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Nicole    1,366

1. Your partner's communication style has done a 180.

You've always wished your spouse would complain less about you. Suddenly, he has and it's downright eerie! Once a partner has abandoned the (oh so irritating) repair attempts like nagging you to change, it's a good indicator they've given up.

We all have days when we don't feel like talking, but a general trend of shutting down the lines of communication and creating distance makes it easier to pull the plug when they deem the time is right.

There's a distinct difference between your spouse going through something that has nothing to do with you and harmful breakdowns of communication—so don't call a lawyer just yet.

2. Financial behavior and cash conversations begin to morph.

This doesn't necessarily mean your spouse is suddenly hiding the credit card bill. It could also mean that he will send you on a luxury girls' weekend out of the blue!

It could be that there are suddenly new bank accounts, new loans, and old passwords are being changed. Maybe he suddenly feels compelled to pay the phone bill when that's always been your job. When financial changes within a relationship occur, it could signal that a partner is starting to think about their future—and what it looks like without you in it.

Be aware of gripes about changes in earning potential, a reduction in compensation or bonuses, or other complaints—especially if he has had a solid career history and job performance. It could be a setup to reduce financial expectations and responsibilities when he tells you he wants a divorce. Similarly, they could start showering you with gifts if they sense you are growing increasingly distant.

3. They're annoyed about everything.

Every married person has the unique ability to annoy their partner like nobody else on the planet. However, these annoyances fluctuate in the landscape of a healthy marriage and often can be quelled with humor and warmth.

But if your partner is suddenly always on edge and you feel unable to smooth the tension with a loving tease, tender kiss, or something spicier, you may not be imagining things. He could be checking out of your relationship but feel unsure about how to truly cut the cord.

In my book, Soon-to-Be-Ex, we explore this further. Don't discount the possibility that you actually are being particularly annoying right now and need to do some work yourself!

4. Your spouse has taken on a great interest in other things—except you.

Some autonomous interest in hobbies is perfectly healthy. The flames of romance need plenty of oxygen to thrive.

What is not normal is when one partner seemingly has moved on to finding a new, singular interest in hanging out with friends, traveling solo, is practically living on the golf course—and places no focus on even trying to include you.

Disinterest creates distance. If you suddenly feel like you have been pushed out of the fun activities or the other events and happenings that you used to share together, he could be having thoughts about a solo future.

5. Cheating

If your spouse is suddenly possessive of his electronic devices, is abruptly required to work late, or has a sudden abundance of "business trips," this could be a sign he's either cheating or damn close.

Other signs of infidelity include increased concern about appearance, or possibly even overcompensating when it comes to your relationship. All of those signs could point to an affair—and combined with points 1 through 4 on this list could indicate your spouse is getting his proverbial ducks in a row to leave.

If cheating does seem likely, I advocate for people to have an open, honest conversation.

Note: If you're suddenly breathing into a paper bag, relax. Many healthy marriages may have one or two of these signs crop up at various stages. Relationships ebb and flow. The point of this list is to keep you alert so that you can face difficulty directly and, if you chose not to act, aren't blindsided when divorce papers show up on the kitchen table.

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    • By The Librarian
      Do Jehovah’s Witnesses help couples deal with marital problems? Do congregation elders have to approve the divorce of a Witness?

