If you don’t think you need to find a therapist after your divorce, you may want to reconsider. Dealing with a divorce is tough if you try to do it on your own, and although your friends and family members may mean well, they likely aren’t equipped with the right advice. Talking to a therapist will help you come to terms with your feelings and emotions, work through your biggest challenges, help you find ways to cope, and much more.
Confiding in a therapist isn’t a sign of weakness, it shows that you have enough self-awareness to realize that you’re going through a tough time, and you know you can come out of it on top. It’s a healthy way to deal with how you’re feeling after your divorce and can help you rebuild your life. One of the worst things you can do is dwell on your divorce and let it consume you. Here are seven good reasons to find a therapist after your divorce.
1.Your Friends May Not Know What to Say
Whenever we experience a traumatic life event, such as a divorce, we tend to turn to our friends for support. But if your friends have never been through a divorce, they may not know what to say, and likely won’t give you the best advice. Friends like to tell us what we want to hear, so if you’re blaming and bad mouthing your ex, they’ll likely go along with it, rather than telling you to take some responsibility and think another way.
A therapist, on the other hand, will challenge you to figure out why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, and they’ll know just what to say. They won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but they’ll tell you what you need to hear. Rather than putting all the blame on your ex, they’ll help you figure out in what ways you can take responsibility for what happened, and how knowing this can help you in future relationships.
2. Talking Helps
After a divorce, it’s helpful to talk about your feelings and problems with a supportive person. It’s dangerous to leave your feelings bottled up inside, and it feels good to be listened to by someone who’s not connected to you or your ex-spouse. It’s also helpful to talk to someone who cares and is listening attentively. A lot of people have very distracted conversations these days, but when you’re with your therapist, it’s just them and you, and nothing to divert or interrupt the conversation.
3. Therapists are Professionally Trained
Although your friends and family members may think they know how to talk to you about your divorce, they aren’t professionally trained on how to help you get to the root of the problem and overcome emotional challenges. Therapists know how to help you work through challenges and create positive changes in your life. They’ll provide you with an outside perspective to help you gain insight into your problems and figure out how you can come out stronger after your divorce.
4. It Provides a Stress Release
When you find a therapist who you connect with and trust, you can tell them anything. Working out your problems and figuring out why it is you’re feeling the way you are can provide a major stress release. Confiding in an experienced therapist about how your divorce is causing stress in your life can result in positive ways to cope with it. Stress from divorce can come in the form of financial stress, emotional stress, frustration, anger, or loss. Any form it comes in can have a detrimental effect on your work, relationships, and everyday life, so it’s important that you know how to deal with your stress in the right way.
5. It Helps You Rebuild Your Life
After a divorce, you may feel like your world is crumbling around you, but you don’t want to get stuck in that negative mindset. A therapist will help you rebuild your life in a positive and meaningful way. It will help you deal with your negative emotions so you can move on with your life and not dwell too much on the past. A good therapist will help you see your divorce as an opportunity to rebuild your life, rather than a reason to feel like your life is over. Without a therapist, it can be more difficult to come to this realization. It’s important to start rebuilding your life as soon as you can to move on, learn, and grow.
6. It Will Help Your Children
Divorce is going to be tough on children no matter what, but you can make it easier by keeping yourself healthy, knowing what to say, and acting appropriately. Your decisions, actions, and words will be seen and listened to by your kids, so you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. A therapist can help you confront difficult conversations and know what to say when your kids ask you about the divorce. This will help create a healthy relationship between you and your children so you can all come to terms with the big life change.
Many kids experience stress due to their parents’ divorce. Depending on their personality, age, and situation, every child will react differently. It’s important to know how to deal with each circumstance so that your kids come out of it stronger and feel supported throughout this difficult time.
7. Therapy Supports Your Mental Health
Unfortunately, the feelings and baggage that come along with a divorce can result in mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Mental health concerns are on the rise in America, and seeking help for psychological stressors is becoming more and more common. The status quo tells men they should never feel weak and should be solving their problems on their own, but getting help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you intelligent. You understand that in seeking help, you’ll come out as your best self and will be able to rebuild your life in a healthy mind frame.
