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Month: May 2019

May 2019

Be Kind

My mother was patient and kind. She knew how to wait. For buses in the middle of winter. For one of her eight children to call on a Sunday afternoon. For a lifetime of prayers to be answered.  I did not inherit her patience gene. I’m more prone to precrastination than procrastination. I like to get to my goals quickly and efficiently. Being gifted a new bench for my rooftop deck, I was eager to give it some bright new cushions. I did my research, made my selection, and placed an online order for same day pick up. Enjoying my
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The 5 Facebook Rules You Need to Protect Your Marriage

Social media has done wonders to connect people all over the world, but there is one type of connection it has become infamous for: infidelity.  Studies have shown that a spouse’s overuse of Facebook contributes to marriage instability and dissatisfaction.  That usage can also encourage behavior that is destructive to intimate relationships: flirting, making emotional connections with others, even sexual affairs. To help protect your marriage, here are 5 Facebook rules you need to implement: Don’t accept friend requests from anyone of the opposite sex that you know is attracted to you or your spouse. Don’t “friend” former girlfriends or
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Memorial Day Reminder

“I’d like to see him.” In between my sips of cabernet and the passing of crispy blue cheese potato bites, my words surprised me.  At happy hour with my girlfriends, I learned that Gary had entered hospice.  I have not seen Gary in a couple of years. Maybe three. While I’ve asked others how he was doing, I made no effort to connect. Now I heard myself asking for the phone number so I could visit. Gary was my neighbor. Developmentally disabled, he came to live with the couple next door as an adult, joining two other men who’d found
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5 Essential Steps for Making Your Divorce Less Painful

When your “I do” becomes an “I don’t,” you will be facing a number of decisions that can have a profound effect on your life — and the lives of your children if you have them — for years to come.  Use this 5-step roadmap to help you navigate your way through your divorce so you can end your journey with a better life: 1. Know what you want, need, and don’t want. If life is a river, a divorce can feel like rocky rapids.  Some people just want to float along the top like a leaf, letting the current
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No Shame

Some people I love keep secrets from me.  Despite knowing I care deeply about them, there’s something they don’t want me to know.  Sometimes they hide the reason they did not respond to my calls and texts. Sometimes they hide that they have been in the hospital for days…again. Sometimes they hide that the police took them away in the middle of the night in their nightie, although they had committed no crime. Celebrities from Lady Gaga and Lena Dunham and Justin Beiber have talked about their anxiety and depression.  Bits of raw desperation and loneliness will pop up on
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Can Men be Awarded Alimony in Nebraska?

Long gone are the days when family courts would almost automatically award custody and support to women in divorce cases.  The changing roles of men and women in the workforce and the marriage equality movement are now reflected in our laws regarding the family, blurring traditional gender roles and making it just as likely that men can be awarded alimony, depending on the specifics of the case. Nebraska laws regarding marriage and divorce are gender neutral by design.  The alimony factors that the courts consider when making a determination about alimony are all gender-neutral: The duration of the marriage; The
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Understand the Rules About Divorce and Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration, women receive 24% less in Social Security benefits than men do, the result of women typically having spent fewer years in the workforce and earning less than their male counterparts. In addition to having a lower benefit, women also depend more on Social Security for their living expenses.  The SSA reports that women depend on Social Security for 51% of their total income, while men count on Social Security for only 36% of their income. Whether you are male or female, it is important for you to understand the rules for Social Security benefits
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A Moment of Motherhood

The framed photo in my office to remind me of what mattered most needed an update. Before our era of instant cell phone selfies, a trip to a photography studio was in order.  It would replace the one that included my children’s father, from whom I was now divorced. Photographers Joe and Judy Johnston had known my family since my children they were babies. As they posed us for the portrait, they understood this was a milestone different than a wedding or graduation but no less important. I sat regally proud of my now smaller family.  A single strand of
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Dear Moms

A letter to the moms I have worked with over the last 20 years Dear Moms, I have been watching you for years.  I have been listening to your struggles. I have been hearing your hope.  You have been teaching me strength, grit, persistence, passion, and loyalty.  You have been showing me the path of motherhood and I thank you. I see you reach for the tissue when you mention your child’s name the first time we meet in my office.  I hear you struggling with the decision to disrupt your intact family for a better life in the future,
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Is Divorce an Inevitable Result of Infidelity?

When a partner has an affair — either physical or emotional — it can tear a marriage apart.  Whether or not infidelity leads to divorce depends on several factors, the most important being if both partners are committed to rebuilding the trust on which a good marriage is built. If your marriage has suffered from infidelity, divorce does not need to be an inevitable result.  Here are some tips that can help build the emotional foundation for a new start: Take responsibility.  Before healing can begin, the partner who had the affair must accept responsibility for the damage done to
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