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    • By Nicole
      “Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
      I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
      I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
      Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
      The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
      Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
      I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of the blue, and before you know it, we were meeting.
      It could have been our final goodbye, the closure we needed. Or maybe even in the back of my mind, it was the new beginning that I’d secretly imagined.
      I don’t know. I walked out to see her after a five-year hiatus. In our memories were the international long-distance romance we had, the difficult marriage we had endured, and the painful divorce we had gone through together.
      When we initially parted ways, she was still pursuing her education and getting adjusted to life in America.
      Yet, today she was different. She spoke of her new travels, new experiences, new house, and new job.
      She talked about the ups and downs of the different relationships in her life.
      Close friends, social events, and the search for the “one”—her “one”—were her focus.
      As we spent the day together, a startling but simple realization came over me.
      She had moved on.
      Life was on the up and up. She seemed to have let go of everything we had shared.
      She was a bird that was soaring, while I felt like a bird that hadn’t gone very far from the same branch I was still sitting on.
      She seemed to have moved on like our past had never happened. I was holding on like it was still happening.
      I realized it was way past time to completely let go of what we had shared.
      She had moved on, and I need to finally move on as well.
      If your ex has already moved on, perhaps my lessons will help you do the same.
      Shift your perspective on the relationship.
      Whatever story you’re telling yourself about the relationship, you need to be retell it. You’re likely holding onto the sad and tragic version. You were left behind as the victim as your ex was the heartbreaker who didn’t give the relationship a chance.
      Shift the story to the one that is the most empowering for you. How about a story of how you both gave it your best? You fought, you loved, you laughed, and you cried. You tried over and over when things didn’t seem to work. You fought, forgave, broke up, got back together, and finally called it off for good.
      You both gave it your all but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was you coming to the conclusion that you were different people, both good people, who were incompatible for each other. You both helped each other grow and become better versions of yourself.
      The more you can flip your perspective on your ex and the relationship, the easier it will be to move on.
      Release blame, anger, and resentment once and for all.
      If you haven’t completely let go of the relationship, you may still be holding on to instances of on injustices by your ex. You may still be feeling betrayed, hurt, or angry about something your ex did.
      Until you can let go of these feelings of resentment on anger, you’re not going to be able to let go or move on.
      You’re not going to lose anything by releasing these feelings, but you will gain your peace of mind and freedom.
      Let go for yourself.
      Even if your ex was entirely at fault and deserves the worst kind of karma, you’re not going to get caught up on it. You are not the universe’s policeman.
      Your ex is human and made mistakes. You’re going to release the resentment and anger and forgive your ex for what they did.
      If you made mistakes, you have to be willing to forgive those too.
      When you don’t forgive your ex or yourself, it keeps the past injustices and pain still burning like it happened today.
      Forgive for yourself. Forgive for your peace of mind.
      Thank your ex for how far they brought you forward in your life.
      Instead of focusing of how much better off your ex is doing or how you’re falling behind, while they are moving ahead, reflect on how far you’ve come yourself.
      While our marriage was difficult and our divorce was soul-crushing, honestly, I grew so much from this relationship. I had so many insights about myself, made drastic life changes, and became an entirely new person.
      You can either compare and mourn or thank your ex and appreciate how far they’ve brought you along.
      You might not have welcomed the pain, but it’s likely made you into a newer and improved version of yourself.
      Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
      Yes, when you’re comparing yourself to your ex, you might feel bad about yourself and like you’re stuck, but it’s not wise to compare yourself to someone else. If you feel a need to compare, then compare yourself to where you were before.
      In my case, I was stuck in dysfunctional relationship patterns, I was carrying around a lot of emotional baggage, and I was stuck in a soul-crushing career.
      Regardless of where she’s at today, enough therapy and learning has helped me become a new person. I have many more tools to navigate life, and I’m doing work that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work.
      I’m living more in line with my values today and have the freedom to pursue my creativity and writing.
      You don’t have to be soaring like your ex.
      Just remember that you’re not stuck crawling like you were in the past.
      Remind yourself that today is the only thing you can do something about.
      You cannot change the past, the relationship, or your ex.
      You cannot go back and un-do your mistakes or do something different.
      There’s no point in wallowing in regret, past disappointments, and failures that you can’t do anything about.
      Focus on what you can control—the changes you make today.
      You can become the person you’re capable of becoming today.
      You can create the life you want today.
      Keep bringing yourself to the moment you can do something about: the present moment. In this moment, you can shift your perspective. You can make different choices. You can create the life you want.
      Live less in the futile past and more in the hopefulness of today.
      See the uncertainty in your life as an adventure.
      The most difficult part of my marriage ending was the uncertainty of my life.
      See, when you’re married or in a relationship, you have a location. The world identifies you in a certain way. You know who you’re spending your weekends with or who you have to plan the holidays with. You know who you list in the relationship column of Facebook.
      Yet, after a breakup, all these questions are uncertain and more than likely, unknown. I’ve discovered that I, and humans in general, hate uncertainty.
      We would rather tolerate an unbearable situation than the unknown.
      You can view uncertainty as a tsunami about to happen or a surfing vacation in Hawaii.
      The more you see your future life as an adventure that is filled with excitement and novelty, the easier it will be for your to welcome in the life waiting for you.
      Pursue the life you visualize every day.
      You can get stuck focusing on where your ex is at or what your ex is doing, but this is neither healthy nor productive.
      Instead, get super clear on what you want.
      What is the life you envision for yourself every day? What values and principles do you want to guide your life?
      How would you like your life to look each day?
      Now, you may not be able to create that life instantly, but you can start doing small things each day that get you closer to the life you want.
      If you envision spirituality in your life each day, create time for a spiritual practice or class.
      If you see creativity in your life each day, make time for your creative ventures.
      If you see self-care as a necessity for your best life, reduce your commitments and take better care of yourself.
      You might not have the life you envisioned right now, but if you start taking small steps each day to live the life you want, before you know it, your visions will be your reality.
      What’s helped you let go of the past when your ex has already moved on?

