Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Help This Woman: Divorce Sucks Monkey Balls

This post isn't funny. Divorce isn't funny.  Kate's been through it (and has a blended family of awesomeness to show for it).  Lydia watched her parents go through it.  A couple of times. They say that divorce doesn't kill you, it just makes you wish you were dead.  And it really isn't funny.

This picture is at least sort of funny.
Our friend Law Momma is going through a divorce.  If you're dealing with something similar or know someone who is - check out her blog, and know that you're not alone. Her writing about her separation is riveting and meaningful and painful and beautiful.

It started at the beginning of April.  That's right, last month.  Her husband decided to leave.  So now she's on her own with their amazing 1 year old son and struggling to figure out what to do next.  Five weeks ago, her life was totally different. They were a family. Now she has to make a new life, without the man she loves.

She is getting counseling. She has found a new job and quit her old job.  She is moving home.  She's dealing really well.  But she's also heartbroken, devastated and exhausted.

We clicked on her blog yesterday and read this post. And we realized that she needs you, Mommyland.  She needs encouragement and support.  But mostly what she needs are suggestions of things she can do to make this horrible, awful, no good, very bad period of her life a little better. 
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Something has to change for me.


I don’t know what it is, but something has to change. I have to do something differently or I will explode. If I keep on living the life I was living before, it is as though at any minute, my husband will burst through the door with an enormous smile and a belly laugh and announce that this was all just a bad dream.

I am moving back to the house we bought together.

I am moving back to the city we met in.
I am moving back into a world I lived so closely with him that he is wrapped into the very fibers of that life.
And I can not do that if I stay the same.
I can not just keep waiting for him to come home.

He is not coming home. I am not his home any longer.

So I need to make some changes. I need to make some changes to ME, not just to my surroundings. I need to lose weight, gain sleep, and in general find my strength again. I need to stop shedding tears over a man who stopped shedding tears for me a long, long time ago.

And I’m open for suggestions.

Give me your best suggestions and then I’ll pick my five favorite ones and we’ll vote to see what I start doing to make positive changes in my life. It can be anything… be creative.

Just give me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and be happy for a change. Give me something I can be proud of… something separate from him. Something that is all mine.

And… GO.

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One more thing - as much as we all want to square up on her soon to be ex-husband, she is trying to keep everything as civil as possible. He is the father of their son and while she has the right to go upside his head with a 2 by 4, she has instead chosen to be a grown up about it - as that is in the best interest of their little boy. So please don't make awful comments about her ex - even if he really, really deserves it.
xo, K & L

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

56 comments:

  1. I stumbled across her blog the other day and she is truly inspiring. She takes the high road, never dirts her soon to be ex, and I think that shows a lot about her character. It must be terribly hard for her but she keeps her head up for her son. Love her blog, even though it makes my heart hurt for her.

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  2. I found Rants from Mommyland through Law Momma. She's such an amazing person. I hope she gets great suggestions from everyone.

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  3. Hello. I just read the comments and suggestions over at your blog, and they are all very good. You truly have my sympathy, as I know first hand how awful divorce is. Long story short, my husband (he's in the army) came back from a year-long deployment in Iraq and announced he no longer wanted to be married. There were no warnings or indications anything was wrong beforehand. There I was with our 6 month old son, devastated. Turns out my husband left me and our son for a female soldier he was deployed with.
    For whatever it's worth, here's my advice:
    First, give yourself a break. This sucks. And I won't lie - it's going to continue to suck for a while. I don't know for how long, but there it is. The good news is, it will eventually stop sucking. How do I know? From personal experience. And it's clear you are a strong woman and a great mother. Those two things will get you through this. I woke up every day with despair being the first thing I felt. Eventually one day I woke up and realized I wasn't miserable anymore. It was pretty amazing. My advice?
    1. Feel what you need to feel. It's good to try to be positive and not wallow in self pity and all those things. However, when you need to let it out, let it out. Cry, be hurt, be angry. Do whatever you need to do to let that all out, whether it's by journaling (that helps me) or going to the gym, or basket weaving. You'll feel better letting it out than holding it in. This process will need to be repeated - often. Slowly but surely over time it'll need to be done less and less often.
    2. Get therapy. It's so worth it. It's great to go somewhere you can vent, rant, cry, whatever and not have to worry about being judged or crying in front of your son or anything you've said getting back to your ex. The therapist might even have good suggestions on coping mechanisms.
    3. Let your child be your reason to get up in the morning. Parenting is the one job you have to show up to, every day. Not showing up was never an option for me. There's a little life depending on you. Be there, no matter what else is going on or how crappy you feel.
    4. Family and friends are life savers. I don't know how I would have gotten through without the love and support of family and friends. Let them be there for you.
    5. Give yourself time. As I mentioned above, this is not going to get better right away. But the fact that you're being proactive is a very good sign. Keep on keepin' on and at some point you will find all this misery is in the rear view mirror, and that the road ahead is looking pretty good.
    Hang in there, sister.

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  4. Holly gave some really great advice.

