How To Nurture Good Character

Character matters.  It always has.  And if there were ever a time when character really needs to be mindfully nurtured, it’s now – in our age of permissiveness, entitlement and moral relativism. In my book Character Disturbance, I stress how important it is to nurture character from early on. None of us is born civilized. Socialization and sound character development are part of an ongoing process (for more on this see:  Socialization is a Process) that takes a lot of conscientious attention from the beginning. And this process doesn’t end when we move from childhood to adulthood. Becoming who we’re truly capable of being is a lifelong endeavor. Moreover, the same lessons we need to learn as children to become adults of some integrity are the lessons we need to even more deeply embrace and master as we mature in order to become the best version of ourselves.

It was once widely believed that we all naturally move toward positive growth unless we experience trauma of some sort that stunts our character development. But we’re coming to realize how wrong-sighted this view is.  We’ve also learned that what doesn’t happen in the way of learning important life lessons is just as crucial to our character development as the tragic events that might beset us. So if we’re to become better people and make the world a better place in the process, it’s crucial that we master those lessons.

I’ve specialized in the treatment of personality and character disturbance for most of my professional life, and early in my career, many of my clients were troubled children and adolescents who hadn’t yet learned the all important lessons I eventually came to call the “10 commandments” of sound character development (for more on this topic see pp. 140-155 in Character Disturbance and the series of articles beginning with Building Character: The 10 Commandments of Socialization). For a long time, I’ve felt there was a lot more to be said about these commandments, their importance, and what my clients have taught me over the years is necessary to learn them. The co-author of my most recent book How Did We End Up Here?, Dr. Kathryn Armistead felt that way, too and has helped me fashion what we both regard as one of the most necessary books of our times. Tentatively titled The Ten Commandments of Character: How to Build a Significant Life, the book will provide an in-depth look at how heeding and mastering 10 essential life lessons paves the way for personal integrity. It’s packed with practical guidance illustrated through case examples and supported by years of professional experience and all the latest empirical research. The book is scheduled for release in the next few months. And in the upcoming series of articles, I’ll be providing a glimpse into its contents.

For years, forces within the mental health field tried to convince us that most emotional and psychological problems had nothing whatsoever to do with character. Some insisted it was all about environment. Others insisted it was all about our biochemistry and the “imbalances” that can occur through no fault of our own. Still others insisted it was all about “addictions” any of us could easily succumb to and retain for the rest of our lives but could learn to “recover” from with ongoing support. And while there’s little doubt that in some cases any of these factors can play a major if not the dominant role, we’ve been forced to admit of late that many of the problems folks have today are indeed a product of their inadequate character development (as anyone who’s been in a relationship with a personality or character-disordered person has unfortunately had to learn the hard way). Researchers have come to echo this sentiment, including some very prominent ones (e.g., M.E. Seligman and C. Peterson) whom I quote in the opening pages of Character Disturbance:

After a detour through the hedonism of the 1960s, the narcissism of the 1970s, the materialism of the 1980s, and the apathy of the 1990s, most every today seems to believe that character is important after all and that the United States is facing a character crisis on many fronts from the playground to the classroom to the sports arena to the Hollywood screen to business corporations to politics.

I consider the upcoming offering with Dr. Armistead to be my most important work to date and I hope the preview I’ll be offering of it over the next few weeks will whet some appetites for this experience-inspired and research-supported guide to becoming a better person and building a better world.

This Sunday evening’s edition of Character Matters (7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT) will be a rebroadcast of an earlier program, so no phone calls can be taken.

I would be remiss if I didn’t again express my profound gratitude to all those who have already purchased and are recommending How Did We End Up Here? (available now in Kindle format as well as paperback) to friends and acquaintances. I’ve been blessed to have all my work enjoy unprecedented positive word of mouth, which is not only edifying and validating but also the single best form of advertising.  That’s why you don’t see any advertising on this blog or see any flashy, wide-scale promotion of my work. Your goodwill and support are what’s given my written works the longevity and popularity few authors enjoy, and I am deeply grateful.

