Tag: infidelity

Marriage

Feeling the Real Kind of Love

I never thought of love as reacting or acting. In the book, The Love Dare, the authors dedicate Day 2 to Love is Kind. While demonstrating kindness in marriage is expected—although we don’t always do it—showing kindness during divorce can be exhausting. I know I am exaggerating because frankly, I have been kind to Adam. But when you are confronted with betrayal, infidelity, and Magdalena, kindness can jump off the cliff. Enter Merlot.

With a glass of red wine in one hand and a pen in the other, I write down all the pros and cons of acting kind to Adam.

Pros

  1. Boys benefit
  2. Positive energy attracts more positive energy
  3. Reduces bitterness and anger
  4. Less drama
  5. I am being love
  6. God wants me to be kind

Cons

  1. I don’t have to pretend to be kind all the time

Ugh…I know I am imperfect, which means I don’t have to act kind all the time. But when I think of the times I was faced to make a choice of how to react and act, I chose to be forgiving. Forgiving of Adam and forgiving of me, for what happened, for how I felt and for my boys. However, I am now conscious of love is kind so I am inspired to act in kindness.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve,
To be kind is divine. To be real is to feel. Each side offers truth, healing and growth. So is there a way that both can exist in harmony and still lead to a loving relationship in a divorce? Let’s see.

I believe that is it is important to honor both sides. You need to start with your feelings at any given moment. It doesn’t mean you will react based upon your emotions, it just means you acknowledge and recognize what’s happening inside of you. There is a reason for every feeling and it is like an indicator light in a car to tell you something may be wrong and needs to be taken care of. Once you fix the issue you will be able to continue driving with peace of mind.

Since Day 2 is on Kindness, let’s expand on it. I kind of think what Adam did was horrible. I kind of think Magdelena should have more respect for you and your family. I kind of think Adam doesn’t always deserve to be treated with kindness. I kind of think your children didn’t deserve to go through divorce and learn the pain of separation at such a young age. 

I guess what I’m trying to encourage you to do is find a way to really release everything so it doesn’t seep out and impact others. Some ideas are: writing/journaling, drawing (or some form of art), exercising, punching pillows (or some other similar physical activity), sharing your honest feelings with someone safe who won’t judge and tell you that you should not feel like this. The purpose for doing this is to live in truth so you have the ability to elegantly respond with true kindness. Your kindness will not be a burden. Instead, it will delight and bring joy to your heart and soul. 

Eve, I give you permission to find a safe environment to be real. Only then will you be able to experience the phrase “Love is kind” to the fullest because you were first kind to yourself, to your feelings and to expressing your feelings instead of denying them. 

Eve, I kind of think it is time for Merlot to join us. Just being real 🙂

Love,
Grace

Divorce

Setting New Boundaries and Roles During Divorce

Adam’s not picking up the phone. I dial a few more times and finally he picks up.

“What?” he replies.

“What? Are you kidding me? How could you leave her at our house and, to top it off, in my bedroom? Did you forget our agreement? My room is off limits.”

“What’s the big deal? You weren’t home and we needed to use the Internet. Your room has the best reception.”

Ha! My room has “the best reception,” among other things ready to receive.

“This is the first and last time that’s going to happen. Do you understand? You need to give me the courtesy of respecting my things in my own room and give me my privacy.”

I hung up. I frantically google our Internet provider.

“Hello, how may I help you?” the representative asked.

“I’d like to cancel our Internet service.”

Reception is still going to be good here and anywhere else so I rather not pay for it either. I’ll just get a wireless card for myself. Who cares what the attorney says? I don’t need this bill and it’s not pertinent to our household expenses. Adam can use the Internet at his work or her house, but not at my expense…not any more.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself. If you don’t, who will?  



I see what’s happening. It’s new territory for you and Adam. This new space has not yet been defined. It’s a little chaotic and very unsettling. What are your new roles?  How are you going to relate to one another?  What expectations do you both have of each other?  Are these expectations realistic in your new roles?  What boundaries are acceptable for both of you?  It’s a new beginning.  And you are not eager to start. In fact, you did not plan this in the first place and were blindsided. 



This is going to be challenging.  Get ready for the ride and pay attention to your actions and communication style with Adam. It is so easy to get caught up in the eye of the hurricane if you are not aware.  Be mindful of what’s best for the children who don’t have a say. Be clear. Set boundaries and communicate them. Be willing to laugh and know this phase will not last forever. 



So let me leave you with a quote. 



“There are no winners in divorce, only shipwrecked hearts looking for a way back home to themselves.”



Eve, continue to establish a new way of interacting with Adam, remember your children who never asked for this and don’t take anything too seriously. It’s just learning to play a new role. Does your new role need a glass of Merlot?



