Divorcing A Sociopath

phrenology head in profile

It’s been nearly four years since I left my ex-husband. When I think back to that time, I think about how naive I was, how foggy and confused. I had never heard of a personality disorder. I still believed that dangerous people would be easy to spot, that they came wielding chain saws and screaming, “I’m a dangerous person!”

Sigh. There was so much I did not know.

Continue reading Divorcing A Sociopath

Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men

divorced dad with son on park bench

After a 25 year marriage, to the woman who I thought was the love of my life, I am now divorced and single. I know lots of men who say that divorce is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. For me that’s not the case.

While the idea of a 50% divorce rate has embedded itself in our imagination — it’s a difficult number to pin down, but it’s actually been declining since its height in 1980 — divorce remains a life-altering change that brings tremendous stress and anxiety. You’d think there’d be more support for those of us facing such a common experience. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Statistically, divorced men face a number of scary statistics:

  • Higher incidence of depression
  • 250% higher mortality rate
  • 39% higher suicide rate
  • 10X more likely to undergo psychiatric care

Divorce is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. As newlyweds we don’t imagine a marriage’s end, but even those of us whose marriage is in the process of breaking up don’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. There seem to be more resources for women, groups focused on providing emotional support and community. For us men, suffering in silence is the norm. We tough it out and power through. Or so we think. Continue reading Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men

Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Single Moms

single mom holding daughter field

I was going to have my dream wedding, marry my dream man, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately adult reality does not always align with childhood dreams. My own parents divorced when I was 11. I remember how difficult it was for me to understand that they didn’t love one another any more, that my love for them both wasn’t enough. I was powerless to bring them back together. Those feelings haunted me far into my teens.

In the US, 83% of single parents are mothers. For us single mothers, solo parenting can often be joyous, but it also brings tremendous stress and anxiety.

You’d think there’d be more support for such a common experience, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Statistically, we face a number of scary statistics:

Single parenthood is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. Not every single mother imagined parenting by herself, but even those of us who did, didn’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. While there are some resources for us, groups focused on providing emotional support and community, many still suffer in silence. Many are afraid to ask for help. Continue reading Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Single Moms

How My Therapist Helped Me Become The Best Single Mom I Could Be

single mom holding daughter

Despite the fact that an estimated 45% of all marriages in the US end in divorce, I was committed to not be on that side of the bleak statistic. My own parents divorced when I was 11. I remember how difficult it was for me to understand that they didn’t love one another any more, that my love for them both wasn’t enough. I was powerless to bring them back together. Those feelings haunted me far into my teens.

I was going to have my dream wedding, marry my dream man, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately adult reality does not always align with childhood dreams. Before I go on, I want to be clear that while I am writing from the specific point of view of a single mother, I know every single mom’s trajectory is different. Some women must bravely escape the confines of an abusive marriage or relationship, while others are widowed, and for some, being a single mother is simply a beautiful choice. I celebrate and salute all of you.

Like all great love stories begin, I met Charlie in an accounting class during college. We were both in the business track –– he would graduate, I would not (story for another day). We fell in love fast and hard and made the decision to get married at 22. It was quick but we were young and in love, so why wait? I remember thinking at our wedding, “this is it. This is what they mean when they say ‘true love.’” Continue reading How My Therapist Helped Me Become The Best Single Mom I Could Be

What My Therapist Told Me After My Horrible Divorce

divorced dad carrying son field

After a 25 year marriage, to the woman who I thought was the love of my life, I am now divorced and single. I know lots of men who say that divorce is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. For me that’s not the case.

My ex-wife left me for a man 20 years younger than me. That fact alone was alone was enough to send my mind down a deep, dark rabbit hole. Any ounce of self-confidence I had quickly flew out the window. No only did I go down a path of self-loathing and sadness, but I was crushed under a mountain of legal fees (no, she did not go quietly or kindly). I felt completely duped –– as though I couldn’t even trust my own gut anymore. Where had it come from? How could I have misjudged someone for a quarter century? What had I done to make her recoil in such hate?