    And I will not say anything bad about @#$%*)%$*^)%*)#*%)@*%#)@($...anything. ;)

    Instead, I agree with Holly and say to you that YOU CAN DO THIS!! We all love you <3

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  5. I completely agree with Holly above. Let no one tell you how you should feel, what you should do, where you should be. You are about to enter a period of redefinition--you have to find out who you are without your husband. Only you can do that, and it has to be without any outside influence. But after you have gone through this period and come out the other side? Throw yourself a party to celebrate your new life. Get drunk, and loud, and have fun. It will be worth the hangover the next day :)

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  6. I wish I knew. We women tend to let go of who we are so readily for these other people in our lives (husbands, partners, children) to ensure they are happy and healthy, so that we can be "John's wife" or "James and Susie's mommy", and soon enough we don't even remember our real name or what we like or what our interests are or what our true opinions are. And that truth sneaks up on us. So, take time to be a good enough mommy (and sometimes cereal for dinner and no bath is good enough) and go take a tap class or something. Find you. And let me know if you find me anywhere.

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  7. I am not speaking from divorce experience. I'm just speaking from severe "long-term boyfriend dumped me for my friend, to whom I bared my soul before I knew she was the beeyotch who he left me for," experience.

    Snowflakes and cranberry tea.

    Get a huge pile of white printer paper, some spray starch, some glue and glitter. A pair of scissors. Then sit and make paper snowflakes. Iron them flat with starch. Glitterfy them if you feel the urge. Suspend from the ceiling with thread and tape. It's totally zen.

    Fill a pretty teapot with cranberry tea and no sugar. Drink until you swim.

    Make and hang more snowflakes, drink more tea.

    Repeat until you have a gorgeously snowy-looking house. And you will have lost weight AND staved off any possible urinary tract infections with the tea.

    THen, notice that your house is full of paper snowflakes, laugh at yourself, vacuum up all the paper schnibbles all over the place, and pull down the snowflakes, pack into a box for Christmas (but never actually use them because they'll remind you of this time), and when you're done, you'll look at your house differently.

    It will no longer be his. It will be the house YOU filled with snowflakes in summer.

    --kate in MI

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  8. Get a good lawyer. This is not in the spirit of vindictiveness, this is because divorce (especially with kids involved) lasts a heck of a lot longer than the mandatory separation period. The signing of the papers is not the end of the divorce, it's the beginning and a good lawyer with your best interests in mind can help you plan for that future. Once you have a lawyer, listen to him. I made concessions to my ex against my lawyers advice and in the long run it's hurt me and my son far more than I anticipated.

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  9. 1-Spend time with friends. Just make sure those friends aren't going to make things worse for you. (mine made a hobby of prank calling "the other woman" which didn't make my life any easier)

    2-Take time to rediscover yourself. Do something you've always wanted to try.

    3-Take things one day at a time.

    4-Reach out for help when you need it. Keeping things bottled up isn't good.

    5-Remember it's okay to be hurt, sad, angry. It's also okay to feel happy. Don't let your sadness overcome you.

    6-Think of all the good that can come of this. This is just an end to a chapter of your life. You get to start a new one. Make it however you want it to be.

    7-When all else fails to cheer you up, hug your kid. A lot.

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  10. I've been following her blog for a while and am just heartbroken for her and her little boy over this. I've never been through a divorce but my husband was an unwilling participant in one (though he is obviously happy about it now!) and he says that time and making the active decision to move on, be happy and take another chance on love were what helped him through. It is so fresh for her though- I can only recommend lots of friends, family and wine.

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  11. Two weeks ago the week(well 10 days) from hell started. My husband woke up blind in his right eye 7 years ago and they never figured out why. Every year he has had an MRI in the spring and every year it comes back normal. This year it didn't. This year they discovered markers for MS. They said he needed to go to Johns Hopkins for more testing ASAP. We were able to book the flights and get him in a week later. The very next day after we found out he needed testing, my 2yo daughter thought it would be fantastic to badly hurt herself and need to be rushed to the ER. She was treated and while I didn't feel great about leaving her with my mother 3 days later while she was still in pain, they said she would be fine and I had to go with my husband.

    We went to meet up with his parents a 4 hour drive away and then were going to fly to Baltimore. We got to his parents house and my cell rang. My mom had taken my daughter to the GP because she was acting funny. Doctor was sending her to the Children's Hospital because he thought she needed emergency surgery. So there I was standing in the kitchen with my mother in law and husband, forced to choose between my daughter and husband. Daughter won. If nothing else, the surgeons would need my consent to do the surgery. I hopped on a plane home and was told that if she needed surgery it would be before the end of the week but she needed to see a specialist. I would be hearing from the specialist in the next couple of days. Exactly when I would be finding out what was going on with my husband.

    I had to live glued to the phone for 48 hours. I was going insane. Here is where the coping adcvice comes in. When things get so overwhelming all you want to do is scream and cry. Do it. But also use this word as much as possible out and of earshot of young ears. Sh*tf*ck! I got it out of a book I read recently and it's strangely cathartic. Say it out loud as often as you can. It not only sums things up perfectly, but you feel better after saying it.

    The other piece of advice I have is, while waiting for the phone to ring and slowly unspooling while waiting to find out if my little monster needed surgery (she didn't. Thank God.) and if my husband had MS (he does. Sh*tf*ck.) I needed to keep my brain from working on things I had no control over so I started making a quilt. It's challenging so I had to focus on it, it's repetative and unlike chain smoking or binge eating icecream it's not bad for me and I wind up with something pretty I can be proud of. If you don't like quilting, take up a different hobby. Be it creative or physical, having something that you can do that can distract you completely even for a few minutes makes it easier to cope with the bad going on.

