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happy he left

6 Reasons You’ll One Day Be Happy He Left

happy he left

When he left, I thought I’d die, now that he is gone, I’m almost giddy!

 

When I think back on my husband leaving and the repercussions, I fervently wish that someone would have told me I’d one day be happy he left. At the time, though, I didn’t think I would survive emotionally. I was certain my life was over.

I was wrong!

It took time and a belief in myself before getting to a place I could be thankful for the new life I gained due to him leaving our marriage. I got there, eventually, and so will you.

Below are 6 reasons I’m happy he left.

1. I had no idea how strong I was.

I would have never known my own emotional strength and stamina if my marriage had lasted. I had a career, was financially independent but, I was quite emotionally dependent on him and my role as his wife. I defined my worth by my relationship with him.

Once he was gone and I was left to do life on my own as ME, I discovered that being autonomous wasn’t bad at all. Once I moved past the licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself stage and began to take control over My own life. Although I had to build up enough courage in myself to step forward and find a new path for myself I honestly have to say, my life is 100% better without him.

2. I now know how awesome I am.

That isn’t something he wanted me to know. I think he knew it and was threatened by it. He knew my strengths better than I did. And he was threatened by what he knew me to be capable of. In fact, I think it terrified him and that is the reason he constantly demeaned and belittled my accomplishments.

His negative voice is no longer in my head. It’s been replaced by the voice of a woman who knows her own power and has total faith to go forward and kick some ass if need be.

You’re still in pain, still hoping he will come back and still trying to understand why he left. That is a path you are going to have to traverse, it’s called healing.

3. I’ve been able to expand my horizons.

When we were married, our future was all about his career, his idea of what was right and wrong for us as a couple. I deferred to his desires and opinions and I no longer have to do that. I sold my home and purchased one that better fit my style. I decorated it to my taste. I got rid of our family van and purchased a Volvo. I took a new path with my career.

You know what else I did? I kissed a lot of boys! I explored MY sexuality and learned that there are men who enjoy women who call the shots in bed. I gained so much insight into myself, my likes and dislikes in all areas of life. I seriously became myself for the first time in 15-years.

4. I redefined love.

I determined that if I felt unhappy or lonely in a relationship, it was my right to have more. I left relationships where I felt genuine love for my partner because I knew it wasn’t receiving kind of love I wanted and deserved. I make the conscious decision to not be in a relationship because I thought I was “less than” if I weren’t. I’m happily remarried and, this time, I got exactly what I wanted out of love…a healthy relationship.

5. He and our marriage brought out the worst in me.

Have you ever had that, “I am not this girl” moment, and realized that you woke up one day to be paranoid, unhappy, and “walking on eggshells”?  I did, and it was literally like an outer body experience for me since I was always happy and positive before our marriage. Someone who loves you should bring you UP, UP, UP; stronger, better, and confident in your relationship with him.

It took him leaving for my sense of confidence to return. For me to feel happy and stronger and realize my own worth. I became a better person after accepting that he was not coming back and working through the pain caused by his leaving.

6. He took the drama with him when he left.

There was always chaos and drama in our marriage. There was always something he was unhappy about or some plan that had gone awry. He was like a petulant child who stomped his feet when he thought things were going according to his plans. And, I worked overtime to make sure his plans and needs worked out.

When he left he took that need to have control over every aspect of life with him. I, for the first time in years, was able to relax and go with the flow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a planner too but, if things don’t go according to plan I don’t go apeshit crazy the way he did. It’s so nice to recognize that as abnormal behavior and RELAX.

I know some who are reading this will shake their head in agreement. They’ve been on their own long enough to learn the same things about themselves and life that I have.

Then there are those of you who are just starting out this journey. You’re still in pain, still hoping he will come back and still trying to understand why he left. That is a path you are going to have to traverse, it’s called healing. And, you will heal and once you do, you’ll have your own reasons why you are better off without him.

The post 6 Reasons You’ll One Day Be Happy He Left appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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valentine

Valentine’s Day: Wise Words From The Wisest On Love

valentine's day

 

While romantic love is certainly a special kind of love, it is not the only kind to celebrate on Valentine’s Day!

Some of the world’s greatest philosophers wrote and talked about the many kinds of love and their meanings.