How to Find a Therapist
Choosing a therapist should take as much time as you need it to. Don’t rush the process, because they need to be someone you can trust and feel comfortable talking to. The two of you must have a good connection, so it may take some time and effort to find the right one. You’re going to have to talk about difficult subjects and secrets you may not have told anyone else before. You and your therapist are going to have a special bond, so it’s okay to take your time to find a therapist that’s right for you.
When meeting with different therapists, ask yourself these questions: Do they care about what you’re saying? Do you feel like they understand you? Do you feel comfortable talking to them and do you think you could unveil your secrets to them? Do you feel like you can be honest with them? Are they a good listener? Do you feel like they’re listening and offering advice without criticism and judgment?
If you went through a divorce, finding a therapist is one of the best things, you can do to get yourself back on track. Have you looked into getting a therapist after your divorce? What are some of the things holding you back if you haven’t?
(c) Can Stock Photo / michaeljung
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Want a little help now that you’re starting over single? Not pie-in-the-sky advice, but something you can start today? Stop acting your age and take this opportunity to try something new. Give those preconceived notions the boot and learn to loosen up a little. No, we’re not talking the swinging single stereotype, just open yourself to a different experience, something you may have never tried on your own. Sound difficult? Don’t worry, we’re here to help, one step at a time. You’ve got this.
The Escape Room
You’ve met someone new. Met in person and had a few quasi-dates at the local coffee shop. She has an idea. “Don’t worry; you’ll love it!” She leans in, hand around your arm, explaining the premise behind the new escape room in town. “So we’re trapped in a room with ten other people, and we have to work together to figure out how to escape.” She waits expectantly, knowing you’ll be as excited as she is.
You aren’t. Puzzles aren’t your thing. Your idea was a day trip to a local winery, or maybe lunch along the coast. But hold off before you tell her no. Starting over means trying new things, and there’s no time like the present. Just because you’ve never done something before doesn’t mean you can’t try it now. Believe it or not, there’s room for new experiences and the winery tour. It’s all about mindset.
Too often, our early life experiences peg us as a very specific type. If you’ve ever taken a personality test, you may be thinking you fit neatly into a certain slot, and that’s not necessarily true. People are complex. After a while, we grow comfortable with the label and forget that we can change it. Everyone changes over time, but that doesn’t mean life needs to become predictable. Let’s go back in time for a bit. Here’s how to do it.
If you can dream it, you’re on the right track.
The first step to regaining that childlike wonder and desire to play (for real) is to think about it. To remember what it was to be like a kid, without worries or concerns about what someone else might think. Think back to how easy it was to jump in a lake, to fall when you were learning to skate. Worry stimulates the production of cortisol in the brain; chronic worry can wear you down, and even lead to depression in some instances.
Take a walk down memory lane and remember how wonderful it was as a child not to worry about everything you did. Now, think about what you might like to do now.
Michael was 55 years old with a teenage son keen on learning to snowboard. Eager to spend time with his son, with a bad knee and no knowledge of snowboarding, Michael signed them both up for lessons. It turns out the knee was okay, and both enjoyed the lessons. Season passes all around. “I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but I was completely wrong. I feel like a kid again in the snow,” says Michael. Opening himself to new experiences has provided a new way to connect.
How open are you?
We all carry preconceived notions of how we would handle certain situations. Some are based in past experience, but others find their roots in how we think people expect us to act. And then there’s the whole fear of the unknown thing. Having active imaginations, it’s pretty easy for us to imagine worse case scenarios. In reality, most of the things we fear will never come to pass. In reality, most of the benefits gained won’t even be considered. If you take the time to consider all the cons, do yourself a favor and try to name a few good results as well. You may be surprised once you think about it.
You’re never too old for starting over
John was widowed at age 72. For years, he had invested virtually every hour working and rarely took a vacation. When Grace died, he realized it was time for a change – for starting over. His grandchildren were growing up and would soon head off to college. Putting work aside, he jumped in with both feet. Waterparks and water slides, learning how to sew, teaching his grand-daughter carpentry skills, road trips with his daughter. There isn’t anything he won’t try. The result? He’s lighter and more accepting of the everyday. A perfectionist, he’s learned to laugh at himself and enjoy the experience, realizing that perfection isn’t necessary.
