Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can You Say No?

Is it time to say “Yes” to “No”? How often do you take on too much at home? At work? Accommodating others? Giving in? It’s time you did what you wanted for a change without automatically feeling guilty about not saying yes. Here are some tips to help you go from “Yes” to “No” once in a while.

1. Practice saying “No.” Use the mirror and a tape recorder, or role-play with a friend. A rehearsal will help you develop your skills – and your courage.

2. Be prepared. Develop a series of stock answers you can pull out of your bag. The next time you’re about to say “Yes” but really want to say “No,” reach into your bag for a response that fits – like, “I’m sorry I have a family commitment that day.” Eventually, you’ll be a pro with or without the crib note.
 3. Start small. You do not have to say “No” to everything! Whether it’s saying “No” to shoes in your home, picking up the dry cleaning or taking on another client, a little “No” can go a long way. If saying “No” to family or friends feels overwhelming, start with a telemarketer.

Saying “Yes" can be like dining at a buffet with too many choices. Instead of filling your plate, be selective and go a la carte. Exercise your right to say “Yes” to “No”!


 Deborah L. Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W., A.T.C.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

AS FIRST PUBLISHED ON PREMIERE DIVORCE BLOG DIVORCESALOON.COM Braveheart or Brokenheart: An Elegant Approach For Mel and Robyn Gibson

GUEST ARTICLE: Braveheart or Brokenheart: Elegant Approach for Mel and Robyn Gibson.

April 17, 2009 by admin   
Filed under Guest Articles

 Divorce Saloon Welcomes and thanks Deborah Mecklinger for her contribution:

If this isn’t a case of art imitating life, than what is? Mel Gibson may not be an expert in WHAT WOMEN WANT but there is no question that he will be the leading man in PAYBACK. From the Year Of Living Dangerously, Chicken on The Run, Lethal Weapon, Forever Young and Braveheart – Mel has been flying through life and his career with the Passion of Christ. Is there anything to indicate just how Mel and Robyn Gibson will co-direct their divorce?

My hunch is that after 28 years of marriage, 7 children: Thomas, 10, Milo 19, Louis 21, William 24, twins Edward and Christian 29 and Hannah, 28 and fortunes nearing a billion dollars, Mel and Robyn will do everything in their power to facilitate an ELEGANT DIVORCE. Rumor has it that both are committed to resolving their issues respectfully and expeditiously.

Perhaps Mel Gibson’s notorious roadside episode in 2006 where he was drunk, belligerent and uttered anti-Semitic remarks taught him a lesson that he will take on his divorce journey. Mel Gibson’s road rage, the media implosion it brought on and Mel’s ensuing “look in the mirror” had a seismic effect on his life, career and sense of self. Gibson said that incident forever changed him and “saved him from himself.”

Gibson toxicity, venom and addictions resulted in the actor being called to task in the public realm where he ultimately, apologized, acknowledged his “out-of-control” behavior and told the world that he was “deeply ashamed”. This was the beginning of Gibson’s sensitivity training and a real life lesson on the impact and effects of INELEGANT behavior and its consequences. This cannot be a roadside divorce demolition. Apologies won’t do undue the damage of a roadside divorce debacle You get one shot at doing the divorce right. The memories are indelibly etched in the children’s minds.

In order to ensure the health, wellbeing, and best interest of 10 year-old Thomas Gibson, and his siblings, it is critical that Mel and Robyn handle their divorce with grace and sensitivity. No doubt preserving Thomas’ time and relationship with both parents is paramount. Furthermore, the mental health of their “adult” children is best served by navigating their way through the divorce process with a sophisticated legal team that will support a respectful process and a fair and expeditious resolution.  


Deborah Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W., A.T.C.






Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Help: My Marriage Is Sliding From Recession To Depression

Is the economic padding in your marriage no longer a cushion you can count on? Is the current economic climate a barometer for the temperature of your marriage? Is your dwindling bank account affecting the balance in your emotional depository? If your marriage is starting to feel like like an investment with low or no returns, take stock of how the recession can further impact your relationship and affect your bottom line.

As the economy declines, and stories of doom and gloom loom on the horizon, the emotional and practical stress on couples is unavoidable. Employment insecurity, job loss, pressure to perform, diminished resources, sinking stocks and slipping savings result in a marital albatross that many are struggling to carry. Moreover when a couple's preexisting issues are combined with the hefty weight of financial strain, it becomes even more challenging for spouses to figure out where to begin in order to move forward.

For spouses that have a history of communication issues, the hot topic of money is even scarier when there is less of it. In a marriage where financial freedom was a factor in keeping the disconnected together, limited resources might inhibit their ability to indulge in things like independent vacations, separate dinners out with friends and maybe even time alone at a cottage or on boat. Less disposable income, the sale of assets and longer hours at work can limit the availability of distractions that may have helped to stabilize the already shaky marriage. As for the spouse in the house who is out of a job, this too, often serves to add further strain on the relationship tight rope from which the couple was already hanging.