By studying their works, I have learned over the many years as a divorce attorney, a wife, a step-mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister (and as the caregiver of a rescue dog, Rodney), there are many facets (gems) to the beauty of love.

I remind my clients who are going through the angst of a divorce to be open on Valentine’s Day (and all other days of the year) to consider how they, too, can live the truths of the philosophical love reminders we all have access to—I ask them to operate on a higher plane.

Doing so serves to distract them from the loss of romantic love, a commodity, when absent, can only be amplified on February 14. As 13th century poet, scholar, and theologian Mevlana JaJaluddin Rumi (better known as just Rumi) said,

“Your job is not to seek for love, but to remove the blocks to love’s awareness which is inherently yours already.”

Ascribing to that philosophy of love, I have put together a few words by others well known for their perspectives on love, and how you can utilize them throughout the day on Valentine’s Day, and long after.

Here is a list of my favorite “jewels.” Perhaps, you have a list of your own!

Wise Words From The Wisest On Love

Charles Dickens:

One of the world’s best storytellers said when talking about gratitude: Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  Yes, itemize your list every morning. Doing so will direct your attention away from the trite, the petty and the painful. Don’t focus on any irritant. That mental activity will only bring you negative energy.

Negatives can expand and fester when you are consumed with thoughts of things or people that irritate you. Instead, focus on what you appreciate in “things” and  “person(s)” and all other things for which you are grateful. This allows you to become more in touch with the love that is already there. If you feel the need to criticize someone or some one thing, stop and do a short two-to-five-minute meditation to clear your mind. It will then realign with a higher consciousness in the universe.

Mark Twain:

A great storyteller and humorist was big on forgiveness. He once said: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the hill that crushed it.” This is one of my favorite sayings. There is a sharp bite to that and deadpan humor to the saying, though it rings true. If you’re tracking people who may have caused you hurt, remember most people ultimately find a way to redeem themselves.

(Even President Nixon said, “Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Unfortunately, he had to learn this lesson the hard way. But what better person to teach us this lesson). Forgive your ex on Valentine’s Day. You will find it very liberating.

Aeschylus:

A Greek playwright (458 BC) talks a good deal about grace throughout his works. He said, “Wisdom comes through suffering.” Anyone who has been through the deep hurt of a divorce or separation knows what he was talking about.  I believe that it is through suffering that the heart expands to the fullest. That is when we feel a deeper love is within us.

Again, concentrating on all Aeschylus expressed, brings us to a broader and higher love. I believe grace exists on the other side of pain—it is the sister of love. When going through a break-up, and when you take the time needed to wallow in the pain, that is not always a bad thing. Going through such a process head-on, rather than hiding from it (through alcohol, drugs and other excesses) allows a person to grow.

Through growth comes wisdom. I believe with grace we can have more compassion for our fellow man and ourselves. Focusing on grace can serve as a cushion when landing hard on the divorce floor.

Lucille Ball:

Groundbreaking actress/comedienne during the advent of television. Lucy believed that self-love was the key to life. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line,” she was quoted as saying. Love yourself through good times and bad and love will be ever constant. If you are looking for someone to fill the void…complete you…then you will be forever restless and unfulfilled. Yes, you long for romance on Valentine’s Day, but what about self-love that day?

If you’re thinking about love with a partner, though, think about letting go of any type of control and supporting that person on good days and bad ones. Don’t “need” that person. Love that person while also loving yourself. If more of us would think: self-love we would have a more realistic perspective about what romantic love means as compared to self-love. Perhaps more marriages might be saved.

George Harrison:

Beatle’s singer/songwriter and philosopher (messages about love permeated his lyrics)  sang “ It is when we see beyond ourselves that peace of mind will be waiting there.” Ergo: Service to others. Those going through divorce are so wrapped up in their misery they have little time for the world around them and the people in it. Nothing transforms passive longing and feelings of loss than to give and serve others.

Maybe it’s visiting an elderly person in the hospital; jumping in to help a friend in need without them even asking; rescuing a wounded animal; showing more compassion for your children and close family. Find a cause and give of yourself to it.  When I ask myself how I can be of service and do it, it is one of the most gratifying “love” feelings of all. In the midst of it, you find your feelings of anger and resentment dissolve into feelings of love.

