Santa Monica Observer July 11, 2003


As seen in The Santa Monica Observer Weekly


The Externally Derived Sense of Self

 Anyone who loves ‘The Chase' must select relationships with those who are fleeing; you cannot chase a partner who is standing still or moving toward you.

Fear of being alone is the first and last fear that humans experience. We face this when we are born, when we first watch mommy leave us with a babysitter and we face this as we approach death. The most common cause of geriatric depression is being alone which is triggered by the death of long-term spouses. That is #1 on the Homes Schedule of Stressful Events; divorce is #2.

"To move from the need to control to your true power and to reach the experience of Oneness, you have to go through that place where you have enough detachment that the body as well as the mind can remain peaceful in the face of letting go. When you truly feel any emotion it is transmuted into peace.” Frank Zizzo, Ph.D.

 In learning to be alone after divorce, after the break-up of any relationship or even during the “empty nest “ phase, we are learning to move through a specific fear, the fear of emptiness, of a vacuum and for many, this is the first experience of being alone. If you have grown up with siblings, within a nuclear or an extended family; the years after college can be shocking. Many young people marry early simply to avoid feeling so frightened about being alone. After divorce, many prefer to find roommates, even if finances don't warrant it. In many cases, the spouse fighting desperately for custody of the children and the pets is the one who is terrified of being alone; and this fear is only the tip of the iceberg. The cause as well as the cure is to separate the truth from your concepts. Then you will discover that you have always been alone and that you have also never been alone. When we believe in the “externally derived sense of self”', the result is terror. When we begin to practice meditation and we connect to that joyous and peaceful place that exists beyond the “mind”, we feel the alone shift to “all one”.


Dear Divorce Coach,

If a wife moves out of a house due to a controlling situation, does she automatically forfeit her share of the home's equity?


Dear De-nested,

This response is from Mark Patt, Esq, managing partner of Trope and Trope, the largest family law firm in Los Angeles: “Moving out of the house when parties separate has absolutely no impact on either parties' rights to the ownership of the house, nor does it impact who may ultimately get the house (assuming it is not sold) when the property is divided.  This is true even if the party who moves owned the house pre-marriage.

Moving out while the divorce case is pending could have some impact on issues that relate to the use of the house while the case is pending.  For example, if one person moves, it might make it easier for the other party to retain sole use of the house just while the case is pending (although it is often possible for the person to move back in).  Also, under some circumstances, the person who stays in the house may owe (or be charged with) "rent" to the community estate.  Such a charge, if appropriate, is made when the property is divided, and one factor relates to the reasonable rental value, the amount of the mortgage, and who pays the mortgage. Bottom-line, moving out of the house does not affect either party's rights or claims to the ownership of or equity in the house. “

Dear Divorce Coach©,

I should still be in the "Honeymoon" phase, but he doesn't want me associating with friends. He's turning my daughter against me. How will I make ends meet, so do I just let him back?

Living Dead

Dear Living,

Is your husband wanting the “honeymoon phase”, too? Is he feeling worried that you spend time with friends when he needs more attention? I read the possibility for reconciliation, do you ? For 1 hour of free coaching, please email me.

Best regards,
Susan Allan

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Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™