    While my husband still has MS and my daughter still is hurt and needs to have her healing progress monitored by doctors weekly, and I am still 19 weeks pregnant and trying to keep my daughter from playing with her bandages and getting my house ready to sell so we are closer to facilities that will help my husband and all the other life changes we have to make for him, I am coping. I have an outlet for my stress. And a really fantastic word for when I can't keep the bad thoughts away.

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  12. I went through this almost 2 years ago - with 6 children, the baby was 8 months old at the time and my oldest was 10.

    Realize that for the first year it is going to suck. There really isn't any way around that. You just have to allow yourself to grieve and realize that it is going to be awful for a while. 11 months was the magic time for me - the day I woke up and didn't want to die any more. Give yourself permission to grieve and don't worry too much about losing weight and all of that during this time.

    You do also need to protect yourself though. I tried so hard to be "nice" through my divorce that I got totally hosed in the divorce - I agreed to things no sane woman would have agreed to because I wanted SO MUCH to keep things civil. Guess what? His girlfriend definitely did NOT want things civil between us so she worked really hard to make sure he hated me [and thus would not come home]. So I got screwed in the divorce and I am STILL dealing with the worst most contentious hateful ex spouse on the planet. As far as I can tell there is actually no benefit to trying to be "civil". [And you may be thinking ' but there's no other woman' - unfortunately I can almost guarantee you there is. When a man leaves his family out of the blue like this it is ALWAYS because of another woman - he is just hiding that until the divorce proceedings are over. Please protect yourself and your child, even if that means you have to fight some. I sure wish I'd done that].

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  13. Holly gives very good words of wisdom. So sorry you're having to deal with the ick of divorce and separation :( It is a horrible period of time where nothing makes sense....but you can get through it.

    Give yourself time to grieve the end of your marriage, remember your beautiful little boy thinks the sun rises & sets on you, and take time to notice the little joys in life. You are stronger than you think you are and you will get through this.

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  14. LawMomma, I love you and you are not alone. The sisterhood of single moms is here for you! Speaking from experience - think of something you enjoy, or used to, that you essentially gave up because hubby wasn't so into it. (You know there's SOMETHING!) Find a way to bring that back into your life, you may find it brings you joy.

    Oh, and watch as much Monty Python as you can handle. I owe my sanity, in part, to John Cleese.

    You are not alone!

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  15. Get everything regarding support for your child in writing, all the way through college if you can. This is not to say anything about your ex, but based on my parents' fairly amicable divorce, minds and hearts can change, and promises can be forgotten.

    Aside from that, I can't add anything better to all the wonderful advice that's beeen stated above.

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  16. Wow, lots of good advice already, especially Holly's.

    My divorce was unexpected as well. My then-husband had just moved me 3,000 miles across the country to a new town where I knew no one and announced that he had been having an affair for 2 years and was moving his girlfriend out to live with him. I was left to start my life over (after 16 yrs with him) with two small kids.

    It is such a cliche, but it will get better with time. Please never be afraid to express your emotions, whatever they may be. Whether it's crying to yourself in your room, having a bitch-fest with friends, or talking it out in therapy. ALL of your feelings are valid and never let anyone tell you how you are "supposed" to act.

    Divorce is devastating. It is hard. I was angry. I was sad. I was pissed off. I was frustrated. I was feeling guilty. I was feeling like a failure. And even now, over 1 1/2 yrs later, I still feel all those things sometimes. But the good news is that those awful feelings come less and less often every day.

    Hug your child, and know that it will be ok eventually. Congrats for keeping things civil. I took the high road for my children's sake and it was the best thing I could have done.

    Please know that we are all here for you, out here in the virtual world. I am so sorry for your loss and your pain, and I wish you the best as you figure out your next step.

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  17. Get and read A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. It will help you immensely. Join the Y and exercise through the pain. Be really good to yourself and allow yourself to grieve.

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  18. Just moved out from the house I shared with my baby daddy. We were never married, thank goodness, so it's not the same but it's still hard. I have a 2-year-old who is also feeling the effects and having a difficult time. That takes up most of my time.
    But after I get all my junk unpacked and put away, I am going to start sewing again. I am going to go to the library and start reading again. I am enjoying watching all the TV shows that the ex ridiculed me for liking. I am relaxing and breathing easier.
    Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

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  19. Holly - between your comment and LawMomma's blog...I'm a sobbing mess. I think your comments are beyond powerful and I hope they do help Law Momma.

    I wish I had the magic advice, but all I can say is - let yourself heal. It is going to be a long, messy process, but you have to do it. You have to reconnect with the "you" before you were a couple.

    My own experience with divorce is my parent's...my mom became a new woman after she left my father. In the beginning, she wasn't even sure how to balance a chequebook - but she became a strong, confident single woman and eventually found happiness with another man.