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    • By Bible Speaks
      Divorce! 
      Nowadays, divorce has become easy and widespread, and the divorce rate in many countries is climbing. However, we should keep clearly in mind that Jehovah God has a completely different view of marriage and divorce than the one generally accepted in the world around us. 
      What, then, is Jehovah’s view?
      Jehovah God expects those who are married to remain faithful to their marriage vow. When he united the first man and woman in marriage, Jehovah stated that “a man . . . must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.” Jesus Christ later repeated that statement and added: “Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.” Jesus further stated: “Whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.” (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:3-6, 9) 
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      Read (Malachi 2:13-16)
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      jw.org

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    • By Nicole
      It’s been close to 3 years since I separated and later on, divorced from my husband.
      We were only officially married for 1 year and half but unofficially together for 7 years. He was my best friend. I looked up to him and secretly felt I could not keep up to his ability to be successful.
      Three years ago, l lost sight of everything meaningful in my life, and spiraled into self- sabotage and rebellion. When we broke up, I took it upon myself to change as a person, because I thought that was partly the reason my marriage had deteriorated. What I came to realize is it was the marriage with myself that I never allowed to heal properly. Before we can love someone wholeheartedly, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
      Year one taught me survival through various avenues of meditations, traveling, one-on-one coaching, researching topics of interest (self-help), and continuous self-introspective writing. Year two opened the doors towards discovering who I am, my true self and layers of my mind that contributed to my years of “unconscious” living (along with the help of therapy.) Year three helped me accept that I am already in the place I need to be and learning to accept myself as I am as well as being more compassionate with myself. It is also more of a “free” year, where I am living day by day and just being with myself not doing anything in particular as previous years – I am actively watching myself “just being me.” (As weird as that sounds!) I am very clear about the mistakes I made back then.
      Marriage is when two imperfect souls can accept each other just as they are and grow as persons and as a unit simultaneously. Marriage is compromise, love, empathy, understanding, strength, vulnerability and maturity amongst the obstacles and difficulties thrown at us by the universe.
      Divorce is just another new beginning to look at yourself and reflect on what went wrong.
      It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and to appreciate your previous partner as another teacher in your life (once you move past the anger phase, because you do experience it – and it’s totally normal!)
      I learned more about me, then I did after any other difficult time period of my life.
      It was hard for me in the first few months, as I am a sensitive individual. Time went so slow, my loved ones spent hours calling me, inviting me over for dinner, and sharing countless words of wisdom. I felt I was experiencing an outer body experience.
      Surprisingly, work became more interesting because I drowned myself to avoid feeling pain. I often woke up earlier and fell asleep earlier than usual. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and I started praying frequently again. This only reaffirmed my desire to create change for myself. I am eternally grateful for the spiritual coach who guided me during this time and opened up doorways for my self-improvement (my healing).
      Here are my tips to work on healing from your heartache while improving yourself and loving yourself:
      1. Don’t lock yourself up indoors.
      When we feel down, we feel lifeless, we are walking zombies and we do not want to get out of bed. My godfather told me, “When you feel sad: get up, grab your purse, open the door, and hear it slam. Then, come straight over to our house. No matter how many times. Get up and get out.” You have no idea, how much I have listened to this. Once you are out, you won’t suddenly feel thrilled but after 2hours of engaging with others, laughing or in-depth conversations of moral support, you will feel better.
      2. Set intentions and be compassionate with yourself.
      If you have no other options, because we tend to close up, then set an intention to be compassionate with yourself. For example, I have very few intimate friends, so I did often stay at home, in bed with the lights off. But, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I set a realistic intention to give myself a minimum of 3 days at home. Day 3 came and I would get up to go out or do an activity such as writing, visiting loved ones, going for a walk or seeing a movie.
