Category : life after divorce

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These Single Life Quotes Are Exactly What You Need to Hear

When you get a divorce, there are going to be times that are so difficult you may be tempted to replace one bad love with another just because it gets you out of confronting the harsh reality of loneliness. But being single isn’t so bad. In fact, if you give it a chance, it can be the bomb. That’s something we were reminded of today while perusing the Huffington Post. The site shared 12 quotes that prove being single is a wonderful thing, and while they’re all worth checking out, these were the three that really stood out.

“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.” 

– Jo Coudert

The poignancy of this quote really struck me and reminded me of the years following my own divorce right up until remarrying. I had to learn how to travel the long hard road of coming to love myself. I made mistakes along the way, and there were times that I failed. But I would have never been able to move on and find true happiness if I hadn’t taken the lumps and discovered strengths I never knew that I had. That can happen for you, too, after divorce. You just have to make a commitment to yourself that you will get there.

“I don’t like to be labeled as lonely just because I am alone.” 

–Delta Burke

There is a clear distinction between “alone” and “lonely.” People who learn to love themselves will never know loneliness.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it. For once in your life, welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” 

–Elizabeth Gilbert

Many suggest never marrying the first one or two people you date after divorce because you’re not really in a healthy relationship. You’re looking for something you haven’t found yet. Unfortunately many people think they can find the missing piece in a new relationship, instead of realizing it’s been in themselves the whole time.

What are some quotes that have helped you make peace with the single life? Share your picks in the comments section!

How Divorce Changes the Way You View Love

Love is such a dynamic word — one that changes its meaning based on time and experience — and no one knows this better than a divorcee. When you’re married the first time, you tend to have an idealized version of what the word means. You think it means butterflies and passion and a never-ending “honeymoon phase.” But when you’ve been divorced, you know the work that goes in to it, and you also know the fleeting uneasiness that comes with a new relationship. In essence, your divorce changes the way that you view love. Here’s what it reveals.

1. Love goes from a feeling to an action. 

To be fair, marriages that stand the test of time learn this same lesson. You don’t just “love” your partner with words. You love them through actions. You aren’t “in love”; you practice love. You know that when you stop doing so, that love starts to wither and fade.

2. Love goes from eternal to conditional. 

Even if you’re able to pick up the pieces and move on with life, finding someone that you connect with on a deeper level, you understand that love is more conditional than you were initially comfortable admitting. You know that even though you can love someone with all your heart and show them that every day, they can wake up one morning and say they don’t love you back, and all that love you thought would last forever comes crashing down. While that sounds terrible on the surface, it actually teaches you a valuable and much-needed lesson. You have to learn to love yourself before you can expect someone else to do the same. And if they ever stop loving you, then at least you know you’re a good person with value.

3. Love still makes you nervous but for different reasons than before your first marriage. 

We mentioned the butterflies and passion above. What we meant was that feeling of uncontrollable nervousness that shows up any time you’re around that special someone. Once you’ve been through the divorce fire, however, you start to get nervous around love for another reason. The realization that there is so much at stake with no guaranteed reward. You have to rely on faith more than every before, and that can be difficult when it’s burned you.

How did, or how has, your outlook changed since getting a divorce? Sound off in the comments section.

Why Is Divorce So Hard? 4 Likely Culprits

Very few people in the history of divorce — at least on the “losing” side — ever see the silver lining at the time that they are going through the experience. In their own mind, they create “winning” and “losing” sides and place themselves on the latter instead of seeking some form of clarity from the experience. In a recent article on Psychology Today, Dr. Bella DePaulo took an in-depth look at who does poorly in a divorce. Here were some things she cited as critical factors that contribute to failure. 

 

History of psychological issues

  • Anxious attachment to one’s spouse
  • Dwelling on the experience
  • Reliving the specifics
  • Failing to achieve personal growth from the experience

While one, some, or all of these can be present in a person’s inability to cope with divorce, it’s the last factor that I’d like to spend some time on today. For many, this is the major obstacle that impedes recovery. It goes back to this whole myth of winning and losing. The reality is that divorce isn’t about victories and losses. It’s about looking within oneself and finding the right tools and the right perspective to emerge a better person.

When someone divorces you, you’re no longer a factor in his or her life, so it’s pointless trying to be. Each of the points that DePaulo mentions above — particularly the first four — have some grounding in being hung up on one’s spouse.