55 thoughts on “How To Nurture Good Character

    1. To all,
      How to nurture a good Character and I will take this Topic is meant for me, as I have the ability to take responsibility and in most cases action for myself. I have not always been the epitome of Good Character and have got caught up in the Bling of the the World. Many times in life one can be completely blameless and the victims are held to a higher standard than the perpetrator.

      In retrospect, if I am honest I know more than anyone what my faults are. Blemishes you could say in my character that I definitely have control of. At this time instead of pointing the finger and having 3 pointing back at me I can choose to deny, ignore, acknowledge or do something.

      The latter is the most difficult, being, if I am actively doing something about my flaws in character I would not have time for the other three which would keep me from the action.

      Foremost, what sticks out in my mind is by: Jesus) Do Onto Others as You/me have done unto you/me. In doing so, helping my fellowman I would be less likely to dwell on what I want instead of what I need. Being selfless instead of selfish, giving instead of receiving. Instead of worrying about me worrying about others whose needs far outweigh mine. Forgiveness instead of punishing, accepting responsibility instead of blaming.

      It all starts in my home, this I have control of. Character is standing up for what is right even if I have to stand alone. Standing up against the CD bullies and taking my/our life back. Standing up for my/our neighbor, sharing and loving one another one at a time or as it is on Dr. Simon’s blog a group at a time.

      Blessings and peace to all

  1. Dr. Simon,

    I really respect your work. I’m wondering what you think about the Dr. Phil type notion that states “we teach others how to treat us.” I hear this constantly and it honestly frustrates me every time I hear it. I see it as a way of once again blaming the victim. To me, if we were raised well and police ourselves, then we should not need another person to do that for us.

    My mother is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I’ve always known that I could take advantage of her if I wanted to. But I don’t because I make the choice not to. Others don’t always make that same choice. Many have taken advantage of my kindness, as well. I always feel like it is salt in the wound when someone says, “Well, you allowed it.”

    I think you get the gist of what i’m trying to say. I would love your feedback on this as it has troubled me for much of my life. Just doing a simple Google search of “we do NOT teach others how to treat us” or something like it only returns results for “we DO teach others how to treat us.” It’s amazing to me. Am I the only one who believes that the way people chose to act in any given situation is about THEM and not me? What happened to personal integrity and accountability to God?

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I lived in LA during the riots and watched parents go with their children to stores and loot them because they knew there were not enough cops to handle the situation. How sad we are a society so ever-ready to do the wrong and most selfish things we are capable of if we think we can get away with it. We have forgotten God, n’est-ce pas?

    Keep up the great work. You and Ravi Zacharius are two of my favorites. If you have not heard him, you might enjoy his talks which you can find through Google.

    Blessings to you, Lynn

    1. I think there’s a small grain of truth in what Dr. Phil asserts in that truly nefarious characters learn how to “read” us with respect to our weaknesses, insecurities, negative self-image, etc. and exploit these things for their gain. But to say that we are the teachers and they are merely the students indeed places blame improperly.

      Can’t say I’m a fan of Dr. Phil. He’s one of those folks who knows just what to do and say to look like a caring, wise, sage. Oprah has done a lot of good in her life, but one of thing I’ll long have trouble forgiving her for is giving us Dr. Phil.

      1. Thank you soooo much for your validating answer, Dr. Simon! I often feel like the minority trying to speak truth to this world of “there are no victims” and the improper usage of the saying “it takes two to tango” that Dr. Phil and his ilk like to spew. I’m amazed at how many can’t see through that guy and I also wish he were never popularized. His show on narcissism is laughable and it saddens me because he had a platform to make a valuable difference and didn’t. I know personally that there are, in fact, victims. As a ballroom dancer, I know that that saying means each dancer must take responsibility for their own steps in order for the dance to be good–not that both people have equal blame when something goes wrong! That simply isn’t true, nor logical.
        Again, thank you for responding. I’m glad you are there speaking truth in this world. 🙂

        1. Dr. Simon
          I agree whole heartedly with your appraisal of Dr. Phil. I had been talking with a gentleman that had recently divorced. I had told him my story and he looked at me in horror and said “You are an Enabler.”

          This mans wife divorced him because he was a CDN. He always referred to his X as the “Princess.” He would never call her by her given name and as I got to know him everything had to be perfect his way. Apparently, he and, or his wife had some counseling and she was told she enabled his behaviour.

