Marriage after Sobriety

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

When long-awaited sobriety finally arrives, partners expect their past relationship problems will disappear. Often, there is a “honeymoon” period when they’re on their best behavior and reaffirm their love and commitment. After all that they’ve been through together, they have high hopes for a rosy future and easier times ahead. Yet, sobriety destabilizes the status quo, and the longer partners are together, the more their patterns become entrenched. It’s an unsettling time. Both partners feel vulnerable. In new sobriety, couples don’t really know how to talk to one another. It’s a rocky transition in the marriage or relationship that presents many challenges.

Read More here: https://www.whatiscodependency.com/marriage-addiction-substance-abuse-sobriety/

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks:

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness

Codependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016

Copyright @ 2013 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved



Getting Triggered and What You Can Do

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Getting your “buttons” pushed or getting “triggered” is an opportunity to heal and grow. The more hurts we’ve endured and the weaker our boundaries, the more reactive we are to people and events. Our triggers – our buttons – are our wounds. Codependents are off the charts when it comes to reacting to others’ feelings, needs, problems, opinions, wants, and more. When we react, we permit our insides to be taken over by someone or something outside of us. There’s no filter or boundary. We’re pulled off center and might start thinking about that person or about what might happen in the future. Negative reactions easily escalate hurt feelings and conflict. Often, however, we’re really reacting to someone from our past.


Read more here: https://www.whatiscodependency.com/getting-triggered-overreacting/

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks: 10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery,  Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps,  Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-ForgivenessCodependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016

Copyright @ 2013 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved



Relationship Killers: Anger and Resentment

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Anger hurts. It’s a reaction to not getting what we want or need. Anger escalates to rage when we feel assaulted or threatened. It could be physical, emotional, or abstract, such as an attack on our reputation. When we react disproportionately to our present circumstance, it’s because we’re really reacting to something in our past event – often from childhood. Read more here:

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/anger-management-resentment-codependency

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks:

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness

Codependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

How to Raise Your Self-Esteem

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016

 



Secrets and Lies: The Damage of Deception

By Darlene Lancer, LMFT

We all tell “white lies.” We say “I’m fine,” when we’re not, compliment unwanted gifts, or even fib, “The check is in the mail.” But in an intimate relationship, emotional honesty includes allowing our partner to know who we are. Honesty is more than simply not lying. Deception includes making ambiguous or vague statements, telling half-truths, manipulating information through emphasis, exaggeration, or minimization, and withholding information or feelings that are important to someone who has a “right to know” because it affects the relationship and that person’s free choice. Although we may consider ourselves honest, few of us reveal all our negative thoughts and feelings about people we are close to. It requires the courage to be vulnerable and authentic.

Read more here:

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/secrets-betrayal-lies-deception-infidelity/

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks:

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness

Codependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016

Copyright @ 2013 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved



9 Tips for Coping with Holiday Blues and Stress

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

The stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or what they’re supposed to feel and then think that they alone fall short. They judge themselves and feel like an outsider. There are a host of things that add to stress and difficult emotions during the holidays.

Read more here:

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/holiday-stress-and-depression/

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT 

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks:

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness

Codependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016 

Copyright @ 2013 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved



10 Habits That Lower Self-Esteem And Cause Depression

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

When our self-esteem is low, which is typical of codependency, we’re at greater risk for depression. Codependency is learned, and so are self-esteem and the beliefs and habits that cause both low self-esteem and codependency. Self-esteem is what we think about ourselves. It includes positive and negative self-evaluations. Good self-esteem is a realistic, positive self-concept. It reflects self-respect and implies a feeling of worth that’s not determined by comparison to, or approval from, others. Self-acceptance(which some writers include as part of self-esteem) is even deeper. It’s a feeling of being good enough, neither perfect, nor inadequate. We feel we have worth and are lovable, not merely because of beauty, talent, achievement, intelligence, status, or popularity. It’s a sense of inner contentment. Read more here:

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/10-habits-low-self-esteem-cause-depression/

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Ebooks:

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits and webinar How to Be Assertive

Breakup Recovery

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness

Codependency’s Recovery Daily Reflections

Follow me on Facebook

www.whatiscodependency.com

310.458.0016

Copyright @ 2013 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved

 



Steps To Be Empowered And Not a Victim

In recovery circles, being a “victim” is frowned upon. Decades ago, when I heard people say they were no longer a victim, I had no idea what they meant. Actually, a victim is an individual who has been fooled, hurt, or harmed, due to his or her own emotions or ignorance, an unfortunate event, or the actions of someone who deceived, cheated, injured, or killed him or her.

