Dealing with spiteful spouses in divorce

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My mom used to say, “There are two kinds of parents. Those who think their kids can do no wrong and those of us who know better.” She kept us close with a system of checks and balances.

She didn’t hover or micromanage.

Her philosophy was, “I trust you until you prove me otherwise.”

But she made it clear our value system was non-negotiable.

No matter how old I get, I can still hear my mother in my ear.

Are you being charitable and kind?

Did you do the right thing?

Were you responsible?

You never outgrow or discard these…


Thankfully I didn’t seek help before the word became popular

I don’t know what is more upsetting. That you can’t believe everything you read about narcissism…

Or you can’t believe what some counselors write about it.

It’s counterintuitive.

Counselors are our rescuers, the experts.

They speak the truth. They uncomplicate the complicated. They help us navigate the most difficult aspects of our emotional lives.

Or do they?

A Narcissistic personality disorder is complex and misunderstood. It takes a great deal of training to understand it. The average counselor does not have the qualifications to discern it.

Just today, I read another article where a counselor felt narcissists, not someone with…


Here’s the reason I did

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I remember sitting in my counselor’s office and hearing I had married a Golden Boy.

All I could think was, “Yay for me!”

Don’t you love him? Everyone does? He’s handsome, funny, charming, successful, and an all-around great guy. How did I get so lucky? Isn’t everyone putting him on a pedestal?

The short answer…

No.

I zoned out when my marriage counselor attempted to explain the roles we play in less than functional families. It turns out marriage counseling would be about me, not just him.

I wasn’t interested in self-discovery.

I had come to blame him.

Doesn’t everyone?


When I acknowledge personal self-responsibility

Some writers shy away from the comments they disagree with. I do not. I write for the reader. Their observations are valuable and provoke deeper thought within me.

Have I done this topic justice? Did it resonate with others who have experienced this? Did I let my own personal experience overshadow the broader view?

I recently wrote a piece, “There Are a Lot of Good Men.”

You’ll find it at the bottom of this article.

I wrote it for several reasons. Just because I attached myself to a man who was capable of egregious things, not all men are. …


The good news and bad news of this nightmare

My post-divorce home is my unexpected happy place. It’s kinda like college. At first, you resist and miss everything familiar but one day you find yourself thinking, “I like it here!”

The new becomes comfortable.

I was initially traumatized my ex-husband financially wiped me out.

Especially since we didn’t own one home. We also owned two investment properties. I had literally gone from one extreme to another. Accepting I may never be a homeowner again, at least in the near future was depressing.

But then I discovered the luxury apartment building.

It happened out of desperation.

My ex-husband ruined our…


Even as a kid I knew it was better my own dad left.

I’m watching the news and a young reporter uses the phrase ‘broken home.’ It’s an attempt to make the story more ominous. I’m not sure what aggravates me more. This antiquated reference finding my ears, or the age of the girl using it.

Certainly, her generation couldn’t know, let alone buy into this archaic concept.

You’ve heard of it.

It’s when a person is raised by one, (hold your breath), not two parents! Yes, I know it’s shocking! But it’s true. Some children, a fairly high number (hold your breath again) have experienced this phenomenon.

Divorce (cover your ears and…


I thought I should but my children were smarter than me

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One day my eleven-year-old son walked into the kitchen.

His father and I were having a conversation. I honestly can’t remember the topic. My son’s comment replaced its significance.

“Why do you talk to Dad?” he asked. “He can’t hear you. It’s the same conversation over and over again.”

Kids are wise.

They can see beyond the obvious because they live in an uncrowded and unfiltered worldview.

I was in my forties when I began to yell. Prior to that, I raised my voice only occasionally. It’s one of my greatest regrets. It’s an absurd way to get someone’s attention.


How my marketing idea changed women’s magazines forever

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I’m sitting with my head buried in yet another magazine. My husband walks into the kitchen and shakes his head.

“Does it ever irritate you?” he asks.

“What?” I reply.

“That every women’s magazine has your idea in it,” he says. “But no one knows it was your idea.”

“Not at all,” I say. “I find it validating.”

I’ve never repeated this conversation until now.

Nor have I told my story.

There’s a reason for this.

Those closest to me lived it. And it mattered little who knew because one woman and I would always know the truth.

It began…


10 Quotes speaking to our crisis of love

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I recently watched Audrey, the documentary about actress Audrey Hepburn. It felt timely. Because we are currently experiencing what could be described as a crisis of humanity. People are struggling, suffering, and at odds with one another.

The word humanity is derived from the Latin Humanitas. It’s the core of human beings. It refers to our better nature and our ability to demonstrate kindness.

In our relationships with one another, strangers, and the world.

It is an extension of love.

Hepburn may have found stardom but she shined brighter as a humanitarian.

She was the embodiment of compassion. Her heart…


I was foolish to never plan for an emergency

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The world and my mother taught me to be responsible. To plan for adversity by having health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, and more.

I dutifully dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s.

I was prepared.

Until I wasn’t.

No one spoke of relationship emergencies.

Or how they can bankrupt you.

I was surrounded by pragmatic, logical adults. But when I became a stay-at-home mother no one said to plan for a rainy day. Let alone a flood that may wipe out my entire financial life.

It’s confusing.

The statistics were there.

Partnerships end. Even ones that begin with starry-eyed…

Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Freelance Journalist & Former Business Columnist. All Shapes of Love — #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com

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