          I totally resent be called an enabler, I thought I was helping and did not understand what I was dealing with, all the CDN individuals in my life. I am not at fault when I was thinking properly and the others are deceiving in their relationships and are DC. Most parents don’t teach their children about this sickness because if they have not experienced it first hand, they don’t know. This man put the blame onto me for my divorce. This man did not understand why his wife divorced him, I did.

          Dr. Phil tends to be full of hot air and it is difficult to understand how he has such a high rating, when most the time he make little sense of his short interviews of individuals and then makes a diagnosis of the circumstances. It really is a shame because people fall for his nonsense.

  2. I am in a quandary. I’m trying to get a sense of objectivity – but it is difficult for me because of my emotions. I would like to get your opinion on the following text conversation and whether my husband’s response sounds like he still doesn’t get it or if I should give him another try. I have been going back-and-forth the last day. I am pretty much emotionally wiped out and I am having trouble making a decision. I have definetly been gaslighted by him in the past.
    He has been pretty consistent about making excuses why he has said hurtful things to me. He has not truly apologize for the things that have happened – he tends to blame me and not take responsibility. Plus, they keep happening. I’m so confused about whether to bring him into my therapist session.
    40 years married. 15 months separated. Divorce is close to final (I filed). He has refused marriage counseling for years, however I received this from him yesterday
    “I love you. I’ll go see your therapist with you if you want.”
    I texted back and asked him if he was serious.
    He texted back “I am serious. if you think it will help you get over your list and help me get across to you that I have meaningfully apologized and have been contrite then I’ll go. I think it would be good to go to her because she would already know about my flawed history regarding you.”
    I texted back and asked him if he didn’t feel like he had things he could improve. Or did he feel that I just needed to get over things. He texted back “I always need improving”. That’s it.
    Not sure why he wants to see my therapist. I have always tried to get him to go to an objective third-party marriage counselor, but he refuses. He did this with my last therapist years ago – went with me. Part of me thinks he can’t stand the idea of me sitting in there and maybe talking bad about him and he wants to do damage control – even though he doesn’t know this therapist. I don’t know anymore. I just don’t know!

    1. Jeannie,

      I don’t think he is feeling bad enough about himself. And, I seriously doubt his objective is to clarify situation in front of therapist as if you had been unilaterally bad mouthing him. If he has any objective, then it is to thwart you divorce bid, try to draw you back in, and then resume his old behavior. Maybe, you simply have more money, or better job than him, so he is conceding a bit to get to your bank account. Maybe, he is much older than you, and he is looking for a old age caretaker only. Sorry to say all these things to you, but some people are simply too selfish.

      My suggestion will be to go with your gut instinct. May be sleep over it… just avoid dreaming like a Princess that in future things will be better than they had been.

      If I was in your place, I would send back following text, “My preference is to let the divorce be finalized. Then, you can go with me to therapist. If things work out later, we can always get married again.”

      If I remember correctly from your earlier posts, your therapist is good. So, talk to her.

      1. Jeanne,
        Andy, said one of the the things I was going to tell you. If he really means it, Oh, I am getting so excited, a renewal of your vows. Now that you have paid all this money to the attorneys, put yourself through 15 months of torture and to give in now, surely, you will need more than one therapist if you stay with him. THAT IS if you can ever get away from him. I can guarantee you, If you let him back he will clean your clock and the wreck you are now will be nothing like what he will do once he gets done with you.

        I cant remember everything you said in your prior posts, and in my comment I am going to be a little opinionated so please don’t take anything personally. You have spent 40 years with this man and all you have said are the same reasons that we have left a CD individual. Are you willing to give the last years of your life to a man that doesn’t sleep with his own wife. Something is very wrong that he doesn’t, very abnormal and I am wondering who he is with.

        How about making 2 columns, one for good, one for bad, see which one fills up first.
        From what you wrote your STBX knows his flunky, jack of all trades, milksop, mental, crazy, mean spirited, selfish, doormat, bossy, lazy, good for nothing, scapegoat has the nerve to leave him. I am sure I missed some expletives that he has called you. Don’t feel bad I had shoes on like this for 30 plus.