    Many hugs - I think the collective online community just wants to give you a giant hug

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  20. Posted here just in case someone needs it -

    I'm 3 years out from my horrifyingly similar experience (although my girls were older, and my then spouse was gay), but there is a lot of truth to what other ladies have said previously. Here is a synopsis of what helped me -
    1) "family" vacations without my spouse. The girls and I had some really fabulous yet cost effective trips that we still talk about - like the time we rode rollercoasters during a hurricane. Or when we snowboarded in CO and after one trip down the mountain we were all tired and decided hot chocolate was a better idea. Or when we visited friends in NM and traveled by train and woke up to see the sunrise in the observation car.
    2) I got rid of everything that reminded me of him. Even if it was useful. I bought a red microwave because know what? I always liked red. I changed fabric softener to the scent I liked, tossed the Lever 2000 and bought body wash in girly scents, threw out lingerie and bought new just because. I like hazelnut flavored coffee and girly creamer, and no, I will never eat anything low carb/low fat/full of fiber ever again unless I want to.
    3) I cultivated a relationship with my girls that he will never have. I never spoke poorly of their father, but I didn't lie and I think my honesty is what created a very loving, honest relationship with my teenage girls - yep. That’s right. Teenage girls. They tell me stuff that most girls hide from their mothers, yet they know I am not their friend, but the mom. No matter how bad it hurts, this relationship will remain long after I have moved on.
    4) Feeding your child PB & J every day for a week because you are not able to do more is FINE. Crying every time you think of how hard it is to be alone is FINE. Taking a dirty shirt up off the floor, shaking it out, spraying it with perfume and putting it on your need-to-be-showered body because you can't think of another option and at least that shirt accentuates your breasts is FINE. Do what works to get through this and throw all the rules out the window. The paradigm has shifted.
    You will not feel this way forever. You will start to think of the benefits of not having to compromise yourself with another adult. You will think of him fondly, but not miss him. And yes, someone else told me all this and at the time I didn't believe it, but it's true.

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  21. You stay above the fray. But get yourself the nastiest lawyer you can find. The sharkiest shark in shark town. And while he is still feeling bad about his decision to abandon you and your son, sign an agreement that protects you. The longer you wait to get his signature the easier it will be for him to feel ok with being selfish. He may feel some guilt and conflict now, even if he thinks his choice was for the best. But in 6 months - he will feel no such qualms and he will be much less likely to be considerate and generous. I'm not advising raking him over the coals or being an unreasonable B (not matter how much I may think he deserves it).

    I'm saying MAKE SURE YOU GET WHAT YOU AND YOUR SON NEED AND ARE ENTITLED TO AND DO IT RIGHT AWAY. Get what you can, and get it now. If that makes things slightly uncomfortable for him... Well that's just gravy.

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  22. Run a marathon... or a half marathon. I know it seems like you don't need anything else to do right now but doing it will do several things. First - it's all your project and has nothing to do with him. Second - it will make you stronger, mentally and physically. Third - it will put all the stress to really good use and give you a physical outlet for all the pain, grief, frustration, anger and every other bad thing that you can just sweat out each day. Fourth - you can do it with or without your kid, jogging stroller or hands free. Finally - this is something you can do alone when you need it, or with new friends when you need it. You will meet a wonderful amazing and super supportive group of people out there on the road, but only when you are ready.

    I know it sounds extreme and crazy. However, running every day got me thru a miscarrige, dad's cancer, husband's deployment and 3 more kids. I have amazing friends who know more about me than anyone else in the world, an awesome support network and, most importantly, I have the strength to run as far as I need to find that often elusive peace of mind. Go for a run.

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  23. Especially because you are working, you need to have a couple of reliable babysitters that you trust. I know you will probably feel awful about not spending every minute you can with your son, but give yourself the freedom to do things for yourself. Evening class (Krav Maga maybe)? Drinks with a friend? Mani/pedi? This year you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of him. You're awesome. And inspiring.

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  24. my only recommendation would be the book by daphne kingma - "coming apart: why relationships end and how to survive the ending of your own."

    it's an 8 week process (you can take longer if you need to) to help you work through the developmental pieces of your relationship and their related emotions to get you to a point of redefinition of self, your son and his father on the other side of the pain.

    i highly recommend it.

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  25. I haven't been through a divorce, but I was very close to it and mentally prepared myself for it during a separation for a year and a half where I had no idea what would come next.

    Let your self be miserable and mourn sometimes. It is a sad time. Be gentle with yourself.

    But ALSO: find something to get excited about now that you have a new sort of freedom. I was looking at volunteering and teaching English somewhere overseas with the UN for a year. And then thinking about some of the neat places my son and I could go live or travel to (he was 5 at the time). And be proud of what you are able to do on your own. Self-sufficiency and the realization of it can really make you feel strong.

    Try to get into the mindset that you are living and loving life for you and your son now -- there is a different set of parameters for that. Find that thing (or things) that will make you most happy for YOU, an independent you, and love yourself.

    Big hugs. It's so so hard. But you will learn so much about yourself and come out even more amazing on the other side.

