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Post-Divorce Jealousy: 3 Ways to Beat It Before It Beats You

Post-divorce jealousy is a not-so-rare phenomenon that can hold you back years when it comes to rebuilding your own life and finding your own “happy place.” That’s the theory of attorney Krista Barth, who writes that “No good comes from worrying about the things others have, material or otherwise.”

She continued: “Your ex has a new significant other, a new house, a new car. Your ex is traveling the world (and they never did this with you). Your ex is spending your child support payment on their nails or golf. They are now father or mother of the year, and they never even changed a diaper! You cannot control someone or their actions, but you can control your reactions.”

This is very good advice if you feel yourself suffering from post-divorce jealousy. Here are some actionable things that you can do to change your outlook.

1. See the benefit to what your spouse is trying to accomplish. 

If your spouse has improved their parenting game or grown more responsible, think about how that can benefit your children. If you don’t have kids, you might instead see it as a wakeup call to focus less on them and more on you. After all, the way that most people start making improvements in their lives, is they look inwardly and change the things that aren’t working.

2. See the benefit of no longer being ‘connected’ to your spouse. 

There are times where your ex is going to appear better off than you, just like there are times when roles will be reversed. It’s called life. You go through ups and downs. They go through ups and downs. The important thing to remember is that you cannot control their ups any more than you can control your downs. You can, as Barta writes, respond well, however. If you’re lamenting the fact that your ex’s life is on the upswing and yours isn’t, then they’re obviously not your favorite person. Why not change your perception as a result and bask in the glory of your own freedom? They’re no longer your problem. Be happy with that!

3. Start living for you. 

Until you realize that you are just as capable of adopting a positive outlook and making good changes in your life, you’re always going to be trailing behind this hypothetical ex. Instead of doing that, start living for you. Set your own goals. Work hard to accomplish them. Lose weight, get in better shape, eat right, rest, pursue your passions and interests. This is your time, not theirs.

Jealousy never looks good on anyone. It affects how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you. Before giving in to it, apply some positivity and the tips mentioned above.

When Counseling Doesn’t Work, It’s Usually Because of These Factors

Marriage counseling — or single counseling for that matter — often gets placed in an unfair position. When it works, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. When there are no immediate results, it’s the worst thing ever. If you’ve ever gone to marriage counseling, then there is a good chance that it didn’t “work” in the sense that it saved your marriage. That doesn’t mean it failed altogether, but more on that in a bit. For now, let’s look at some of the primary factors why your counseling “failed.”

1. You expected too much.

You can’t go in to a marital counseling session expecting all your troubles to go away overnight, or to even be on the right path. Effective counseling is a journey to achieve understanding and growth. You usually enter counseling from a point of desperation and confusion as to what went wrong. Therefore, it’s unfair to blame the counselor if you’re not beaming after that first session (or the first several).

2. You were unwilling to accept responsibility. 

Many people who believe counseling is necessary for themselves or a relationship get frustrated because they go to a therapy session that was THEIR idea and find out that they have issues which need to be addressed. Counseling is not a customer service business. You’re not always right. Some individuals simply have too difficult of a time accepting personal responsibility, and if that describes you, then don’t be surprised when your counseling fails to deliver.

3. You worried more about your spouse’s duties than your own.

If you’re constantly wondering when the counselor is going to “lower the boom” on your spouse for all the wrongs that you see in them, then you will probably be sorely disappointed. Few marital counselors can provide service to two people and not see the faults of both. If you’re so hung up on your spouse’s, then the chances are good that you will ignore the things you need to work on, thus causing the counseling to “fail.”

4. You gave up too easily.

If you quit going because you didn’t hear what you wanted to hear or your marriage broke up and you no longer find it useful, then you have given up too easily. Counseling doesn’t work wonders overnight. It builds you into a mentally stronger person over time. But if you’re not putting the time in, you’ll never get there.

Do you feel like counseling failed you? Did you recognize any of the above factors in yourself or your spouse? Share your experiences in the comments section.

Your Spouse Needs Space, And So Do You: How To Find Balance

Sad-CoupleOne of the hardest things to live up to when getting married is the old adage that “two become one.” This has been misinterpreted over the millennia to mean that you no longer exist as a separate entity. Unfortunately, such talk can be dangerous if taken too literally. The reality is that your spouse needs space, and so do you, especially if you plan on strengthening the family unit.

By acting as individuals, you both can bring an element of surprise and excitement to the marriage that always keeps things fresh. You’ll also be able to conquer challenges that you may not have been able to handle on your own, as seen when one spouse is able to get their partner through a death in the family or serious illness.

