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Do you remember your first boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you remember when you “broke up” and how hurt you were? I am to believe though you moved on and had other boyfriends or girlfriends and eventually married and now you are facing separation and divorce.

The reason I am bringing up your first boyfriend or girlfriend from the past is because you are not dwelling on the past...or are you? Most of us moved on, a slight broken heart when we broke up with our first boyfriend or girlfriend, but we seemed to have move forward. Do you hate your first boyfriend’s or girlfriend's wife or husband now? I would  hope not.

I want you to know it is possible to move forward with the right counselling and/or group therapy.  People fall in love again and they find new partners. I do understand that in separation and divorce it can be a little more complicated than our first boyfriend or girlfriend, I mean there are no children, dogs, wedding gifts, really bad vases or houses involved in first relationships as young people, though all those things can be worked out as adults who CHOOSE to move forward.

Bottom line is RELATIONSHIPS END.....I can’t stress that enough and when they end they are in the past. If you are ready to move forward you are actually living in the present.

Animosity, revenge, hate, depression and anger are emotions we all can feel after separation and divorce. In the moment all those feelings are justifiable....just remember though they are not healthy to hold onto forever. You can choose, happiness, love and respectful relationships going forward.

Mid-life love can be and is actually beautiful and attainable. If you have a chance to read the book, “The Authentic Heart” by John Amodeo, PhD. An Eightfold Path to Midlife Love. Love in mid-life is so different because you are more mature and understand fully what you are looking for in a spouse and lifelong partner.

Why do people hate their ex-husband or wife’s new partner? Is that fair to the other person? Always think that once you have found a new love would you want your ex-partner to be rude or disrespectful to the new person in your life? Yes, the pain is real and it is there, I am not disqualifying anyone’s feelings, what I am saying is the union with your ex-partner is over....that is the truth.

If you have children and are choosing to say derogatory statements about your ex-partners new love you are directly teaching that it is not OK to move forward in life when relationships end. Is that fair to a child? What message does that send? I would hope all young people have the chance to break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once.

Counselling or group therapy really helps, talk about your feelings and choose to live your life to the fullest.

http://www.meetup.com/Separation-Divorce-Self-Help-Group/events/69165112/

Angel
www.angelfreedman.com

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Why is it as a society we are quick to seek help if we break a leg or have the flu? We know what to do to recover from a broken leg; we go to the hospital and get a cast, and with the flu we need lots of fluids and rest. How about sadness, anger, unhappiness and despair? How about feelings while going through Separation & Divorce?

The new “normal” to cope with all emotions seems to be in a pill form. The problem is you are masking the pain and deciding to not talk about it and basically avoiding the inevitable.

In our Separation & Divorce Self-Help Group in York Region we discuss all emotions that the group is going through such as anger, sadness, despair and general confusion to what is going to happen next. We also talk about going forward; this is a very important part of healing. You are in the healing and then you are out of it. I am not saying there is a time limit put on everyone’s individual healing process, but I encourage the group to discuss the future, it is part of healing the past.

I encouarge my clients to make a time commitment to me and commit to their own healing plan.  We visit the past and we also make time to move forward. Continually talking about the past, is just that the PAST we eventually have to leave it there. We visit it, but the bottom line is we are in the moment and we are moving forward.

How long do you want to stay angry? Anger is your choice and a very healthy emotion. I suggest that at some point if would be healthy for you to talk about your feelings and what is going on for you. You also have the choice to be happy. Talking about your separation and divorce with one person or a group can make a world of difference, you are not alone.

As a counsellor it is my utmost pleasure to have the privilege to listen to my individual clients and facilitate the Separation & Divorce Self Help Group every two weeks. My schooling experience, my life experience, and research has brought me to the conclusion people want to be happy and I will supprt you through the healing to live your best life ever. Please visit my website for further information www.angelfreedman.com

Happiness is your choice.

Angel

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The answer is yes absolutely.

Couples get separated and divorced every day. This is not a news flash. It seems though that when the process starts the couple and everyone around them starts to act like they are the first couple to get divorced on the entire planet. How many times do you hear, “oh you are getting divorced, good for you.....you have chosen to be happy in your life” or “wonderful news you are going to move forward and now you are teaching your children that relationships end instead of staying in a loveless marriage”. So far I haven’t heard those statements from many people.

It seems that as a society we don’t like to talk about separation and divorce. People get married and that is a happy occasion, but once that couple starts to talk about terminating the union because it is not working out, everyone around them starts judging and advice giving. As a counsellor I am not an “advice giver” I am a person who will make suggestions and build upon how the client wants to start on his or her healing path and moving forward. No one has the right to tell another human being what to do. It always seems that the “advice givers” are suddenly therapists and usually they themselves are in marriages that are not working out.

In our self help group we discuss seeking out new friends after divorce. I never suggest to leave your old friends or your friends that you and your spouse had, but I do suggest that a few new friends that didn’t know you as a married couple isn’t a bad idea. Finding an activity or class is also a great way to meet new people and avoids the continual questions about why you got divorced. Supportive non advice giving friends are fantastic and if you are a friend of a couple going through a divorce, be a good listener it is usually what the person needs.