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  26. First off, I am so sorry!! Being the bigger person sometimes sux...ok, in the event of it raining monkeys, it always sux during the moments, but you are absolutely right about making right choices because of your amazing little boy....... are ya ready to pull up your boots & start one day at a time, being strong for your son, & not taking a machete to every one of Hubby's ties, shoelaces, or buttons. We WOMEN are really super at sucking it up & driving on, especially when there is a prize! Its easy to play the blame game, which is detrimental to moving on, so if you find yourself in this boxing corner...do not be the bigger person, be the better person!!! This may be where the counselor is honing in...so I will back off! I know that you secretly know who Anthony Robbins is....if it is too painful to make yourself listen to one of his episodes....suck it up & drive on. If there is one thing I know, misery enjoys company~ & I know that you do not want to be miserable anymore, shoot....some of his episodes are an hr & working off weight to someone who drones on & on about making choices & changing the way that we are thinking...well, Duh....walk, listen, walk listen, walk listen.....until it begins to make sense. I am not talking about becoming a Robbins Addict, I am talking about gaining some self respect back, even if its the getting out there & walking around the block. I know that this is so nerdy....but you need to mend from the inside out. You are gonna cry yourself to sleep...you are gonna see places that make you wanna scream it from the Mtn Top~ NOT FAIR!!!! The memories are the worst....drive to Home Depot & change the entire house color inside. I make an oath to you.....as I am writing this down, it does get easier...it does, it really does. I promise you, if you are really convinced about handling things the adult way, getting an absolutely fan~freaking~tastic lawyer, & getting over the feelings of self worth that you built with a husband, who is no longer a part of your family in that way.....you are a Mommy, who needs to roar. Make a chart of things you are going to do...eat fruit... paint a room...pull up some weeds, dust a room, go to the bathroom & make funny faces until you smile, play with your handsome son, you are gonna make it....Time is our Frien~enemy at first...only because we need to revamp our lives. Keep moving, keep shaking, keep listening to music that MOTIVATES you...I have one that I am going to recommend...My Hands are Bananas...look it up on youtube! It is so stupid, it will make you laugh! Keep on moving & shaking sister!!! I am sending you a virtual hug! This too shall pass!!!!
    Aimee

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  27. more like big, fat elephant balls!

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  28. you are moving back into a house that you used to live in with soon to be-ex. Make it your own. Paint the walls the color you always wanted to, but knew ex wouldn't like, such as lavender, or rose pink. If not the whole house, at least your bedroom. Make the house look different than before.

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  29. TAKE A TRIP!!! Either jump in the car and go on a road trip with your baby (short day trips until you get where you want to go), or leave your child with YOUR family and take off to some place that you always wanted to go to and just never got there.

    When my husband and I split, I was left with no money (I was working three jobs to support us while he was in school) and no sense of self. It took a while, but I not only did a cross country camping tip with my best friend and our two dogs, but I also did 7 weeks in Europe with a back pack and Eurail pass and 3 weeks in Australia. Granted, I didn't have a kid, but I also did it all on a shoestring and loved (almost) every minute of it. The parts I didn't like made for great stories!

    Travel was the best medicine for me because I didn't have to be "Michael's Ex-Wife" Who was the dufus who did everything for him then got dumped at the curb. Instead, I was this strong, independent woman who did what she wanted, when she wanted to.

    Makes me a better wife now.

    Good luck honey! Send us some pictures!

    ~CAt

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  30. Two things are key. They sound contradictory, but they are not.

    1) Give yourself permission to grieve. You've had a loss, and as much as you may try to convert the emotion to anger, you are also allowed to feel sad. There is a chunk of pain out there with your name on it, and the only way out is through it.

    2) Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Having a kid really helps with this part, because you have to still attend to the mechanics of life for the kid's sake. Take care of business: pay the bills, go to work, eat meals (the weight loss is gonna take care of itself, honey. Nothing is going to look delicious for a long time.) You try to take the long view when you can, and the short view when you have to.

    Final note: Those crappy things people say that make you want to hit them? The "God-Never-Gives-Us-Anything-We-Can't-Handle" people? Try really, really hard to remember that they say that stuff because they want to make you feel better.

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  31. Bellydance. Let me explain why. The bellydancing community (at least the one around St. Louis, but I'd hope the rest of the country is like this) is open to women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and walks of life. It's a beautiful dance rooted in history that has let women express their feelings for generations; you can dance sultry, or joyful, or desperate and it's all good. Dance class is an appointment during the week that you can look forward to. You can practice the moves at home when you don't know what else to do with yourself. You will feel beautiful when you figure out a tricky choreography. It's an excuse to keep moving. Movement is life. I hope you'll give it a try.

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  32. Thank you for sharing this. I went through a similar experience and became a single parent when my daughter was only 3 months old. Now she's 11 years old, I'm remarried, and have another baby. Those times are so hard that it's a challenge to see the positive things that still can come your way. I'll definitely be offering my support on her blog.

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  33. Going thru almost the exact same thing at the exact same time. If I lived near Georgia, I'd be there with a T-Box in a heartbeat!

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  34. Your last sentence put it all into perspective, "Something that is all mine."

    Honey....look...Life is all yours now! With the exception of your son there is nobody elses schedule, opinions, choices or preferences to consider anymore! How liberating!

    Sometimes our lives are changed without our consent and it sucks AND it could be a long horrible excrutiating process if you let it be. You are in control of you and you can make this a long hard road or a short sweet trail filled with spring flowers and scenery.

    Own it!

    Breathe! Change that morning routine! Take baby for a jog or pop in a yoga dvd and get some fresh air and exercise. You must continue to love yourself and take care of yourself because there is only one you and the world, we need you!

    Relax! Cook new things that are different and pleasing to your palet. Find a women's shelter and volunteer your time. Find playgroups for you & your son.

    Bloom! Take the home furnishing, decorations and trinkets and rearange them. Take them from room to room and mix it up, whatever it takes....make it yours!!! Get some discount paint and paint that wall your favorite color and know that your soul will smile every time you see that wall because it's yours just like your life now!!!

