The single mom.
She needs encouragement, love and sweet patience.
She needs slow paced, understanding and secure.
She needs ears that listen, a tender approach and affirmation.
She needs masculinity that is strong enough to catch her yet gentle enough to wipe her tears.
She needs a good laugh, a little space yet still knowing he's there for her any time day or night.
She needs good intent, Godly character and honor.
She needs passion in his eyes toward her for the long haul not merely overnight.
She needs all this and more...
Sticking her toes in however cautiously and the truth is:
It's not like when she was twenty something, wild and free... without kids and an entire book before her with blank pages still to be filled in with stories and pictures.
Now she has an entire history... saying "I do", buying her first home, getting pregnant, having babies... moving... decorating a house and making it a home, family recipes made year after year, traditions, pet names, growing children and finally heartbreak that brought the marriage to its final resting place of death and burial... abuse, cheating, irreconcilable differences or what have you... that left her standing there with her long time "other half" however admittedly miserably toxic, missing like a gangrenous cut off arm.
Yes, she is healing, yes, she will be okay, yes, she is strong, and yes, she will love again… yet it's no wonder she's a little hesitant to move forward dating again.
Because the truth is... yes, it is her life and yet it's not just about her anymore... she has children to think of and can't risk bringing someone possibly as bad, worse than, or not much better than her ex into her children's lives... so she must proceed with caution.
It takes a man with patience and understanding to pursue and date a now single mom. For she is a bundle of mixed emotions... fear, excitement, liberation and apprehension…
Single moms may go through the mental battlefield of:
"No man will want me now... however many years later... an ex who I swear is mad-as-a-hatter nuts, however many kids later that have their own histories and a schedule that means one week I can see him but the next I can't because I'm in full 'mommy mode'... what guy is going to sign up for this???"
Trust me... you aren't alone.
Then throw on that stacked pile of accumulated life some fear, apprehension and wondering how a man would meld into it all, this new life, without throwing his hands up in exasperation and driving away...
And yet… this won't last forever.
Fellow single mom, I don't know who you will date... who you will meet... I don't know his name... it might be someone you know or a man you've not yet met.... I don't know who that man may be... yes, he will see you as a glittering jewel in the sand of life no matter your past or present... no matter the insecurities you occasionally let get the best of you in those midnight hours you do too much thinking because you can't sleep and the crickets chirping outside your window deafen the sweet quiet of slumber...
But this I do know...
You may need all those qualities in a man first listed at the beginning of this post...
Where you have those fears that threaten he also needs your faith in God.
Where you may have apprehension he also needs to know you're open to a second story.
Where you may have trepidation he also needs to know you will let him comfort you.
Where you may have developed distrust in the male species he wants to prove otherwise.
Where you have been told: "There are no good faithful men who truly love their wives..." he wants to be the one who shows you otherwise despite his own admitted imperfections.
When you question, agonize and doubt a Godly man exists… undoubtedly far from perfect yet striving to live in obedience to Him... in this he wants to know you will go to God and pray for him as he's praying for you every day.
Where once someone held you thinking of themselves, their own needs... there will be a man who considers himself blessed to know you, to hold you and loves you selflessly as you do him.
Where once you had a "love" that represented anything but... you will be cherished by a man who values your sweetness, your kind heart and love for God… what a beautiful second chapter of life.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
- Matthew 8:26 (NIV)
For Men Dating The Single Mom:
1. Go slow... her heart has been hurt, and if you're a single dad more than likely yours has too.
2. Date her but don't smother her... be sensitive to the fact she has children and is still a mom.
3. Plan couple time when she doesn't have the kids... she will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
4. Don't be a daddy figure to her children. That's not your job and it creates more issues between her and her children and even her ex. Respect boundaries and be more of an encourager toward her kids not a disciplinary figure.
5. Realize that once you are together… the trust she has given you, the new life you have formed with her, will be all the more special to her after what she's been through… she will feel liberated… and how beautiful for her to be able to come together with you, fully herself, uninhibited… her second love story in a lifetime… and last.
"They said you was high class…
That was just a lie."
High-class…. respectable... honest… hardworking… some people may be viewed in this sense by others but sometimes the percieved view is completely wrong… indeed, the narcissistic sociopathic parent is capable of appearing quite the opposite of what they truly are underneath the mask they wear.
People in general often think "You married a Narcissist? What? How is that possible? They appear perfectly nice and normal to me." or they may think... "Your dad is a sociopath? Not possible! A sociopath is a cold blooded killer… not some everyday-looking-Joe."