Loosen Up & Laugh…At Yourself
You’ve got to be willing to laugh at yourself. It may be difficult. We all want to think of ourselves as exceptional or at least above average. We can get it, and we can do anything, and do it well. Not always, and that’s okay. Learning to join in the laughter can be exhilarating and freeing. It releases you from the stress of perfection and allows you to enjoy the ride, realizing we’re all in this together and no one is perfect. Remember the laughter is not malicious, not meant to give offense. It connects us as we’re all in the same boat; no one is gifted in everything.
Act your shoe size, not your age
It’s an adage that can ring true, to some extent. We can all most likely remember things we said or did at 10 or 11 that weren’t out proudest moments. Skip those. Instead, remember the thrill of discovering something new, the pride you felt when you learned a new skill. You can still feel that way now, and your brain will thank you. Sure, there are any number of websites that offer brain games designed to stimulate new pathways and give your brain a workout. But consider going old school. Get out and try something new. Put that brain to work in an escape room. Learn how to ballroom dance. Or maybe give hip-hop a try. Climb on a snowboard or give a longboard a try. Want to start a little smaller? Try poetry, or graphic novels or read the classics. Be brave a little it at a time.
Broadening Your Horizons
Why bother? That’s the wrong question, try this one instead. Why not? As children, we are eager to learn new things, to take on challenges in a fresh, exciting world. As adults, we tend not to get as enthusiastic about change. We project a “been there, done that” attitude because as adults we have responsibilities, and there’s work to be done. And both of those things are true. But learning something new and managing adult responsibilities are not mutually exclusive. You can have both if you want. It really is a choice.
Back to that Escape Room Date
It doesn’t have to be a date with a new companion, though that would be fun. It can be with your kids, or your friends, or perhaps with a group of people you don’t know all that well. Regardless, the idea is to stretch yourself to embrace new ideas, to ponder new puzzles, to expand your horizons. You have the ultimate power to decide, to choose, how you want to live your life. Divorce was only one chapter. What’s next for you?
(c) Can Stock Photo / ollyy
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The #YesAllWomen hashtag popped up on social networks like Facebook and Twitter in 2014 as part of the social media campaign about women in response to the tragic May 2014 killings in Isla Vista, California by gunman Elliot Rodgers, who posted a lengthy diatribe and a YouTube video detailing his misogynistic reasons for committing the murders. #YesAllWomen was an attempt to show that, while not all men participate in what has come to be called “rape culture” — the culture which objectifies women and regards them as merely subject to the desires and attitudes of men — all women do participate, whether they want to or not.
If you’re a rational, intelligent, empathetic man, the #YesAllWomen hashtag and the discussions surrounding it make for heartbreaking, eye-opening and — if we’re being honest — depressing reading. It can certainly make you question your own unintentional complicity in the rape culture it describes — are you truly innocent of sexism and misogyny? And frankly, it can make you terrified of even attempting to engage romantically with women…particularly if you’re a recently divorced dude who hasn’t had to really think about it in a long time.
The Language Has Changed
The world changes, and we must change with it. Attitudes and behaviors that were once tolerated or even acceptable — even a few years ago — are unacceptable now. When I was a kid, growing up in the 1980s in suburban Texas, for example, we thought nothing of using terms like “faggot” and “homo” as catch-all playground insults against one another. But dropping those words into conversation at a cocktail party in polite urban society these days is a pretty good way to ensure you don’t get invited to the next one.
It took me years to stop using “gay” as a synonym for “lame”, as in “Dude, your car is so gay.” There was never any real homophobia behind my language — I grew up in a family that went through the AIDS struggle in a very personal way and I never had any hatred or even dislike of LGBT people. It was simply the way I learned to talk from those around me. And many people still use that as an excuse — that it’s simply the way they were raised.
The truth is that how you or I were raised is, frankly, irrelevant. In a civilized society, where we interact with people of all races, cultures, genders and sexual orientations, we refer to people the way they want — or do not want — to be referred. We treat them with the same respect we’d want for ourselves. There’s nothing political or religious about it, by the way: it’s simply good manners, the hallmark of a true gentleman.
And that most certainly extends to the way we talk to and about women.
A Sense of Entitlement About Women
When you’re a boy, girls are weird. They look different. They act differently. They care about different things. As you grow up, so do they…and rather than being weird mutants, they become heart-wrenching, otherworldly creatures, targets of our purest desire. I mean, they have boobs, for God’s sake.
