Things to Consider Post-Divorce

If you are recently divorced and are having a hard time wrapping your mind around what to do next, this article might help. Whether your marriage was one year or twenty years, you have lost a big part of your life. Going forward, there are things you should keep in mind about healing and starting new relationships.

Confession. I was never the girl that dreamed of my wedding. I always thought that brides were beautiful, but I didn’t fantasize about being a bride. I didn’t comb through wedding magazines or wonder about the man that I would marry. I’m not too sure why, I’ve just never been that girl. 

When I got married, I was happy to do so. Being a bride was a wonderful feeling. I love fairy tales and romances. The wedding was not the thing that I focused on. It was the marriage part that worried me. 

And now that the marriage is over, the marriage part still worries me. People ask me when and if I want to remarry. I’m not so sure that I want to and if I do, I don’t want to rush into anything. Marriage is something that I’m not so sure I have a grasp on.

I have baggage. 

And I’m aware of it. 

We all have those things that we hold on to. Those feelings and emotions that have served us throughout life, even if they were dysfunctional. 

When we are seeking a relationship, we are focused on what we do want. We rarely talk about what we are bringing to the table ourselves. And we all have baggage. Residue that travels with us from life experiences in general. That load can be heavy after a while. 

We all need to unpack at some point in time. Take an honest look at ourselves, when it comes to relationships and life in general. 

I got married thinking that it would change my view on marriage. And for the most part it did, but looking back, I’m not sure that I was ever really completely sold on the idea. There was always a slight nagging in the back of my mind that kept me partially unavailable. No one else can unpack your bags for you. It’s a job that you have to do all on your own. 

Here’s a few things that I’m learning in the process.

No one can love away the hurt. It’s up to you to manage your own issues. You can’t expect someone else to fill the voids, make things better, or make you happy. 

Relationships are 100/100 NOT 50/50. Two whole people need to come together in a relationship, not two halves hoping to make one another whole. 

Be open to your compliment, not someone to complete you. We are always looking for someone to provide the missing pieces or at least glue them back together. Instead, we should be open to someone who provides a level of balance in our lives. 

Don’t be afraid to get rid of what’s not working. We clean out our closets. Why won’t we do the same with our lives? Why can’t we say “I always choose the same ‘type’ and that’s not working for me” and stop. 

 A prophet named Erykah Badu once told us that dragging around all of those bags would hurt your back. She suggested that you pack light. I couldn’t agree with her more. 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/life-after-divorce-unpack-your-bags_us_57a25cc8e4b0f019c3e4a852?ir=Divorce&utm_hp_ref=divorce

To all the Single Moms

No one is in any way trying to minimize just how hard it is to be a single parent. The struggle is so very real but when you are having a particularly hard time with trying to make sure that everything is in place and that the kids are taken care of, you should remember the wisdom from this single mom/blogger going through the same things. You are not alone.

June 2016 was one disaster after another for me. I was happy to say “Bye, Felicia” and usher in July. You see, in the course of a month, my HVAC unit needed replaced, the hot water heater went out, and my car broke down (on the way to my son’s birthday party). I wish I were making this up — my life felt like a comedy of errors, except I wasn’t finding any of it funny.

I was stressed.

About money.

About getting to t-ball games and kindergarten meetings.

About doing it all alone.

My hair was going gray at a faster rate than normal, and I was without the money or car to remedy it. My usually bright and cheerful disposition turned solemn and sour. I was snapping at my kids more often. Did they listen to anything I said? I felt tired and weary and slightly crazy.

And I felt like I was failing as a parent.

July 4th rolled around, and the kids went to their dad’s for the day. I had walked into standing water in the kitchen the night before (water heater again?), so I knew I wouldn’t be much fun to be around anyway. I kissed them goodbye and took myself back upstairs to bed wondering if July 2016 was going to be just as bad.

I slept for a few hours, cleaned, did a couple of loads of laundry, watched some grown up TV. Then I waited. When would they be home?

I texted their dad, “Are the kids coming home soon? Too quiet here.”

As tired as I get and as often as I wonder if I’m failing and as flustered as they make me sometimes, those babies are my world. And everything feels off when they aren’t with me.

They finally returned home. I had their pajamas ready, and we turned on a movie and snuggled on the couch. My son asked if he could have a snack (all day, every day). I told him if he got something out of the pantry I would open it for him.

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On his way to the kitchen, he stopped and said, “Mommy, you’re the best mommy.” He was so sweet and sincere. Tears welled up in my eyes.

I hadn’t been my best self or parent the past month. I was weary. I was in survival mode. But that’s not what my son saw. And tired single mama, that’s not what your baby sees.

She doesn’t see the gray hair and worry lines.

He doesn’t see the home improvements you think need done or the bills from the ones you’ve checked off.

She doesn’t see the tears you cry after bedtime while you pray you’re a better parent tomorrow.

He doesn’t see the twenty pounds you would like to lose.

She doesn’t see the floors that you need to sweep or the kitchen table with crafts all over or the dishes in the sink.

Instead, they see a home where they can play and learn and be themselves. They see a place that they are safe and well cared for. More importantly, they see a person who is beautiful because she has made it her life work to give them the best life possible. While they cannot comprehend the dedication and sacrifice (can anyone really until she is a parent herself?), they know who is always there for them — from tucking them in to getting them ready for their first year of school. Not just the fun stuff, not just what is convenient or fits into a tidy box. But they see a strong person who is there for all the messy and wonderful parts of parenthood.

