And it wasn’t another woman.

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Photo by Benigno Hoyuela on Unsplash

There’s this age-old comment about who’s to blame when a relationship ends. If you know me, it’s best not to say it around me. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers but this adage provokes me.

“It takes two,” they say.

Well no, I’m sorry it doesn’t.

Not in all cases.

I had what I call a ‘third party’ in my marriage. Not another woman. That would have been traumatic in an entirely different way. I speak to men and women who have been cheated on. It’s an impossible wound.

I suffered a different type of emotional injury.

No matter how hard I worked to save my marriage, I was unsuccessful. …

3 reasons the outcome will never be fair

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I don’t know why survivors of narcissistic abuse seek fairness but we do. Ironically, it’s such a contradiction to the individual we are freeing ourselves from. There is nothing good, equal, or fair about the relationship with a narcissist. There never will be.

It was always an emotional imbalance.

Nonetheless, we torture ourselves into believing that at least when we leave them, there will finally be justice. That some type of rational equity will bubble to the surface.

It won’t.

And we shouldn’t look for it.

But we do continue to look for some degree of fairness. Not because we can’t get over the narcissist. We left this individual. It’s because even in breaking up with them or divorcing them they haunt us. …

Marriage Counseling

A must-read divorce tip

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

By the time I retained my lawyer I was emotionally spent. I naively believed I was initiating a resolution to my marital issues. I had no idea this was simply the mechanics of divorce, the infrastructure.

There was something far more dangerous lurking in the distance.

But no one told me.

I wouldn’t make that same mistake. I would tell others.

And I did recently, while on the phone with several of my newly separated friends.

If you end up divorcing, you need to multiply your spouse’s personality times ten,” I say. “If they are controlling multiply it. If they are unreasonable multiply it. If they are angry multiply it. …

To increase both your focus and your profits

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Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash

When I was writing my business column, a major publisher asked me to submit a proposal. I jokingly told the editor if I wrote an entrepreneurial book she wouldn’t like the title.

“It’s not that complicated,” I said.

In reality, it is and it isn’t.

The basic principles of marketing are concrete. That’s the uncomplicated part.

But the mind of an entrepreneur is complicated.

In the corporate world, most understand what the title CEO means. In the entrepreneurial marketing world, we give this acronym an entirely different meaning. The CEO or Chief Everything Officer.

A small business owner must do it all. …

Here’s why every woman should want to be one too

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My mom raised a lot of badasses. Maybe that’s why she nudged her youngest down the conservative road. Or maybe it was that I came across more dreamer than focused so she felt the need to intervene. Regardless, I pushed aside my youthful ambitions and went down the straight and narrow. I took my accountant mother’s advice and went into business.

I was not destined to be a badass.

Or maybe as the baby, I was destined to be the delayed badass of the family.

I loved business but there was always something missing. A yearning. I recognized the familiar voice. …


That’s why their stories live through the voices of those who have survived them

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I just read an article that questioned why we only hear stories told by the victims of narcissists.

The writer felt it was unfair. She believed narcissists should have a voice. And ironically, that we should have empathy for them because they suffer from a mental health disorder.

I’ve often said anyone who writes about narcissistic personality disorder bears significant responsibility. It’s a complex topic and a dangerous disorder.

There is a reason we never hear stories from the narcissist's point of view.

An individual who actually has a narcissistic personality disorder does not believe they are a narcissist. …

This isn’t a breakup it’s shocking and frightening abuse

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Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Most people thought I was getting a divorce. That’s a thing where your life blows up and people have a lot to say about it. Not sure why.

But I wasn’t getting a typical run of the mill divorce.

I was divorcing a narcissist.

And not in the sense, that this trendy word is being overly exercised. As if every selfish, arrogant, jerk (I’d really like to use another word) has a narcissistic personality disorder. Like in the sense my husband was actually diagnosed by a psychologist as having this serious empathy lacking affliction.

Thus, it was a hang onto your bootstraps kinda deal. …

Is it possible to actually forgive this abusive personality?

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Forgive the narcissist??!! I’m sure a few survivors of narcissistic abuse are shocked if not outraged. I get it. I’m right there with you. Especially since the narcissist in my life once refused to forgive me.

I remember sitting in the relationship counselor’s office in the infancy of our marital problems. My husband was angry because I told him I was lonely and dreamed of meeting someone who actually cared for me.

Our counselor said I was sharing my feelings.

My husband said I betrayed him.

Anger boiled within me. How dare this emotionally corrupt man who I had forgiven time and time again. Who made me cry until I had welts on my face. The nerve that simple words would bruise his fragile ego and leave me without a pardon. …

7 Things I wish someone had told me about relationship grief

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I practically skipped home from my lawyer’s office. I finally did it. I had the nerve to cut the marital umbilical cord. It had taken me years to swing open the doors of legal and emotional freedom.

I felt a much-needed surrender. A relief.

The next morning I was singing in the shower. I love singing in the shower. I had forgotten I used to do it. The unhappiness had lasted that long.

I was liberated.

I was living again. Breathing again.

And then all hell broke loose.

Divorce isn’t easy.

Even if you are the one who chooses it.

I remember something someone told me when my mom passed away. They said, “It’s going to get much worse before it gets better.” At twenty-eight I couldn’t imagine what kind of person would say such a thing. …

The ‘dirty’ word and whispers only added to my emotional puddle

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Do you know what’s almost as shocking as the “D” word, aka divorce? The fact that it’s a fifty billion-dollar enterprise. But let’s not stop there. How is it possible this financially robust divorce industry is still socially antiquated?

I mean there have to be others out there like us, right?

What with the fifty billion-dollars and all?

The other, shush, don’t say it…divorcees?

Yet when it happens to you, the unwanted whispers start.

They’re followed by the ‘I’m so sorry,’ ‘What a shame,’ and ‘Do you mind if I ask what happened?’

It’s a pursed-lip conversation. The insinuation of a dirty word or a disease an otherwise ‘happy’ couple would never want to catch. Less they get too close to you. A failure of sorts. Something that hopefully happens to other people. …


Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Freelance Journalist & Former Business Columnist. All Shapes of Love — #WomanResurrected

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