        Just the thought of silence compared to hearing the voice of the royal brats temper, rages and rants should be enough to get you on your knees and beg the Judge,. please, please pretty please get him out of my life.

        Plain and simple he WANTS SOMETHING. What is it? I bet if we talked long enough I would know. You have time, make him wait. Seems he is 30 years to late. As soon as he gets what he wants he will make sure you never get away or he will drain every dime he can. A normal person would had gone to a therapist right away, then you said this issue has presented previously. He hasn’t changed in all the years you have been with him what makes you think he will change once the Divorce is dropped.

        TRUE STORY Wrote this before am shortening, you’ll get the drift.
        Woman— Sues for divorce – he is a jerk.
        Goes to court- he is a jerk the whole time – Astounding attonies fees on both ends. Resist, resist, cause trouble, refuse, wont sign papers, fights over everythin…..
        Trial——
        Woman —- Do you want a divorce…. YES
        Man——Do you want a divorce….. NO
        Man falls on knees for the whole courtroom, sobbing, I love you, please, please give me a chance, anything, I love you.
        Woman—– (Thinking he Loves me)
        Woman—-No Judge, I dont want to go through this divorce.

        Man—– moves back in gives her some baubles tokens of love 10,000 diamond. One year later, the man is treating her 10 times as badly, the house is a wreck.
        Woman——Files for a divorce, two years later back before judge 100,000 further into layers fees, all charge cards and then some maxed to the hilt.

        More to the story but this should give you an idea. Once you left and now so far into it there is no going back. You have reached the point of no return. I am painting a dismal picture and a dismal picture it is. He will break you next time mentally, emotionally, and spiritually if he want to keep you for other reasons. I wished I were wrong, I know what I see and hear and it is not good.

        There are red flags flying all over, warning signs, sirens screaming BUT you can barely hear or see them. You have been on the inside to long. If I told you Jeannie the same things you shared with us, you would say the same thing I am telling you .

        I understand, I really do the pain and loneliness. Know this, there are good posters here, different stories, names places, male and female who have had their lives affected and infected by/with with these CD individuals and there is never a good ending.

        I know this is going to be an extremely, difficult time for you. You came thus far, not because he was that great, it was because you were searching for answers and the deeper you delved the worse it got. I am sorry, deeply sorry it had to turn out this way, but at least you found Dr. Simons blog like I did. Your excepted just as you are and we all will try to help as much as we can. Keep posting! Pls escuse didnt edit!

        Hugs and blessings

        1. BTOV, I think you’re right – I have been mislead so many years it’s hard to find the truth. I have also heard that it is true that if you move back things become much, much worse.
          I am so tired of thinking!
          I am going to speak with my therapist tomorrow.
          Thank you.

        2. Jeannie,

          Listen to us who have been and are there. We know what you speak of – and we know what this CD will do to you if you do not proceed with your divorce. There is something that he wants FROM you – don’t know what it is, but he wants something, and it’s not something that will be of benefit to you, that is for sure.

    2. Jeannie,

      Sometimes it is helpful to ask yourself:
      ::: what do I have control over?
      ::: what do I – not – have control over?
      Then focus on the things that you have control over.

    3. I’ll go see YOUR therapist with you IF YOU WANT. (Please I am new to this.)

      I think he is doing What Dr simon calls FEIGNING INNOCENCE.
      HE is playing on your Conscientiousness. LOOK at what you have written.

      “IF YOU WANT” He obviously does not see anything WRONG WITH HIS BEHAVIOUR. He is very much TRYING TO MANIPULATE YOU.

      He did this with my last therapist years ago – went with me. LISTEN TO YOU GUT FEELING YOU KNOW THE ANSWER AND THE TRUTH. BELIEVE ME I HAVE BEEN THERE.