But there is a wide spectrum when it comes to personality disorders… there are subtle traits and then the far extreme committing violent crimes… but typically most narcissistic sociopaths are your everyday working men…(the rate of personality disorders is higher in men than women) in jobs as businessmen… maybe they own their own business and make money under the table… maybe they are entrepreneurs, maybe they are attorneys or work on wall street… but all of them are looking out for one person and one person alone… themselves.
They are not caring people… they lack empathy. They do not love their children. It's hard for healthy loving parents to even comprehend that fact. But a narcissistic sociopath? Their children are possessions… and if divorced they use their children as pawns in a plan of vengeance. If married they still use their children… as their children are an extension of their ego… they need their children to satisfy their life goals and dreams in order to gain additional supply where the supply they gain leaves off from their spouse. There is always additional supply to pursue to feed their hungry egos and using people is how they do this. Sociopaths are comparable to emotional vampires… they suck you dry until you have nothing left. Then they move on to their next prey.
There are certain phrases they use and it's good to familiarize yourself with them. They tend to be repetitive…. when they do talk it's usually much about nothing… think of a dog running in circles chasing it's tail… that's comparable to having a conversation with a narcissistic sociopath. You walk away not having an in depth conversation, as it's a whirlwind of mumbo jumbo that spews from their lips leaving you further confused as to what just transpired.
10 Common phrases of a Narcissist Parent or Ex:
1. "I am an enigma." When my ex told me this a few years ago I thought it was odd but now looking back it speaks volumes about him.
2. "You think you are so smart! Let's see you figure it out!" Smug superiority.
3. "I don't know what you're talking about." Actually, yes he does… he's gas lighting you. Sociopaths excel at this. And from personal experience… once you educate yourself on gas lighting… and turn the tables and do it to them when they need something from you (in a very calm tone) it will nearly send them over the edge with frustration and they will lash out. Be careful doing this and don't if their prone to violence.
4. "There is nobody that will love you as much as I do!" Keeps you down.
5. "Maybe you need to check the bible… that part about honoring your parent!" What they fail to own up to is how incredibly abusive they are.
6. "Children should be seen, not heard." Classic one. Controller.
7. "I never said that." When in reality he's twisting and lying; he really did. More gas lighting; wants you to doubt yourself and reality. Classic sociopath behavior.
8. "Watch me! I can do whatever I want! You tell me not to, I will all the more!" Immature and comparable to a three year old boy having a temper fit.
9. "I thought we were going to have this big family! And it's fallen apart!" Behaving like the victim which they love to do to reel you back in and gain sympathy. When in reality they were the constructor of the destruction and reason for the fall out. Takes zero responsibility.
10. "This is all your fault! You can't be good!" Blames. Scapegoats his child for all the issues in the family.
10 Signs of a Narcissistic Parent:
1. Belittles the child's needs, feelings or ignores them outright. "No, you're fine. Stop it."
2. Uses the child to propel forward in life… whether it be for their beauty, smarts or talent… they will use their child in some way to build themselves up. They project onto the child what they wish them to be… following in their footsteps as a doctor, a rancher, an attorney, etc.
3. Self-centered; everything is about them… what they want to do, where they want to go on vacation, what they want to eat, what they want to watch etc.
4. Either controls with an iron clad fist or neglects their children… or alternates between the two… creating even more confusion and chaos; their child is always wondering exactly where they stand.
5. Takes credit for anything their child does well; achievements, talent, education, job, etc.
6. Loves babies, preschool age and up to about kindergarten age children. Because at these ages they have a captive audience and adoration; supply. But once past this age (latest first grade) they no longer know what to do with them and pull away leaving the child feeling confused and wondering if they did something wrong.
7. They may go through the basic motions of caring for their children if and when needed (like when the other parent is out of town, sick or in the case of divorce during their possession time) but never have the emotional connection needed to have a healthy relationship with their child.
8. Asking them questions or voicing opposition is a big no… they don't answer to anyone and least of all explain themselves to a child. This brings condemnation, yelling, rage and lashing out.
9. The older the child the more at risk they are for being abused because the parent sees them as a threat; they are becoming their own person with ideas and thoughts.