    Protect yourself and your son. Go ahead and get the temporary custody agreement on paper legally. You may say,"oh there's no need for that we are civil to each other." Honey he walked out "civil" isn't in his vocabulary. Be strong, trust only yourself and your attorney. Remember that this wasn't your idea it was his so he should probably fund this adventure including your costs. Why stop with that? You didn't deserve this and yes people can change their minds but they don't have to put their spouses feelings or lives to the side when they do....i think a little support $ for yourself would help replace that mat that he jerked out from under you. i don't think you should be $ hungry but it would make you more comfortable in YOUR new life so why not? Gaurd yourself honey.....it's dog eat dog these days!!!

    And i think it's very kind of you to not bash your ex BUT please let those feelings towards him out, get rid of them wether its in a private journal or just in prayer. Say how you feel, don't harbor the pain...release it.

    Connect....with yourself...remember your dreams and desires. Create a plan for your new life and play it like a movie in your head over and over. Let me remind you that you can dream as BIG as you want. Nothing is stopping you now!!! Imagaine how you want this situation to go and picture it happening over and over. Imagine every little detail that your want for yourself and your son in life keep the dream alive by taking baby steps towards it.

    Finally...Pray because i will be!
    (((hugs)))

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  35. I've read Law Momma for a about a year now and my heart hurts for her. I've been worried about her for a while . . . with no way to say anything. The divorce has to be devastating. My only advice: therapy and a willingness to go back on her meds and not regulate them herself. If it sounds preachy, I so apologize.

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  36. Divorce sucks. Been there. Done that. Burned the t-shirt.

    I completely agree with Holly, as well as the commenters who encouraged you to protect yourself legally. As a "Law Momma," I have to believe you have hired a very good divorce attorney who will work her ass off to protect you and your son.

    The most important advice that has been given is to allow yourself to grieve.
    Divorce is a death. It deserves the time and energy to be grieved.
    It is the death of not only a relationship that you believed would last the rest of your life, but it is the death of the life you dreamed about, planned for, and were counting on. We all tend to look at our marriage in terms of "from now until we are old and gray, sitting in rockers on the front porch."
    You need to allow yourself to grieve the loss of that dream.
    BUT...like any death, we can only grieve for so long before we realize it is time to let it go and move on. The timing is different for everyone, and the feelings are different.
    But, one morning, you will wake up and look at the emotional equivelant of "black mourning robes" and think, no. That day, you will want to wear color, and live in color.
    You will look back and realize just how resilient you are. You will see that you are so incredibly strong, and resourceful, and talented, and beautiful, and funny, and smart, and that you are the most amazing Mommy.
    And you will pity your ex for walking away from the most incredible woman and amazing child who would have given him forever. His loss.
    Do all of the things you gave up for your ex. All of the hobbies that were too time consuming, selfish, silly, quirky, or--even better--revisit the one thing you always wanted to try that would elicit the "you're a dreamer" response. That's exactly what you need to be now. All that creative, forgiving, loving energy you were putting into your marriage needs to be put into YOU!
    Your son has just become one of the luckiest kids on the planet: he is now the sole recipient of all of the love and awesomeness you have to offer to another human being.
    Just please remember to give some of that love and awesomeness to yourself. We Mommies tend to forget how to live for ourselves and love ourselves. Teach your son how to love and appreciate incredible women...like his Mommy.

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  37. I've been through 2 divorces - and they do suck. Different circumstances, in that I chose to start the process both times, but there was so much grieving involved both times.

    You have to give yourself permission to feel every single emotion that comes through - don't fight them. If you feel happy, enjoy it. If you feel sad, cry. If you feel angry, scream. Don't fight the emotions - it's a losing battle.

    Talk to people. Call them, text them, email them, anything. Don't shut yourself off from outside contact. Force yourself to go to the grocery store or something. Go for a walk. Go for a drive. Go anywhere, but don't lock yourself within the confines of your house.

    You'll get through it. You really will. And you will be stronger. Choosing to handle it maturely speaks volumes - and your son will see that, even though he is young. And he'll get through it too. It hurts and it sucks - but it will be over at some point and the pain will fade.

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  38. I haven't been through a divorce, but my husband died when I was pregnant. What you posted SCREAMS of grief. And that is ok. Mourning your relationship is what you need to do. So do it.

    1. Let yourself feel however you feel and don't make excuses or justify it. If you feel some love toward him, you love him, if you hate him, you are allowed to. DON'T let anyone tell you that what you are doing or feeling is wrong. Even if you are sitting in front of your TV watching Buffy reruns while scarfing Ben and Jerry's at an alarming rate and washing it down with a T-Box. (Although, try not to get caught up in that for too long.)

    2. If YOU feel like you are stuck in one emotion for too long, try one thing different. (NO ONE else gets to have input in this decision, not your best friends or your parents, NO ONE!) Print out a new recipe, try a new hobby, take a class you have always wanted to take, even just a new route to work.

    3. Really look at your little boy. And love him.

    4. Let some time pass.

    5. Try not to square up on everyone who will give you stupid ass advice/comments because they don't know what else to say. Because they are STUPID, but maybe they were trying to be helpful. In their STUPID STUPID way. Basically, if someone says something that makes you feel like setting fire to their property or punching them in the face, wait a few days. If you still feel that there was NO misguided love or redeeming quality behind their statement, THEN solicit a partner in crime and take revenge.

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  39. So sorry to hear what is happening to you. I have a bit of strange advice but I have done this every time life deals me crap: Read one of Jane Austen's novels. Sometimes all you can do is to get caught up in another world while yours changes around you and when you come out of that other world, your problems may seem more manageable. What I love about her books is that they were written 200 years ago but the themes of love and family are still fresh today in this age of high speed internet. Fantasize about the perfect partner for you-daydreams are healthy. Treat yourself well, even though haircuts, massages or pedicures may seem shallow right now. Look forward, not to the past. Hugs and good luck to you!

