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Regina’s Blog2016-11-01T18:59:38-04:00

Regina's Blog

GenXSmartie

This is a blog about relationships, and it covers dating, marriage, parenting, modern family dynamics and divorce as seen from the very personal perspective of a divorced divorce lawyer.

1902, 2021

Can You See The Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

By |February 19th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

It's hard to see a way out of the darkness when you are plunged into the abyss after a horrific break up.  And, the more unprepared you are for that moment, the greater the challenges will be for you to regain your equilibrium.  It may seem impossible, which is why more so than ever during those trying times,  you truly need to rely on the love and guidance of others to get you through to the other side. Usually, I am the one responsible for guiding others to a brighter place.  For decades, hundreds have trusted me during their divorce process to walk them through the ordeal, and I can do it easily with a blindfold on.  But when the roles are reversed, and I am the one in need of assistance, I'll admit it is an incredibly uncomfortable and humbling experience, and yet is it precisely in those most vulnerable moments that I am reminded of the grace and beauty that surrounds us all. Last year, after discovering my ex's deep betrayal in the middle of COVID, truth be told the very idea of returning to the dating scene was so unappealing that I thought I'd rather opt for another colonoscopy instead.  So, while everyone kept prodding me to just keep an open mind, I embraced the simple pleasure of whacking golf balls while listening to Beyonce's song Irreplaceable-- especially that line "since I'm not your everything, how about I'll be nothing, nothing at all to you.  Baby, I won't shed a tear for you... lose a wink of sleep, because the truth of the matter is replacing you is so easy." True to Beyonce's prediction, replacing my ex (who later became a stalker) was not as difficult as I'd originally imagined, even during a pandemic.  Adopting to virtual dates, socially distant walks, and limited options for dining out took some adjustment, but in some ways these new methods of meeting people created a very efficient process for weeding out bad matches.  And maybe because we've all been dealt our blows during COVID, people are far more honest about their current circumstances and what they want for their future. Putting yourself back out there after you've been burned is not easy, and I completely understand and respect someone's choice to just fly solo.  Lots of my divorce clients choose to focus on their kids or careers while putting [...]

1602, 2021

Tips For Thriving Post-Divorce

By |February 16th, 2021|Categories: Talks in the Media|

Regina DeMeo a divorce attorney in Maryland and DC interviews Dr. Elizabeth Cohen aka the "Divorce Doctor" in NYC. Dr. Cohen explains the difference between working with a divorce coach and a psychologist. Therapists are able to not just focus on crisis management, but can help you take a deeper look into your behaviors and the past in order to focus on what you really need to thrive. Accepting the marriage is over, and moving forward is ultimately the only logical way forward. Together, they share some dating tips, including checking on past tax liens, divorces or criminal records for any potential new partner. Know what it is you need, and hold out for the love you deserve.

1202, 2021

Celebrating a COVID Valentine

By |February 12th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It's hard to believe how much life has changed in just a year, as last Valentine's Day was probably the last "normal" holiday we had before COVID hit. Honestly, I'm not sure if I remember how to walk in high heels, and while restaurants here are finally reopening at 25% capacity indoors, it's going to take me a while to work up to that. But those are small challenges in comparison to the daunting task of finding someone I'd even want to celebrate Valentine's Day with-- and thankfully I know I'm not alone on that front.Throughout the years, I have celebrated just about every version you can think of for Valentine's Day--either as someone's significant other or as a single woman enjoying Galentine's Day with my other fabulous single friends, and even as the host of an anti-Valentine's Day party, where we took turns bashing a heart-shaped pinata. But now it's COVID, and after discovering my ex is a serial cheater (who then became my stalker when I called it quits) I now face the most bizarre Valentine's Day of all.  But thankfully, God has a sense of humor and in that vein I received an invite to a Zoom wedding, which I am actually really looking forward to attending. Valentine's Day I've learned is what you make of it.  Although I can't (or won't) go to the spa or travel anywhere, at least while working from home this past year I have learned to cook some amazing dishes, and I embraced the game of golf.  So of course for Valentine's Day I got myself some golf lessons and a warm Peter Millar vest.  And, during my friends' nuptials I will enjoy an amazing home cooked meal in the comfort of my own home,  while basking in the joy that the desire to be in a loving, committed relationship is still very much alive out there. Hopefully, you too will choose to celebrate love and life this Valentine's Day, whether on your own or with those closest to you.  If you are in that unfortunate "it's complicated" phase of a relationship, take heart that you are not alone.  We've all had to swallow a shit-sandwich every now and then.  That's just how life is, and rather than cry hopefully you can find a way to laugh about it later.  In fact, one of my friends has developed a whole [...]

202, 2021

Exiting A Toxic Relationship

By |February 2nd, 2021|Categories: Talks in the Media|

Regina DeMeo, a top family law attorney in MD and DC with over 20 years of experience, interviews psycho-therapist Robin Tucker, who provides 6 key indicators you are in a toxic relationship and explains the importance of no-contact after you exit. To help you heal and move forward, Robin provides several resources.