10. As the child grows a bit older (teen years) they begin to see their parent as mean, grouchy, cold, manipulative, a liar, a cheat, dishonest, two faced, cunning, selfish, child-like, a bully, vindictive, crazy, etc.
a short word about The Court System/Divorce/Child Custody:
The family court systems quite frankly for lack of a better word suck as they have no idea the extent of the damage sociopathic parents can do to their children. Judges, attorneys and yes, even the Ad Litem's are not typically schooled enough in psychology regarding narcissists, sociopaths, personality disordered individuals, which needs to change. They are typically so snowed by the cunning facade of the sociopathic parent they merely see a respectable good natured man or woman standing before them in the courtroom… and the parent who is accusing them of being a sociopath will inevitably be viewed as the nut job… which in turn makes for an even more frustrating case for the caring, loving, emotionally healthy parent. It tends to make them more defensive, more attacking and ultimately everything that they truly aren't. A sociopath has the capability of bringing out the ugliest, darkest side of a normal healthy person… driving them to insanity, as they know exactly where to poke and pull the strings like on a puppet. If and when someone tells their attorney that their ex is a sociopath more than likely they will be met with an "Uh huh…", a dismissive nod, an appreciative laugh or even outright ignoring you… because so many people run into their attorney's office during their divorce proclaiming "My ex is absolutely crazy!!!" that many attorney's honestly don't believe them when in reality it may very well be true.
A sociopath does not co-parent…
they do the opposite of what you do on purpose.
People tend to tell the target:
"And yet you stayed… so what's wrong with you?"
They fail to understand that when married to a sociopath
you are under their insidious hypnotic manipulation.
You no longer know what's real
and what's not because the sociopath twists reality.
One minute you have an adoring
husband (or wife) and the next he or she is discarding you.
Shame on people for blaming the true target.
It's no doubt it can feel isolating to have had a parent who is a narcissistic sociopath or to have been married to one, because so few people see it or even understand it. It's like most things in life; you have to live it yourself to fully understand, to comprehend what's happened. But once you realize what you've been through is zero reflection of you but instead that the sociopath is the unhealthy one… you can find affirmation, healing, peace…. and victory!
There is a new chapter!
A new life waiting for you filled with people are genuine, compassionate and kind.
Have faith that you will prosper!
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
image “Businessman Holding Phone” by imagery majestic via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
To My Readers:
Thank you for reading,
commenting and sharing!
It's that time of year…
when all over the world under bright multi-colored lit Christmas trees in town squares a man will get down on one knee and propose to the woman he loves… asking her out of billions of other fish in the sea to be his one and only. This is a time of magic, of horse-drawn carriage rides for two under blankets, a time of hot cocoa shared at Serendipity's in New York and blushing glances, a time of frozen fingers warmed by holding hands at hockey games and kisses shared between cheers for a favorite team in Dallas… a time of Italian dinners shared over candlelight in Palo Alto and stars in his eyes as she exclaims "yes!" to his lovely words of how much he adores her, how much he values her and hopes she will be his bride for now and forever.
Yes, it's a time of beauty and love and what better time than the magical sweet season of Christmas when the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated to profess our love for the one we cherish most?
And yet in that this can be an incredibly lonely time for people, when dinner parties are seated by couples, when photographs are taken of him and her and cards are mailed with Mr. & Mrs. emblazoned across the front… watching others from a table of one as you nurse a coffee in a corner at Starbucks as those couples nearby chat with heads leaned in close, muffled laughs emitted from their giddy bright white smiles… can threaten the feeling of looking conspicuous. And yet…
Conspicuous or Lonely shouldn't lead us to feeling the need for a relationship.
Here's the truth:
You Are Not Defined By Being Single.
And your happiness shouldn't be based on whether you have someone or not. If we can't be happy when were single then how on earth can we expect to be satisfied when were a couple?
"Uh, huh!"… you may think grouchily as you cross your arms and snort "humph!" as the song lyrics "…it's the hap-happiest season of allllll…" plays in the background of your mind.
The absolute worst thing we can do is let the whisperings of "I need to find someone… quick" run continuously like a worn out loop in our mind… because this leads us to a very very bad place… a place called…
And that line of thinking does not come from a good place but a very bad, a very dark place filled with men who likely compare to smelly rats that will ironically sniff you out like the next good meal to pounce on because they can smell your desperation a mile away… undeniably not a good thing.
Because desperation leads to ill choices… to one night stands, unhealthy relationships formed that should have never ever taken place to begin with. Desperation begins with the idealizing of love, the clouded idealism of infatuation of what other couples have that is not grounded in reality… desperation begins with timelines and timeframes, alarm clocks and planners, biological clocks and our gynecologist clicking her tongue saying "you're on borrowed time my dear…" and desperation begins with our mother pressuring us to "get out there" however well meaning because she won't be here forever and there are grand babies to be had and for her to enjoy…. desperation begins with all your friends getting married, your baby sister announcing "I'm engaged!" and everyone cheering then giving you the look of pity and walking on eggshells in your midst.
Desperation doesn't find love.