To add insult to injury, couples are bombarded with experts telling them that they can "Recession-Proof" their marriage. Such suggestions are akin to telling home-owners that they can "Burglar-Proof" their house and keep the most determined intruder out. The recession like the thief, doesn't knock, ring the bell, or "scare off" easily. Moreover, locks, alarms, buzzers, and even guard dogs cannot keep the prowler from coming through the door. In spite of your best efforts to protect yourself, be prepared to manage the chaos and consequences of an economic storm that beats your door down like a thief in the night.

Spouses are being advised by relationship experts that they can "Recession-Proof" their marriage in some of the following ways simple ways:

  • Cook together: For husbands and wives who can barely make it through a meal, the ideal of preparing it might not be a recipe for success.
  • Go on a date night: Does one really need to pay a therapist when money is tight, to be told that making an effort to go out together is important? Save the fees and buy the book. Date night recommendations will be in the first chapter!
  • Have sex. It is cheap and in the budget: If sex and money are intricately connected, it is no coincidence that the bed and the head may now be disconnected. In addition, for anyone feeling impotent in their lives, the pressure to perform may be filled with unbearable anxiety. In particular, for anyone who has lost a job, low self-esteem can be found between the sheets. Be sensitive and patient.
  • Go for walks together, save on gas and enjoy the outdoors: If conflict is at an all time high and the walks turn out to be more of the same - do the opposite. Walk your dog, stroll with a friend or go it alone. You will come back refreshed and better equipped to face your day.
  • See a couple's therapist: While it is not uncommon to recommend seeing a therapist together to make headway, perhaps a visit with a different kind of "professional helper" is better suited to the Recession Rescue Menu. For example, a Mediator may be in order to facilitate conflict resolution and help you reach mutual agreements regarding your finances.
While the aforementioned recommendations may work for some, others may find they only serve to exacerbate the stress they already experience. This is not to say that getting back to the basics and enjoying the little things in life together is not a wonderful thing. In fact couples who can connect in that way are at the top of their game. Unfortunately, for those that are truly stressed and in a mess, the "little things" might just not cut it. If the recession is pulling you and your spouse further apart consider the following additional tips to help you manage the damage and avert depression.
  1. Leave the money on the floor outside the bedroom door. Don't talk about financial issues in the bedroom. While it will not ensure sex, it will guarantee a greater likelihood of a better sleep.
  2. Share space not conversation. Spend time in the same room. Read, listen to music, get on your computer, play a game or watch TV. Take a break from talking about money and the issues at hand.
  3. Pick a regular time to discuss financial issues: This will eliminate the worry that the topic is ongoing and never-ending. Schedule "conversation time" on a weekly or monthly basis to discuss the finances and stick to it.
  4. Call a friend. The secret to every stressful marriage is a good friend.
  5. Filter: Use your best judgement and filter the topic before you raise it. Is your issue something that needs to be shared or is it a release of your financial anxiety only to be dumped and now the burden of your partner? If the answer is YES - get a journal and spare your spouse. What goes around comes around and the financial worry-go-round can be never-ending.
  6. Get Educated: Be informed and understand the real financial deal in your life. Don't live on the financial myths of your marriage.
  7. Ask An Advisor: Attend meetings with accountants, financial advisors, brokers and/or bankers together to avoid miscommunication.
  8. Skip the news at night. Go to bed with an empty head. Everything is more upsetting and anxiety provoking at night. The headlines will be there for you in the morning. If your spouse insists on watching, listening or stressing - disengage and leave the room.
  9. Exercise more. The release of endorphins will help you cope. This in turn will make you a calmer spouse. Life will begin to look brighter. You may find the cup half full. The laws of attraction will take effect and the cycle will evolve and you will feel the future beginning to look brighter.
  10. Look in the mirror more and pay attention to what you see. Wash your forlorn face. Walking around looking dejected, miserable and with a sour or dour face will ensure that you get back what you put out. Be aware of your energy, your presence and your demeanor and begin to smile. If it does not feel authentic, fake it. Your academy award winning performance may rub off on your marriage and you may find that before you know it, you actually feel happier.
Developing an economic partnership, communication, compromise, respect, reinventing and redistributing roles, sharing and caring are only some of the issues that need to be addressed by couples dealing with the consequences of the recession. As you ride out the economic storm remember that you cannot keep the recession out of your marriage or prevent it from impacting your relationship. So confront the issues head on and don't be afraid to open the door because it's coming inside even if you try to ignore. The really good news is that marriage is like the economy - it has cycles that come and go. Ride this one out and stay in the know.

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