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102: Who’s Fault Was Your Divorce?

The Remarried Life

Release Date: 08/06/2019

130: How to Change Your Mindset Toward Your Blended Family show art 130: How to Change Your Mindset Toward Your Blended Family

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about the one thing we have control over in our blended family. That one thing is how we view what is happening around us. We can choose to think certain ways, but we are going to challenge those thoughts today. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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129: Valentines Day Remarriage  Family Traditions show art 129: Valentines Day Remarriage Family Traditions

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talksin this episode about the Valentines Family traditions. Not only should Valentines Day celebrate each other as spouses but should incorporate the kids as well. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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128: Do You Have Voices In Your Head When Arguing With Your Spouse? show art 128: Do You Have Voices In Your Head When Arguing With Your Spouse?

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about how an increase in disagreements and arguing can often be a result of some voices from your childhood. Feeling like you don’t measure up to your spouse or that your spouse does not care often will be magnified because someone in your past either said these things or made you feel this way. We will talk about this and what to do about it. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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127: How to Have the Best Family Meeting show art 127: How to Have the Best Family Meeting

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about the dreaded family meeting. You have all kinds of chaos between your spouse, the ex-kids, the kids, and the stepkids. It probably feels like everyone is being pulled into many directions. Let’s talk about what to do and what not to do in a family meeting. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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126: Heap Burning Coals On Their Heads show art 126: Heap Burning Coals On Their Heads

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about being nice to your family including your stepkids even when you feel like they don’t deserve. Heap burning coals on their heads is a biblical reference to doing kind things for your enemies. The burning coals is supposed to awaken those that you are being nice to how to act differently toward you. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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125: When Your Ex-Spouse's Parenting Style is Different show art 125: When Your Ex-Spouse's Parenting Style is Different

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about what we have all been through and that’s dealing with an ex-spouse who runs a much different family dynamic or parenting style than you. Usually the differences center around the relationship with the children, rules like bedtimes, mealtimes, and homework. We will talk today about how to deal with this situation in the best way possible. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.c

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124: Reduce Screen Time in Your Stepfamily show art 124: Reduce Screen Time in Your Stepfamily

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer talks about how technology, screen time, and social media can secretly and silently destroy your connection with your stepfamily. We will talk about this and some strategies to reduce this as an issue. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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123: Stop Making Assumptions About Your Partner show art 123: Stop Making Assumptions About Your Partner

The Remarried Life

Summary Brian Mayer talks about how the human brain will filter something the eyes see and the ears hear into something that maybe is not really there.  It is called making assumptions.  When we see our spouse say or do something, we will often unknowingly ascribe meanings that may or may not be true.  We will talk about this and what to do instead.  We hope you enjoy today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at Today's Goodies   We all know the old cliché about what assumptions do?  That make a “blank”...

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122: Stepfamily Development – Part 3 The Later Stage show art 122: Stepfamily Development – Part 3 The Later Stage

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer over the next 3 weeks will be talking about the stages of stepfamily development. These stages were developed by Patricia Papernow, Ed.D. We will walk through the early stages in the first episode, the middle stages in the second episode, and the later stages in the third episode of this series. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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121: Stepfamily Development - Part 2 The Middle Stage show art 121: Stepfamily Development - Part 2 The Middle Stage

The Remarried Life

Brian Mayer over the next 3 weeks will be talking about the stages of stepfamily development. These stages were developed by Patricia Papernow, Ed.D. The broad view of this series is to understand that there are steps that the life of the stepfamily will take and that patience is needed to see them all unfold. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

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Brian Mayer talks about the concept of fault when it comes to divorce.  As human beings we often want to assign blame for the failure of our marriage.  Sometimes we blame our spouse and sometimes we blame ourselves.  This might not be the most productive use of your time and it also might not even be the right question.  We will explore this today.  We hope you enjoy today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • Unfortunately, our culture has taught us to become very quick to blame someone when it doesn’t go our way.  More often that not, we are taught to blame someone else.  For example, if I run out of gas I might think to blame my wife for not telling me the tank was low when she drove the car last night.  Or maybe since my boss was so hard on me yesterday, that he caused me to not be able to concentrate on anything but the mistake I made at work. 
  • Sometimes this blame is so prevalent that it just comes very quickly and almost automatically
  • We think about how sue happy our society has become as well.  There has been lots of work done to reduce frivolous lawsuits but they still happen with great regularity.  I am sure you can think of lawsuit that you heard of that is in that category.  Many people felt that person that sued McDonalds back in the 1980’s over hot coffee was just such an act. 
  • So all this being said, when we go through a painful divorce we are often looking for who to blame.  Blame can often make us feel better to a degree because it is like our brain is then able to wrap around why something happened.  A divorce and dissolved relationship is already confusing and complicated enough but if our brain can make sense of who did what and who is accountable then it can sometimes bring relief to anxiety and uncertainty.
  • But is someone really to blame solely for a divorce?  Unless, we are talking some sort of abuse then the answer is generally “No.”  Even in cases of affairs and infidelity, we could ultimately trace back the issue to a disconnection in the emotional bond between you two. 
  • Additionally it isn’t the right question to ask because the two of you are involved in a system of dancing in which you both play a part.  You act and react based on things you see in the system and the thoughts and feelings that are generated from that.  It is much more complicating than looking at the actions on the surface. 
  • I like what Sue Johnson, the creator of something called Emotionally Focused Therapy says about this dance.  She says that we as a couple get caught in one, two, or three types of “Demon Dialogues.”  These are patterns of behaviors that develop and take root due to actions, thoughts and feelings.  Here are the dances of dialogues that she says are most common:
    • Find The Bad Guy:  This dance involves two people pursuing and pushing to determine who the worst person in the interaction is.  This often will result in the kitchen sink coming out against one or both.  The fight will generally continue to escalate because neither wants to back down.
    • The Protest Polka:  The dance involves a pursuer and withdrawer.  One pushes and escalates as the other retreats and withdraws.  As each person goes further into their pattern, the more it pushes the other’s buttons
    • Who  This involves two people who have withdraw and simply do not communicate.  One person in the interaction may have been a pursuer who pushed but not anymore.
  • The longer these patterns and dialogues exist in a relationship the higher the chance of relationship demise. 
  • According to Johnson’s work, neither person in the interaction is the bad guy, but it is the interaction they get entangled with that is the bad guy.  Once couples start to realize this the more they can work together to interrupt these cycles. 
  • So what are the things that you should look out for in this cycle?
    • Your actions
    • Your Partners Actions
    • Your thoughts (and your partner’s thoughts) or “what you made up about this situation”
    • Your triggers (and your partner’s triggers) (past events that may have escalated the issue – this can include past relationships, your childhood, and/or things that have built up over time in your current relationship
    • Your primary emotions (and your partner’s primary emotions) (there are 6 that most accept – Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, Surprise)
    • Your more vulnerable emotions and your partner’s more vulnerable emotions (the softer feelings underneath the primary emotions like loneliness or unworthiness for example)
    • Your and your partner’s unmet attachment needs
  • So what does all of this means.  It means the idea of who is to blame is rather complicated because of everything that goes into a decision or action that is made.  Rather often times our actions make complete sense when we line them up against our thoughts, emotions, triggers, and unmet needs. 

So the key here is to be more aware of all that is going on especially in our own brains so that we can interrupt decisions that might detrimental to the dance we are engaged in with our partner.