Maybe it’s the rejection. Maybe there is still love for your ex. Whatever it is, it ties you to them in an unhealthy way. Only by focusing on this last point — the quest for personal clarity — can you hope to overcome the issues associated with your divorce.

By taking a look at yourself and asking the question, “How am I going to improve from this?,” you take control of the power to determine who you want and need to be.

With divorce, your ex is done trying to help you be a better person. They are focused instead on their own lives and well-being. You can’t find redemption or self-confidence in their eyes. You have to start looking through your own.

What are some ways you were able to achieve a deeper understanding of yourself after divorce? What did you notice when you looked at yourself six months or a year later from physical, mental, and emotional perspectives? Sound off in the comments section below.

What to Remember About Your First Date Following a Divorce

Dating after a divorce is as exciting as it is challenging. Too many divorcees take that first invitation (or request) too seriously, though. To help, we’ve put together a short list of the things that you will want to remember as you get ready to make a new acquaintance (and possibly begin an affair to remember). Let’s get started!

1. The other person probably isn’t Mr./Mrs. Right, and neither are you. 

First dates following a divorce are almost never successful for making a healthy love connection. How could they be? You’ve just ended a long-term commitment, and you’re still a bit hurt and/or confused about what happened. You can’t possibly be in the position to choose a good mate. But here’s the thing: you’re probably not the right material either. If you have no recent dating experience coming out of the marriage, then you are too stunted emotionally to be able to put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. And that’s okay, provided that you understand that about yourself.

2. You’ll go further on fun than emotional weightiness. 

Don’t get too serious with talk or action on a first date. If you’re telling someone your deepest, darkest fears, then you’re screwing up royally. Be focused instead on fun and observing the other person. Don’t get weighty with your conversation material, or you’ll risk either moving too fast or scaring someone off. 

3. It should be the first of many. 

Only by dating a number of different people can you start to be assured about who the “real you” is emerging from the divorce. Try to be open and diverse in your selection, and make sure that even the bad dates teach you something new about yourself.

4. It shouldn’t be what defines your recovery.

The “love of a good woman” (or man) should never be what you’re depending on to get over your divorce. It should instead be your personal growth and development. How happy are you with you? Forget how happy someone else is with you. Can you look in the mirror and like what you see?

What are some of your worst first-date mistakes after a divorce? Sound off in the comments section below!

3 Second Marriage Success Tips

Historically, statistics have shown that second and third marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. But this is mostly because the parties involved don’t learn from their mistakes or pause to consider what they can do differently the second time around. To help you break the cycle if you’re dating someone new, we’ve put together a quick list of second marriage success tips. Here’s what you should consider before tying the knot again.

1. Healing comes first. 

The mistake many divorcees make is in moving on too quickly before they’ve had a chance to heal. Maybe it’s something they’re trying to prove to their ex as in, “Look at what you’re missing out on,” or maybe it’s something they’re trying to prove to themselves. Either way it’s a bad idea. The best course of action is to not even consider dating until you can look back on the divorce as a lesson learned rather than a tug that feels as if it is constantly tearing off the scabs before they’ve had a chance to heal.

2. Change yourself for the better, and you’ll change your ‘type’ for the better. 

Many people feel victimized because it seems they are constantly finding “the bad ones.” They try to portray this as bad luck when it is really about personal decision-making. If your new person reminds you too much of your ex or if you feel like everyone is ALWAYS bringing the drama to your door, that’s because you’re bringing a lot of it on yourself. By changing your attitude and influences, you will change your life for the better and that will change the type of person you attract. 

3. Be faster to forgive than engage.

One of the hallmarks of successful second marriages is that you learn it’s no longer about “winning” and “losing” when it comes to differences with your significant other. If you adopt a spirit of forgiveness and mercy and giving others the benefit of the doubt, then you will solve many of the problems that plagued your first relationship. Don’t engage in battle. It’s love, not warfare. 

Any veterans around who’ve done the second marriage thing and made it work? What helped you the most? Sound off in the comments section.

This Is How a Relationship ‘Works’

Perfect relationships do not exist, and that’s not a bad thing because if they did, then it would be extremely difficult to look at your own as anything but a failure. The differences that exist between two people can lead to conflict, but they are also part of the spark that keeps love alive for 40, 50, or 60 years. While the perfect relationship is unattainable, you can harness your similarities and your differences to create a relationship that works. Here’s how the best couples pull it off. 

