About the Divorce Recovery Blog

This is the post excerpt.

I recently recognized the recovery help I received from a combination of sources including those from divorce recovery at churches I attended, counseling, and independent divorce recovery support groups were all lacking individually, but brought together as a whole, were substantial.

Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to “bring together” resources from many diverse areas in an effort and with my Higher Power’s help to help others.

Jim Bilello

Oct. 1, 2017


Insight re: Dating

Here’s an insight I have found to be true after having been divorce for over 7 years. One of the easiest ways for a woman to attract a man is to use her sexuality. Without the willingness to put in the work to make the relationship more than sex it soon deteriorates.

One of the easiest ways a man can attract a woman is to use money and take her to great expensive places and buy her expensive things. Again, without the willingness to put in the work to get to know the woman on more than a “skin-deep” level and really try to have a healthy relationship with good boundaries that contribute to growth in all areas of life the relationship soon becomes nothing more than sex.

Of course you say…so what! I’ve made the mistake and many women I know have too. Some of the plainest simplest insights that seem obvious may be patterns we don’t recognize. If this is a pattern for you, then think about how to break it. There’s nothing wrong with intimacy. But we can’t lean into it so much it becomes a crutch and the main or only reason for seeing someone or being with someone. Right?

Recently, an old friend was bragging to me about how much sex he gets from different women that he has lined up whenever he wants intimacy. Later in the evening he told me they are all just sex and when he tires of a woman he gets a little drunk and breaks up with her. My reflection on this conversation is…that is NOT for me. I want a whole relationship with a woman that is both attractive, but also full with friendship and lots of activities that are regular life and not just sex.

I have found it very hard to find this wholeness. Most of the dating sites are filled with people that constantly fall into the patterns I listed above. Very shallow. This includes sites like eHarmony and Christian Mingle. It’s not easy to find.

Marriages break down when someone brings immaturity to the marriage.

This is sooo true and responsible for so many divorces and problems on dating sites.

From Dr. Henry Cloud, “Marriage was not designed to complete a person. It was designed for two complete people to enter into and form something different than either of them is on his or her own. It was designed, not to make you a whole person, but to give your wholeness a new range of experience.

But many people see marriage as a ticket to short-cut completeness or maturity. Therefore they don’t marry out of strength, but out of weakness. They marry someone to make up for what they do not possess on their own. They marry out of their incompleteness, and doing so erodes the possibility for oneness.

You may have heard couples say,

“We are such a good balance for each other.” This can be good if, for example, he is good at business and she is good at building the nest, and vice versa.

But it is not good if it means that she could not survive in the real world of work and commerce on her own without him. If this is true, she has married a “meal ticket,” or someone to take care of her in a childlike dependency. And he has married a “mother” to make the home that he could not build for himself while he goes off and plays during the day.

This point is so important that I’m gong to say it again:

The crucial element of “two becoming one” is that the two people must be complete in and of themselves – they must be adults – before they marry.”


Is your relationship/marriage spiraling up or spiraling down? Repost from Michelle Weiner-Davis

“Negative stories trigger negative feelings.

Negative feelings trigger hostile or unkind actions.

Unkind actions trigger further negative interactions.

You get what I mean.

And the crazy part of all of this is that our stories are just that- stories, hypotheses, guesses.

But that doesn’t stop us from not only believing our stories, but being willing to fight to defend the legitimacy of our perspectives!

So what can we do about our tendency to make up stories about our partners, especially negative ones?”

Last night I was driving home from a friend’s house. After stopping for a red light, I stepped on the accelerator to get in front of the car to my right because I had to make a right turn rather abruptly. As I got into my lane in front of him, he started flashing his lights at me.

This sort of behavior is uncharacteristic of the local folks who tend to be kind and generous, especially when it comes to road etiquette. And when he also turned right and continued flashing his lights at me, I told myself that his rudeness was probably due to the fact that he was an out-of-town visitor.

As I drove the remaining three blocks to my house, I was steaming; “How dare he,” I thought.

Though not extraordinarily aggressive, his flashing his lights at me- my “punishment”- didn’t seem to fit the crime of my simply needing to get in front of him to make my turn. “Must be an ego-driven maniac,” I told myself.

I must admit I had a knot in my stomach.

When I parked in front of my house, I noticed something interesting….my headlights weren’t turned on.

Apparently, the guy was flashing his lights at me was an act of kindness; he was trying to alert me to the fact that I was driving without headlights!

So much for the stories we tell ourselves about other people and the way these stories affect our feelings!

We do it all the time.

For instance, in a recent 2-day intensive with a couple, a man told me that he bought his wife flowers as a way of extending an olive branch after an argument.

