Cline Counseling & Consulting, LLC https://clinecounseling.com Relationship and Sex Therapist Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:57:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://clinecounseling.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-Jessica-Cline-1-32x32.png Cline Counseling & Consulting, LLC https://clinecounseling.com 32 32 Blocks That Get in the Way of Your Sexuality https://clinecounseling.com/sexualityblocks/ https://clinecounseling.com/sexualityblocks/#respond Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:57:41 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29817 Do you ever notice that you are fully in the moment and ready to have sex and something just pops into your mind that puts the brakes on sex? Or maybe you notice this happening in your partner? Could you have a conscious or unconscious block that prevents you from enjoying sex? Let’s explore some […]

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Intimate Couple

Do you ever notice that you are fully in the moment and ready to have sex and something just pops into your mind that puts the brakes on sex? Or maybe you notice this happening in your partner? Could you have a conscious or unconscious block that prevents you from enjoying sex? Let’s explore some common ones that I see.

Good old Guilt. I have noticed an increase in people sharing feelings about guilt for having sex with their partner. These people may even be in committed relationships/marriages and there is still some underlying guilt that prevents them from being their authentic sexual selves. I used to notice Catholic or Religous guilt, but many people share with me this feeling of guilt that was given to them in childhood. Parents might have told or even implied that sexual pleasure is dirty. We may deny some of our fetishes or fantasies simply because we received these messages during our formative time. The message of guilt has shaped our arousal template and in a way tells us to self destruct when we feel sexual pleasure.

Body Image. We typically think of women having body image but men have this as well. So many people are ashamed of their bodies and allow that feeling to inhibit their experiences. We create these rules around sex and our bodies—only have sex at night with the lights off, only certain positions or some people keep their top on. With all of those restraints, how can you enjoy yourself? How can you have fun?

Performance Anxiety. So many people come to me to help with performance anxiety, sometimes it’s so severe that it presents as erectile dysfunction or pelvic pain. I continually hear questions of how can I give the best blowjob? How can I be the best in bed? As if you have to prove that you are the best sexual partner and that’s why your partner should be with you. When in reality what you want is an intimate friendship, one in which you can laugh and have a good time and accept that sometimes you will have great sex but most of the time you will have good enough sex and that’s okay.

Sexual Trauma or Bad Experiences. Sometimes we have triggers that take us right back to a bad experience or even to a trauma that knocks us right out of our present moment. In those moments we are just seeking safety and our fear is taking over instead of being able to enjoy the moments. Communicating with your partner is very helpful and if you continue to be challenged with the triggers sex therapy can help you overcome those and have a fulfilling sex life.

Modern Day Living. We are in a world of hustle and bustle, with never-ending to-do lists and stressors that never stop. Our bedrooms are no longer a sanctuary and we somehow bring our everyday life into the room with us, not only do we insomnia but that to-do list pops into our head even when we’re trying to connect with our partner. Protect your intimate time by redirecting your thoughts back to the present moment and stay in your body.

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Why Does Sex Decrease in Relationships? https://clinecounseling.com/where-did-the-sex-go/ https://clinecounseling.com/where-did-the-sex-go/#respond Mon, 28 Oct 2019 02:15:59 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29742 You meet, fall for one another, and the sex is amazing. But then it decreases and you wonder why? You’re left with all of these questions. Does my partner still desire me? Are they not satisfied? Will it always be this way. Limerence is that “involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional […]

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You meet, fall for one another, and the sex is amazing. But then it decreases and you wonder why? You’re left with all of these questions. Does my partner still desire me? Are they not satisfied? Will it always be this way.

Limerence is that “involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and emotional dependence on another person.” Limerence is a chemical reaction in the brain which I won’t go into because it’s not important (it’s fascinating though so check it out if you want to explore it deeper). The most important factor is the increase in libido, that is the I want to have sex like rabbits feeling in a new relationship and it, in particular, affects women. This can leave a partner feeling like they have been duped.

Libido waxes and wanes throughout life, a couple really needs to get through the limerence phase and create their own sexual style. Having a healthy foundation for your sexual style is important. Bad or not enough sex is a huge factor in breakups. Couples that ignore sexual issues thinking it will just improve on its own are often in for a shock. Without communication, it often does not improve. So suddenly your doing it 4 times a week and now a year into the relationship, it’s once a week.

How long does the limerence phase last? Well, that is different for each couple, some suggest it’s over as early as a few weeks to years. Couples either break up after the limerence period or move into a different stage of love.