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  40. You are clearly a very with-it person, and you know how much this whole thing is going to suck, especially as you and the ex renegotiate the type of relationship you will now have. I want to give you some homework that I promise will make that renegotiation time a little more tolerable...sort of like a "bucket list" for the separation period:

    1) Buy a nail polish color that you ordinarily would not buy and paint your toenails that color.
    2) Find the greenest patch of grass you can find and just roll in it. Better yet, pack yourself your own little picnic and treat yourself on that patch of grass.
    3) Buy yourself flowers, once a week. Purchase yourself a vase that makes you happy in which to place said flowers. The more fragrant, the better. Better yet, plant a garden full of your favorite blooms where you can see it every day.
    4) Buy yourself a few vials of some nice essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender, and mint. At night when it is quiet and the baby is down, put a few drops of each in some cool water, wet a washcloth with the mixture, lay down in a quiet place with the washcloth covering your face and just breathe. A bath with the same oils is nice, too, or a rinse of your hair with this mixture.
    5) New fancy underwear that YOU like. Need I say more? A silky slip does wonders.
    6)Go berry-picking, come home, and make a cobbler with what you picked and eat it with much ice cream.
    7) Make a real mint julep and savor it on your porch or other special place.
    8) Buy yourself new sheets with the highest thread count you can find. A silky nightgown after a bath with the oils will make these sheets feel like heaven.
    9)Do a cross stitch sampler for a friend having a baby, getting married, or for a gift...it is amazing how much such detailed work takes your mind off of things, and cross stitch is easy and you can buy kits at the craft store.

    And last but not least:

    10) Have days where you are disconnected completely from any media or technology, if possible, so you can focus on what is right with the world and not what is wrong. Use these days to celebrate everything right with yourself and not what is wrong. On those days, surround yourself with beauty and positive sensory experiences - even if it is just something like walking through a bakery and enjoying the wonderful smells.

    There is much truth in the statement that time heals all wounds, and I hope my suggestions make that time just a little bit better.

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  41. Dear Law Momma,

    I hope you find all these little bits of advice nourishing. I can't begin to understand what you're going through, but here's two thoughts.

    1) If you must move back to the house you bought together, PAINT. Paint the whole house WHATEVER COLORS YOU WANT because you don't have to settle on a color you both like. Start with the bedroom.

    2) find a church with a good "me-and-the-kids" type program (basic idea = discussion group for single parents with childcare offered for children). I don't know what beliefs you ascribe to but most of the churches that run these things just want to serve you, so don't be afraid of attending if you're not "into" church.

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  42. Best advice I got when I went through divorce is to "love your kids more than you hate their father", it might seem like, duh, advice, but there are many, many times this will be harder than you think, but you can do it. When you are finally on the other side of this you will realize that as much as it sucks, it is an opportunity waiting to happen. You have a chance to change things about yourself, your future that you would not have had before. Take advantage of it! Good luck

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  43. Go check out The Happiness Project. Then, when the divorce dust settles, get yourself a hot male escort. Have him take you out on the town. Make sure it's someplace where people you know will see you. Let him treat you like the goddess you are. Not like porno lusty, but like he's totally smitten. When you're done making everyone think "wow! she's really doing great!" pay him, thank him, and send him on his way.

    Or not...heh.

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  44. looks like you're getting some fantastic advice here.. but I just wanted to say good for you on trying to keep things civil... it's not always easy.. or even possible... but it's definitely the best thing for the baby... I should know.. my ex & I share custody of my 9 yr old dd and I've had many other parents be surprised that we weren't together because my daughter is so "well balanced"... although she did have a rough patch last year when he got remarried yet again (not going to say how many times lol) over all him and I get along fine.. I've moved on (for 8 years now), he has repeatedly, but we still communicate and do what's best for our daughter, and she knows she is loved.. and that's the most important thing.. :)

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  45. I went through my divorce last April. My ex came home from Iraq in February and told me two weeks later he wanted a divorce. We have been mostly civil throughout the whole thing. It's hard to stay that way sometimes, but he was really great about letting me get it all out and yell when I needed to.

    The one thing that has helped me the most is to be on my own. For months after the divorce I was living with friends or family. It was really hard feeling like I was in someone else's space.

    Next, you need someone you can talk to. Someone you can talk to about anything, and they will be truthful! You don't need someone that's just going to fluff you up. I would suggest someone who's marriage/divorce is similar to yours. I have this really great friend that I email with every night. Some days it's not about anything. We just talk. But others, it's about his ex, or my ex, and their latest stupid move.

    Last thing to remember is there are going to be fantastic days where you feel like you can conquer anything. Then the next day you could feel like you could stay in bed for the rest of your life. Don't be afraid to stay in bed for the day here and there. Don't think you have to get up and do anything. But, you also can't stay that way. It's okay to have "moments", but don't let those moments rule the way you want to live your life.

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  46. Sorry, forgot this earlier. The one thing my mother did as soon as she could was redecorate her bedroom. New bedspread, and I think new wallpaper & paint. She knew he needed to stay present in our lives, but that was the one room she needed to purge him from ASAP. I think it helped her immensely.

