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How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages #37844
12/19/10 02:28 PM
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Lil suggested that NED, CAT or OH (and RHW suggested LA) post about Drive By Honesty like was discussed on MB Marriage 101.

What is it and how will it help enhance communication and therefore make recovered marriages better?

All insights are welcome from everyone.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'm looking forward to learning more about this, too.

Ace




We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Ace] #40400
12/26/10 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ace
Lil suggested that NED, CAT or OH (and RHW suggested LA) post about Drive By Honesty like was discussed on MB Marriage 101.


grin grin Take 2! grin grin

Hey Lil....could you plese share what you gleaned from that discussion and then maybe ask specific related questions? I know the holidays are a busy time for all (which could be why this thread has no replies yet...) but I'm looking forward to this discussion.

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Ace] #40546
12/26/10 11:24 PM
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Ack.

I wish one of them would post, since I only did the equivalent of drive by reading in MB101 once it changed from the EN forum.

From memory ( and what I do) is if there is something I want to tell DH but I dont want to get into a discussion and/or an argument over it, I walk up to him while he is [on computer, at work bench, doing something HAM related], say to him "when you xxx, I feel xxx", or "I just wanted to tell you xxxxxxx" and then I walk away without asking for or expecting a response.

I know he hears most if not all of the drive by's because on occasion he will say something 2-3 days later, or I will notice a change in a behaviour. I also know that the method has been noted on some level because he has done the exact same thing to me a couple of times.

As to why and wherefore of the workings of drive by honesty, I don't know. I just know it helps me express something without a lot of grief, particularly since I have a DH who likes any conversation with me to be on the light and jolly side.


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Lil] #40719
12/27/10 07:03 AM
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Sorry I missed this thread until now. A little birdie (with a huge beak) whispered to me about it.

Lil, I really like knowing how you do this in your marriage, and why you do it. And boy, do I love your Good King Wenceslas sigline.

LOL

Six years ago I came up with doing O&H drive-bys because my marriage was in crisis, high conflict, with my DH in an active affair. I was learning how differentiation, how to inject respect, create boundaries, enforce them around myself...

and there were all these cravings I had...O&H (WH was of course lying) as my top EN, with Conversation fighting it for top spot. How do you meet this EN when your spouse is sleeping with another woman and lying about it?

I think the idea came from reading "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" where she advises, when you hear a zinger, to say "Ouch." That's O&H. Says you're hurting in that instant and don't know if it's from the inside or the outside.

We were in intense conflict...even "Ouch" was valid communication. I recommend those who don't speak, who out-talk themselves
Well, O&H is communicating intimacy. I figured out that bringing reality, which is speaking honestly, was essential for my sanity. I began listening to myself, pulling my focus off of him, and after he moved back in, which was before he committed to the marriage or stopped the affair, I shored up my new resolve to not spend my efforts on trying to extract from him what I needed.

This was one of our issues in the marriage...pulling conversation out of him. He dreaded any R talk...MC had us limit it to 20 minutes a week, on a scheduled night at a certain time.

I focused on my stuff and shared it...bite size. I can't remember exact ones, I'm afraid. Similar to "When you said <blank> ten minutes ago, I heard <blank>. Do you want mayo on your sandwich?"

I was working on my DJs...making assumptions about what WH meant when he did speak...expanding, contracting, distorting his statement in my head. About this same time, I put an imaginary hopper on my head to stop myself from continuing to do harm to myself and the marriage. This worked great because the hopper distinguished his stuff from my stuff, aided differentiation.

We were doing communication exercises at the time, too. So that may be why I don't remember my drive-bys. I use them today without driving by, though. We just had a tiny event over the weekend. We were putting up a cantankerous curtain rod together and because I zigged when I was supposed to zag, DH's finger was pinched and he yelped.

I immediately apologized and we continued. Later, he asked me if I thought he was angry at me. I said yes, that was my instant response for about a quarter of a second. Then I got he might have felt angry that it happened, but not at me.

He said that's what he experienced--pain, flash of anger at me, then just a little anger that it had happened at all. Then he was okay. Triggered him back, though, later, to the times when we would have ruined our day, our night, our week with an incident just like that. I agreed. I would believe he was blaming me and he would feel powerless over my feeling shame and distance, each of us focusing on the other's reactions, ad nauseum.

We were holding hands while we shared and then we smiled at each other. Old conflict, didn't happen, and we were grateful to each other for finding just our part and sharing.

I've written more here than it took to say. So it's short, like a drive by; I didn't go on and on...stated and then listened. Shared and was shared with. Six years of practice.