2901, 2021

Tips For Exiting A Toxic Relationship

By |January 29th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Do you find yourself avoiding home because somehow it doesn't feel safe? That when you are home, it feels like you are walking on eggshells? Does your partner screen all your calls and/or tries to micro-manage your finances, relationships with others and daily activities? Do you feel unsafe and that you must constantly filter your thoughts? These are all huge red flags that you are not in a healthy relationship.While I am a huge believer in avoiding black and white thinking in relationships, some things are clear cut. Love should not be "complicated." You should be able to relax around your partner, speak freely and trust that even if you disagree on something you will both maintain a minimal level of respect, i.e. avoid name-calling, sarcasm, cynicism, or stone-walling. Neither one should feel empowered to make unreasonable demands or ultimatums. You should respect each other's boundaries, and never doubt the commitment to the relationship.We all look for a major lapse of judgment as the cause for a break-up, i.e. infidelity, but sometimes it's an accumulation of micro-aggressions that have cut deep without leaving any visible scars, which I call death by a thousand paper cuts.  Either way, leaving an unhappy situation is the most complicated part of all, particularly the longer you have been together and the more entangled your lives have become over time.  If you have combined your finances, share a home, or have kids together,  much more thought and planning needs to go into the development of an exit plan and you may need to involve an therapist for moral support and lawyers for legal assistance. Once you do separate, unless you need to communicate about some important logistical issue, less is best.  Going no contact is intended to give you the space you need to heal.  You need time to clear your mind, and in order to do so you may need to set bright-line boundaries with your ex.  If that person continues to annoy and/or harass you on a regular basis you need to send them a cease and desist notice in writing, and then keep track of each and every time they violate your request to stay away.  High conflict personalities, like those with Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) will not respect your boundaries, and eventually, you may need to involve the authorities and take legal action.   Ultimately, you have to decide what is [...]

1701, 2021

Don’t Just Survive, But Thrive Post-Divorce

By |January 17th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Divorce sucks, regardless of whether it was mutual, you initiated it or the decision was made for you. Legal experts can help you separate your assets and financial obligations, as well as develop a custody and support arrangement that the courts can approve, but a mental health professional is the one that provides confidential emotional support throughout the process to get you to a better space. A divorce coach is a fantastic option for someone that just needs a professional trained to provide strategies and encouragement to get you to move forward. They can help with Parenting Plans and communication protocols, along with crisis management. But, what if you want to take a deeper dive? Therapists have the added training to help you long after the legal proceedings are over, to process the grief, loss, anger and doubt inevitably created as a result of the divorce. It's important to un-package what happened in your marriage before moving to your next relationship. A therapist helps you look at patterns of behavior and challenges some deep-seeded beliefs that might be hindering your ability to form healthy romantic relationships. They help us accept the end of the marriage, which has come to its logical conclusion, and work on shifting our thinking, so we see this new life as an opportunity, not just a loss.It may just take time to heal, but it takes work if you want to grow. And for many, part of that next important chapter in your life includes dating. While my legal brain might simply encourage you to prepare a list of deal-breakers and do background check on any potential suitor for past criminal cases, liens, nasty divorces or protective orders, a therapist can actually help you discern what is most important to you in your next partner. Check out this great talk with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, aka "the Divorce Doctor" who shares some great tips for those seeking to thrive, not just survive post-divorce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pncSLTKD-3A

901, 2021

What Does Post-Separation Abuse Look Like?

By |January 9th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For most unhappy couples, the tension between them dissipates once they are in separate residences or soon after their legal issues are resolved either by agreement or in court. However, in about 15% of cases the acrimony actually increases post-separation, usually because one party is suffering either from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).When you leave someone that is an HCP (High Conflict Personality) they no longer control the narrative, and the situation is out of their control, which causes them great distress. At this point, they become incredibly unstable and unpredictable. Obsessed with wanting revenge, some will resort to stalking on social media, unwanted drive-bys, or harassment, including misuse of phone and email. If you have children in common, they might try to weaponize the children by putting the kids in the middle, or they might expose the children to unsafe situations just to cause the other parent distress. They might try to spread rumors about the other person to isolate them from family and friends. They often resort to financial abuse, including blocking access to bank accounts and other financial resources. If they can, they will try to destroy your credit and drag out court proceedings forcing you to incur significant amounts of legal fees. All these tactics are forms of emotional abuse, which can be difficult to prove in the short-term and require significant amounts of documentation. In these cases, it's usually a long-term pattern that shows the complete picture, which means the person who is the target of the abuse has to find the emotional support, as well as inner strength and reserve to play the long game.Lately, in mainstream media we've come to hear a lot about common manipulation tactics used by HCPs such as love-bombing, grooming, gas-lighting, projection, tri-angulation, or hoovering, but until you have personally experienced it, there is no way to really appreciate the mindfuck you'll get from an HCP.  Unfortunately, these people are completely self-centered and lack empathy for others, so there is no way to reason with them.  All you can do is walk (or run) away and take time to heal from this abuse and learn to trust again.Thankfully, there is a growing number of resources readily available for people recovering from a relationship with an HCP. Two of my favorite books are Bill Eddy's "It's All Your Fault" or "Stop Walking on Eggshells" [...]

801, 2021

Leaving a Narcissist and Post-Separation Abuse

By |January 8th, 2021|Categories: Talks in the Media|

Regina DeMeo, a top divorce attorney in Maryland and DC, interviews Tina Swithin, founder of One Mom's Battle and author of Divorcing a Narcissist. Together they discuss the tactics people with a high conflict personality use post-separation to abuse those that leave them, especially when there is a custody battle. People need to document the harassment, stalking, financial abuse and any parental neglect as part of a long-game strategy and be prepared for attempts at isolation and on going legal abuse.

2212, 2020

Forgiveness in the Divorce Process with Regina De Meo

By |December 22nd, 2020|Categories: Talks in the Media|

While divorce may be triggered by anger, holding onto anger in the form of resentment can lead to a longer, more expensive divorce that is more painful for the children as well as everyone involved. Regina explains how forgiveness can save us time, money, and energy in the divorce process.

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