How do we keep the sex as amazing as it was in the beginning? Maybe, you can’t! You are no longer in that same phase of the relationship and you no longer have the surge of biochemicals that are increasing your libido. Accept that the relationship is moving into a new phase. Talk to your partner about sex. Find new ways to make it exciting. Lean into the bonding and trust-building that’s happening instead of only looking at the quantity of sex. Make sex a priority……..schedule it if necessary (I know that might not be as sexy as spontaneous sex, but at least your getting it).

If you need help putting the spark back into your relationship consider working with a sex therapist to help you and your partner navigate your own sexual style.

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What is Sex Therapy?? https://clinecounseling.com/what-is-sex-therapy/ https://clinecounseling.com/what-is-sex-therapy/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2019 04:12:18 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29727 I absolutely love my job as a therapist, a sex therapist to be exact. People often ask me what is sex therapy? Why would I need sex therapy? and I often get asked “Do you have sex with people? or Do you watch people have sex?” Today I would like to clear up some of […]

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I absolutely love my job as a therapist, a sex therapist to be exact. People often ask me what is sex therapy? Why would I need sex therapy? and I often get asked “Do you have sex with people? or Do you watch people have sex?” Today I would like to clear up some of those questions.

Sex therapy is a specialized type of psychotherapy addressing one’s (or a couple’s) sexual issues or functioning. I am highly specialized in sexology and any therapist should be as well. I have years of experience and Ph.D. courses, I also engage in 2-3 hours per week of supervision/consultation from leading experts. Some years I can spend as much as $20,000 on continuing education and additional consultation. Y’all should also see my home library as it’s filled with books about sex and therapy. The reason that I invest so heavily in my profession is that I want to be as skilled as possible to help each and every person that I work with. Of course, I may sometime refer someone out, but some people do not have access to a highly specialized therapist. Enough about me, let’s talk about you.


You do not need to have issues in order to benefit from sex therapy, many of my clients appreciate having a safe space to talk about sexual function, pleasure, and the list goes on. “Is this normal…….?” This is one of the most common questions asked in my office. Sex education in the United States has been to teach about anatomy, how to prevent pregnancy and STI’s, which leaves people having to learn everything else about sex on their own. And in my house, we did not chat about sex, so it’s no surprise that it’s a hard topic to bring up. Sex therapy is a great place to talk about sex and what sexuality means to you.

Yes, I do see people with sexual challenges. You may be wondering what types of conditions I might see someone for:

  • Sex addiction or compulsion.
  • Porn addiction or compulsion.
  • Figure out how much sex feels healthy for your relationship.
  • Experience more pleasure during sex.
  • Have your first orgasm by yourself or with a partner.
  • Learn how to communicate about sex effectively, so you can stop having pointless, frustrating fights.
  • Come up with accessible ways to bring the spark back into your relationship and spice things up in the bedroom.
  • Learn to prioritize intimacy & connection, even when life feels overwhelmingly busy.
  • Eliminate performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction
  • Figure out if you and your partner are truly compatible sexually and emotionally
  • Discover what works and what doesn’t work for you, and empower you to ask for what you want.
  • Feel more confident in your own body and it’s sensations, so you can feel present and alive during sex and connect to your desires.
  • Have more fun with your sex life!

I will be honest that one of the most common issues I see in my office is erectile challenges. Here’s what I have to say to that…..men if you are having a hard time getting an erection and/or mainting an erection (medical reason ruled out) please get into see a sex therapist about that. There is nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to so many men and most men can work through the psychological issues that are preventing your body from responding, and y’all deserve to have a satisfying sex life.

I do not have sex with anyone. Historically I think some sex workers called themselves sex therapists which started the thought that we have sex with our clients and please be careful out there as some “coaches” engage in that.

I also do not watch anyone have sex and give performance feedback, whew that could give someone a lot of performance anxiety if I actually did that or that idea might be very stimulating to some.

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Should I Sell My Ring? https://clinecounseling.com/sell-ring-after-divorce/ https://clinecounseling.com/sell-ring-after-divorce/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 23:59:44 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29676 The divorce is final, at this point there is no going back in time and changing my marital status. I have accepted that I am divorced but I honestly don’t have a clue what to do with the ring. Many women wonder what they should do with the ring after a divorce. I advise the […]

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The divorce is final, at this point there is no going back in time and changing my marital status. I have accepted that I am divorced but I honestly don’t have a clue what to do with the ring.