      BY DR SIMON Narcissistic Insult: When Reality Shatters Illusion

      Perhaps nothing is as frustrating as trying to “get through” to someone who simply won’t hear what you have to say. You can use example after example or make point after point trying to get them to see something that seems as obvious as the nose on your face and the narcissist simply won’t concede. When what you have to say challenges the grandiose image they have of themselves, they simply won’t give it any validity. And this is not usually because they have so much anxiety or are in such conflict of conscience over matters that they simply can’t bear the truth. Rather, it’s their defiant attitude toward anything but the truth as they insist on seeing it and their determination to maintain both the image they’ve constructed and the position of superiority they believe they deserve that motivates them to resist accepting what they actually know to be the real truth. This is the difference between really being in the psychological state of denial as opposed to engaging in denial as a tactic of impressiona management, image maintenance, and responsibility avoidance.

      1. Joey,
        Amen, to that! I hope Jeanne is alright, I wished we had heard back from her whether she is alright or not. If you are reading we care about you Jeanne regardless, if you decided to take him back and are welcomed to come back and posts. Blessings and Hugs………………..

    4. My heart just sickened reading that you’re almost divorced and now he comes in with the statement that he will go to therapist. If you re-read what you just wrote I think you know your answer. He has proven to be a bad companion for you. Find your strength and divorce this man. You still have good years of your life left.

      1. Lucy, I know. 15 months separated, divorce almost final and THIS comes up. I am stronger than I was 15 months ago. It is just impossible to know if they have had an “aha” moment or if it’s manipulation. Of course I would like to believe it’s an aha moment – but I think I know the truth deep down.

        1. Jeannie,

          I have thought about you and your remark about him telling you he loves you. We do all want to be loved and validated. Saying the words “I love you” are only meaningful if the person saying them shows love in his/her actions. To me, to love is do things which show it. It’s not an emotion or illusion, it’s action. “To love” someone is different than saying “I love” something.
          My counselor told me at one session “I think he really does love you.” I said you know what, that’s fine, but his actions don’t show it. If he has some distorted “love” for me, I can do without it. His “love” has deeply hurt me, as I’m sure yours has. That’s not the kind of love I give, hurtful actions.
          Jeannie, he hasn’t had the aha moment. He knows you are sensitive, that you want to be loved. These CDs know how to hit the hot trigger. Please don’t fall for it. You Are Almost There! I wish I were close in my divorce proceedings. I’m going through divorce hell and boy is my husband a mean, evil spirit. This man knows you, knows how to get to you. You are smarter than that. He can send his “love vibe” from long distance. Be Strong!

        2. Jeannie,
          I too think that you know the truth deep down. I feel there is no “aha” moment yet. There won’t be any “aha” moment when, in case he collapses in court. 🙂

    5. Page 95 Of in sheep’s clothing” 2/3rds the way down. The sentence starts In my Experience.
      I am very sorry I got it wrong. He is doing what is called The Tactic of Giving Assent.

      1. Joey, my copy of the book is on kindle and i couldn’t find it on page 95 – so I did a search for In my experience. Is it the part of the book that is talking about “The first is they win, you lose.”?
        It does apply to my situation right now.
        Someone said that he must want something – and I do make more money than him. He will be financially strapped after the divorce.

        1. Jeannie,
          I wrote you a pretty lengthy post yesterday. Please go back and read it. I told you he was looking for something. How convenient he did the math……. I love you (r money).

          The type of CD people we are talking about on this blog are lovers of themselves only and mimic love to those who will supply there needs.

          All of us here have been taken in, used and abused by these CD individuals. Be glad you seen him for what he was when you did, any resources you can cover, do so now. If I were you I would cut off all communication from him so he cant make you feel guilty anymore and perhaps, get a hold of a vulnerable string or should I say some of the ropes you have hanging out.

          If you want and end to this CD man cut him off now for your own sake. It will be hard very hard, I did it and it is akin to withdrawal. I bet if you cut him off with an email and said ” under the circumstances since we are getting divorced I don’t wish to communicate with you anymore” you will really see his true colors come out. Just implant in your mind the lies and all the rages directed at you throughout your so called lopsided marriage.

          We will all help you get through this, Lucy and Andy are going through it. It will be very painful, I went through it almost all of it by myself, the same as you. It is not easy starting all over, at 60 but I am doing it and I am so glad I did not break under pressure. Just take it hour by hour or even less if you have too. Somebody, is usually here to reply.