But how do you find balance for your lives, where you can get the space that you need without sacrificing the marriage?

1. Start with schedules. Time gets harder to come by once kids enter the mix, and if you’re not doing something to stay organized, then you’re going to let a lot of opportunities for Me Time and Together Time pass by the wayside. So map out your week. You don’t have to get too detailed. Just know where your work obligations are, as well as your parental obligations and your spousal obligations. From there, look for gaps in the schedule and plan on doing something that you enjoy.

2. Plan your thing. My wife works early mornings to afternoon. Sometimes she’s out of the house by 6:40am. My schedule, because of childcare, doesn’t allow me to work until afternoons and evenings. Many times it is hard for us to see each other during the week, so the weekend is our sanctuary. That means we plan the lion’s share of our time together for Saturday and Sunday. She’s fulfilling her work obligations while I’m being a parent, I’m fulfilling mine while she’s being a parent, and since we’re on different sleep schedules at this point, we both get Me Time when our little one is asleep. Without structure, we wouldn’t be able to find time for everything, but that structure also lets us know when our space will come, and it gives us something to look forward to when we’re working. Planning — can’t stress it enough.

3. Make one-on-one time a priority. Be careful not to spend too much time together “as a family.” That sounds awful to type that, but it’s really true. Children will not allow you to tap in to that dating side that you both so desperately need to make your marriage last. While you want to be there for them as a source of support, don’t do it at the expense of the relationship that you enjoyed before your children came along. It can be work to manage all of it, but it’s work that usually pays off in a long-lasting and healthy marriage.

Do you think personal space is important to a healthy marriage? How do you spend your Me Time?

Being Single: What Is Better About It?

Our online divorce review site is often interested in getting different perspectives on post-divorce plans and whether you are looking forward to being in another committed relationship or staying single. When a reddit member recently asked the community what the best things about being single were, our interests immediately perked up. Here were some of the best responses.

1. “Sleeping in bed diagonally.

2. “I’m 2 months out of a 2.5 year relationship. The sadness is fading and I’m beginning to feel a sense of relief. At 28 years old, I’m relieved that I only have to think about myself for everything like where am I going to eat, to making major financial decisions and paying off student loans. I hope that doesnt come off as selfish, it really has been quite liberating.”

3. “It’s far better to have feelings of loneliness when you’re single, than to have those same emotions while you’re in a relationship.”

4. “Not being let down. … It is such a painful experience to be constantly let down by someone you love. I know this doesn’t apply to happy, functional relationships, but regardless. At least when I am single, I don’t suffer that same disappointment that the person I care about wasn’t willing to be considerate of me, or would let me down if it meant they had to work hard. Caring about someone, and then having them let you down over and again, and realizing they don’t care about you as much as you do them; its painful in a very specific way that is hard to explain.”

5. “The best and worst thing is summed up in one sentence. ‘I don’t have to explain why I bought that sword.’”

6. “Shameless flirting with intent.”

7. “Not having to live with the consequences of somebody else’s decisions.”

8. “I get to eat ALL the slices of pizza.”

9. “Sex is less frequent, but it’s an accomplishment rather than just a pastime.”

10. “When I was single and all my friends were getting married, I started running regularly, started painting again and the best thing, I started my path to a career change. Then, while I was busy doing all that, I met him.”

What do you appreciate the most about being single or what are you looking forward to about it? Sound off in the comments section.

3 Things Every Single Parent Should Know About Dating

As an online divorce review site, we take a great deal of interest in how the people who visit our page fare after the divorce is final. Many of these individuals are single moms and dads, and eventually each one will wonder about reentering the dating field. When that occurs, we want you to be prepared for the road ahead, so your time isn’t wasted. Here are some recommendations for how to succeed.

1. Be protective of your children. 

Children have a simpler way of looking at the world, and they’re more likely to get attached to someone quickly than you are, having just come out of a relationship. For this reason alone, you should think twice about introducing them to someone you are dating. Try to keep that meeting from happening until you are serious about pursuing a relationship, or else you run the risk of circling through an endless batch of prospects to confuse your child.

2. Be cautious with social media. 

Many single parents immediately jump out into the dating world and start posting pictures of them with their dates. They also play fast and loose with the privacy settings on their accounts, posting photos of their children to anyone who can see. Keeping these two streams separate is important. For starters, it might be easy for your child to access your account and see that you’ve been with people who are decidedly not Dad. While there is no crime against this, it can confuse things, and if you and your ex have agreed to keep things private regarding your private lives, it can raise uncomfortable questions between you and your ex. Bottom line: don’t be in a hurry to broadcast your dating status to the world, especially when you have little ones at home. And don’t friend just anyone — i.e. people you go out with once or twice — who can see all the photos of you with your kids. You want to be careful with the access that you allow to your life.