Although he didn’t feel the argument was his fault whatsoever, he still wanted to make amends; he didn’t like feeling distant from his wife.

When he handed her the flowers, she thought to herself, “He must really be feeling guilty about something.”

Because of her negative story, she was lukewarm in her response to his gift which hurt his feelings and resulted in further emotional distance.

Here’s another example.

A husband I worked with was a CEO of a large company, his wife, a stay-at-home mom. They had 3 children, ages 10, 7 and 5. Their “division of labor” was fairly clear-cut and traditional; he provided for the family financially, and she took care of the children and housework.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, the woman became very depressed.

He assumed his wife was overwhelmed and stressed about her daily responsibilities. In an effort to help her feel better, he decided to “lighten her load” by taking more responsibility around the house.

He started cooking, cleaning up after meals and helping with the children’s bedtime routine.

Over time, he noticed she seemed even more depressed. When I asked her about this, she said, “Once he started taking over my job, I realized how incompetent he thinks I am. And this just made me feel really badly about myself. I feel like I can’t do anything right.”

Although her reaction may seem strange to you, the truth is, every time something happens in our lives, we immediately ascribe meaning to it. To make sense of our world, we make up stories about why things happen and the nature of people’s motivations.

And here’s what I’ve noticed about couples.

If they’ve been spending enough time together nurturing their relationships, when something occurs, the meaning ascribed to that event is either neutral or positive.

For instance, If the marriage is going along swimmingly and a spouse comes home late for dinner, the partner might think, “Poor guy, he must have gotten caught in traffic,” or “She’s been working such long hours, I really feel for her.”

If things aren’t going well in the marriage, that’s a different story.

Arriving late for dinner would probably prompt a spouse to think, “There he goes again, he is so inconsiderate,!” or “She never cares about my feelings. Never!”

Negative stories trigger negative feelings.

Negative feelings trigger hostile or unkind actions.

Unkind actions trigger further negative interactions.

You get what I mean.

And the crazy part of all of this is that our stories are just that- stories, hypotheses, guesses.

But that doesn’t stop us from not only believing our stories, but being willing to fight to defend the legitimacy of our perspectives!

So what can we do about our tendency to make up stories about our partners, especially negative ones?

First, rather than assume you know why someone acts in a certain way, ask him or her, and even if you feel skeptical about their explanation, if it’s more benign than yours accept it at face value.

Second, when irritating things happen, since we’re less likely to jump to negative conclusions if our relationships are on solid ground, we need to spend quality time together, talk, and touch.

Feeling loving towards our partners is the best way to give them the benefit of the doubt they often rightly deserve.


Michelle Weiner-Davis


Drug Rehab Resource

I received this last week and offer it to anyone that may benefit.

On Mar 11, 2019, at 3:17 PM, Edgar Bustamante <donotreply@wordpress.com> wrote:

Name: Edgar Bustamante

Email: ebustamante@drugrehab.com

Website: https://www.drugrehab.com/recovery/motivation-for-sobriety/

Comment: Hi,

My name is Edgar and I work with DrugRehab.com, a free web resource that provides information and support to people fighting addiction and related mental health disorders.

I noticed that your website features valuable information about recovery and thought that our recovery motivation and sobriety e-book would be valuable additions to the resources listed on your page, https://divorcerecoveryguide.blog/category/counseling-resources/

Please feel free to review our information:


Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Settle Matters Quickly

This morning this passage came up in the daily devotional from my church. As I read the Reflect section I felt a whisper calling me to post this. In particular, there are are a few words that we should consider:

  • Pride
  • Stubbornness
  • Love
  • Necessary

I am also a follower of Dr. Henry Cloud https://www.boundaries.me/blog/ and as I reflect on this section of the Bible, Divorce and Boundaries a few other words and phrases came to mind:

  • Discernment
  • Wisdom
  • Treating the X as I would want to be treated
  • Treating any children involved as I would want to be treated if I were them

Only you know where the boundaries lie between stubbornness and pride vs love and the Golden Rule. Only you know whether fighting on in court is really best for all concerned. Only you know or you will find out the hard way if you’re being selfish, narcissistic, unloving and unforgiving. You will find out sometimes years later when the decisions you make now to settle or to fight on either work to everyone’s benefit (including any children involved) or whether your decisions “come back to haunt you.”

As we approach Halloween the haunting is real, the pride and price we all pay for stubbornness and ego is terrible, but we can make a new choice at any time and choose love. Sometimes love does mean fighting on, but sometimes it means Settle Matters Quickly before they go to trial!