Read more here:

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/empowerment-not-be-victim/

By Darlene Lancer , JD, MFT

https://www.whatiscodependency.com/

Copyright @2016 Darlene Lancer – All Rights Reserved



How Divorce Impacts Your Taxes

When it comes to divorce, there’s a host of legalities to worry about, but one facet that doesn’t always immediately come to mind is the effect filing for divorce can have on your taxes. From exemption options to switching your filing status, there’s plenty to prepare for when you’re prepping taxes during a divorce. Keep these aspects in mind and help yourself alleviate the extra stress.

So You’ve Never Prepared Your Taxes

Perhaps your former spouse was always the preparer of your taxes, leaving you grasping at straws about how to approach the filing process on your own. This is common, but need not be a cause for concern. It’s a good idea to use professional help at least the first time through, as missing certain exemptions and dealing with the complications of divorce can cause errors in filing that can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. Use a company like Community Tax to file the first time around; a certified tax professional can walk you through the process and the small fee you pay for help is more than worth the peace of mind, especially when going through the tumultuous time of divorce proceedings.

The Issue of Filing Status

Couples that have not yet divorced at the end of the year can still file a joint return if they wish to, but the alternative is filing as married filing separately. If you’ve already gotten your divorce by the end of the year, you can’t file jointly. You may choose to file as the head of the household, which generally comes along with larger standard deductions and an easier tax bracket. You may only file for this status if you took care of a dependent, whether it be a child or elderly parent, for more than half of the year, and you paid for a majority of the upkeep and maintenance of your home.

If You Sell Your Home

After a divorce, many couples end up selling a home in favor of a fresh start. If you and your spouse plan on selling your home or you already have, you’ll need to understand the tax implications that come along with this income. If you owned the home and lived there for at least two years out of the previous five, you can avoid taxes on the first $250,000 gained from the sale if filing single; $500,000 if filing jointly.

Filing an Exemption for a Dependent

When it comes to claiming your child as a dependent, you can only continue to do so after your divorce filings are complete if he or she has lived with you for a longer amount of time throughout the year than with your former spouse. This gives you the distinction of custodial parent. However, if you are not the custodial parent, you can still claim the exemption providing your ex-spouse signs a written waiver pledging to leave it unclaimed for you.

When it Comes to Alimony

If you’re paying alimony to your spouse, you’ll have the opportunity to take a tax deduction for these payments, even if you don’t take the time to itemize your deductions. To qualify for a deduction, your alimony payments must be in cash and must be written out in your divorce agreement. If you’re the spouse receiving alimony payments, know that you’ll be required to pay income taxes on the payments you are receiving. You’ll both want to know each other’s SSNs to be able to file without running into issues.

The Retirement Issues

If you’re cashing out a 401(k) plan to provide money to your former spouse, this can be considered a taxable distribution. With this contribution, you’ll be required to pay a tax on the money. If you’d like to transfer this money without being subject to a steep tax, use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QRDO). This means your former spouse has access to the funds and ensures you don’t take any of the taxes that would otherwise be owed on this money. Similar to alimony deductions, you’ll need proof of this QDRO spelled out in your divorce agreement.

Divorce is hard, but your finances after divorcing need not be more complicated with tax issues. Keep these tips in mind and use the help of a financial advisor to determine the tax implications of your divorce.

 



Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Apartment after Divorce

Staying in your home after getting a divorce isn’t for everyone; memories can make it hard to remain in a space where you were once happily married, and for some individuals, it’s best to start anew in all facets of life, including living arrangements. Other times it may be the terms of your separation that deem it necessary for you to make a move. If you’ve decided to move into an apartment after your divorce, and your financials find you unable to purchase your own place for the time being, keep these rental tips in mind.

The Costs of a Home

If you’re still determining whether or not you want to stay in your marital home (and that’s a viable option for you), consider the costs that come along with this decision. You’ll be in charge of the mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, maintenance, repairs, interest, and any unexpected costs. In contrast, renting an apartment can greatly simplify your life. Pay the rent each month and handle your utilities and you’re set. Your landlord will be in charge of maintenance, and you’ll have someone on hand to help you should anything come up needing repairs in the home.

Determine Your Budget

Divorces can be extremely expensive, and depending on legal fees and other financial aspects of the process you might find your budget is significantly slashed. Be sure you know what you can spend on rent each month before beginning your search; the last thing you need to do is find yourself in a living situation that you can’t afford right after moving.