Chin up, tired mama. They see the love. Most importantly, they feel it.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lindsey-light/to-the-tired-single-mama-heres-what-your-child-sees_b_10809176.html?utm_hp_ref=divorce&ir=Divorce

Dealing with Rejection

Rejection is a common experience. Even the word rejection gives you a strange tightness in your chest, a pit in your stomach and a furrowed brow. There re a lot of ways that we have been taught to deal with rejection. For many women, we are even taught that it’s a sign that a man actually likes you but this article might change the way you look at unrequited feelings.

Watch video below:

https://youtu.be/5motuzyLXIk

When your partner leaves you, getting over the heartbreak can feel like an impossible task. 

What you may need to process the pain is a change in perspective, philosopher Alain de Botton says in a new illustrated video from The School of Life. 

“Don’t attempt to minimize what’s happened,” he says. “Being brave
has no place here. Allow your sadness so much room, so much time, so
many melancholic songs, hot baths and indulgent meals, you eventually bore yourself back into an appetite for life.” 

Once you’ve acknowledged your sadness and had some good cries, try not to blame your ex too harshly for the breakup.

Read more at: http://huff.to/23eNj3C

Hitting the restart button

Divorce can be such a traumatizing event that lingers as it penetrates every facet of your being. Every part of your life is completely different and the effects of your divorce can be felt by friends and family. This is a touching story from a contributing writer for the Huffington Post about rebooting after divorce.

re-boot: to restart.

It took a long time for me to re-boot post-divorce.

December, 2015 was the last time I had to appear in court or a lawyer’s office…

…I had filed for divorce in December of 2009.

Six years of fighting for what is right (i.e., my ex paying child support and splitting our property in half; he didn’t want to do either) is long, tedious, tiring, and sometimes demoralizing. I spent more of my life in a courtroom, lawyer’s office, and on the phone with said lawyer than I care to really think about.

Although the first couple of years were so hard and so draining, the best thing I did for myself was to legally change my last name to one *I* chose. It was really my first step to taking back my life. It wasn’t about anyone but me, myself, and I. It was a gift to myself.

The next year or so, I began to come out of the fog and re-boot my life. It really did feel as though everything had been on “pause” during the divorce; but of course it wasn’t, and Life has a way of going on about its own business. I had a lot of catching up to do.

I began making decisions, tentatively at first and nothing too big. As I regained my confidence, I made bigger and bigger decisions. I had strong allies in my two best friends, a great therapist, and several other people who have become very important to me. And as T and I began looking at adding him to our little family, I was deciding what I wanted my future to look like for the first time in a long time.

And suddenly I discovered I was happy!

I truly hadn’t felt that way in years. Not just being content, and certainly more than getting by. Actually happy. What a revelation!

groove: a settled routine, situation, or an activity that one enjoys, or to which one is especially well suited; a very pleasurable experience; something that is sustained in a distinctive, regular, and attractive way; performing exceptionally well.

Summing it up like this makes it sound much easier than it was. Ask anyone who was on the journey with me, it was hell: full of setbacks and unfair rulings by the first judge; harassment by my ex and his lawyers (he went through five); and to top it all off, crazy and impractical decisions by the Friend of the Court (who had never had children of her own), who decided that putting a 10-year-old on a plane twice a month to fly across the country unaccompanied, year-round, was somehow in the child’s best interest.

Fortunately (and I say that with much thought behind it), my ex decided he didn’t want anything to do with Z, and stopped all contact with him once the divorce was final: it turns out Z was nothing but a pawn to him to use as leverage against me. Difficult to swallow, yes. But even more heart-wrenching to watch my son realize. But a relationship with ANYONE is only a good relationship if it’s HEALTHY, and my ex did everything possible to poison that one. Z has since moved on (with love and support from his family and friends, and the help of a really good child psychologist), and is happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and successful in all the ways that matter in a child’s life. And to him, T became “Dad” early on, so it turns out he’s not missing anything after all.

So that was one of the first parts to my getting my groove back: making sure my son was ok. The next part was finding some kind of “normal” for us, and that came in with T. He naturally became part of our everyday lives, even when he was across the country. Later, when we decided to buy our house together, I think all of us felt the security that can only come from a real Home with the people you love most.

The last part for me was embracing the dream of writing full-time. I love writing my weekly column; I love writing the stories for the magazines and The Huffington Post, and our local newspaper. And even if my novel never becomes published, at least I will have given it my best shot!

Never easy, but always worth it, I’ve fought to rebuild my life the way I want it. I used to feel “the other shoe” was always about to drop, but somewhere along the line, that thought was discarded by my subconscious as more happiness poured in. I don’t expect Life to always hand me the win — but I also no longer expect it to hand me defeat at every turn. And I know I deserve happiness and even prosperity if I’m willing to work for it: people I love (including the furry ones), work I enjoy, a home for it all. In short, this is my way of saying “If I can do it, anyone can.”

I used to think that Ctrl+Alt+Del was something to dread, that it signified something awful was happening (“Oh my god, I’ve got to re-boot!”). But it’s not: gaining control + choosing an alternate path + deleting the worthless is a BEAUTIFUL thing! That’s my groove.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-mckenna/rebooting-life-after-divo_b_10011256.html?utm_hp_ref=divorce&ir=Divorce