3. Don’t be with someone who can’t go with the flow. 

Taking care of children and coordinating with an ex requires flexibility, and if you’re dating someone who doesn’t have the patience for it, then you need to cut that relationship off before both of you get hurt. Your kids are your number one priority, so make sure anyone you date knows that and that they’re fine with moving at your pace.

By sticking to these recommendations, you’ll stand a much better chance of success. Best of luck as you take that step.

This Woman Had An Affair And Is Sure It Will Turn Into A Healthy Relationship: Why She’s Wrong

Claire from Divorced Moms recently got quite a few eyebrows raising when she wrote an article entitled, “Here’s Why My Affair Will Turn Into A Healthy, Long-Term Relationship.” Claire’s marriage is coming to a close. She’s fallen in love with another man and has embarked on an affair that is still in its early stages, yet somehow, she has the foresight to know this is it. The one that works.

It didn’t take readers long to set her straight. Here are some of our favorite and most insightful responses.

1. “I don’t think it matters what happened in the marriage. What happens in the marriage doesn’t justify having an affair. If the marriage is so bad, fix it or get a divorce. If you choose to divorce, do your best to put it all behind you and then, and only then, move forward with dating and possibly being in another relationship. To do anything else is somewhere between foolish to downright morally bankrupt.”

2. “If something is true, pure and right, you wouldn’t have to justify it.”

3. “Infidelity is for selfish people who allow their impulses to override their duty to their family. There are just too many egotistical people who have no integrity or responsibility to anyone other than themselves. I get really tired of seeing these bogus articles talking about how their impropriety is justifiable and their previous commitments never really mattered to begin with.”

4. “Sorry to burst your bubble, but statistically these type of relationships almost never work out. It’s amazing the type of rationalization and denial some of us are capable of.”

5. “It’s easy for her to write so emphatically about a future that has yet to be seen.”

6. “Also interesting that she’s the one who cheated; it’s easy to be convinced that trust issues won’t be a problem if you’re not the one who has to do the trusting!”

7. “Here is why you won’t: the relationship you had/have is just a fantasy. Real life never entered the picture. The real world where you have to nag him to run the errands or pick up clothes. The real world where he isn’t riding on a white horse, but rather sitting on his ass on the couch all night after work. You are delusional. When things were hard in your marriage, you left for something easy.”

Do you think it’s possible to have a relationship that lasts “till death do us part” when it was started from infidelity? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

Passive Aggressive Behaviors In A Marriage: Ever A Good Idea?

As an online divorce review site, we’re drawn not just to the goal of making divorce less burdensome on those who’ve decided to move forward, but we’re also fascinated by the behaviors that can push a marriage to the breaking point. Over the years, one of the most common that comes to mind is that of the passive aggressive husband or wife.

Passive aggressiveness is essentially an indirect expression of hostility. It is a way of saying that you are displeased with something or someone without coming out and expressing your feelings. There are numerous reasons why people choose to be passive aggressive. It could be out of fear or pettiness or boredom. (Boredom, as in they want to see how long it takes their spouse to “guess at” what they’re feeling.)

It’s frequently used, but is it ever a good idea?

In a word, no.

Re-reading the definition makes this answer a bit self-explanatory. There is nothing wrong with being tactful or reserved or slow-to-speak. In fact, those behaviors are generally wise. But those behaviors are not what passive aggressiveness is.

Passive aggressiveness is HOSTILITY, and hostility never wins arguments or solves anything. It simply keeps the conflict going and escalates it to a new level. It is a weapon, not a solution.

So what can you do if you have tendencies toward passive aggressive behavior?

1. Realize the difference between passive aggressiveness and “biting your tongue” or “keeping your cool.” Again, come back to the word “hostility.” It may not be loud and violent, but it’s negative, disruptive, and unhealthy.

2. If you feel the need to get a message across, speak it. If you can’t do that, then get to a quiet, private place away from your spouse and wait for the flood of negative emotions to subside.

3. Remember that people vary at their ability to pick up signals, and don’t take your spouse’s ignorance regarding what you’re feeling as a sign of aggression.

What are some things that have helped you avoid passive aggressive behavior? Sound off in the comments section!

