Bill in Massachusetts could make Sex during Divorce Illegal

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Bill in Massachusetts could make Sex during Divorce Illegal

If caught red handed between the sheets during your divorce, the law could have something to say about that if a new bill in Massachusetts passes, as it could make sex during divorce illegal. One stipulation of the proposed law is that you must have children living in the house with you and the divorce hasn’t been finalized yet. So after the divorce is finalized it’s perfectly legal to bring someone home if children are in the house, but it isn’t legal if divorce proceedings aren’t final? What kind of logic is that?

If a judge signs off on this tryst then you are off the hook, according to the bill. Wake a judge up in the middle of the night and see what kind of mood he is in to put his signature on an order like that. The bill actually reads like this “In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.”

State Sen. Richard Ross (R) filed the bill in the early months of 2013. He did so for a constituent of his Wrentham Selectman Robert Leclair. This bill was extended in March and will be on the floor of the state legislature in June. Senator Ross filed it on behalf of his constituent but according to a report he does not “support it.” Leclair, once the president of Fathers United for Equal Justice and having gone through a bitter divorce, is the primary architect and promoter of this bill. According to Russia Today, Leclair spoke of the bill saying that the bill would safeguard children during the divorce process. This law would have to be approved by the state legislature and the governor in order to be passed into law, a prospect that seems rather unlikely.

Certainly this bill will have personal liberty advocates up in arms. But it seems to be merely a way for a powerful man to publicly humiliate his wife by way of forcing a politician to propose an unjust or quixotic bill. This bill is a waste of state legislature’s time and the taxpayer’s money. In addition, bills such as this make a mockery of the legislative process. Certainly everyone except Leclair finds this utterly ridiculous. We’ll see if a defamation suit is filed by his ex-wife in the aftermath of this menagerie. For advice on getting through your divorce read, Conscious Divorce: Ending a Marriage with Integrity by Susan Allison.

Decoding what he says About Past Relationships

Dinner-for-Two-High

Decoding what he says About Past Relationships

You’re on a date. It’s going great. And then you’re thrown for a loop.  You ask about past girlfriends. Maybe he has some he wished ended another way. Maybe he has a messy divorce or more under his belt. Perhaps his ex did the breaking up and he struggled with it. Whatever the situation, when a woman asks about past relationships he should be prepared to deliver the best possible answer. And if he isn’t prepared, that too can tell you something. A woman asks because she wants to know more about him of course, but she also wants to know what she may be in for. It’s a good question but it has to be asked at the right moment. The first or second date is not the right time to ask. You will send signals that you are ready to settle down, or want to rush the relationship and this could scare him off. Or perhaps, if he’s the clingy type, interest him far more than you wanted. Wait until at least the third date. There’s no rule of thumb. It’s best to feel out the situation. But you should do it before you two become exclusive. If you slip up and ask too soon and he says he’d rather not discuss it, smile and change the subject. Don’t pry unless this is the fifteenth date. Then it’s been way too long. The point here is that he needs to be comfortable enough to open up.

If he says his ex was a psycho, that may be true. But of course you should probe a little deeper. An important thing to note is whether or not he talks about the problems he brought to the relationship. He may say he just never met the right person. That could be true, especially if he’s in his early thirties or younger. But if he’s in his mid-thirties or older, chances are he doesn’t want to discuss the relationship. Ask more probing questions as time goes on. It may be that he had a painful experience in the past and he’s chalking it up to not-the-right-one. If he says women don’t understand him, he probably has communication issues. That and his interpersonal skills are terrible. Or he doesn’t make the effort to understand them. Whatever option you choose it doesn’t bode well for a future relationship, unless he’s some sort of fringe artist or misunderstood genius. Generally speaking, most guys should be able to open up at least a little about their past relationships. If he is so guarded and won’t tell you anything, beware. There is some serious trouble or hurt there. And you’d better figure out which one fast. For more advice, read Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman, PhD.

Can Domestic Violence be Prevented?

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Can Domestic Violence be Prevented?

With the Ray Rice video all over the airwaves and the internet, spousal abuse and domestic violence have become national topics of conversation. But this case, bringing to light an age-old phenomenon, also carries with it a number of questions. One such question is why women get together with men who abuse them to begin with. The eminent Dr. Susan Forward studied this phenomenon in depth over the course of her career. The character she outlined is the misogynist. She said that a misogynist, before the relationship, portrays himself as Prince Charming. It can even feel too good to be true. At this time the man is willing to give up power in the relationship, temporarily, to see it flourish and to initiate sexual intercourse. Healthy men do not see this period as a temporary setback, nor do they make designs to change things once she is roped in. This misogynist harbors a hatred and disrespect for women. Bitterness and resentment toward the female sex lies deep within his heart. As the relationship carries on, and the honeymoon phase fades, he will tire of always accommodating his partner. She will wonder why he has had this sudden change, distancing himself from activities they once enjoyed, during the earlier days of their relationship.

Meanwhile, she will be completely unaware of the negative feelings he has been harboring all of this time, and wondering why this sudden change has occurred. The only way for the relationship to continue is for him to keep accommodating her needs. It will begin to become oppressive to him. He will feel trapped. To escape he will form a secret hiding place for himself that he enjoys. Sooner or later he will no longer be able to contain the negative feelings he has been repressing. He will start to get a short temper, perhaps a foul mouth. He may be emotionally and verbally abusive. Physical altercations may occur. Now she has to decide whether to leave him, which could make him go off and make things far worse, or stay with him and live in constant fear. So can you be on the lookout for a misogynist and avoid domestic violence? It’s unclear. Look out for cracks in the mask, wisecracks that reveal negativity about women, stories that always paint women in a negative light and so on. Other than that, if you have an uneasy feeling, find out what it is stemming from, but listen to it.