Love always,
Grace

Divorce

Claiming My Voice, Power and Respect in a Household Mess

In response to “If You Wanna Play House, You’re Gonna Clean House”, here’s Grace’s Guiding Lesson:

Eve, I took a little longer to pray for what was an unexpected and unwanted surprise you had the other day with Magdalena! I’m sure this was not the “action” you were looking to have in your bedroom. Who does?
And so I found myself in deeper meditation and prayer.

Anyway, I was glad to see how real, honest and thoughtful you were with Magdalena. You didn’t hold back your emotions or your thoughts. You claimed your voice, power and respect as a woman, which is not easy to do in this type of situation. I’m sure many would have wanted to throw her out and call her every horrible name in the book. 



Eve, are you aware of this incredible gift you have? It’s the gift to integrate your thoughts and feelings quickly so you can respond versus react. There is no need to categorize this as bad or good. It is art… live art. I believe this is one of the greatest forms of art: the ability to relate to one another, in good or bad circumstances, and still remain in relationship with the other. This may not be acknowledged as art, but it is. It is the dance of minds, hearts, souls and bodies. When you look back you can probably see the vibrant colors of your emotions flow through your words and body language. It would be a scene that has a lot to teach you about yourself, just like any great work of art does.



The best advice I can give you is to stay as true and real to whom you are. Let your thoughts and feelings be like notes on a page. The best music is when the writer becomes one with the composition. They no longer are the composer, but have become the music that flows and evokes others to connect and respond with their song. 



So take a moment and just reflect on what occurred. Bless this moment. Acknowledge all your feelings, thoughts and responses. And finally, take the lessons, the gifts, the art you discovered and share it with others who are broken. So remember, take, bless, break and share. 



Well, since Magdalena cleaned your house, want to share a glass of Merlot?



Love always,

Grace

Marriage

Learning What Not to Do

Adam is definitely challenging me to be patient and mindful of how I react in front of the boys. After having read “Day 1: Love is Patient” in The Love Dare just days of my encounter with Magdalena, I remember bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:15: “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another.” At this very moment, I just breathe. How can I not want to seek revenge? I am livid, once again, at his selfish act.

What was he thinking? What is he thinking now? Why would he do that when the boys were also home? Does he not care about their feelings or how confusing this may be to them? I just don’t understand him anymore.

One thing is certain. If we are going to co-exist as co-parents, I do have to be mindful of what I say and do in front of the boys. I believe this thought might be the “good for one another.” He’s teaching me what not to do.

Guiding Lesson:

Sorry so late…I just got Outlook yesterday and lost all my information until I was able to sync up completely–big transition for me, Eve.  I’m stepping into the future with everyone else. But enough about me, let’s talk about you. 🙂

Eve, I have to say that I am very impressed and inspired to see you make lemonade out of sour lemons.  This is not easy when your children are in the picture.  Have you had a chance to talk to your sons to find out their interpretation of what was taking place?  It’s amazing what children take in and what they suppress.  I know you will work to make sure your children have a safe, loving and healthy environment.  



Now let’s talk about how this event impacted you.  It’s great that you chose to lean on God’s word from 1 Thessalonians 5:15: “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another.” Very powerful and very challenging to practice.  These words sound great, but living them requires self-control, lots of prayer and God’s grace.  



Your attitude also plays a great part in providing you with clarity of mind, an open heart and strong instincts to respond with elegance and respect.  Choosing to use Adam’s behavior as an example of what “not to do” will guide you as you and Adam define your new relationship.  You know it won’t be easy, but it sounds like you are committed to God, yourself and your children. Your priorities along with your positive attitude and God’s word can be used as reminders to stay faithful on this journey. 



Here are some additional quotes from the Bible that you can use to anchor yourself during these unsettling times:

“Love your neighbors as yourself.”  Matthew 22:39 – You can only respond in love if you are filled with love.  Remember to love yourself first.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”  John 13:35 – Feel God’s love for you.  Bask in this unconditional love.  Let it overflow.  Share this with everyone you encounter.

“Let the one without sin cast the first stone.”  John 8:7 – It’s easier to respond in love when you remember that there are areas in your life where you struggled to act in love. 

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34 – When you can’t forgive the others who have wronged you, say the words and let God supply the feelings. 

“I am with you always, even until the end of time.”  Matthew 28:20 – You never walk alone even when it feels like you do.  Lean on God.  He is right by your side every step of the way.

Right now focusing on Step 1:  “Learning what not to do” is perfect and enough.  As you journey deeper into “woods” and it begins to get darker, I will be there and provide you with guidance and support.  Let this time in your life, be an opportunity to grow closer to God, discover your capacity to love and become the woman God loves so dearly.  When it’s time, I will share other steps to take when dealing with difficult situations. 

Love always,
Grace