          Perhaps, you can become one of the Golden Girls moving to Florida, Will buy an extra large side by side Condo for the guys on the blog. There is hope and dreams to be had once you get beyond all this.
          Hugs and Blessings

          1. Jeannie,
            In and of myself I am not wise. A very simple and stubborn person to say the least, I have a caring heart though. I can only say that anything that is good in me comes from God. All glory and honor is his. I am just his voice. There were good people that helped me on my journey and all were Christians. They wanted nothing except that I do unto others as payment in return. I guess this is one of my ministries.

            I read Dr. Simons site for several years, after reading his third book the Judas Syndrome I knew I was safe to post. I am only giving credit where credit is due. You will find the other posters are very decent and caring people too and give from their inner essence.

            I hope you stay and we all will help in any way we can. Please read the archives, so many good people who have moved on. You can feel their pain and concern for others they share so much of their selves.

            I miss beautiful Puddle, Tori, J, Elva, LisaO, AlanP, Vera, Einstien, so many that gave so much. These were filled with wisdom. You said you are alone, we don’t mind, you can adopt us. As you can see we have newbies all the time and need all the help we can get. If you start to get to know us we take on just more than a typed text, we become real.

            In some cases, if each party agrees, personal contact can be made by request through Dr. Simon via his personal contact. Many times there are things of a personal and confidential nature that one may want consider doing this.

            Such as in divorce cases depending how nasty things get all your email can be subpoenaed. You sleep well and remember no matter we will support you.
            Hugs and know you are not alone!

    6. Jeanne, I think you need to asses the person that you are dealing with. You obviously still care for him, but it is possible that walking away will help him. Plenty of people have changed their minds, and there is no right answer because every choice will be hard. Pray about it.

      Character flaws are normal in my book. People do love each other in unhealthy ways. When character flaws are coupled with vices, there is a real problem in my experience. The vices are usually what determines the extent of the problem. Vices are like demons you have to either be strong enough to deal with, or get away from.

      You have been married for a long time and it is not likely that either of you will change very much. If your husbands abuse was verbal, for example, you have to determine the extent of it, and think if you could tolerate it worst case scenario he doesn’t change.

      If he has a penchant for porn, drink, or drugs, you probably need to walk away. You are helping his demise whether you want to or not. He will be much less likely to change. God bless.

      1. Michelle,
        His abuse was and is very subtle. Telling me I said things I never said, telling me other people said things they never said about me, distorting the truth and rewriting history. Before I saw what he was doing it nearly drove me insane – seriously. Living with someone who distorts reality can drive you crazy.
        It is impossible for someone who’s not experienced that type of situation to understand. It makes you doubt yourself, it makes you question yourself. It just makes you feel bad about yourself. But you can’t quite put your finger on what is happening – at least I couldn’t for many many years.
        It’s discrete and under the table hate.

        1. Hi Jeannie,
          Lucy and I were wondering about you. It sounds from your post to Michelle he didn’t pull the wool over your eyes one more time. Its sad to find out this way so late in life. Instead they could be happy they have someone of 40 years who loves them and will be with them to the end and be greatful for all their blessings.

          Instead they are angry for growing old and not getting all they feel entitled too, and we the loving spouse become the whipping boy. Its all so sick and twisted. Jeannie I have met a few interesting guys, who had bad relationships, one individual, what a sweetheart and has been known all his life to be like that never married because he was smart enough to see those red flags we ignored and bolted at the first sign.

          So their are others out there. It is difficult for me too, not really having family and starting all over, he alienated everyone. So that make two of us, there are ways to start over and we end up encouraging and helping another. Glad to hear from you.

        2. felt like i was reading my life expressed in a couple of sentences. I agree with what others said. Either he wants something more from you or he wants to show that he is trying. My advice, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

  3. I need a pep talk. Quick. STBX is causing chaos in the house sale. Settlement negotiations for the divorce might be Friday. He is shooting me emails which are difficult to ignore. I’ve answered more than I should have – with anger and insults. I need to stop this with possible settlement negotiations coming in a three days. I want to bash his head in. He is the Ugliest person on the inside you can ever imagine.

    Jeannie,
    You are almost divorced. Hold your head high, you’re strong and have knowledge, you know his history. PLEASE don’t cave at the last minute. If you don’t cave, you will see the TRUE BEAST he is surface. Run as fast as you can.