Respect can be very difficult when emotions are running high. If you put your children and yourself first you can find it in yourself to be respectful to the partner you are divorcing.

Emotionally intelligent people have amicable separations and divorce. They have decided that the union ended, they want to find happiness for the rest of their lives and they don’t want to spend their life savings to pay lawyers to separate from a person they no longer love.

It all sounds pretty simple, but then why are our courts full of unhappy divorcing people?

Bottom line; it is your choice and you are the only one that can decide that you are emotionally intelligent and you want to live the rest of your life in a happy way. Seek a counsellor, seek a self help group and make a plan.

http://www.angelfreedman.com/counselling-services.html

Angel

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Creating a space for open dialogue with your children to discuss what is going to happen in regards to the divorce can ease the stress children may feel. A family meeting is a wonderful way to allow everyone especially in the beginning to start an open dialogue with Mom, Dad and the children to ask questions in a safe environment to both parents. Children are looking for the facts, like what about my toys, clothes and will I have a toothbrush at Mom’s and one at Dad’s? These are very important questions to a little person. Have your child make a list of items that he or she will need when going to the other parents new home. Allow your child to buy the toothbrush with you so they feel they are part of this new life.

Children have fears that Mom and Dad will not like each other anymore. I suggest telling your children that you and your ex-partner are friends now and you both love the children very much. You are not divorcing the children you are divorcing each other. Do not lie to your children, be honest with them, and explain that relationships end between partners, not between parents and children.

A family calendar at both homes would be beneficial for the children, so they know when they are with Mommy and when they are with Daddy. That will relieve the continual asking of “when am I with Dad this week?” question. You may even want to buy a small calendar for the child to have so they can write the days that they are with the other parent.

Posting an agenda on the fridge for upcoming family meetings can be very beneficial. Children often have so many questions in the beginning of a separation and divorce, having weekly family meetings can be a great calm time to go over the questions and the weekly plans and the new schedule.

Calling your ex-partner my EX or my EX HUSBAND or EX WIFE can also be very disheartening for children. I recommend using language like...the children’s father/mother. The word EX is so harsh!


One extremely important tip I can give you is please never say anything derogatory about the children’s mother or father in front of your children. Discuss your personal feelings with friends’ away from your children and remember children hear and see everything. If you are on your cell phone in the car, don’t for one minute think they cannot hear you even if they are watching a movie. They hear everything!

On transition day when you are picking up the children, it is not a time to discuss any heated issues at the door. If you have something to say write it out and pass the person an envelope or call them at a later time. A cordial hello and goodbye is the best way to go.

Your children are also sad and often angry about what happened. Both emotions are very normal and they will be wonderful in time as you will be....it is a healing process give it time and remember it is ok to cry in front of your children, as they will see you are healing as well.

One of my favorite books for younger children is called: "When Mom and Dad Divorce" by Emily Menendez-Aponte.

Angel

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Couples & Marriage Maintenance

As a society we seem to take the union between two people, for granted.   A pretty bold statement I would believe most people may say. Let me explain why.

Couples and Married people want to stay together. They want to be happy, in love, be accepting of each other, support each other emotionally, and have a wondrous and intimate sex life. The Couples & Marriage Workshops have been created to develop intimacy in your relationship by making your relationship a priority.

http://www.meetup.com/Couples-Marriage-Maintenance-Workshops

What are the basics? Most people want to remain in the relationship they are in, but feel that they are looking for answers to develop a better and more intimate relationship with their partners.

Let’s start with communication; are you talking to your partner? Are you taking the time to really listen to each other? Creating a space in your home to be together with a cup of tea for just 10 minutes a day to truly open your hearts about your feelings, dreams, fears, and joys are essential for relationships. This is a special uninterrupted time that the two of you can have eye to eye contact away from the rest of the world. Make time for daily “marriagemeetings”.

Have fun with your partner, pull out the old scrabble game and find time to play a game or two during the week. Bring popcorn in bed and laugh when you find a piece in the morning. Find time to laugh and giggle together.

Intimacy in a love relationship is one of the most loving, bonding and beautiful unions between two people. When two people are in love....true love like the great poets wrote about, you are truly happy with your partner.

You yourself also have to be happy, your partner can add to your happiness but, he or she cannot make your happiness. Discuss your feelings and seek a counsellor if you are feeling you cannot get passed whatever it is that has brought on your unhappiness. Be honest and true with your partner to allow him or her to be there when you need support.

A friend once told me, that your partner cannot be your friend. I disagree with that statement; your partner is your best friend.

One last little tidbit of information; when you have children, you and your partner need to make more of an effort to nurture the relationship. Remember you and your partner are the most important relationship you have...you guys were first and when children move out your partner will still be there if you do the maintenance.

Angel
www.angelfreedman.com

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