It is a cruel joke of evolutionary biology that boys become desperately interested in girls right at the moment that puberty turns them into awkward, insecure, cracked-voiced, acne-ridden meatballs. But that’s the way it goes. For most men, our first attempts at romance are metaphorically accompanied less by sexy saxophone solos and more by the sound of a drunk hobo playing a sad trombone.
Unfortunately, a lot of us go into adulthood still thinking that women are a mystery, that we have to somehow trick them into liking us…especially if we’re not conventionally attractive or charming. Worse yet, we’re taught by society and media that we deserve their attentions and affections.
This sense of entitlement gives rise to a particularly noxious subculture, typified by the PUA (or “pickup artist”) movement, who treat seduction as a sort of sleight-of-hand trick that anybody can learn if they practice from the manual long enough. For these men, women are marks who must be conned or tricked into having sex. It never seems to occur to these men that women might be actual humans with their own agency or that the reason they perpetually fail to attract the opposite sex is because they’re just really creepy and gross.
Being A Nice Guy Isn’t a Free Pass
Many men go the opposite route: they try to be as adoring and accommodating and caring as possible to the women they want…only to be dismayed to discover that simply being nice to someone doesn’t automatically mean they want to have sex with you. These are the men who complain about being “friendzoned” or — like Elliot Rodgers in his pathetic imbecile’s memoir — that “women don’t like nice guys”. They fail to understand that they are not nice guys. A nice guy is nice because he’s nice, not because he expects a reward for his decency.
Women don’t owe men their love, or their bodies. They don’t even owe you a conversation. If you try to talk to a woman at a bar and she ignores you, she’s not a bitch. She just doesn’t want to talk to you, and it doesn’t matter how convinced you are that she might find you fascinating or intriguing or sexy if she just gave you a chance. She doesn’t owe you a chance. She owes you nothing at all.
Finding Love Is Like Finding a Job
If it’s any consolation, you can think of finding love — or even sex — as being like finding a job. You may think you’re the ideal candidate for the position: after all, you’ve got every possible reference, you’re totally qualified. But that’s not your call to make. It’s the person on the other side of the desk’s call, and all the whining in the world about women isn’t going to change that. (It should go without saying that the opposite is true as well; you may be the dream applicant for the job, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it.)
If a job interview goes badly, you don’t go home and get drunk and whine that all HR people are jerks because none of them want to hire you, do you? So why would you do that when a woman turns you down?
Here’s how you treat women in the 21st century: with the same respect and courtesy you’d treat a man. Do that and you’ll receive the same respect right back from women. Yes: all women.
(c) Can Stock Photo / rmarmion
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No divorced guy wants to spend time with his ex after divorce, but when you’re dad to special needs kids, you learn to deal with their mother, sooner or later. Here’s some advice to help you get there sooner.
In 2002, my daughter was diagnosed with autism. She is doing rather well now. In fact, she is in classes with mainstream students, on a diploma track, and made honor roll all through her just-completed freshman year in high school. It wasn’t easy getting to this stage, however, and there’s still fresh struggles every week. But during the time I was married to her mother, it was one of those very obvious stressors that permeated every bit of our relationship.
Much more recently, post-divorce, we’ve discovered my son now has Crohn’s Disease, up to and including a nearly week-long hospital stay. This did, much to our mutual chagrin, involve us spending more time in the same room than we have in the last three years. But we had to, for our son, so the drama was shelved.
Having Special Needs Kids Involves Both Parents
So with one child having had a disability since she was a toddler, and another, new crisis of health with the other, you can bet that between myself and my ex, we have a lot on our plate for dealing with their various issues. Having special needs kids brings home the importance of successful co-parenting.
So, what to do, what to do? How can anyone possibly get through this turmoil? Well, it’s still very much a learning process going on, but here’s what I’ve found to be true so far:
Seriously. Get on the same damn page post-haste.
Keep one another up to date on developments, or information you may find on the internet. Coordinate doctor appointments and therapeutic sessions for your kids so even if both of you don’t attend, the both of you are aware of what’s happening. The worst thing that can happen, especially when dealing with the care of your child, is a miscommunication. Get straight with medications, doses and schedules.
The custodial parent is in charge. Period.
