Domestic Violence and Divorce in the News…Again

The recent news of Charlie Sheen’s arrest for domestic violence reminds us that domestic violence prevention is a topic that needs repeating. Unfortunately, domestic violence can play a role in family relationships as part of a divorce.

It’s alleged that Sheen threatened his wife, Brooke Mueller Sheen, with a knife in response to her request for a divorce. Sheen denies the allegations.

Here’s an article about domestic violence prevention in the News-Press. There will also be a live chat on at 2:00 this afternoon with Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor.

Apology and Forgiveness Renewing Love

As I was contemplating a conflict occurring between members of my own family, I stumbled across this meditation in my Jewish prayerbook:

Avinu Malkenu, bless my family with peace. Teach us to appreciate the treasures of our lives. Help us to find contentment in one another. Save us from dissension and jealousy; shield us from pettiness and rivalry. May selfish pride not divide us; may pride in one another unite us. Help us to renew our love for one another continually.

This meditation recognizes that we all have inner faults and the ability to make mistakes: jealousy, pettiness, rivalry, and selfishness. This is certainly not an exhaustive list.

It also recognizes that we control our own decisions, our own actions, and our own lives. The meditation places a high value on appreciating each other, finding contentment with one another, and being proud of each other. Interestingly, it recognizes that our love for each other wavers, and it needs to be renewed continually.

This meditation led me to think about the power of apology and forgiveness. When we recognize that we have faults, we are recognizing that we have reasons to apologize. When we recognize that we should appreciate each other (as treasures) and find contentment in one another despite our faults, we are recognizing that we have the power to forgive.

I hope that you find it within yourself to apologize fervently; and I hope you find it within yourself to forgive. Within those discoveries, your love shall be renewed.

3.5 Ways to Manage Stress During a Divorce

Research has shown that the only event more stressful than divorce and marital separation is the death of your spouse. There are some things you can do to manage the stress you are feeling during your divorce/separation.

Here are 3 ideas with a bonus idea:

1. Usually during the time of divorce/separation, you are attempting to juggle new responsibilities related to financial obligations, living arrangements, and children. Once divorce proceedings begin, you then have to stay aware of your responsibilities associated with those proceedings, which can be overwhelming on its own. You can maintain better control of how you are spending your time and energy by organizing yourself.

2. During the time of divorce/separation, you will probably discover which of your friends are supportive, which ones disappear when you need their assistance, and which ones try to convince you that you are making mistakes. It is important to control who is surrounding you. Get rid of the toxic relationships and hold on to those who provide you emotional support.

3. During the time of divorce/separation, it’s very easy to find ways to blame yourself for the loss of the relationship or to wonder why you failed to see what a jerk your spouse is at the beginning of the relationship. Find ways to provide yourself positive thoughts. Read positive thinking books, talk to a therapist, talk with supportive friends, read positive quotes of great people, and surround yourself with posters and cards bearing positive messages.

3.5. It’s very easy to convince yourself you don’t have time, energy, or money to do something for yourself when you are working through a divorce/separation. It is important, however, to exercise and plan leisure activities to take care of yourself. It doesn’t matter if they are small and inexpensive action steps. The point is that you have to maintain your health and productivity, and you need activities you look forward to participating in.