The rewards keep coming. When we have bumped into high conflict, I've used the drive-bys again. That's mine. I can see where fear of conflict or reaction would find them useful, too.

I can see them useful in non-conflict...with those couples struggling with communication issues. Where words are the tug-o-war between them.

I remember saying them sometimes when we finished a chore and I was leaving the room to do another one. I remember it mostly while doing an act of service...and letting go the response, even if it was silence.

I remember how much it fed my own EN for O&H...lessened my craving...developed an acceptance of not knowing his stuff until he shared it...which thwarted my DJs.

He does them now, pretty regularly. His anxiety stopped him for most of his life from sharing who he is...so he still shares and lets go the response with more concentration than I do. He's quick to catch me when I don't, though, and I appreciate him looking out for me when I slip.

"I feel fearful right now because I'm leaping into the future in my thoughts. Is it trash day?"

"I've been thinking a lot about the ways I've punished you in the past to get back at you when I felt you were punishing me. Do we need broccoli on the grocery list?"

Just some examples that came to mind.

LA


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LovingAnyway] #41101
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Thank you for that LA. So, you invented it, well done smile

I like the added info you have given, so much better than what I wrote, but also it is more in depth that I had read in the past.

Quote:
.developed an acceptance of not knowing his stuff until he shared it.
this has been a great lesson for me with he drive by O&H. Because I do NOT expect a response, now or ever, it is just like sharing a burden, and then letting it go. If you know they have heard you say your stuff, then the onus is no longer on you to share it, but on them to make of it what they will. If they choose to do nothing, then again, you don't need to fix it, its not you that broke it.


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Lil] #41499
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I just found this thread. No birdie told me though. frown

I'm not sure what to contribute here. I have not had a lot of success with the drive-by, though I have tried to use it. Since control seems to be a hot button with both of us, I have given some thought to tweaking how the drive by is used in my marriage. To use it the way LA did, or the way NED did, is to invite an argument. H will see it as an attempt by me to control the outcome of the conversation. If I were to use it successfully, I'd have to announce my intention to do this during high conflict times. But I would have to pick a peaceful time to make the announcement.

And when I do the drive-by, I'd probably have to preface it with a reminder of what I'm doing.


Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: OurHouse] #42734
12/31/10 01:49 PM
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Thanks OH, Lil, RHW and LA for this thread.

I can see how this might have helped us when we used to have high conflict. I say "might" because it may have produced similar results to what OH said might happen in her M if she used this technique without announcing in advance what she was doing. Would that, however, diminish its effectiveness?

From what I perceive, Drive By Honesty, as LA described it has three or more purposes (correct me if I'm wrong):

1) Allow the honest response to a potentially hurtful comment or situation with limited expectations.

2) Provide a way for the person making the hurtful comment or situation to fully realize that the words said or event that happened may have been mis-perceived so that the five A's might rectify the scenario ~ Awareness, Acknowledgement, Acceptance, Apology, Amends are made---I conjured those up after my year-long "LA tutorial sessions on How to Restore Intimacy After You Smash His Finger" LOL wink

3) Create a "venting" opportunity after a 'no harm/no foul' situation where nothing is needed after a natural human expression of pain (as in zigging instead of zagging and zinging the finger). After practice, it's possible that both parties involved will recognize this for what it is and just continue on in renewed intimacy (possibly due to their knowledge that they now can avoid the prolonged fights of yesteryear).

Did I understand at least parts of this correctly?

NED or CAT or RHW....love to get your takes on DBH, too.

THANKS!

Happy New Year!

:hny!:

Ace

Last edited by Ace; 12/31/10 01:51 PM. Reason: to call-out NED, CAT & RHW for additional input...actually everyone's input is welcome!

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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Ace] #43250
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I just finished Al Turtle's Master/Slave Relationship article.

Discovered two things I did to break this relationship in my marriage. One was drive-by honesty statements.

Woot! I feel validated and excited. Really is important to do to change from parenting to partnering.

Happy New Year!

LA


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LovingAnyway] #120488
06/13/11 05:25 PM
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I stumbled on this thread yesterday through a link on another thread.

I think this is SUCH a powerful concept. I think I have done it right a few times, and wrong a whole lot.

I have a terribly horrible habit of dropping a bomb --"You will NEVER understand me!", then dramatically leaving the room/house/city/state/country.

I know that's not drive by honesty. I think of DBH for small things -- 'it drives me crazy when you leave your dishes in the sink -- can I get you a Coke?"

Seems to work well for that stuff but I'm wondering if the concept can or should be expanded beyond the little stuff.

Because communication is somewhere between non-existent and toxic in many marriages that roll up on our shores, this seems like SUCH a valuable tool to get started towards daily honesty.