Before the divorce I was financially stable. We’re not talking vacation home stable, but I was able to support our five person family –– which in today’s economy — is a dream, I know. Times have changed. My life certainly has. After the divorce, I am now struggling to pay rent for the two bedroom apartment I currently live in. That part is tough, but it’s nothing compared to the pain and devastation I feel about not being able to see my kids everyday. That keeps me up at night. That gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach. That aspect of this entire nightmare is what makes me want to give up on everything –– and yet, my kids are the only reason to keep going. Continue reading What My Therapist Told Me After My Horrible Divorce

Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men

divorced dad with son on park bench

After a 25 year marriage, to the woman who I thought was the love of my life, I am now divorced and single. I know lots of men who say that divorce is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. For me that’s not the case.

While the idea of a 50% divorce rate has embedded itself in our imagination — it’s a difficult number to pin down, but it’s actually been declining since its height in 1980 — divorce remains a life-altering change that brings tremendous stress and anxiety. You’d think there’d be more support for those of us facing such a common experience. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Statistically, divorced men face a number of scary statistics:

  • Higher incidence of depression
  • 250% higher mortality rate
  • 39% higher suicide rate
  • 10X more likely to undergo psychiatric care

Divorce is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. As newlyweds we don’t imagine a marriage’s end, but even those of us whose marriage is in the process of breaking up don’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. There seem to be more resources for women, groups focused on providing emotional support and community. For us men, suffering in silence is the norm. We tough it out and power through. Or so we think. Continue reading Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men

Single Moms: Celebrate Yourselves on Mother’s Day

young daughter kissing mother's cheek

When I was a single mom, I started a tradition of buying myself a pair of sandals on Mother’s Day. My kids were too young to take me out to brunch. Instead we went looking for sandals for Mommy.

I began this ritual because the thought of Mother’s Day brought up a storm of negative emotions: Regret that I’d decided to end my marriage, guilt that my kids didn’t have happily married parents, and self-pity that I didn’t have a spouse to make my day special. Sandals represented the optimism that accompanies the warmer, longer days and joys of summer. My new shoes were a reminder to stay positive on a day that, for single mothers, can be fraught with a myriad of negative emotions.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that all single moms should run out and buy sandals on Mother’s Day. I’m sharing my story to encourage single moms to create their own strategies for optimism and joy, especially on days when it’s common to experience negative emotions.

The buildup and hype surrounding Mother’s Day can be emotionally challenging for moms parenting on their own. As someone who works with and on behalf of single mothers, here are some insights I’ve learned along the way about regret, guilt, and self-pity. Continue reading Single Moms: Celebrate Yourselves on Mother’s Day

Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Single Moms

single mom holding daughter field

I was going to have my dream wedding, marry my dream man, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately adult reality does not always align with childhood dreams. My own parents divorced when I was 11. I remember how difficult it was for me to understand that they didn’t love one another any more, that my love for them both wasn’t enough. I was powerless to bring them back together. Those feelings haunted me far into my teens.

In the US, 83% of single parents are mothers. For us single mothers, solo parenting can often be joyous, but it also brings tremendous stress and anxiety.

You’d think there’d be more support for such a common experience, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Statistically, we face a number of scary statistics:

  • More than half live below the poverty line
  • 28.7% face severe mental disability
  • Twice as high an incidence of anxiety disorders as single fathers

Single parenthood is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. Not every single mother imagined parenting by herself, but even those of us who did, didn’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. While there are some resources for us, groups focused on providing emotional support and community, many still suffer in silence. Many are afraid to ask for help.

Though women are more likely to reach out to their support network, or just to talk about their struggles, we often face more difficult challenges than those of single fathers. Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women, and we’re also more likely to be raising the children. That means increased responsibility and financial burden. Continue reading Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Single Moms

8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face

mom daughter smiling couch

Imagine you suddenly had sole responsibility for two children, earned around $26,000 a year, found your friends drifting away, and continually felt judged for your parenting, no matter how well you handled it.

Welcome to the life of a typical single mom.

As the founder of ESME.com (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere), I’m astounded by the resilience and fortitude of single moms, who currently are raising 23 million children in the United States alone. The route women take to single motherhood varies, but parenting alone is physically and emotionally demanding. For some single moms, it can take a toll on their mental health. Continue reading 8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face