    1. Lucy,
      You probably just need to deal with this garbage only for 3 more days. 🙂
      Maybe it is better if you close your mailbox, and check it only twice in a day.

      1. Andy,

        Good idea. Thanks. But from what he indicates what he demands for settlement and what I demand are very far off. And garbage he is.

      2. Lucy,
        No matter what you give him he won’t be satisfied, he doesn’t want it to be over. This way he gets attention be it good or bad, he still is in the drivers seat and feels the exhilaration of control. He won’t be happy until your 6 feet under and then most likely it will be your daughter who seems somewhat dependent on him will be his next target. No matter he will need a sacrificial lamb or two.

        Not for a minute do I believe he won’t be back to practicing law somewhere. That pathetic human offel will be making money somewhere and it will be more than pocket change. He is a scammer of the worst sort, like the undertaker that charges for a burial plot, coffin, etc…. and then has a mass grave in the back of the cemetery he dumps bodies into. This a true story that happened in my state.

        Andy is right – for the most part Ignore him.

        1. Lucy,
          Hugs – I’m right at the same place with you. Divorce almost final – a joint house on the market – it’s tough. Sometimes you just have to look at the emails because so much is going on. But, protect yourself. Love yourself.

          1. I’m trying to protect myself and at the same time try to work through some issues that should not involve attorney – with a normal person that is. They NEVER get worked out with him. It’s so frustrating. Just tried to work through two issues this week. Of course to no avail. Even when we do have a hearing we can’t seem to get an order agreed to reflect what the judge has ruled. So here we go, back to the judge, with the orders and the transcript so he can choose which order reflects what his intention was. Nothing is simple with these CDNs. (I have another name I’d like to call him).

    2. Lucy, Just know that he is obviously trying to upset you.

      The best thing you can do is show him how nothing he does can upset you anymore. Be happy no matter what he does and think of it as another example of how lucky you are to be free of him.

      Nothing will bother him more than seeing you happy. Be happy.

      1. Michelle

        I am trying. Every day poses a new issue with him. It does get exhausting. It seems NonContact is the only way to deal with him.

  4. Jeannie,

    I would be jumping for joy if I were anywhere close to divorce. My husband is impossible.
    Yes, the house on the market – he won’t agree to list at the suggested price, is a terrible housekeeper, won’t negotiate.
    I’ll speak with attorney today about getting it appraised. That house needs to go. I feel like I’m caught in a storm.

    1. Divorcing the CD is a test of moral strength and character. Do you have the fortitude to ignore the CD and ultimately the reason you are divorcing in the first place. They don’t want to listen to anyone, never have and never will.

      Their objective is to make you miserable, more miserable than they are, this is their only happy moments, glee in the suffering of others. The rotten school yard bully, pushing and pulling the little girls, notice they don’t pick on the ones that will beat the C—–P out of them.

      In the end you will make no headway with them, in the end the lawyers will be involved, the more chaos the more attention, be it good or bad. They don’t care, and they care even less now. How dare you leave, they didn’t say so. If they wanted the divorce believe me it would go quickly.

      Their going to play this for all its worth, time, money and most of all years off your precious life and health. They want to end up where and what they truly know they are and that is with nothing, they don’t realize they can’t have your something.

      1. They don’t want to listen to anyone, never have and never will.

        A Quote for you !

        By Dylan Thomas

        When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.

        1. Joey,
          It is hard to love someone that has hurt you so and is incapable of love. This for sure was my father. To make it easy on myself and I usually call him by his given name, I prefer to remember the good things. He was a CDN for sure, and loved only himself, extremely selfish.

          I am glad he is gone and pigeon hole those aspects of my life with him and the wrongs of my mother. I have forgiven them and that gives me peace. I know how difficult it is Joey and I pray you find the peace you deserve. Hugs and many blessings.

        2. Joey,

          Yes it does make a giant fire. But I really don’t think it bothers them – at least not my STBX. As long as I get burnt along with it he’s happy.