      3. Allow yourself to feel.
      Do not avoid it. If you need to talk to someone (you trust) for hours to get things off your chest, do so. We are creatures of service; another person will listen to you and help you feel relaxed. If you don’t have someone, I recommend writing down every thought going through your mind. If you suddenly feel the need to cry or laugh, don’t hold it back. Feel it, watch it, and release it – whatever feeling it is, will go away on its own. Don’t avoid thinking or feeling by working overtime or going out every chance you get as an escape. In the long run, this will bring more harm because pain gets buried and will resurface when a new relationship or situation comes around.
      4. Get help from a professional outsider: a coach or therapist.
      I met a wonderful life coach through a mutual friend. She guided me in every session, hearing me out, giving exercises, written homework assignments and insight. Sometimes we need another’s eye and expertise to comprehend what we are going through and provide you tools to move forward. There were so many topics and tools I would have never thought of without her. She opened my mind to study myself and be understanding that this new life experience would allow me to reach my goals of healing, true love and self-acceptance.
      5. Take a seminar or a class.
      When you find yourself as a student again engaging in adding skills to yourself professionally and/or as a hobby – you are left with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, giddiness and success. It will make you feel so much better and you will begin to notice you forget about your sadness because you are doing something loving such as an exercise dance class, meet up group, meditation or yoga seminar.
      6. Don’t do rebound relationships.
      I have done these in the past, though I didn’t do it after my divorce from my last partner. I have found that you are still in a tender phase and you need to work on those feelings of hurt, discomfort and loss. Sometimes, we think we are ready and what we really need is to meet new people and be friends first. If the right partner comes along, you will know it. Don’t rush, take your time.
      7. Don’t stay in contact with your ex/exes.
      My last ex found it annoying I stayed friends with previous exes. He use to say, “Exes can’t be friends.” I use to debate this all the time. I found it brought me more harm than good, even affecting my marriage. Growing up as an only child with little or no family, we tend to make our friends our family. I couldn’t let go of certain relationships because I was scared to be alone. In past relationships, I had keep my exes as friends but by doing so I only kept it as “yellow” light just in case the flame would revive. In order to move on, we need to keep a distance. Otherwise, we are prolonging pain or in some cases, engaging in relationships with no ties – where there is always one person that gets attached and gets hurt.  No matter how much we love or loved that person, we need to let go and accept the one relationship worth keeping is the one with ourselves.
      8. Do pray or meditate.
      Religion and spirituality continue to be the most contributing part of this healing and self-transformation equation. If you belong to a particular religion, prayer is universal – give it to God. If you are not part of any religion, being spiritual is another tool. Spirituality isn’t all about a religion. It is also about belief in yourself, your inner center, the universe and the stars. I went to free meditation seminars on Sundays during year one and even pulled up some good mediattions and mantras from YouTube. Meditation frees you to – give it to the universe. For me, giving myself to God and the universe through prayer and meditation allowed me to feel peace again, especially in those sad or anxious moments during and after my divorce.

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    • By Nicole
      It took 5 years after my divorce for me to start meeting people again.
      For many years I couldn’t imagine ever meeting anyone new because I was still stuck on my past relationship. I enjoyed marinating in the past, feeling sorry for myself, guilty for what had happened, and fearful of what could happen in another relationship.
      I had no desire to meet someone new. As time passed and I did the work of grieving and healing, things changed. In a more grounded and healed space, I am open to meeting new people in my life.
      Having met a few women of late, I’m beginning to wonder if another relationship is even possible. Is the “one” person out there for me? Will I find love again? Will I find another relationship?
      I know that if you’re divorced, broken up, or single for a long time, it can feel like you’ll never meet someone again. You might feel like you’ve done everything you can to meet that special someone but it doesn’t seem to be working.
      Here are 7 things to keep in mind if you feel like you will never be with someone again.
       