Can anyone expand on this topic?


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LadyGrey] #120522
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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LadyGrey] #120523
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Quote:
Can anyone expand on this topic?


Google "Martin Seligman Learned Optimism." will help with this - "You will NEVER understand me!" It's a valuable book.

Cheers


You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end which you can never afford to lose with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LadyGrey] #120547
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I'm a bit unclear about what drive-by "honesty" is, but based on what I've read so far, the "drive-by" part seems to be the only one applicable.

My experience is that the "I Message" format (When you ______ I feel _____ ) is not conducive for effective communication. I describe it in more detail on The Trouble with I Messages. In brief, by coupling the other person's actions with you feelings, the message is that they have "caused" the feeling or are somehow to blame for your feelings. "I Messages" are ineffective enough when there is an ongoing conversation. If I got a "drive-by" it would not feel comfortable at all. Like dropping a bomb and running.

I also have a problem with describing it as "honesty." I don't believe that the dishes in the sink are what are "driving me crazy" - rather, it is the underlying beliefs and assumptions that lead to an interpretation of the meaning of the dishes in the sink. So the "honest" statement might be more along the lines of "When I see dishes in the sink, I assume you don't care about the cleanliness of the kitchen, and I also assume that you don't care about me either, since I've asked you many times to not leave them there."

I have found that a more gentle approach leaves the other person more open to receiving the message and more able to offer a change of behavior as a gift (this is very important). One constraint that is very useful in such messages is to only use the pronoun "I" - never "you." This leaves out all of the ones that start "When you ..." which is just as well. In ares of conflict (actual or potential) most people's Lizard immediately goes on high alert by the words "When you..."

Also, even thoughts like "you never understand me" can be recast as a statement that is much easier for the spouse to hear. It is also most effective when the desired outcome is part of the statement.

Last edited by fddlr3; 06/13/11 06:41 PM. Reason: added a thought

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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Fiddler] #138109
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Revisitng this thread because of a gem I read elsewhere:
Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
I am trying to practice drive-by admiration. Sometimes little things quite obviously hit the mark, and his whole expression changes-- if only for a second or two.


Up until now I have only been using DBH as a way of expressing a sound bite worth of information that may or may not let DH know I don't like something, without the expectation of a response.

HOWEVER... drive by admiration is a form of DBH. I am honestly expressing some aspect of DH I am taken with right at that moment. I dont have to give a grand announcement, or wait until the time is right. Now's good smile


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Lil] #251043
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Bump


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Lil] #274474
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Bump for Fiddler.


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: LadyGrey] #274723
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Something struck me here. Just a thought.

We may tend to get very rusty with our person-to-person skills due to busy lifestyles but also the overuse of electronics.

I would consider the drive-by methods to be of use when a relationship is going through a rough or strained time or the couple is trying to supplement an already good communication style. To depend on it indeterminately as the sole way to communicate, seems to be potentially unfair to both parties long term, imo.

I only mention that because I can see where it could end up being a go-to style that plateaus and is used too much.

I'm thinking...use it during a rough patch, with rhetorical statements. When you know the rhetorical statements have been received with reasonable acceptance, add in small drive-by questions. (Ask a question, but keep busy multi-tasking.) When you can navigate those without problems, graduate to eye-to-eye communication. (?)

Just an idea.


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: soolee] #274736
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Soolee, I agree. I would think that most folks would use something like that as a short term solution through difficult events that leave one or both feeling overloaded. And then in the medium and long term most situations would resolve so that families aren't living in survival mode long-term.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: NewEveryDay] #274820
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I see I had commented on this previously.

I can certainly see how it might be useful when communication is so bad that certain topics cannot even be raised without deteriorating into an argument. For me, the solution to communication problems is to learn to be a better communication - starting with being a better listener, and moving on to expressing one's thoughts and feelings in a non-blameful way so they can be received by one's spouse.

It seems that learning effective communication can be quite a challenge and may take some time. While one is doing that, this approach could be used to set up the eventual communication pattern between the two spouses. I think that if one stops at this for the difficult topics, a great opportunity is being missed.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Fiddler] #274897
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I guess I thought drive by honesty was a way to have someone start seriously thinking about the issue.. not that that would be the only time you would talk about it. For example..


Honey, I'm really thinking homeschooling would be good for our children.. Leave the room.

The next day you might ask them what they think about homeschooling and then validate what they think.

The next day you might discuss the issue again adding your thought.

I just didn't get the idea that drive by honesty was the end. I thought it was the start. That was really rude sweetie. Leave so they cannot justify.. Next day when he is in a good mood, can we talk about ....situation yesterday?? etc.

Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Marta] #274946
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I think that bringing up a deep topic such as homeschooling is not ideally done when either spouse is feeling upset. And if both are calm, then why not simply discuss it then?

I have found it far more effective to validate on the spot when they are upset. Most people I know would not react well to being told they were "rude," especially by their spouse. It is far more effective, in my experience, to express oneself in a manner that they are more likely to be open to receiving. And even if they react, validating their feelings in that moment is the best way to lowering the temperature.

It's simple to learn - but not easy.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Fiddler] #274948
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Originally Posted By: Fiddler

I have found it far more effective to validate on the spot when they are upset. Most people I know would not react well to being told they were "rude," especially by their spouse. It is far more effective, in my experience, to express oneself in a manner that they are more likely to be open to receiving. And even if they react, validating their feelings in that moment is the best way to lowering the temperature.

It's simple to learn - but not easy.


Can you describe what this looks like, Fiddler. When one's spouse is being rude, how does telling them that go? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to say "that's rude" in a manner where it would be well recieved. And as to validating a person's feelings when they are being rude...not sure how I'm supposed to pull that off either. Sounds like endorsing or encouraging behavior that I should have a firm boundary against.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Fiddler] #274967
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Originally Posted By: Fiddler
I think that bringing up a deep topic such as homeschooling is not ideally done when either spouse is feeling upset. And if both are calm, then why not simply discuss it then?


I don't think drive-by honesty is something that needs to take place when one or both spouses is upset. I think it is much more effective if it is done when no one is upset.

My xH needed time to think about things sometimes before we had a discussion (and sometimes so did I). And for some topics, a discussion wouldn't be productive (not the case for homeschool) - one person needs to say what is bothering them and does not need a response.


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Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Miranda] #274977
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Originally Posted By: Miranda
Can you describe what this looks like, Fiddler. When one's spouse is being rude, how does telling them that go? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to say "that's rude" in a manner where it would be well recieved. And as to validating a person's feelings when they are being rude...not sure how I'm supposed to pull that off either. Sounds like endorsing or encouraging behavior that I should have a firm boundary against.
Since this topic is about drive-by honesty, I don't want to threadjack it too much.

The brief answer is that when someone is being rude, there is no way to point it out to them in that moment so that they will be able to hear and receive. In that moment, the only response I have found that won't escalate the situation is to validate their feelings. It is important to distinguish between feelings and behaviors. It is not effective (or even meaningful, as I use the term "validation") to validate behaviors. So the rudeness is not validated; when the underlying feelings (or even thoughts) that are being expressed are validated, they will inevitable calm down. This is much more reliable than other approaches like walking out of the room and the like. It is nearly impossible to stay with whatever energy is driving the unacceptable behavior when one is being heard and understood. One the person has been brought down, then (and only then, in my experience) are they open to receiving one's input about how their behavior impacted.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: CajunRose] #274978
01/17/13 10:30 PM
01/17/13 10:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Fiddler  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
Why doesn't telling one's spouse you are upset "need" a response?

In the "drive-by," one's spouse is not given the opportunity or choice whether to respond. If one (or both) need to think about it, why not allow that one to simply say so? If both are calm, then why is there the need to leave or cut off any response from them?

When your husband expresses to you that he is upset about something, do you not wish to have the opportunity to respond or be at least given the choice to respond or not?

Sometimes my wife will want to discuss something that I am not yet clear about. I simply tell her that I would like to talk about it at a (specific) later time or that I need to think about it first. Of course it is crucial that I actually do so, or else it will be a kind of stonewalling that is being discussed in Peer Counseling.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: How DRIVE BY HONESTY MAgnifies Marriages [Re: Fiddler] #274988
01/17/13 11:05 PM
01/17/13 11:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,381
TX
CajunRose Offline
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CajunRose  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,381
TX
Originally Posted By: Fiddler
Sometimes my wife will want to discuss something that I am not yet clear about. I simply tell her that I would like to talk about it at a (specific) later time or that I need to think about it first. Of course it is crucial that I actually do so, or else it will be a kind of stonewalling that is being discussed in Peer Counseling.


My first husband was a stonewaller. He was trained by a marriage counselor in the importance of doing what you suggested (a time-out, if you will) but refused to change and follow that method for any extended period. Drive-by honesty, I think, would have worked better for me in bringing up difficult topics.

Drive-by honesty also does not mean the receiving spouse can't follow up. There's nothing stopping him, for example, from from following me if he'd like to discuss whatever it is I said. The drive-by is my part. The follow-up is up to him.


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
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