First, they are comfortable with who they are as individuals. 

Not only do they love their spouses or partners for who they are as people, they love themselves in the same manner. Each individual in the relationship has the self-worth to feel as if they’re deserving of love, and that makes them attractive to the person they’ve chosen. 

Secondly, be proud of one another. 

For a relationship to thrive you need more than just the sparks that come with a physical connection. You need to be proud of who your partner is as a person. Celebrate their achievements, and let them know every day what they bring to the relationship. 

Thirdly, don’t run from conflicts. Resolve them. 

Rather than putting away the things that bother you and never having disagreements, allow yourself to speak up when your spouse or partner does something wrong, and be willing to listen when they state their case or feel the same. Resolving differences builds a much stronger relationship than running from the problem. 

Fourthly, balance unity and individualism. 

Don’t try to be one person. Be two separate people with unique, diverse personalities. But when it comes to what you do as a couple, find solidarity and act as a unit. Not only will it lead to a relationship free from excuses, but it will also make you both more effective as parents should you ever want to travel that road. 

Finally, earn your comfort. 

Too many people stop trying when they commit to marriage or a long-term relationship. You wouldn’t join a gym and then expect a six-pack ab if you never went. In the same vein, it takes more than committing to a person to get the most out of the relationship. You need to work every day to deserve the comforts that go along with being in a stable relationship. Put in the effort. 

What are some things that you think a relationship that works requires that we haven’t listed here? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Why Divorce Will Make You Question Everything

Divorce is a difficult life experience that no one ever hopes they have to go through. Nevertheless, each year about half of all married people resort to it, depending on which set of statistics you believe. It also has a tendency to leave the people experiencing it in doubt about everything they thought they knew. There are three reasons, to be more specific, that divorce will make you question everything. Those three reasons are as follows.

1. It’s a betrayal of trust. 

When you stand up in front of your friends and family and exchange vows to have and to hold until death do you part, you’re putting a great deal of trust in the person you’re saying those words to. You’re also placing a lot of trust in the institution of marriage itself. Whether the betrayal you experience is infidelity or simply growing apart, you are bound to be disappointed by people and/or ideas you held dear. That’s hard to overcome when your world view has already been established, and it leads to you questioning whether you were wrong the whole time about life and about your ability to read others.

2. It uproots your sense of stability. 

In spite of all the statistics to the contrary, people still tend to look at marriage as a permanent institution that means “for life” in the sense that you have a relationship you can count on to weather every storm, through thick and thin, forever. When that fails, the part of you that still thinks that way experiences turmoil in the very construct you’ve grown to rely upon. Naturally you start to feel unstable in every aspect of your life.

3. It doesn’t show you the end results upfront. 

When you divorce, all you see is the failure aspects of divorce. You haven’t grown and developed enough past it to see the many good things that will come from it with hard work, determination, and the right attitude. If you could get divorced but be able to look into a crystal ball and see yourself happy and well-adjusted three or four years down the road, it wouldn’t cause you to question as much as you do. But that’s not possible. You have to first go through the work, and before you settle your mind to do so, it’s understandable that you have a lot of doubts about the present.

What were some long-held things you started to question as a result of the divorce process?

How Second Spouses Can Benefit From Their Partner’s First Marriage

When you’re growing up as a little boy or girl, the last thing that you probably dream about when thinking of Mr./Ms. Right is the idea that you won’t be their “first” spouse. People seldom if ever dream about marrying a divorcee just like the divorcee never “hopes” to have their first marriage fail. But the good news is this: if your partner has grown from their first marriage and been mindful of the pitfalls, you stand to reap some pretty major rewards for saying, “I do” to them. Here are a few.

1. You get someone who’s been through the trial-and-error.

Many first marriages end in divorce because the participants were too young, too inexperienced, or both. They had little idea about what it took to have a successful marriage, and so through trial-and-error, they lost their way. When you are husband or wife number two, your spouse has a greater tendency to be mindful of potential pitfalls regarding behavior and how they interact with you. Example: they know the fights that are worth it and the ones that aren’t.

2. You marry a person who is more considerate and analytical.

This one is particularly true if they come from a marriage where their ex was a powder keg, who always had to have a “battle” to fight. Often times, people who escape from these marriages are so relieved to be done with it all that they don’t ever want to repeat the same mistake of marrying someone who is the carbon copy of their ex. They have a tendency to know trigger points much better than your average person. They’re also more mindful of their own faults and work harder to police those so they don’t spill out on you.