It is one of the suggestions I give all my clients on getting through not just Valentine’s Day, but every day especially during the divorce phase.

Ram Dass:

New age philosopher and teacher gave countless lectures and classes on love and trust. He once said, “No matter what life has thrown at us, there is always a way to trust not only that we can be present for life, but that it’s in the very nature of our life to renew itself.”  Dass taught us that there will always be doubt, doubt, and more doubt.

The secret to combating uncertainty is to concentrate on faith and trust—yet another way to express and indulge in self-love and give love to others. Courting doubt will simply engender more doubt. At this stage of your life—surviving a painful break-up—the best thing you can do is to trust yourself to make all the right decisions, and you will.

Trust will bring about the love which can take care of anything. Abraham Lincoln said, “The belief in that which is seen is really no belief at all. It is the belief in that which is unseen that there reveals faith.”

I think one of the great purposes of life is to look at the opportunities we have to grow the love within us despite the sadness, injustice, and adversity. We will see over the course of our lives that there are times when we succeeded in growing love and other times when we squandered it. But it’s always been there.

I urge you to take a Valentine’s Day challenge this year and work to make each day a conscious tribute to love, not only for yourself but for those around you.

The post Valentine’s Day: Wise Words From The Wisest On Love appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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7 Ideas for Spending Valentine’s Day Solo or With Others

7 Ideas for Spending Valentine’s Day Solo or With Others

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be doomed because you’re getting divorced. How will you be spending it this year?

The post 7 Ideas for Spending Valentine’s Day Solo or With Others appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Do Not Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love In Your Life Now

Do Not Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love In Your Life Now

 What makes you feel joy? Go ahead and do it! Celebrate love—on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year! Feel the joy of love rush through you non-stop.

The post Do Not Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love In Your Life Now appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Do Not Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love In Your Life Now

Don’t Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love in Your Life Now!

What makes you feel joy? Go ahead and do it! Celebrate love – on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year! Feel the joy of love rush through you non-stop.

The post Don’t Waste Valentine’s Day Mourning Lost Love: Celebrate the Love in Your Life Now! appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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14 Movies You Should Binge-Watch On Valentine’s Day

14 Movies You Should Binge-Watch On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.

Some of you may be excited about it, some of you are prepared for couples to be showing off their love, hearts, and roses all around you, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be around that if you don’t want to. You can just stay home and watch some movies, eat some chocolate, eat some takeout – whatever you like – and learn how to celebrate this holiday on your own.

The lesson of the day: You don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

 

Here are 14 movies you definitely should watch on Valentine’s Day:

1. The Notebook

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We’ve all seen this one… And cried our hearts out! If you haven’t seen this movie, it is a great romantic comedy to get you through V-Day. Plus, Ryan Gosling is a beautiful, beautiful man, and spending two hours with that face will do you no harm, only good. 😉 Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams star in this classic tale of two love birds and the journey of their lives.

2. Sleepless in Seattle

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One of the best Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movies ever! Nothing is more romantic and pure than seeing these two on-screen together. This is a MUST-SEE for those who are interested in celebrating Valentine’s Day the right way! Warning: You will cry a lot.

3. An Affair To Remember

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Can you see the correlation between Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair To Remember? Well, if you’ve watched Sleepless in Seattle you’ll know that it makes a lot of references and remarks to An Affair To Remember, another love story that you’ll find yourself loving every minute of as you drink your wine and remember that you are what’s important now, and love is waiting for you somewhere.

4. Love Stinks

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French Stewart delivers a wonderful performance battling this demon-like hysteria of a woman, Chelsea (Bridgette Wilson). This movie basically focuses on their relationship and builds up to Valentine’s Day. With its humorous class and relatable content, you’ll get a kick out of this couple that will probably make you feel a lot better about your relationship status, and feel really bad for French Stewart’s character instead.

5. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

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A wonderful movie that needs to be watched by everyone. Jim Carrey shows his true colors in this one, and Kate Winslet will win over your heart with her unique, eccentric vibe. The movie will make you appreciate things you never thought to appreciate before, and also, the soundtrack isn’t that bad either.