Many women wonder what they should do with the ring after a divorce. I advise the women I work with to wait 6 months after the have made a decision to see if the decision still feels right after a bit of time. Once you sell or alter it there is no going back.

Often there is a knee jerk reaction to get rid of it. Wait, wait, wait. After the divorce cooling period make a decision that feels right for you now and will feel right 5 years down the road. Basically mitigate and guilt you may end up having if you make a hasty decision.

Once you have waited and feel like you are in a great frame of mind to decide what to do with the ring you have a few choices.

  1. Keep it. You may decide to keep the ring for sentimental reasons and to honor the beginning of your marriage. Or you may decide to keep it because you can see yourself passing it on to one of your children.
  2. Keep it but take it to a jeweler and turn it in to something else. I have seen women that have it reset into another ring, turn the stone into earrings or a necklace. Basically you can take something old and remodel it into something meaningful (basically what we are doing to our lives after divorce).
  3. Sell it. Maybe you decided that instead of holding onto this symbol of marriage you’ve decided that you want to sell it and use the money in a meaningful way. I know some women use it to pay down bills they acquired as a result of the divorce which leaves them feeling free from the weight of the financial and emotional costs of the marriage ending. One caveat to this plan is you may find that the ring loses value when trying to resell and it may be confusing to find a reputable place to sell the ring. There is quite a market to sell the ring, do your research to decide how you would like to handle the sale of the ring.

Of course the decision is incredibly personal and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Check in with your motivation and if it feels good for you then it is the right decision.

I have a lovely wedding set that was custom designed for me to highlight my beautiful (but flawed) stone. While it is worth a lot I decided to keep my ring to pass on to my daughter (if she decides to marry and wants the ring). I decided to keep the band for myself to wear on my other hand when I want to.

If you are looking for a sense of community and support following your divorce, I created a membership community just for you. We process questions just like this in our group and support one another in rediscovering ourselves after divorce. Sign up for the waitlist here.

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I’m Divorced…….Now What? https://clinecounseling.com/adjusting-to-life-after-divorce/ https://clinecounseling.com/adjusting-to-life-after-divorce/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:54:39 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29668 I'm divorced....now what? How to adjust to being divorced

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I have tried to look at my divorce as an opportunity to become my authentic self and reinvent a new life. That’s not to say that my divorce has not been challenging though. Last week as we weathered the polar vortex, with windchills at-55 degrees I really had to take a harsh look at the things that I had to give up as part of my divorce. One of my biggest adjustments was to relocate to another city and move into an apartment from a large family house that I picked out, decorated and remodeled. My apartment had several maintenance issues last week (which took over a week to be addressed by the management company). In one week I had to deal with a ceiling dripping water and a toilet that was barely functioning, in addition to an apartment that could not hold heat due to the subpar windows. I sat back and took stock of how much I hated it, there was no need to have a positive spin in all actuality it was time for me to get mad.

For every divorce there is an adjustment, whether we wanted the divorce or not. Rediscovery after divorce does not mean we pretend it’s easy or ignore the fact that there are true sacrifices that suck!

Here is a list of common adjustments after a divorce:

divorce

Home

Much like me many women have to move out after a divorce. That may mean downsizing or moving into an apartment. Women that keep the marital home have to adjust to the maintenance on the home which include shoveling and mowing the grass, and to be honest I don’t even know how to work a lawn mower. Those tasks can of course be outsourced but there is an adjustment to being one income to factor in as well. For everyone their is the adjustment to dreams. With my spouse I dreamed of buying a nice newer home in a suburb and buying a vacation property at some point, while I can move towards those goals they are no longer the same. Home is often a huge adjustment after a divorce for all involved including the children.

Finances

After and during divorce there is a major change to finances. If you were staying home to take care of the household or working part time, you may find that you need to go back to work or transition into full time work.

One surprise I had about finances were taxes especially the year we got divorced, I would encourage you to work with an accountant to figure out the taxes the year of the divorce as there may be additional considerations. I like the saying “we don’t know what we don’t know” and in this case it helps to have a professional guide us through the process.

Loss of Friends

People have a funny way of turning your divorce into their issue. Divorce often makes people confront the realities that marriage don’t always work out and relationships that looked perfect have cracks too. Friends may not be able to handle the discomfort of your divorce and may distance themselves from you. Couples friends may also decide to side with your ex or attempt to be neutral. During this difficult time you need your tribe, not people that are on the fence or projecting their shit on you.