Desperation finds something that will initially be like an innocuous pot sitting on a stove that once you get close and touch the handle you jump back in alarm because the handle you've come to find out is hot… and you drop it like it's hot just like that guy you will drop once you realize desperation led you to him… an unGodly man… because hot is comparable to hell…. to fire and fury…. and hot has the ability to burn the heck out of your hand… leaving you with scalding burns and the unfortunate remaining scar to prove it.
We have to change our mindset.
We have to change our internal thought process of "I need someone" to these questions:
How can I become a better person while I am waiting patiently for a Godly man?
Am I prepared to be a wife? Am I prepared for such a huge responsibility?
Am I well versed in what a proverbs 31 wife looks like?
Do I know what makes up a Godly man? Will I recognize him?
Am I engaging in a relationship with God and have I asked Christ to help me remove all barriers to anything I have between me and the Godly man for me?
Have I dealt with my past and am I not defined by it but instead realize it's just a conglomeration of short stories that has led me to where I am standing right now in this moment…
in my kitchen stirring my soup while waiting for my sourdough bread to warm in the oven and for now… right now… perfectly content with a glass of wine for one….
These are the questions to ask… to contemplate while you enjoy that chick flick The Holiday for one… or savoring that devotional in the late hours of the night when all is quiet and you can reflect…
and remembering that the last thing we want to do is get burned but the best thing we can do is be patient, waiting… enjoying our single time between now and when we are warmed….
on a winter December night by just the right man.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
What comes to mind when you think of love?
Oftentimes we tend to think in terms of couples, dating, romance, marriage, and as parents the love we have for our children. Rarely do we perhaps think of Jesus Christ. And yet the truth is, Jesus Christ is the epitome of love and all it's glorious wonder and sacrifice.
Love is bearing nails.
Love is in his hands.
Love is Jesus.
Love is what Jesus did for each and every one of us.
'Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day...
- Casting Crowns
Glorious Day Lyrics
What is so incredibly beautiful about the love Jesus has for us is that it isn't restrictive. His love doesn't pick and choose. His love covers all people… everyone is included despite our world's often limited views as humans… the poor to the middle class to the rich… all races… both sexes… all walks of life receive Christ's love. He has chosen you because "in Christ" there is neither Jew nor Gentile (refer to Galatians 3:28) and no one is left out.
"When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly"
-1 Peter 2:23
When Jesus was suffering, was being treated like a criminal… turn the tables and imagine yourself on the cross… any one of us would be incredibly tempted to lash out, to scream, to curse, to yell, to spit back, to fight… and yet Jesus did not go there… to refrain in absolute firm, secure will.
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us"
-1 John 3:16
Because if he hadn't laid down his life where would we be today? The scripture would not have been fulfilled and Jesus would not have been whom he said to be. There has never been nor will there ever be a greater love than Christ's.
When we love others, when we walk in light, when we forgive other's for their transgressions against us, when we try to understand and feel someone's pain that they are enduring (empathy) versus just eliciting a dismissive "Oh, bummer for you!", (sympathy)… when we share our smile with a stranger… because that one smile just might make the difference between someone who is in the pit of depression, feeling invisible and becoming despondently suicidal instead becoming gloriously hopeful and renewed in spirit…. when we let the person cut in front of us in traffic instead of cutting them off… when we open our hearts, doors and home to someone who maybe doesn't have anyone to spend Christmas with… when we teach our children they do not need the latest and greatest gadget because someone in their same town is going without food and we are called to help those in need… when we choose to not dabble in materialism, idolatry or become "afflicted with affluenza" because the very word "flu" is in it which can lead to death… when we choose to pray for those who have committed the unthinkable, the most detestable things in society because we believe through God, with love, hard hearts can be softened.. when we pray for all humanity… when we act upon all these things and more… we are walking in LOVE.
Today if you could go back in time and stand before Jesus on the cross…
what would you say to him?
What would you feel?
Would you simply say "Bummer for you!" as you walked by knowing what He did for us? Today do you try to put yourself in his place, imagine what He must have felt? Do you feel moved to tears when you realize the enormity of His suffering and love for us? Would you have knelt before Him and cried for Him as He suffered? Would you have spoken words of love to Him? Would you have sat there all hours into the darkness with him as He cried out to the Lord…
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Empathy is to step out of ourselves and into someone else's experience.
Jesus was God on earth… living, experiencing life as we humans do.
Jesus walked earth touching our humanity in such a way that he empathized with our hurts, our struggles, our mortal-ness if you will, yet living a sinless life.
When we live our lives trying to understand others and how they feel versus fixing, pointing or judging as they cry out in despair and grief and hurt… when we instead listen, cry with them, hold their hand and feel their pain in our hearts…
When we pray "Jesus, break my heart for what breaks yours… "
Then we not only empathize…
But we LOVE.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013