6. When Harry Met Sally

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You knew this one was coming, mainly because it’s probably one of those movies you’ve seen a dozen times, not even anywhere near Valentine’s Day. And that’s fine because this film is appropriate for all occasions. I fell in love with Billy Crystal the first time I watched this movie and loved Meg Ryan even more. I definitely recommend it.

7. Garden State

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Garden State is a unique indie film, that most WILL like. Starring Natalie Portman and Zach Braff, it does have a way of pulling you in and not letting you go until the credits roll. Mainly because you just want to know where this interesting story is headed. Right from the start their chemistry is perfect, compelling, and before you know it you’re popping some popcorn and gazing into the tv in a dream-like state, eventually inspired and full of so many questions and desires.

8. You’ve Got Mail

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Another wonderful classic by Nora Ephron. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks star in this classic piece as two New Yorkers who are “at war” and don’t know that they are actually pen pals on the internet. AOL and their true identities are the only things between them. Watch this movie if you want to laugh, cry tears of joy, and reminisce about your old AOL account.

9. Lost in Translation

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When Bill Murray’s in it, there’s a good chance it’s gonna be a good movie. The same goes with Scarlett Johansson. Let’s just say, this movie will make you want to go to Japan and live out a week of the unknown with Bill Murray, oh excuse me, I mean, Bob Harris.

In a nutshell, this movie will leave you breathless.

10. Splash

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By now, you’ve realized that I have a huge thing for Tom Hanks, and that thing will never die. This is a classic movie from the eighties starring Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, and of course, the magnificent Tom Hanks. It’s about a man who was once saved from drowning by a mermaid, who ends up falling in love with her 20 years later. It’s a really good flick to get your mind off things!

11. Return to Me

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Now this movie will bring on some serious emotions. Relationships can be beautiful, and it’s no easy task to let go of someone you love, whether it be through choice or destiny. Return to Me is a very good movie, in my opinion. My mom told me about it a few years ago, and man, am I glad I watched it.

12. The One I Love

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Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss star in this intense psychological thriller about relationships and what kind of partner people really want instead. It’s a great movie, and yes, I mentioned “psychological thriller”, but there’s no blood, guts, scary guns, it’s just got some twisty-turny plot twists that will BLOW YOU AWAY! This movie will make you think long and hard about what kind of person you’d want to build a relationship with, instead of just settling for. It’s a must-see for those who are in the mood for gasping.

13. Just Married

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It’s still hard to believe that Brittany Murphy is no longer with us, but I enjoy keeping her memory alive by watching this movie, as well as King of the Hill, but that’s a topic for another day. Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy play a couple who are just trying to enjoy their honeymoon in Italy while getting more than they bargained for in this hilarious, romantic comedy. It’s full of non-stop laughs and cute moments that will fill you with excitement, hope, and certainly entertain you.

14. It’s Complicated

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Meryl Streep is so adorable in this movie, and so is Steve Martin, and I just can’t help myself when it comes to Alec Baldwin. He’s funny to me. This film has a very appealing cast, it’s full of big laughs and a lot of relatable issues we all have dealt with or may eventually deal with in the future, either way, this is a classic, and if you’re a Meryl Streep fan, do yourself a favor and give this movie a try!

Remember that you don’t have to celebrate this day alone; if you want to, if you can, you can celebrate with your family or friends. If you prefer alone time, you will have a blast, going through this list! Hope all is well!

The post 14 Movies You Should Binge-Watch On Valentine’s Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Swap out Valentine’s Day for Galentine’s Day this 2020

Swap out Valentine’s Day for Galentine’s Day this 2020

If you’re tired of the traditional Valentine’s Day, try swapping it out with Galentine’s Day this year, instead.

The post Swap out Valentine’s Day for Galentine’s Day this 2020 appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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distracting things to do on valentine

10 Distracting Things To Do On Valentine’s Day If You’re Unattached

distracting things to do on valentine's day

 

For some people, the transition between divorce and single life appears daunting — a bridge too far — especially during holidays that emphasize love and closeness. While the Yuletide season has now passed (one of the worst times for newly divorced individuals), Valentine’s Day is quick on the heels of that stressful and often sad time of year.