Loneliness

Many women after the whirlwind of divorce are left with the deafening feeling of silence and loneliness. If they have children that feeling may surface at night when the littles are in bed or when the kids visit dad during the visitation. Loneliness is felt when you need someone to talk to or share the burden of life post divorce. The marriage may not have been healthy or your partner may not have even been home much but divorce is really the death of having a partner in your life.

Cars

This might not seem like it would fit in an adjustment after divorce. After all maybe you have your car after the divorce and it’s not even something you have to consider. For me it was the feeling of being responsible for the maintenance of the car. My spouse did not honestly help out with the maintenance of my car but if I had an emergency he helped me get my car in or sent an assistant to pick me up when my car wouldn’t start. I picked out my new car myself but he helped my make the decision to purchase my car new from the dealer. Now I weather all of the maintenance myself, dealing with a mechanic myself, and down the road purchasing a new car by myself. Another stressor that I am dealing with a is a 16 year old in the house, I am the primary teacher for behind the wheel for my teen and now i am responsible for buying my teen a car and picking out something that ideally isn’t a pile of junk and won’t break down on the side of the road or be a money leak.

single parenting

Parenting

Even though your former spouse is no longer your spouse, it doesn’t mean you get to close that book especially if you have children. Now you have to adjust to coparenting and if your spouse goes absentee as some do, you have to bare all the responsibilities of parenting on your shoulders while still being mindful of not talking poorly of your kids parent. Children are also experiencing their own adjusting to the life change and may act out behaviorally, which you as a parent have to figure out the best way to navigate. It’s incredibly lonely to make all the decisions and provide the support, there were many times I cried at night or in the shower because it was so stressful. Then there is sharing your kid with your ex and sharing the important days such as holidays bday summer vacation. This topic is vast and needs it own blog post which I will work on.

Jessica Cline is a psychotherapist and divorce coach. She is launching a membership site for divorced women at www.jesscline.com to provide women with a community of others with shared divorce struggles and access to a divorce expert at a low price. Sign up for more information now at www.jesscline.com

If you are interested in downloadable quotes and affirmations please check out https://mailchi.mp/cd36c9503c3b/85a9wt3fol

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You Need to Get More of This During Your Divorce. https://clinecounseling.com/you-need-to-get-more-of-this-during-your-divorce/ https://clinecounseling.com/you-need-to-get-more-of-this-during-your-divorce/#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2018 23:08:56 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29648 Sleep isn’t only a necessity for our body but also for our brain. When we sleep our brain gets to work to process the days events and to get rid of information we don’t need and store what we do need. During a divorce we have so many thoughts occurring during the day. We have […]

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Sleep isn’t only a necessity for our body but also for our brain. When we sleep our brain gets to work to process the days events and to get rid of information we don’t need and store what we do need. During a divorce we have so many thoughts occurring during the day. We have a range of 12,000-50,000 thoughts per day and an estimated 80,000 of those are negative. During a divorce we are often experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotions. Notice your thoughts during the day, what is coming up for you? Are you noticing that thoughts about the divorce and your future consume you? That’s normal to have those thoughts as you are processing this major life transition.

Divorce

You need more sleep during your divorce

What do we do with those emotions?
Well during sleep we process those emotions and store what needs to be stored and get rid of information that we don’t need. Sleep is imperative to our healing process.

Women are at a greater risk of not getting the sleep they need, studies show that women need more sleep.

What gets in the way of not getting sleep?
Busy Schedules
Hormonal issues
Anxiety
Brain differences

Not getting enough sleep is considered a vulnerability factor. Without enough sleep we are more vulnerable to mood swings, problems with memory and concentration, impulsive behavior, irritability, and our change our interpretation of events.

divorce

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events and getting enough sleep is one of the most important copings skills during a divorce for women. Make sleep a priority and use an app like Sleep Cycle to keep track of how much you are sleeping.

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8 Signs of Emotional Spending After a Divorce. https://clinecounseling.com/emotional-spending-divorce/ https://clinecounseling.com/emotional-spending-divorce/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:55:00 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29622 8 Signs of Emotional Spending After a Divorce Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences in life filled with extreme waves of feelings. Many people struggle to find healthy coping skills to combat the stressors of divorce. We may turn to emotional eating or emotional spending. Emotional spending is the act of shopping to […]

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8 Signs of Emotional Spending After a Divorce

Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences in life filled with extreme waves of feelings. Many people struggle to find healthy coping skills to combat the stressors of divorce. We may turn to emotional eating or emotional spending. Emotional spending is the act of shopping to improve our mood, deal with loneliness, and/ or improve our self esteem.