I speak from a somewhat non-typical place here, in that I am the custodial parent of my kids, and I know for a fact it’s not usually the case that the father is the custodian. Be that as it may, I do speak from that perspective that when I say this is how a treatment plan is going to go, then my word on the subject is law, pending new information.
Go into the situation with that same attitude. The custodian, whomever that is, needs to be in charge of the process because, surprise! Chances are the custodial parent with be dealing with the issue nine times out of ten.
So, yeah. Follow the leader here (or, alternatively, be the leader, depending on your situation! Don’t be afraid to suggest something that you may think may benefit, especially if you have information to back you up. But don’t you, or your ex, go rogue and decide you’re gonna do it your way. Consistency is key here. The custodian needs to set the ground rules. If you are custodian and you get static about how you’re handling things, but know you, and more importantly your child, is doing well because of it, don’t be afraid to put a stop to the nonsense. If you are the non-custodian, well, try not to give too much static.
This sounds like the same thing as the first point above, but it really isn’t. This is more on you alone. Keep up on information on your child’s disability or illness, especially if you’re the non-custodial parent. The last thing your kids need is for you to be asleep at the wheel regarding their conditions when they’re in your care, even if it is only on Wednesday nights and every other weekend.
Keep ahold of your children’s doctors, specialists, etc. phone numbers, and don’t be shy about calling them if you have questions. In my state, it is a law that the custodial parent cannot restrict access to the children’s medical information and care providers. But it also doesn’t mean they have to provide you the information on a silver platter either. You need to be proactive in finding out the relevant info. Your child’s well-being, if not life, may just depend on you being informed.
Put aside the issues with your ex for a while.
Yes, you may still have some conflicts with your ex for a long time to come. But when it comes to the well-being of your special needs kids, just shelve it for a bit. Working together on this works a lot better than combatting every step of the way. Be reasonable, and remind your ex to be reasonable too. After all, what’s more important, their health…or your egos?
If you are in this situation, you have my full sympathy and understanding for what you’re going through. Just remember keep a cool head, and recall what’s at stake here, and the above advice should really come as second nature before too long.
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Divorcing an addict comes with its own set of unique challenges, and requires specific strategies to address them. In the first part of this series, we discuss the prevalence of addiction as a leading factor in divorce, strategies for filing for divorce from an addict, and custody involving substance abuse. We continue with two remaining issues: Division of Assets and Alimony.
Division of Assets in Divorce with an Addict
Divorce laws are mandated at the state level. This means the laws in one state can be different than laws governing divorce in the neighboring state. It is crucial to always check with an attorney in your state of residence, or do your own research on your state laws, before taking action.
The Issue of Economic Impact
In many states, courts do not consider fault when making a judgment on division of property. However, in some states, a spouse’s behavior during the marriage is relevant, and a judge will consider a spouse’s substance abuse when dividing the marital estate. The legal category of fault that would apply if your spouse is an addict is “marital misconduct.” Currently, a majority of states will consider marital misconduct only if it has an “economic impact” on the marital finances.
There are a smaller number of states that are allowed to consider marital misconduct, such as the behavior of an addict, regardless if the misconduct had a negative economic impact on the marital estate. In states where martial misconduct is admissible as a consideration, the court has the discretion to award a larger share of the marital estate to the sober spouse.
Legality of Fault
Alcoholism itself is not usually considered fault. Since the medical community increasingly views alcoholism as a physical disease, it does not constitute a “moral failure” alone. What can be considered fault is the “economic impact” of the disease of addiction. Again, this is the fallout from an alcoholic’s chaotic behavior on the marital family and estate. DUI convictions, inability to stay employed, crashing cars, spending copious amounts of money on alcohol and alcohol induced spending binges can all be negative impacts that constitute fault under “marital misconduct.”
Generally, when divorcing an addict, drug abuse is viewed the same as alcohol abuse. Addiction itself is not likely to constitute fault, but in many states where fault can be introduced as a factor in division of assets, the court is free to consider any negative consequences of the addiction on either you and your family or the marital estate.
Simply put, the tangible effects of alcohol or drug abuse are a legal consideration in states where it is permissible to consider marital misconduct. For example, if your ex’s alcoholism limited her ability to contribute to the marriage financially and her behavior under the influence of alcohol had substantial negative consequences on the marriage, you would have a case to introduce marital misconduct with economic impact.
