone else’s perspective.

While verbal abuse and other forms of emotional abuse can be roughly equal between men and women, stonewallers are almost exclusively male. Biology and social conditioning make it is easier for men to turn off emotions. The corpus callosum – the part of the brain that connects its two hemispheres is smaller in men, making it easier for them to shut out information from the emotionally-oriented right hemisphere. On top of that slight biological difference, social conditioning promotes the analytical, unemotional male on the one hand or the strong silent type on the other.

The partner who stonewalls may not overtly put you down. Nevertheless, he punishes you for disagreeing with him by refusing even to think about your perspective. If he listens at all, he does so dismissively or impatiently.

The disengaging husband says, "Do whatever you want, just leave me alone." He is often a workaholic, couch potato, womanizer, or obsessive about sports or some other activity. He tries to deal with his inadequacy about relationships by simply by not trying – no attempt means no failure.

Both stonewalling and disengaging tactics can make you feel:

  • Unseen and unheard
  • Unattractive
  • Like you don't count
  • Like a single parent

What All Forms of Abuse Have in Common
Whether overt or silent, all forms of abuse result from failures of compassion; he/she stops caring about how you feel. Compassion is the lifeblood of marriage; failure of compassion is its heart disease.

It would be less hurtful if your partner never cared about how you felt. But when you were falling in love, he/she cared a great deal. So now it feels like betrayal when he or she doesn't care or try to understand. That’s not the person you married. Failure of compassion can feel like abuse.

Harmful Adaptations to Anger and Abuse: Walking on Eggshells
The most insidious aspect of abuse is not the obvious nervous reactions to shouting, name-calling, criticism or other demeaning behavior. It's the adaptations you make to try to prevent those painful episodes. You walk on eggshells to keep the peace or a semblance of connection.

Women are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of walking on eggshells due to their greater vulnerability to anxiety. Many brave women engage in constant self-editing and self-criticism to keep from "pushing his buttons." Emotionally abused women can second guess themselves so much that they feel as though they have lost themselves in a deep hole.

Recovery from walking on eggshells requires removing focus from repair of your relationship and your partner and placing it squarely on your personal healing. The good news is that the most powerful form of healing comes from within you. You can draw on your great inner resources by reintegrating your deepest values into your everyday sense of self. This will make you feel more valuable, confident, and powerful, regardless of what your partner does.

No One Escapes the Effects of Abuse

Families do not communicate primarily by language. That might surprise you, until you consider that humans bonded in families for millennia before we even had language. Even today, the most sensitive communications that have the most far-reaching consequences to our lives occur between parents and infants through tone of voice, facial expressions, touch, smell, and body posture, not language.

Though less obvious than interactions with young children, most of your communications with your older children and with your husband also occur through an unconscious process of emotional attunement. You psychologically and even physically tune in your emotions to the people you love. That’s how you can come home in one mood, find your husband or children in a different mood and, bam! – all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you’re in their mood. Quite unconsciously, you automatically react to one another.

Emotional attunement, not verbal skills, determines how we communicate, from our choice of words to our tone of voice. If attuned to a positive mood, you are likely to communicate pleasantly. If you’re in a negative mood, your words will be less than pleasant.

Now here’s the really bad news. Due to this unconscious, automatic process of emotional attunement, your children are painfully reactive to the walking-on-eggshells atmosphere between your husband and you, even if they never hear you say a harsh word to one another.

Everyone in a walking-on-eggshells family loses some degree of dignity and autonomy. You become unable to decide your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior, because you are living in a defensive-reactive pattern that runs largely on automatic pilot. No fewer than half the members of these unfortunate families, including the children, suffer from clinical anxiety and/or depression. (“Clinical” doesn’t mean feeling down or blue or worried, it means that the symptoms interfere with normal functioning. You can’t sleep, can’t concentrate, can’t work as efficiently, and can’t enjoy yourself without drinking.) Most of the adults lack genuine self-esteem (based on realistic self-appraisals), and the children rarely feel as good as other kids.

When it comes to the more severe forms of destructiveness, purely emotional abuse is usually more psychologically harmful than physical abuse. There are a couple of reasons for this. Even in the most violent families, the incidents tend to be cyclical. Early in the abuse cycle, a violent outburst is followed by a honeymoon period of remorse, attention, affection, and generosity, but not genuine compassion. (The honeymoon stage eventually ends, as the victim begins to say, “Never mind the damn flowers, just stop hitting me!”) Emotional abuse, on the other hand, tends to happen every day. So the effects are more harmful because they’re so frequent.

The other factor that makes emotional abuse so devastating is the greater likelihood that victims will blame themselves. If someone hits you, it’s easier to see that he or she is the problem, but if the abuse is subtle – saying or implying that you’re ugly, a bad parent, stupid, incompetent, not worth attention, or that no one could love you – you are more likely to think it’s your problem.

Important questions to ask of yourself:

  • Do I like myself?
  • Am I able to realize my potential?
  • Does everyone I care about feel safe?
  • Do my children like themselves?
  • Are they able to realize their fullest potential?
  • Do they feel safe?

16 September, 2009

Cuz sometimes you've gotta let love go

"River Of Life"
by Heather Nova

I wanted to feel like a bird on the wings of time
But it was not our time
I wanted to lie for a while in the fields and dream
But it was not to be

Cuz sometimes you've gotta let love go
Even though it's hurting, even though
And sometimes you've got to let love slide
Out with the river, the river of life

I wanted to hold you so long in the dark till dawn
But I could feel you go
I wanted to sing; in my head I could hear a song
But it was not our song

Cuz sometimes you've gotta let love go
Even though it's hurting, even though
Sometimes you've gotta let love slide
Out with the river, the river of life