We are inundated with adds that create a picture of happiness with the purchase of their product. Isn’t that what were searching for after a divorce? Happiness! As we embark on our post life divorce we may feel the need to get new things, new clothes, new furniture, new makeup etc. Emotional spending is a sneaky sort of compulsion.

  1. You spend your money on things that make you feel good in the moment. After a bad day you come home and open your computer and start checking your favorite shopping sites. You find yourself purchasing things just to counter your bad day.                                  

  2. You notice yourself justifying your purchases, especially when deviating from your budget. If you notice yourself saying you deserve something or that you have been through a lot, you may be justifying your purchases. 

  3. When you look around your home you notice that it is filled with items. You may also notice the items are new or unused. Are half of the clothes in your closet new with tags on them? That could mean your buying beyond your needs or you are falling prey to marketing tricks. If you buy something on sale it doesn’t mean you saved anything, it just means you spent whatever the store deemed it was worth. That $100 item marked down to $40 doesn’t mean you saved $60, it means you spent $40. 

  4. Ignoring bills- When you are prioritizing shopping above paying some of your bills that is a sign that it is a problem. It may be more subtle than not paying rent but maybe a small medical bill or gym membership.

  5. Rebound spending- Maybe in the marriage there were a lot of rules around spending money. Having these rules may have felt very limiting. After a divorce you may notice that you are rebelling from the feeling of being controlled.

  6. You Purchase Status Items- As a way to stand out from others, you purchase items that signify your status. These are items that are known to display status or staying at the forefront of trends. There is a high knowing that most people don’t have theses items.                   

  7. Returning items- Do you find yourself returning more items than you usually do. Normally we return items due to a quality or fit issue, however it is a red flag if you are buying things and returning them because the initial high of the purchase wore off when you got home. Emotional shoppers often feel like they have to buy at least one thing so they may talk themselves into a purchase and get home and realize they don’t like the ugly purse they talked themselves into.

  8. You Shop to Feel Better About Yourself- After a divorce we enter a new world of dating. Emotional spenders that embark on dating will make purchases to increase their self esteem and make themselves feel better, even if it is only temporary. Often they chase this feeling that one outfit gave them and have set the bar too high. Now every date needs a new outfit, sunglasses, purse, shoes , etc.  

Emotional spending gets in the way of living your best life. The emotions have not been resolved they just have an expensive bandaid over them. I believe women deserve financial empowerment, especially after a divorce. How we think about money determines what we do about money. We are what we are today as a result of the choices we made yesterday.

If you are interested in a free group to become financially empowered, join here.

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Inspirational Quotes for Divorce or the End of a Relationship https://clinecounseling.com/inspirational-quotes-for-divorce/ https://clinecounseling.com/inspirational-quotes-for-divorce/#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 16:11:14 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29590   Sometimes quotes can be really powerful when we are facing a divorce or end of a relationship. If a quote resonates with you print it out or write it down on your phone or in your planner to look at when needing some inspiration. Prices are a truly significant portion any support and it […]

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Sometimes quotes can be really powerful when we are facing a divorce or end of a relationship. If a quote resonates with you print it out or write it down on your phone or in your planner to look at when needing some inspiration.

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This is a collection of quotes that I picked that will touch you if you are experiencing a divorce or end of a relationship. Sometimes it is hard to put into words so eloquently that encompasses the heart wrenching process. In divorce we experience grief and loss (for shared hopes and dreams that will never materialize).

Our sense of self takes a huge hit at the end of a marriage or relationship. We question who we are and what the point of the relationship is. We seek answers about our future and if we will ever be loved in the way we need to be. No matter what the reason of the breakup we have endured a huge lost in which we will never be the same.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

– Viktor Frankl

“Taking a thing apart is always faster than putting something together. This is true of everything except marriage.”

― Joe Hill, 20th Century Ghosts

“Sometimes you’re going to have to let one person go a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and there’s nothing pathetic or abnormal about that. You are human.”

― Heidi Priebe, This Is Me Letting You Go

“And then the dream dies and the dream breaks into a tiny million pieces which leaves you with a choice. You can either stick with it, which is unbearable, or you can go off and dream another dream.”