According to David J. Glass, Certified Family Law Specialist and former therapist (he holds a Ph.D. in Psychology as well as a J.D.) and author of the book, Moving On: Redesigning Your Emotional, Financial and Social Life After Divorce, there is no need to dread the upcoming Valentine’s Day event. Glass says there are positive ways to feel loved and comforted when navigating feelings and despair on Valentine’s Day.

With that in mind, Glass has put together the following 10 tips for activities for those without a special someone on that romantic day that are fun, distracting and inspiring.

10 Distracting Things To Do On Valentine’s Day

1. WHEN YOU FIRST WAKE UP, MEDITATE: 

Meditation, especially in the morning, is a great way to set yourself up for a calmer and kinder day.  For example, the first thing you could say to yourself: “Today is going to be a great day; a special day for me. I’m going to do things all day long that make me feel loved and nurtured.”

2. PLAN AHEAD TO GIVE OF YOURSELF:

In advance, arrange to spend just an hour or two at a local senior care center (read, chat, play board games…). Often, those folks are truly lonely and sequestered. You also can consider visiting an animal shelter. Take a dog or cat into the visiting arena for a bit. You will feel the love from that pet, and its appreciation of you. Who knows, you might even consider taking a pet home—adopting it.

3. GO ONLINE OR TO A MALL:

Buy yourself something special—an item that you’ve been wanting, like a cozy sweater, an Alexa type device; new flat screen, pair of kick-butt shoes. Whatever it is, tell yourself you deserve it and say thanks to you for being such a considerate gift-giving “Valentine.”

4. HIT THE GYM, DO SOME YOGA OR TAKE A RUN:

Whatever makes you feel fit and healthy; eating right, taking a nap, deep breathing exercises. Do what it is that makes you feel good about the way you take care of yourself.

5. SPLURGE ON LUNCH OR DINNER:

It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant; an expensive meal. You can indulge in a Big Mac or an exotic salad at any nutrition-conscious eatery, just make sure your meal is substantial, filling and tasty. Make it one you don’t usually have. It will satisfy your guilty pleasure and make you feel loved. Top it off with some chocolate or some coffee.

6. HEAD FOR THE SPA:

If you’re a regular, try something different. If you typically get a mani-pedi, get an hour-long facial. If you get a full-body massage, ask for a reflexology treatment. It doesn’t matter your gender when going to a salon or spa. Everyone feels good when they are gently touched and thoughtfully pampered.

7. MAKE A LIST:

In three columns write down ways you can move on emotionally, financially and socially. Get creative. If you’ve always called your mother when you’re feeling down, jot down another source to perk you up. If you earn and spend your money according to a static routine, change it up and for Valentine’s Day. Don’t let your concern for financial security influence your choices. Rearrange your budget to accommodate guilty pleasures.

Same with the items you now list on changing up your social life. Write down activities you can do that include others in the same situation. Yes, very often, misery does love and need company. Establishing new habits (like spending, social outings, and get-togethers) are wonderful ways to make you feel loved because you’re getting fired up to create a whole new lifestyle.

8. SPEND A FEW HOURS WITH THOSE WHO YOU KNOW LOVE YOU:

Rather than hide out or withdraw, reach out to your family and friends, including your children (stage a valentine card competition) and there’s no question you will feel love “emphasized” which you truly deserve.

9. SNEAK A HUG FROM A STRANGER:

It might sound crazy, but maybe today is the day you ask for a hug from the mail carrier, the person who hands you your dry cleaning items, the security guard at your place of work or your children’s school, or the guy who is replenishing the produce section in the grocery store. You can easily say, “Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day. Mind if steal a quick hug.” Most loving individuals will feel honored you asked. They need one, too.  Although hugs are momentary, the residue can last the entire day!

10. BINGE-WATCH SOMETHING:

Sitting on or in your bed all Valentine’s Day watching one of the web series you missed, is another way to say, “I love you” to yourself. It’s one more special gift that illustrates that you do, in fact, love “thyself.”

The post 10 Distracting Things To Do On Valentine’s Day If You’re Unattached appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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negative post-divorce feelings

Negative Post-Divorce Feelings: One Day They’re Going To Get The Best Of Me

negative post-divorce feelings

 

I’m a divorced mom who has shared custody of an 8-year-old girl. I have a good job, great friends, own a house, and am generally happy.