An addiction that will result in public scrutiny, possibly ruining your ex-wife’s reputation, career opportunities, and even putting her at risk for criminal prosecution, can be a handy bargaining chip in asset negotiations. Your ex-wife may agree to forgo a humiliating court battle and settle on favorable terms. It is advisable to discuss this option with your attorney. Not only will it save you time and money to keep the fight out of the courts, but it will keep any kids involved in the marriage from additional trauma.
Alimony and Addiction
Unlike with child support where the formulas for payments are clear and quite rigid, in most states, the amount and duration of spousal support payments are under total discretion of the judge. In fact, only about a dozen states even have general guidelines for calculating alimony. While a sympathetic judge could admonish your ex for the damage she caused with her addiction; there is no way to predict the outcome of a decision that is wholly in the hands of a judge. It is advisable to discuss with your attorney if it may be a better tactic to try and negotiate with your ex directly so you can avoid the risk of an unfavorable judgment.
While most states do not set guidelines for judges in determining alimony, there are a few factors that are commonly used to calculate a starting figure. The judge then factors in other circumstances of the marriage and arrives at an amount and duration for payments. Let’s look at some of the factors that come into play when divorcing an addict.
1. Need and Ability to Pay
If the court decides your ex-wife is entitled to support, the next step is to ascertain her need and balance that with your ability to pay. To do so, the judge may take into account:
- how the property is being divided in the divorce
- the standard of living during the marriage, and her ability to maintain that standard without your support
- each spouse’s separate income, assets, and obligations
- the length of the marriage (used more to decide how long support should continue and not the amount)
- whether you both lived together before you were married and whether the period of cohabitation should be included in the length of the marriage
- each spouse’s age and health
- the needs of the children, and if child care responsibilities affect your ex-wife’s ability to return to work
- whether the dependent spouse left the workforce to be a homemaker or raise children
- how long the dependent spouse has been out of the workforce and her marketable skills
- contributions that either spouse made to the other’s training, education, or career advancement
- Any assets that may be forthcoming in the future (such as a large inheritance)
- any additional factors the judge finds pertinent to the case
2. Earning Capacity
Beyond considering your actual income, a judge may examine your general ability to earn money. Let’s say you have a medical degree, but you gave up practicing medicine to pursue your passion for writing science fiction novels. The judge can “impute” to you the higher income of a medical professional with your same training. You would then be ordered to pay support in the amount consistent with your earning ability, and not with your actual income as a self-published novelist. The rationale for considering earning capacity is to avoid punishing one spouse financially for the other spouse’s decision to voluntarily choose a lower standard of living.
Just as with division of assets, fault can be considered in some states. You can argue that fault should be considered even if you did not file for divorce on the grounds of fault. If the court sees it your way, it can reduce support payments.
A judge may take a spouse’s addiction into account when determining alimony if she has depleted the marital assets to maintain her addiction. As with division of assets, a substance abuse problem gives you the upper hand, and often addicts will agree to terms which favor the sober spouse to stay out of court. While addiction does not automatically inhibit your ex-wife from receiving an equitable share of marital assets in a marriage, or from receiving a judgment for alimony, it may be taken into account and reduce the share of assets and alimony, perhaps considerably.
Divorcing an Addict in Treatment
Divorcing an addict can be tricky when it comes to support. In some rare cases, a sober spouse could be required to pay alimony to an addicted spouse to help with her treatment expenses. For instance, if her addiction was deemed to be the result of a mental illness, or to have led to a mental illness, you as the sober spouse may be ordered to pay any additional costs of treatment not covered by disability benefits.
Since in most states, alimony is based on a number of factors that are used to determine your wife’s needs against your ability to pay, if your ex-wife’s treatment needs are extensive, but your ability to pay is limited, that will be taken into account and help balance each other out.
Discuss options with an attorney, and you can likely figure out a settlement that will help your wife get back on her feet, and able to get and hold a job of her own, while ensuring the money will not be spent on alcohol or narcotics. Helping your wife overcome her addiction with a professional recovery program may be your best bet for ensuring that she can become economically independent, and even be able to help support her children, lifting the burden solely off you.
Wherever you live in the country, these online resources can help you find support and information for dealing with your wife’s addiction. You do not have to go through this alone.
(c) Can Stock Photo / Bialasiewicz
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