Prepare to Downsize

This really should go without saying but the realities of moving from your marital home to an apartment can be a downsizing slap in the face. The fact of the matter is it’s a necessary evil, and you might find the simplification it provides is exactly what you needed (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time). You’ll need to take inventory of all the items you’re taking with you, and determine what might be left behind, thrown away, sold, or donated to charity. This process of cleaning out old possessions can be very cathartic, and sometimes difficult, but always necessary.

Finding the Right Apartment

It’s a competitive rental market out there right now, and this heavy competition can make it hard for individuals to secure the apartment of your dreams before someone else snatches it up. With that said, it’s important to be diligent about your apartment hunting. Look multiple times per day, and don’t rely on Craigslist to offer the apartment you need. Look at websites like ApartmentFinder.com to find certified listings that come with professional quality photos and detailed apartment summaries. If you have children, it’s important to find a place that works for your entire family. Luckily, apartment listing sites like this have a variety of filters that you can utilize to narrow down your search and find the right match.

Keep Your Identity Safe

When it comes to apartment hunting, you’ll feel like you’re giving out personal information right and left. Landlords can’t make an informed decision about who they want to reside in the property without having access to your social security number. This allows them to check your credit and figure out whether or not you have a criminal history. However, handing over your SSN and bank statements can be a harrowing task considering the risks involved. The last thing you need to worry about after making a move and dealing with your divorce is identity theft; unfortunately, these days the threat of having your identity stolen is common. Always be sure the landlord utilizes certified rental credit check services to ensure you’re safe.

Letting go of the home where you’ve raised your children and had wonderful memories in is a heart-wrenching decision, but it can be in your best interest and make your family the happiest it can be. Keep these tips in mind when you begin your hunt for a new apartment following or during your divorce proceedings.



The Importance of Redecorating Your Home after Divorce

Divorce is a heartbreaking struggle that is quite prevalent in today’s world; America currently sees around 50 percent of first-time marriages ending in divorce. Beyond the emotional distress that comes with divorce, you’re also responsible for a variety of real-life issues as a result of your split. One of the most heart wrenching and stress-inducing aspects of a divorce is the question of who gets the house. If you are staying in the home that you shared with your ex-spouse, experts agree that you should visually alter it, as it can support your emotional journey and reflect a new chapter in your life. Take these redecorating tips into consideration and do what you can to transform your home back into a place that provides you comfort and serves as your safe haven.

Let Color Guide You

Your first order of business should be painting the walls a brand new color. This seemingly inconsequential change can actually have the biggest impact. Specific colors can actually evoke varied feelings. If you find yourself in need of a calming presence, a pale blue or muted grey could bring the peace into any room you choose. These colors are especially well suited to bedrooms, places that are meant to be our oases from the outside world.

When it Comes to Furniture

Your furniture might be harder to replace, an unfortunate fact when those furniture pieces might remind you of memories of your ex. If you find that budgetary concerns make it impossible for you to replace your furniture, consider some Feng-shui instead. Surprisingly, even rearranging your couch and table can make the biggest difference in the appearance and feel of any room, giving you a new outlook on the room.

Sentimental Items

Your home might be currently filled with items that had sentimental meaning to your relationship, and these constant reminders of happier times with your ex may be detrimental to your healing process. For the time being, it might be in your best interest to box up these items—whether you store them for your children or later review, or throw them away is your decision to make. Be sure to replenish your décor as you get rid of it, however, as empty space can be disheartening. Instead, strive for a mix of sentimental and brand new. Set up your living space with modern, clean pieces from a site like TouchofModern.com, and then augment these with sentimental items from other loves in your life, i.e., a painting your grandmother made, framed drawings from your kids, or photos of you and your best friends growing up. Find an art print recreation of a famous piece of art from Art.com that has some sentimental meaning for you from childhood, or browse their new up and coming collections to find a piece that you find to be emotionally moving.

For Security

If you’re going to be living in the home alone, or with just your kids, the thought of being alone can be overwhelming and a little bit frightening. If you’re concerned about security, consider installing a brand new alarm system that will alert you of any suspicious activity inside your home. You might also consider the Nest camera security system. Even when you’re away from home, you’ll get notifications about movement in the house and be able to see livestream images.

Bring Out the Old Items

When you and your ex initially moved in together, you may have had to forfeit a few of your personal favorites in respect of their decoration preferences. If that sounds familiar, pull out those old boxes from storage and take out the things you’ve kept hidden for a long time. It could be that rug your spouse hated, that piece of art you bought in college and still love, or a sentimental family heirloom.

Redesigning your marital home after a divorce can give you a sense of renewal, and inspire you to begin your emotional recovery on the right foot. Incorporate these redecorating tips into your home and make new memories in a space designed to help you bolster your self-esteem and lead your best life.