However, I have personal issues that I am working on that I constantly hope will resolve faster. I own it, I mostly hate it, and I’m working through it.

I have guilt, I have entitlement, and I have anger. One day, one of those three things is going to get the better of me.

Negative Post-Divorce Feelings I Have:

Guilt. 

I want more for my daughter. I want her to have the happiest easiest life. I want her to walk to school and have friends and play and go to birthday parties and sleepovers. I want her to worry about kid things like her best friend has more scrunchies than her, or that she didn’t know who to sit with at lunch in the cafeteria.

I don’t want her to worry about which parent she will be with for the first day of school, or her birthday, or the holidays. When our neighbors have birthday parties for their kids, it might be a weekend she is with her dad. There is always a 50% chance.  She misses out, and I don’t want my beautiful girl to miss out on anything.

She has to worry about her homework and if her piano music got copied and sent to dad’s house. Are her favorite shoes at mom’s house? Because she wants to wear them to a party. It breaks my heart that I can’t give her the life that other parents can, by providing one home that she lives in and can thrive in, as opposed to two.

Entitlement. 

This is a big one. I endured a lot in my short marriage. Excessive drinking, lying, and infidelity. My ex-husband had an affair my entire pregnancy and left me to fend for myself. When he was around, he was not a nice person. He made his resentments very well known to me.

The night before my daughter was born, the San Jose Sharks were in the playoffs. I was to be induced the next day. I told him I was making a special dinner for us since it is our last night before the baby comes. He left work, stopped at the bar for a drink, and came home to find out that I had recorded the wrong channel. I recorded the news instead of the Sharks game. He had a massive tantrum, including yelling at me that I can’t do anything right, I am useless, and for God’s sake, I’m not even wearing TEAL.

I cried, and packed a bag and spent the night in a hotel so I could have a peaceful night before giving birth. After being induced, 72 hours of labor, hemorrhaging and needing emergency surgery and a blood transfusion, I had my baby. She was perfect.

So yes, shouldn’t I be entitled to have my own daughter on her birthday? Not every other year, but every year. Shouldn’t I get to raise her and love her and be with her daily? The law says that no, I shouldn’t. That his genetic material made up 50% of our daughter, so he gets 50% of her. On good days I am glad she has a good relationship with him. On bad days, I don’t think he even deserves the title of father since he was such a jerk during my pregnancy and her first couple of months.

I think I deserve more time with her. That am entitled to more. Did he have hyperemesis during pregnancy and was bedridden? Nope, that was me. Did he almost die during labor? Nope, me again. Did he party and binge drink, and sleep with another woman for months while I was sick and alone? Yes, he did.  Entitlement is a killer, and at times I think it eats at my soul.

Anger: 

I left my husband twice. The first time when my daughter was 6 weeks old when I discovered his long involved affair.  When my daughter was a year old, I decided to try a relationship with her dad again since he appeared so remorseful and made great strides in cleaning up his life. That lasted about 2 years before the binge drinking, blacking out, and other precarious outings with women started.

He was drunk driving quite a bit. His behavior was erratic. I wanted to fix up my daughter’s room by painting the walls and getting some cute little decals. He had a tantrum and said she wasn’t worth it, and he refused to spend the money and demanded I return everything I bought. The last night we were ever living together as a married couple, a policeman had to pick my little girl out of her crib in her onesie pajamas, and told me I had 5 minutes to get a go-bag since my husband was so drunk the police officer said he was not to be trusted.

I was in such a hysterical state, that I packed my car with my daughter, our dog, and a bag filled with shoes. SHOES. Nothing else. That is how crazy an incident like that can make a person. I left him and went to stay with my parents and told him I would be back in one week and he better have found another place to live by then.

Do you want to know what this horrible human being did?

He went to rehab.

He started rehab 2 days after my daughter and I left. He has been sober for almost 5 years now. He has a great job, a house, two cars, a boat, and is president of the PTA. I can’t even make this stuff up. I am grateful every day that he is healthy and seemingly happy and has stepped up as a father. He wants to be involved in everything that our kiddo does. He drives on field trips, he takes her on vacations, and he has taken her to more playoff games for Bay Area sports teams than most grown adults have gone to.