8 Quotes To Help You Deal With Bitterness

If anything can bring out the bitterness in two people, it’s divorce. The more heated a split, the harder that bitterness will be to work off. We see it every day from some of the visitors who come to our online divorce review site looking for the best path out of their marriage. To assist, we’ve put together a list of our favorite quotes on bitterness. Keep these in mind when you feel it start to take hold.

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.

—Lewis B. Smedes

Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

I know people who grow old and bitter. I want to keep making a fresh start. I don’t want them to defeat me. That would be suicidal.

—Robert Wyatt

When you hear the word ‘disabled,’ people immediately think about people who can’t walk or talk or do everything that people take for granted. Now, I take nothing for granted. But I find the real disability is people who can’t find joy in life and are bitter.

—Teri Garr

I suppose there are a lot of reasons to be jaded or sarcastic or bitter in life, but I hang on to the reasons why life is beautiful.

—Kelli O’Hara

If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless.

—James E. Faust

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.

—Maya Angelou

I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.

—Nicole Krauss

If you’re ready to get a divorce, check out our online divorce reviews to see if an attorney or a DIY forms service is the right call for you. Good luck!

And The Biggest Relationship Lies Ever Told Are…

Relationships cannot work without the element of trust. We’ve been doing this online divorce review site long enough to know that when trust breaks down, the relationship (or marriage) is soon to follow. Recently on the Reddit AskWomen board, a user posed the question of what the biggest relationship lies were that other users had experienced. Here are some of the best responses.

1. “He told me he was single. Turns out he was actually married with three children. Found that out after doing a little bit of internet sleuthing.”

2. “My husband couldn’t drive when we met and he started taking driving lessons and wanted to surprise me when he got his license. … He lasted 1 lesson because he’s a terrible liar and I asked why he was home late.”

3. “An ex lied about why he had to go to court in another state. He told me it was for not returning a computer to the university he was going to because he broke it (or something like that). I found out when court papers came to my house with his name on it. When I read the papers, after he left them on the table, it was for child endangerment. I felt betrayed for the lie and because I was letting him stay at home with my kids. Needless to say, we weren’t together very long after that.”

4. “He said he was Jewish by blood, even made a huge stink about eating Thanksgiving dinner on separate plates to ‘keep it Kosher.’ Met his family for Christmas, that was the first time they’d heard he was a Jew, and that they certainly were not. He claimed to be a DJ. He got away with this one for a while because I was 16 when we started dating and 18+ or 21+ shows made sense. He claimed to be a singer in a band. This was a huge lie, he even had me get a t-shirt screen printed for his mom. I caught on to that one when I listened to some of ‘his’ music and realized they were other bands – like bands I had actually seen live. Not covers but the exact copy from their CDs. After I broke up with him, which was way too f***ing long, his parents both died a handful of times.”

Have relationship lies torn your marriage apart? Do you need to find a cheap and effective divorce solution? If so, read some of our online divorce reviews to find out which service is best for you — attorney referral or DIY forms?

Relationships Started In Infidelity Can Last? Don’t Bank On It

As an online divorce review site, we like to stay on top of what’s being said about divorce and relationships out in the blogosphere. That curiosity led us to a recent post over at Divorced Moms in which a contributor going by the name of “Claire” postulated that relationships started through affairs can make it.

“If you were cheating just for the excitement, or just to get back at your spouse for their prior bad acts…odds are you aren’t looking for a healthy relationship to come out of it anyway. I do think there is an exception though,” writes Claire. “I think that there are times, such as when your marriage is essentially over, and you are just in limbo mentally and emotionally, when a relationship that begins with an affair can end in a happy relationship.”

While the blog post is interesting, I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in the enthusiasm of the headline, which reads “Will My Affair Turn Into a Healthy, Long-Term Relationship? Yes!”

The further you get into the piece, the more you discover that Claire simply doesn’t have the credentials to back it up. She was married nine years prior, and somewhere in that time, she managed to have three kids with her husband before jumping ship for her new relationship. She even admits later in the piece that she is left “with a bit of uncertainty about the future of my relationship with 40.”

Not as much certainty there as the headline suggests.

The reality is that the vast majority of affairs are started for reckless and selfish reasons, and those are never good qualities for a long-lasting and meaningful relationship. It’s also no example of how relationships should be to set for your children. While marriage can be hard and ultimately not work out, it’s important to maintain your integrity and look for the same out of a partner. You won’t find such qualities in an affair.

If you have been affected by an affair and you’re ready to call it quits in your marriage, read our online divorce reviews for your next best options.