― Rachel (Meryl Streep) in Heartburn

“When your heart is broken you plant seeds in the cracks and wait for rain.”

― Andrea Gibson, Dive

“Just because I didn’t have a spouse to help and enjoy those activities with didn’t mean they couldn’t happen. Just because my plan A didn’t work out didn’t mean plan B couldn’t be really kickass. In fact, who was to tell me that my life as a single mother couldn’t be completely wonderful?”

― Emma Johnson

“Grief is the emotional contract of divorce”

–Cheryl Nielsen”

When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they ‘don’t understand’ one another, but a sign that they have, at least, begun to.”
— Helen Rowland

“I wanted to turn my divorce into a positive. What if I didn’t blame the other person for anything, and held myself 100 percent accountable? What if I checked my own s— at the door and put my children first? And reminded myself about the things about my ex-husband that I love, and fostered the friendship?”
— Gwyneth Paltrow

“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.” -J.K Rowling

“I didn’t exactly want to get divorced. I didn’t exactly not want to. I believed in almost equal measure both that divorcing Paul was the right thing to do and that by doing so I was destroying the best thing I had. By then my marriage had become like the trail in that moment when I realized there was a bull in both directions. I simply made a leap of faith and pushed on in the direction where I’d never been.” -Cheryl Strayed

“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert

 

 

Are you in need of an inspirational community to support you following your divorce or separation. Join the waitlist for our membership support group here.

 

Jessica Cline is a divorce and separation expert who has been featured in Insider, Bravo, Bustle, YourTango, PsyCentral, and MSN. She works with clients who are struggling with a divorce or separation, schedule a free consultation here.

 

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11 Signs of Emotional Abuse and How Will it Affect My Divorce? https://clinecounseling.com/divorce-emotional-abuse/ https://clinecounseling.com/divorce-emotional-abuse/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 23:55:08 +0000 http://clinecounseling.com/?p=29578 I have heard from so many women that they witnessed physical abuse in their parents relationship so they were not going to settle for that in their relationship. However many people find themselves in emotionally abusive relationship without seeing it because they were focused on physical abuse. They set the bar at physical abuse and […]

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I have heard from so many women that they witnessed physical abuse in their parents relationship so they were not going to settle for that in their relationship. However many people find themselves in emotionally abusive relationship without seeing it because they were focused on physical abuse. They set the bar at physical abuse and often feel that if they are not hit then they are fine. People raised in an environment of abuse often feel comfort in the cycle of power and control without realizing it. Let’s explore some of those signs of emotional abuse:

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1. Withholding Affection

Withholding affection from a partner is a way to punish the partner and to exercise power and control. This is done intentionally and is sometimes stated to the partner “no kisses until you can be nice again”. Some partners withhold affection after a disagreement due to not feeling connected or not feeling like providing a loving gesture however this behavior is only occasional.

2. Threats

Threats often look like a threat to expose you or a threat to take something away. Some partners threaten to leave when they don’t get their way. Some may state they are going to tell friends about you (which is double damaging as the are both threatening you and stating that there is something wrong with you that will be exposed.) Other times a partner may threaten to take something away from you, they may threaten to take a way the money, not let you do something with the kids, or even threaten to kick you out.

3. Ultimatums

Ultimatums are really a covert threat, with the partner placing the blame on you. The way they see it they gave you a choice to rectify the situation by doing what they want but you chose otherwise therefore the blame lies in your hands.

4. Lack of privacy

This is often a subtle sign of emotional abuse, your partner may check your message or ask for you passwords to you social media. Maybe your partner insists on sharing the same email or analyzes every purchase you make.

5. Property Damage

Property damage skirts the line of physical abuse and emotional abuse. Often a partner will break something that means something to you as a way to punish you and to take something away that you care about.

6. Magic Tricks

Many behaviors are magic tricks, I call this look over here so you don’t notice what the other hand is doing. This might look like blame, starting fights, accusations, being nice and loving. The purpose is to distract you so you don’t notice some other behavior that is occurring.

7. Blame Game

Partners using power and control in a relationship are often not insightful enough to notice the profound effect of their own behavior nor are they at a point of taking responsibility for them. Instead they often blame the other partner. “if you didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have to act this way”

8. Alienation

Do you feel like overtime you have lost supportive relationships. Partners often want to control who you are allowed to have a connection with and over time you may notice that you no longer have any relationship in your life other than your immediate family and people that you partner approves of. This is similar to control of resources.