So why am I so angry?

Because he put me through hell. I have sheltered my daughter from any of it so her father and I can sit next to each other at her dance recitals or gymnastics classes. I have bitten my tongue and sacrificed my daunting ego so that she has a loving relationship with her father.

The jerk who came to the baby classes drunk is now the head of the PTA.  He has a girlfriend of several years and they take my daughter on trips together. They take her to church. They painted her room at her dad’s house pink. She has a cute bedspread and a ton of toys, and a basketball hoop him the backyard at his house.

She loves her dad. Which on good days I am so grateful for. So when I have Christmas every other year alone watching Netflix, and eating copious amounts of ice cream, I get angry. Angry at him for being so great now, angry at myself for putting up with so much, angry at all the happy families that are spending Christmas together. Just plain angry.

My ex-husband and I still argue. We still have disagreements about custody and money. Our daughter has no idea, and we are able to sit together at school functions without clawing at each other’s eyes.  I am several years in as a divorced mom, but it honestly feels like this journey just started. Like I should be farther along than I am.

I should be happy for my ex-husband. I should be enjoying my free time more, I should be traveling, going out, laughing. Sometimes I am doing great; however, sometimes I am missing my daughter and I don’t know who I am without her. Everyone says it gets better, and sharing custody gets easier. After several years as a co-parent, I shouldn’t have so much guilt, I shouldn’t be so entitled, and I shouldn’t be angry.

But it is my process and my truth. And I can decide to let it get the better of me, or thrive.

The post Negative Post-Divorce Feelings: One Day They’re Going To Get The Best Of Me appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Divorced Moms: A Few Father’s Day Do’s and Don’ts

father's day

 

As a single mother on Father’s Day, sometimes it can be a little lonely when the children are not by your side, but it is essential to recognize the importance, in your children’s eyes, of spending time with their father – particularly on Father’s Day.

Just as on Mother’s Day, when, as it should be, the mother is properly recognized for all of her contributions to the family, it is equally as important that the children are able to spend time with and recognize their father on their special day.

A Few Father’s Day Do’s and Don’ts

In order to help prepare for not spending time with your children on Father’s Day, here’s a helpful guide of “Do’s and Don’ts” that I have found to be useful in my consultations with clients on the topic of Father’s Day and visitation when the parents are separated.

It should go without saying these suggestions apply equally to Mother’s Day when the children are spending time with their mother, but since Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, we will start from there. So without further ado, here is my helpful list of do’s and don’ts for a single mother on Father’s Day:

Do’s for a Single Mother on Father’s Day

  1. Do encourage your children to spend time with their father on Father’s Day. Keep any negative feelings to yourself until after the children have left so that they can enjoy a guilt-free day with their dad.
  2. Do step aside for the day and allow the father to shine, even if only for one day.
  3. Do make sure your children – if they do not reside in the same geographical area as their father, or if Dad is deployed or working overseas – contact and speak with their father. If possible, connect them through some video conferencing, Skype, Facetime, or a similar application that allows the children and their father to see each other while they’re talking.
  4. Do have the children create a Father’s Day card and/or encourage your children to make a homemade gift for their father.
  5. Do take time for yourself and enjoy some quality time with your family or friends. Make plans that don’t involve the children, such as brunch, a movie, or a spa day with friends.

Don’ts for a Single Mother on Father’s Day

  1. Don’t make plans or schedule other activities on Father’s Day that would deprive the father of the opportunity to spend time with the children on Father’s Day.
  2. Don’t disparage or otherwise denigrate Father to or around the children. This tip should apply year-round – not just on Father’s Day
  3. Don’t prohibit the children from spending time with or contacting Father on Father’s Day.
  4. Don’t allow the children to dictate the terms of their timesharing with Father over Father’s Day.
  5. Don’t despair: Mother’s Day occurs in May, so make sure these same do’s and don’ts apply for your special day when it comes around each year!

While certainly not an exhaustive list, I hope these do’s and don’ts will help to provide some guidelines on how best to handle – and ensure a smooth timesharing experience for your child – Father’s Day after divorce.

The post Divorced Moms: A Few Father’s Day Do’s and Don’ts appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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