3. You say ‘Yes’ to someone who is often more successful. 

Prime earning years usually don’t come until around 35 to 50 years of age. That means, often by default, you’re going to end up marrying someone who is more successful financially and someone who has a better idea of where they’re going in their career path.

4. You marry someone who is more willing to try new things.

If you want adventure, then be someone’s second husband or wife! Many are mindful that they were too “reserved” the first time around and so they resolve to try new things and expand their horizons in ways that your standard young married person just wouldn’t.

So how about it, second spouses? How do you think your husband or wife’s first marriage benefitted you?

What Your New Relationship Needs From You To Find Success

Every new relationship is scary and exciting because there are so many variables regarding what could go right and what could go wrong, and you haven’t been “in it” enough to “win it.” While there are factors beyond your control, the good news is that you and your new partner have quite a bit of say over the outcome. From the divorcee’s perspective, here is what this new relationship needs from you in order to be successful.

1. A farewell to the past.

For a new relationship to be successful, there is much that the divorcee will have to let go of, particularly whatever baggage they are carrying from their marriage. If your spouse cheated on you, for instance, you have to remember that they cheated on you, not the new person. You cannot expect your relationship to succeed if you’re still allowing trust issues to dictate how you interact with your new partner.

2. A fresh perspective on yourself.

Just like you cannot hold the sins of an ex against your current partner, you also can’t allow your own foibles to make you think you’re entitled to anything less than happiness. Even if you have a degree of guilt regarding your role in how the marriage failed, you have to learn to look at yourself and your life with a fresh perspective. That was then, this is now, the old saying goes. It’s your job to make that a reality.

3. An openness to change.

One of the biggest issues I faced in finding happiness after my divorce was letting go of the need to always be right. I feel that the competitiveness that I brought to my first marriage led to escalation on some fights that today would be no big deal. I realized that there were far too many calories burnt on trying to position myself as “correct.” But here’s the secret: even if you can get your partner to “admit defeat” in an argument, you haven’t won anything except for maybe their bitterness. Point being: it’s far better if you’re open to changing things about yourself that were not productive to the health of the relationship.

What are some things we left off regarding what your new relationship needs to find success? Share some of your thoughts in our comments section.

Online Dating: Is Written Communication Enough To Have Feelings For Someone?

If your divorce is final and you’re ready to step into the world of online dating the same as millions of others around the globe, then you may be wondering how effective the process really is, and whether or not it’s possible to fall in love with someone or develop feelings for them based on words alone. This question was asked of reddit members recently on the r/AskReddit sub. Here were some of the best responses.

1. “It is possible to love who that person is from the way they talk (type), but physical attraction is a big part of love. Once you realize you are not attracted to that person all that ‘love’ goes away real quick. Sad, but true.”

2. “Writing is usually very personal and displays a person’s true personality better than verbal communication. It’s harder to mask who you really are with written words. So, yes, I believe that it’s completely possible.”

3. “For me, yes, which is probably sad. If she has my favorite qualities in a girl, it’s an instant crush for me. And if we continue contact, I don’t see why not. Never had it happen before though.”

4. “Yes. Three years later bam married. No regrets.”

5. “Maybe. If both of you prefer written communication, then yes. But body language is so important. I don’t think I could fall in love completely without knowing whether our physical quirks align or not.”

6. “Absolutely whether that love would continue after I met would be questionable. I have had a few LTR [long term relationships] where I felt I was in love and after many months met the person and it wasn’t the same.”

7. “I could perhaps fall in love with my idea of a person through their written communication, but I believe I’d need to meet them in the flesh to know if my idea of them matched reality. The adage ‘actions speak louder than words’ is apt here, a guy might be able to write the most moving poetry I’ve ever read but I wouldn’t be able to judge him until I know first hand how he treats people. … Another thing that’s quite personal to me is smell and manners, I simply couldn’t fall in love with anyone with bad body odor or who eats with their mouth open, no matter how eloquent and caring they may be, I’d wish them all the luck in the world with other, more tolerant, ladies, but not with me.”

What do you think, readers? Is it possible to fall in love and have a truly meaningful relationship from written communications? Share your thoughts in our comments section.