        3. Joey,
          I am dealing with a tremendous issue right now and it drains all my strength. I pray and know the Lord has his angels to watch over me. In this this realm you have a knack of finding such soothing words. I hope you can find a few for me now.
          Hugs and blessings

  5. Where is the book, is it How Did We End Up Here?

    I love Dr Simons work. While we have to be compassionate, I warn my children to be alert for themselves blaming everyone else, or falling for the victim types. No one is blameless, and we are all victims. We should avoid pointing fingers at others. I have always found that those most critical of me were the least entitled to do so.

    There is also the issue of expectations. People are very imperfect and they will let you down. “Even you mommy?” My 4 year old son asked. Sadly I responded with, “yes”. I would never want to but I probably will. Only God is perfect. I think he had proper expectations of people and didn’t “tune out” like I did as a teenager.

    1. Jeannie,
      How are you, likewise thinking of you. No matter you are always welcome. Many times we choose what we think is best for us and we do understand.
      Blessings and lots of Hugs

      1. BTOV,
        Thank you for checking on me. I am hanging in there. Actually celebrated my 60th birthday today – or rather yesterday because it’s just after midnight.
        I’m just tired. I just want this to be over because as much as I want him to love me he can never love me the way I need to be loved. And it’s not like I’m asking for much. He just can’t do it.
        But I’m doing good – thank you!!!

        1. Jeannie,
          I turned 61 in Feb, and how you feel and what you said about loving is so true. I really loved him and had to walk away just as you have. Like I said to Allen I never realized I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

          Almost 5 years later and I am having to file for another 4 year injunction, crazy stuff at this point in ones life. No fear, caution though, just resolute in going forward with my life and making of it the best I can. I am not will to put up with anything anymore. He had good qualities, no drinking, drugs, womanizing, gambling, dirty habits to speak of except for the vile CDN.

          And yes, they become worse as they age, I have noticed that with so many individuals and especially the CD in my family of origin. So many people are sick with this cancer.

          Glad your back, Lucy will look forward to your posts, she’s having a tough time and needs support. Thank you too, Jeanne. How goes it with you and where are you at in the process if I may ask?

  6. Jeannie,

    Happy birthday my friend! You sound well.
    Lots going on here. Ugh.
    You know how I visualize myself? Me, humped over with a six foot thick slimy leach (my STBX) suctioning onto me. And me walking along, with him sucking on my back.
    Do be rid of him someday . . . .

    1. Lucy,
      The antidote in getting the slimy leach off is lots of salt. The question is how to keep them off forever. They always want to reattach, strength of character and clarity in the honest message you are a power to be reckoned with. Living and dealing in the truth is something the CD despise.

      1. BTOV

        You have good answers. I hope someday your leach dries up and falls off. They don’t seem to wear out being the aggressors. Being on a continual defense is exhausting.
        What keeps me strong is not forgetting I do have a good life regardless of what he does. he will not destroy me – I may go broke – but he won’t take my soul.

        1. Lucy,
          Good for you, I admire your spunk and positive attitude. Eventually, he will cause his own implosion. I just need to focus on myself, be aware of my surroundings and create a positive life built on honesty and integrity with myself and others. I give to much rather than receiving and need to create a healthy balance.

          I have to cut them all free and let them grow up and suffer the consequences of the behavior and decisions. In essence I need to take care of me first and then give my resources to others that are deserving, truly in need and appreciative.

          Blessings to you

          1. BTOV

            Yes, you do need to give to yourself. You do spend a lot of energy helping others, and I’m on the receiving end of it. And I thank you.
            My good friend told me several months ago “Don’t give your pearls to swine. They will stomp them.” It’s a bible reference. And I pay heed to that advice, and it sticks in my mind whenever I decide to “do for” someone who has questionable character. And it is difficult to not help especially family because we’ve grown up with all those quote “family first” , “”children first” “blood is thicker than water”. Well, you know what, some family members are the ones to bring you down and stomp and still have that hand reaching out for a give me. Myself and many others my age (56) grew up with all these quotes swirling around that we thought were a Golden Rule and we did not question them. We thought that’s just the way is must be!
            I, myself, like to believe that you have to take care of and save yourself before you can do good with others and still keep your health, emotional or physical. And some people are deserving of your time and attention and energy while others are not. Like you say, let them suffer the consequences of their actions.
            I wish you well in your legal pursuits.

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