You know, you hear people talking about how important it is to not only have a vision of what you want, but to also see yourself doing whatever it is you want to do. We think (and others say) that it’s because when you imagine yourself having your vision, it becomes real and you really believe that you can have it, or achieve it, or whatever it is that your vision encompasses.

This is important for you as you go through the period of uncertainty and transition that separation and divorce entail.

And if you have children, it is even more important.

Because who do (or should) children look up to more than their parents? If they see lost parents, what do you think their reality is going to be, both now and in the future when they face setbacks?

If, however, they see their parents moving forward beyond their fear to a positive place,  just think how good it will be for them.

So even if you’re having problems finding that positive vision for you, find it for your children. Everyone will benefit.

How has having positive visions helped you cope with change?


Hi. We’re back. We’ve been away working on a course for Business Analysts ( http://www.thebaskillsclub.com/).

When I (Tracy) got divorced, a group of my friends were getting divorced around the same time. I noticed this and concluded that it was because all of my friends and I were independent women and when we got married, expectations seemed to change.

But could it be that something else was going on? Could it be that divorce is contagious? According to a study done by Rose McDermott (Brown University), James H. Fowler (UC San Diego), and Nicholas Christakis (Harvard Medical School), divorce could indeed “spread through a social network like a rumor, affecting friends up to two degrees removed.”

According to the study, people who are friends of someone who is divorced are 75% more likely to get a divorce themselves and those who are friends with someone who is a friend of someone who got divorced are 33% more likely to get a divorce themselves.

Here’s the abstract from the paper, “Breaking UP is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample.”


Divorce represents the dissolution of a social tie, but it is also possible that attitudes about divorce flow across social ties. To explore how social networks influence divorce and vice versa, we exploit a longitudinal data set from the long-running Framingham Heart Study. The results suggest that divorce can spread between friends. Clusters of divorces extend to two degrees of separation in the network. Popular people are less likely to get divorced, divorcees have denser social networks, and they are much more likely to remarry other divorcees. Interestingly, the presence of children does not influence the likelihood of divorce, but each child reduces the susceptibility to being influenced by peers who get divorced. Overall, the results suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages may serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship, and that, from a policy perspective, divorce should be understood as a collective phenomenon that extends beyond those directly affected.
To tell you the truth, we don’t find the results all that surprising. Divorce is much more acceptable when others are in the same boat. My family members knew about my friends who were getting or had gotten a divorce. So my divorce wasn’t an embarrassment, if you know what I mean. In fact, all of our mothers said basically the same thing, “At least you had a nice wedding.”
Also, misery loves company. So toxic friends can easily drag others down.
What can you learn from this if you’re heading down this road?
1) Maybe think about why you’re getting divorced. Is there a real reason behind it or does it just seem like an easy solution based on what you are seeing around you do. I mean, would you jump off a bridge just because everyone around you is doing it?
2) Take a look at your divorced friends who may be egging you on. Are they really looking after your best interest or do they just want you to join the club?
If either one of these rings true, then maybe you should just work on your marriage. Anything worth having requires effort.

The other day, I bought something that gives me joy three times a day. The original appeal was its color — a translucent shade of pink. I ‘m not usually a pink girl, but I thought what the heck, give the color a try.

Then when I got it home I gripped it, and wow. It fit into the contours of my hands perfectly. Who knew that one could get joy out of brushing one’s teeth.

Don’t call me crazy, but I actually view my toothbrush as a beauty product now and I look forward to using it. Really.

The lessons…

1) Even the tiniest of things can brighten your day, and

2) Don’t overlook the small stuff in your search for happiness.


The other day we read that Rupert Murdock had filed for divorce from his wife. The news seemed to have surprised a lot of people. “Hey wasn’t she the one who saved her husband from getting a pie thrown in his face?” Yes, she was. But as anyone knows who’s going through a  divorce, marriages as seen by the public may only be the tip of the iceberg. Dark issues can lurk beneath the surface.

What we’re saying here, is that if you are surrounded by people who are shocked that such a “happy” couple is getting divorced and this is making you depressed or giving you second thoughts, if you are really getting divorced for a good reason (not just because marriage is hard work) remember that only you know for sure what you marriage was like.

Here’s the gist…

On Wednesday, Britain’s top court ruled against an oil tycoon in a divorce case. The ruling stated that he has to give his ex-wife assets held by companies he owns.

The implications…

Alison Hawes, a specialist family lawyer at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said the ruling meant “that business people cannot deliberately ‘hide’ their assets in businesses and corporate structures to protect them in the future in the event of a divorce.”

The court insisted it wasn’t establishing a general principle allowing courts to “pierce the corporate veil” and seize assets in divorce cases. But legal experts said the judgment was still significant.

“The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision in which, for the first time since at least the end of the 19th century, it has accepted a general exception to the rule against ‘piercing the corporate veil,'” said Michael Hutchinson, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown.

“This is an extraordinary decision and the implications for corporate governance are potentially huge.”

Associated Press UK Top Court Rules Against Oil Tycoon in Divorce

While the article states that the ruling potentially impacts wealthy couples, you don’t have to be wealthy to have a company in which you can “hide” assets. If it’s something you’ve thought of doing, beware….

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Thich Nhat Hanh

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Thich Nhat Hanh (Photo credit: Geoff Livingston)

Every morning, when we wake up, we have 24 brand new hours to live. What a precious gift!

Thich Nhat Hanh

I once knew a child who knew his parents and other caregivers so well that he knew exactly what he could and couldn’t do depending on who he was with. Are your children like that? Following one set of rules in your ex’s household and another in yours? Is this stressing you out? Well maybe it shouldn’t be.

Of course it would be great to talk to your ex about how you will both discipline your children, but this is even a sore point in some marriages. If you didn’t agree on how to discipline your children when you were living together, it’s not going to be easy to agree once you are separated.

The good news is that the key to maintaining balance in your child’s life isn’t necessarily making them follow your rules in your ex’s household. It is being consistent in your own.

Here’s what Lynn Fredericks has to say about it in her article “Discipline After Divorce” (www.parenting.com).


If you and your ex-spouse aren’t able to find common ground on certain issues  — homework schedules, say, or chores  — just make your own house rules. Most experts agree that children are able to understand and adapt to different rules in different environments  — at home, at daycare, at Grandma’s, or at your ex’s house.


The key to discipline in any situation is consistency. Offer firm statements like, “It’s fine that you don’t have to clean your room at your dad’s house, but here we pick up our own toys.” You may be called the mean one, but try to remember that kids are always testing their limits. Your child will ultimately benefit from the security your rules provide.


Unless you’ve agreed upon it beforehand, don’t expect your ex to enforce a punishment you’ve handed down. It’s not fair to the other parent, notes Stenger-Dowds, and the length of a penalty isn’t as important as the enforcement of a rule. When bad behavior occurs right before a visit with Mom or Dad, an immediate consequence, like a time-out, will suffice for kids under 6. For older children, discipline  — such as revoked privileges or extra chores  — can wait. And if you and your ex do decide to let repercussions apply in both homes, discuss in advance which infractions are major enough for you to consult with each other about.