Another important question is what a woman should do if she finds herself in a relationship with a misogynist. If he has the ability to change, and he can be reasoned with, get him to seek psychological help. He needs to be able to deal with his inner demons and the root cause for his disorder. If it isn’t possible to reach him, or he keeps getting worse or not any better, she should seek legal counsel, get a restraining order, and at a safe time gather up the children, if there are any, and her things and leave. She needs to make sure she has prepared for a safe place to go to, even if it is a women’s shelter. Contact with the abuser should be kept to a minimum. Many women don’t leave however. They are manipulated and convinced that the problem lies with them. They try over and over to meet outrageous demands. Remember always that shame and abuse are never normal. No one should put up with it. Everyone has the right to live happy and free. For more on this dark phenomenon be sure to read the bestseller, Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them by Dr. Susan Forward.

Does your Husband Reject your Advances?

advances

The old stereotype is that the man always wants sex and the woman is often the one who rebuffs his advances. But in a lot of marriages, the opposite is true. This point of view doesn’t often get addressed. Does your husband reject your advances? This can really hurt a wife’s self-esteem. One of the reasons we enter into marriage is to have a life partner to share our bodies, minds and emotions with. But if there is no sex in a marriage the relationship begins to wilt. It’s hard to maintain the strong emotional bond when the physical one is lacking. But it can be difficult to get a man to open up about why it is that sex isn’t of interest to him. First, there’s the social stigma. So in addressing it he may feel that there is something wrong with him or that you are blaming him. Instead, make it a comfortable setting. Pick a time and place to discuss it without any distractions, when you both feel comfortable. Use “I” statements. Tell him how you feel when your advances are rebuffed. This will make him feel sympathy for you. Now it’s time to ask what the problem is. It could simply be that he is stressed out and exhausted from work. In which case perhaps it’s time to get a little rest and relaxation. Can he delegate some duties, work from home or use flextime to his advantage? Are there ways he can relax and refresh himself so that he can be ready to help reignite the spark?

Oftentimes, a sexless marriage is due to deeper emotional issues. Was there an indiscretion? Has the bond of trust been hurt or broken? Or have the two of you just been growing apart? It’s important to sit down and address these issues honestly. But if one or both parties don’t feel completely comfortable, feel betrayed, or have a sense that they are no longer respected or loved, or that they no longer feel respect or love, than the sex isn’t going to be restored unless these deeper issues are addressed. Both parties have to think long and hard about the differences. Are they reconcilable? What steps need to occur to rectify the problems and put things right again? Couple’s counseling may be in order. Discuss this possibility. Is your spouse open to it? Are there sexual health issues at play? If addressing these with a man make sure he’s extra comfortable and trusts you. Be loving, patient and nurturing and get him to open up. A change in medication such as heart medication or some anti-depressants can also affect the mechanics of the situation. Talking to his physician and a switch in medication may be all that is needed to fix the problem. Perhaps things have just gotten old and stale. Instead, a romantic dinner talking about fantasies, planning them out and doing one for each of you may be what you need to get things back on track. Keep talking to each other. Get to the bottom of it. Renew your sex life and your marriage will follow. For more on this topic, read Why Men Stop Having Sex: Men, the Phenomenon of Sexless Relationships, and What You Can Do About It by Bob Berkowitz and Susan Yager-Berkowitz.

Things that hold you Back Post-divorce

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Sometimes there’s a disconnect between what you tell people about how you’re feeling and where you are after a divorce and where you actually are. Perhaps you are past grieving. You tell your friends and family that you have moved on, you are ready to embrace your life, take on new challenges, move toward your dreams and even start dating someone new. But some people in this situation project a far sunnier view than what is actually going on. There are things that can hold you back post-divorce, if you let them. If you feel as though you are stuck in an emotional jam where no matter how hard you try to break free you end up spinning your wheels, read on to find out ways to unstick yourself and get your life moving again. Sometimes your friends are too nice or not even aware of the fact that you are stuck to offer the proper advice. It doesn’t always feel good but doing what has to be done will get you going again. When you look back, you’ll realize that it was right at the time. First, invest in forgiveness. The very idea, especially when an ex-spouse has been horrible, throws some into a rage. But the truth is all the bitterness you carry inside poisons you, not them. You are the one who lives with it all day every day. Letting go of your rage is an important step in healing, letting go and moving on. It isn’t about saying what happened is okay, but it’s coming to accept it and giving yourself the compassion to let your grip on anger go.

Try to come to an understanding if you have certain triggers that conjure up pain, fear, anger or anxiety from your marriage. Don’t judge yourself or wallow in the feeling that it gives you. Instead, let yourself recognize and validate what you are feeling without owning it. Realize that that was the past and you are a new person now. You are living in the present. After divorce some people don’t only grieve over the past and their present situation, they mourn the future that will never be. Do not try to bring it about on your own. Recreating dreams that have died will never bring them back to life. Instead, find new dreams. Look for the suppressed love, compassion, talent, skills and power that live within you that have been dormant because of this dark time in your life and resurrect them. Some people who have gotten divorced hide away for much too long. Even if you are an introvert, social isolation will compound your problems rather than relieve them. Happiness in life indeed comes from our connection to other people. Isolation can only breed loneliness. Learn to reconnect again with others, and even start dipping your toes in the waters of the dating pool when you are ready. Don’t worry about rejection. In fact, learn to love yourself unabashedly and look for someone who can love you, and that you can love the same way. Lastly, invest in yourself. Don’t just be a parent, a coworker, a sibling or a friend, be someone who invests in what they want, who they are and their own enjoyment, even for fifteen minutes a day. Peace is found for those who truly want to seek it. For more, be sure to pick up a copy of Lessons From the End of a Marriage by Lisa Arends.