9. Gifts

For some people gifts follow a fight or are used as an indicator of how much they care about you. You may here them say “of course I love you , i bought you this___.” “I buy you so many nice things and you don’t appreciate anything I do.” “Everyone else sees what you have and wish their spouse was as giving.” Often these gifts are used at a threat too, if you leave me you will never have this____”

10. Control of Resources

Partners may control resources as a form of punishment or as control. They may control the resources forcing you to feel like you have no option to leave. Control of resources is not limited to money but could also be the use of a vehicle

11. Micro-cheating

Micro-cheating is the act of your partner connecting with others and hiding it from you. This might look like secret messages, changing names in the phone, going out and not disclosing everyone that was there, giving attention to someone else and withholding from you.

You never really know a man (or woman) until you have divorced them. Often we see an even worse side to our partner when we try to leave the relationship. Sometimes divorces are amicable however if you have experienced someone that has abused you emotionally during your marriage you can expect for these tactics to continue when you leave.

If you detect these signals in your relationship; reach out for help, from friends, family, a therapist, or a counseling network.

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6 Smart Divorce Recovery Tips https://clinecounseling.com/6-smart-divorce-recovery-tips/ https://clinecounseling.com/6-smart-divorce-recovery-tips/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:03:52 +0000 https://clinecounseling.com/?p=29538 The post 6 Smart Divorce Recovery Tips appeared first on Cline Counseling & Consulting, LLC.

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6 Divorce Recovery Tips

Time heals all wounds…..or something like that. Divorce or separation can be earth shattering with a range of emotions and grief. On average it takes 1 to 3 years to recover from a divorce and adjust to your new life. For some people the recovery process can take even longer. Follow these 6 tips to jump start your recovery and start living your happiest life.

 

1. Feel your feelings. Staying strong can initially feel so empowering, however you have to feel it to heal it. The process certainly depends on the details of your relationship and the divorce. Start a journal as a place to process your feelings, as time goes by reflect on your first entries and witness your growth.

 

2. Get support. Create a list of friends and family that you know will support you during this time. Be vulnerable and invite them into your life and let them help you. It’s okay to need help, it takes real strength to be vulnerable. On that list identify how your friend best helps……we all have that friend that will want to take us out for drinks, or bad mouth the ex, or help you box up your mementos. Its important to identify which friends are going to push you towards growth and push you towards who you want to be. In addition to friends and family, make a list of professionals that can help. Not just a therapist that specializes in divorce but you will need legal counsel, a financial advisor, or a career coach if needed. Ask for recommendations for mechanics, plumbers, and a handyman, it’s far better to make the list and need the services than it is to have your basement flooding int he middle of the night and not know who to call.

 

3. Get rid of reminders, it’s time to say goodbye……for now. I am a big believe in rituals for our grief. Divorce grief is as intense as the death of someone we are close to. We have funerals as a ritual for dying but we don’t have ceremonies for divorce. Take the opportunity to place mementos out of sight and create a ritual out of it, light some candles and experience the feelings of loss as you set your items aside and out of sight. Whatever you do don’t throw important mementos away, when you are further in your recovery and not so emotionally vulnerable then its a good time to decide what to keep and what to give to a new home.

 

4. $$$ Get your financial house in order. I mentioned a financial advisors in the get support tip however there is much more to getting your financial advisor. it is important to create a financial map of what you have and what your future looks like. Depending on your state you are entitled to a portion of the assets and possible maintenance. Consider how much money you need to get by with your current lifestyle, use that information to decide what is feasible and more importantly what will make you happy. It may be time considering downsizing and letting some of that old life go.

 

5. Gratitude. How can I practice gratitude when my life sucks? There is no better time to start turning your mind towards the things you do have. A good practice is every morning to find something you are grateful for and say it out loud, before you go to bed come up with something that happened in the day that you are grateful for

 

6. Make your life map. A life map takes into account your past but it also allows you to map your future. Start with writing down the dates of important things that have happened to you. Take stock of what you would like to do in the future, maybe that includes a career change, going back to school, traveling. Now think about those things in chunks of time and map it out.

Recovery from divorce takes on average 1-3 years to adjust to all of the changes, for some even longer. These suggestions can be used to start your recovery process with intentionality. Therapy can help with processing the grief, reducing the stress, increasing support, tuning into dreams, healing hurt, finding purpose, and attracting love again (among many other things).

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