Read Matthew 5:21–26

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”


We are back to our primary passage for this week, from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In the last paragraph of this passage, Jesus tells His disciples to settle matters quickly with their adversaries. In other words, we should not be people who cause disputes to go on and on. Again, Jesus is focused on our hearts. What does our desire to drag out an argument or adversarial relationship reveal about our hearts?

  • What came to mind as you read the last paragraph of today’s passage? Why do you think that is?
  • Reflect on a time you’ve dragged out an argument or dispute. What was motivating you? What was going on in your heart during that time?
  • What invitation do you sense God extending to you about resolving disputes quickly?


God, give me eyes to see myself more clearly in moments of tension and dispute. Show me where I’m being stubborn and prideful, or dragging things out where it’s unloving or unnecessary. Give me the presence of mind to stop and show compassion and kindness. Continue to mold my heart so that it looks more and more like Yours. Amen.

San Antonio man ordered to pay nearly $9 million for breaking up man’s marriage

From ABC and other sources this morning. I watched as Cecilia Vega a co host on Good Morning America stated repeatedly she was “scratching her head over this one.” Then ABC’s legal expert came on air to explain these laws were antiquated. There is a much bigger story here that all of them are missing and which we have reported extensively here regarding how marriage laws vary radically from state to state and within each state from county to county

While the so called “alienation of affection” laws are antiquated, there was a place for fault divorce vs the now more common “no fault” divorce which is prevalent in most states in the U.S. today. Under no fault and as reported in this blog either spouse can run into court at any time and simply say they want out for no reason and take half the assets! This has caused many of us to question the financial liability present in a marriage certificate. Separate from religious and moral reasons, many people in our so called “modern” society are married without prenups and have virtually no protection from no fault divorce from their spouse. This means that ANYTHING can and does happen to wreak havoc on their marriage and prevent people from doing the hard work it takes to make a marriage work. This does not excuse abuse, but so many people get divorced creating an untold toll on their children, their finances and their spouse simply because they say “I’m not happy.”

You will decide for yourself what’s right for you and some of the articles in this blog may shed light on the issues.

Reposting from From Dr. Henry Cloud “Binding someone’s choices by guilt or manipulation is not love; it is slavery.

There are countless ways that people try to make other people’s choices for them. Think about the times when we’ve heard, “If you love me, you will do this or that.” They are most often crossing boundaries to take away someone’s free choice of how they will love. To say, “If you love me, you will not go bowling,” is an attempt to say, “If you love me, you will do anything I want and not have choices of your own unless I like them.” Those sorts of statements should always be confronted with a clearing up of boundaries: “That is not true. I love you, and I’ll choose how I’ll spend this evening. You can’t decide whether or not I love you. That’s my choice.”

People who cross boundaries and try to take away others’ choices call those other people “selfish” when they try to take back their power of choice. Doing something for yourself isn’t necessarily bad; it assumes that we need to do some things for ourselves, and that’s ok sometimes. Remember, whenever you tie a chain around another person’s ankle, it will invariably end up around your neck.”

7 ways you’re being disrespected (reposting from Dr. Henry Cloud)

I’m reposting this from Dr. Henry Cloud’s: https://www.boundaries.me/p/boundaries-are-your-path-to-freedom My experience with Dr. Cloud’s resources are superb and they have helped me over the years.

Hey, guys.

No matter what kind of relationship you’re in — family, personal, romantic or professional — part of building boundaries means that you need to know that your feelings, needs and freedom are respected. When someone is uncomfortable in a situation, or is hurt by a sarcastic remark, or becomes angry with a broken promise, that is a signal that something is going on. The other person needs to take those feelings seriously. Both people need to talk about what triggered this, and solve the problem.

Disrespect may come out in several ways, and it usually involves some violation of freedom in one of seven ways:

1. Dominating: The other person won’t hear “no.” When you disagree with someone, the other intimidates, threatens, or rages. They are offended by your freedom to choose.

2. Withdrawal: One person pulls away when the other exercises some freedom or difference. They may isolate, sulk, or be silent. But they are passively punishing you for your differentness.

3. Manipulating: One person shows disrespect by subtle stratagems designed to make the other person change his mind.

4. Direct violation: The person disrespects by continuing the same hurtful action, even after being asked not to.

5. Minimizing: One person says the other person’s negative feelings are simply an overreaction.

6. Blaming: You talk about a problem, but the other person indicates that you caused the problem. For example, a man will tell his girlfriend that it hurts when she makes fun of him in public. She might respond with, “If you would pay more attention to me, I wouldn’t have to resort to that.”

7. Rationalizing: The other person denies responsibility for whatever caused the problem. There’s always an excuse.