      You are enough by yourself.
      Before you can meet someone and find a relationship, you must do inner work. Some of us have a lot of inner work to do. You might not know how to love yourself. Others might have a bad relationship with themselves. You might not feel complete or enough. Before seeking a relationship, you have to learn to be enough by just being you. This means accepting yourself for who you are. It’s realizing that you don’t need anyone but yourself. It’s realizing that you are complete. To realize that you are enough, look for ways to honor and appreciate yourself. Think about your loving and generous nature. Affirm daily that you are enough, you are loving and you are complete.
      How you treat yourself is more important than any relationship.
      You want a relationship filled with kisses, kind words, shared memories, and support, but can you receive love from someone else if you can’t accept it from yourself? Before trying to love someone else, love yourself. Do for yourself what you would do for someone else. Be considerate to yourself. Be patient to yourself. Be positive to yourself. Be gentle with yourself in the words you use and the way you treat yourself. Treat yourself to what you would enjoy. Splurge on yourself so you feel pampered and taken care of. Get enough sleep, rest, exercise, nutritious food and self-care. Treat yourself as you would treat your most devoted and passionate lover. If you’re seeking more ideas, check out my self-romance book here.
      Visualize the relationship you want in your life.
      It is important to know what kind of person you want in your life, so visualize them. Think of the person’s characteristics, values and world perspective. I try to focus on the internal qualities that I am looking for instead of the external ones. I’m not as preoccupied with someone’s career, looks or credentials. I’m not hiring someone to work for me or someone to show off to others. I’m looking for someone who is compatible with me, someone I can live with for the long term. So, visualize this person, but focus on what matters. What qualities in a partner do you desire? How would those qualities make you feel? Imagine the sensations and feelings of being with the person you adore and who fits the picture you’re looking for.
      Let go of your attachment to having a relationship.
      While it is good to have a picture of the person you want, you have to balance that with the need to let go of that picture as well. Don’t obsessively focus on that person in your visions. Worst of all, don’t focus on the fact that this person is not yet in your life. Engage in moments of visualization daily, but then let go. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and without that person in your life. Let go of the “needy” or “lack” energy in your life. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on the fact that the universe is doing its work to bring you that person. You do your part (living your life) and surrender to the rest.
      Your beliefs rule your life.
      Your beliefs affect your thoughts. Your thoughts affect your actions and your words. All of this ultimately affects your reality. Your belief system rules your life more than anything else, yet it’s the one thing you can’t see. If you feel hopeless about love or frustrated that you won’t ever meet anyone, you’re likely right. You cannot have self-sabotaging beliefs and expect life to give you something better than what you’re thinking about all the time. If you want a relationship, it’s essential that you shift your belief to a more empowering one. Visualize that person coming into your life. Affirm that you’ll meet someone. Trust that you’ll do it at the right time. Continue to see a picture of what’s possible and believe that you’ll meet the right person. Affirm and commit yourself to a positive picture of love each day. No matter what the past has held, believe your time for love is right around the corner.
      Live your life to the fullest.
      Regardless of what’s happening in your love life, the way to propel it forward is to live your best life every day. Many people are waiting to live until they meet their partner. You don’t need a partner to live the life you want to have. Sitting at home, refusing to go out with friends and being allergic to doing those things that bring you joy are not helping you find love. If you’re doing those things you’re passionate about and enjoying life every day, you’re more likely to see love coming your way. Raise the vibrations in your life to what it is you want to experience. If you fill yourself with happiness, joy, friendship and companionship each day, even without a partner, you will draw more of that into your life.
      Be open to meeting people.
      You have to mentally be open to meeting people wherever you are. You also have to open your heart to meeting people. Are your mind and heart open to relationships or closed like a castle door? If you’re avoiding social events, staying away from group activities and refusing to engage with bigger groups of people, you’re preventing yourself from finding the person you’re looking for. Instead of hiding in your cubicle or in your tiny space in the world, take small steps to come out of your shell. Get comfortable being around a couple of people and build yourself up to being in bigger groups. You may not like to be in bigger crowds, but challenge yourself each time. Your best life (and your dream partner) are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.

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