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  47. This is what I did when my husband left for Kuwait and filed for divorce at the same time: I vented. I cried. I went to counselling and vented at the counselor about our marriage (that really helped me SEE). He was gone for a 9 month tour so I was really alone. I vented to the neighbors, to my friends. I asked for occasional help from in-laws and they were glad to do it. Oh, one thing I learned - ASK for help. It really does work and it works out great. I hired a cleaning service so I never had to clean. Neighbors helped out with snowblowing and mowing. I let all other house tasks fall to the side.

    With that all taken care of, I came home from work and played with the kids and fed them and watched TV with them on rainy days. I was in survival mode for two years (kids were 4 years, 9 months, and 9 months at the start) so don't be surprised if you are too for a long time.

    You live your life and you just go on. If you want to do something drastic, go for it. Line up babysitters so you can go shopping/out/library/etc. I spent my free time playing video games and reading books - but that is what I like to do. Re-find out what you like to do and do it. I didn't purge, I didn't paint (hate painting), I bought some R rated movies, I joined a twins group, I made new friends and discovered my own separate life.

    You can do this. You are strong.

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  48. Volunteer. Soup kitchen, animal shelter, wherever you feel comfortable. It's amazing how serving others can be healing. You'll make new friends who don't know you as ____'s wife. Try it once, even if you don't really feel like it. Many times I've just wanted to stay in bed & have a pity party, but have an obligation to do something for someone else, & have always been uplifted. You'll never regret it!

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  49. I've gone through this. I found that once I started doing things on my own, the weightloss just happened, the sleep came easier, and I felt a sense of pride because my son was relying on ME for everything. I worked full time, I was a full time student, and an full/over time Mama. Interestingly enough, the ex was upset about my transformation and wanted me back, but by this point I was so enveloped in my new found independence that I was very unwilling to give it up. They say hind sight is 20/20... I must've been looking through the back of my head because that wouldve been a huge mistake that I didn't make. My best advice- involve yourself in things that you HAVE to take your mind of him to do. School was it for me, I had to focus because I wanted my degree (something he said I would never get- p.s. im 6 months away from my B.S.)and of course as always hang with your boy. My ulitmate joy comes from knowing that he may have left me but I won. I hope that peace and understanding and strength comes swiftly for you. This is a sucka$$ situation that no one deserves to be in- however, recreation can be fun, and it will be liberating!
    Jennifer

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  50. Make a single friend who has been through it and can relate, turn that friendship into a singles group. You'll be amazed to hear yourself laughing soon.

    Exercise out the pain - running, swimming, learning to play racquetball with a friend who will laugh with you until you cry when you hit each other with the ball.

    Get good support so you can enjoy your son when you're not working: a housecleaner, a loving and reliable babysitter that will add to your son's life, groceries delivered even if it is more expensive.

    Go to a church with loud music so you can sing really loud and no one can hear you (churchs are about the only place that posts the words) and the words might do your soul some good. Plus there's free babysitting.

    Allow yourself to enjoy natural beauty - it gives hope that beauty will win. Sunsets do it for me. Treasure them.

    Though blogging is good, the whole world can read it. Journal or pray the whole truth.

    Go to counseling, they will help you move through the grief so you can come out on the other end.

    Went through it as a kid and watched my mom in her agony. The pain is about the worst in the world, these things helped us all. Now she's married to a wonderful man who loves her for just who she is . . . and so am I, for that matter. I never would have believed it possible.

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  51. One of the first things I did after my ex left me was gut the bedroom. Every piece of furniture, every piece of bedding we picked out together had to go. The decor and colors I went with was something I really loved but that he hated and never wanted to use, so I was finally getting MY way. It made it a little easier not having to see "our" bedroom every day-now it was MY bedroom.
    It does suck now and there are days that you just don't want to get out of bed, but I promise you that it will get better. It might just be a little bit at a time, but one day you will look back and be totally amazed at how strong of a person you are and how you made it through all of this. *Big hug!*
    PS I also have some totally awesome friends I can loan you...to this day I have no idea which one of them did this but I still love whoever it was for doing it (especially because I wanted to do it so badly but couldn't.) She saw him in the grocery store one day with the new girlfriend he left me for, turned her wedding around, and slapped him as hard across the face as she could.

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  52. I love the snowflakes. really really love the idea.

    Some kind of martial art. - focus, mediation, fitness, and you get to hit things/people

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  53. After 3 kids and 11 years of marriage, I walked out on my then-husband. It would take forever and my own blog to explain why I decided that walking out was a good idea, but it was the best idea I'd had in years ... as it turns out.

    I tried to play "nice" during the divorce proceedings, until nice ended up getting me stalked and raped by my almost-ex. Then I played not nice, right up until I (temporarily) lost custody of my 3 kids. (Temporary meant a little over 4 years, btw.)

    You see, being a stay-at-home mom meant that I was "unstable" because I hadn't held a job in 11 years, and because I'd moved several times to get away from my stalking/raping almost-ex. Yeah ... bullschmidt!

    I thought I was going to die. Literally.

    Then I dealt with it, my way...

    Step one: I got my tongue-pierced as a sign of independence. (Going on 10 years later, I've still got the tongue-ring in my mouth!) It still reminds me, everyday, that I don't have to do what everybody else tells me I should/could do ... I can make my own decisions, and it's okay if it's not perfect.

    Step two: I learned how to love again. And even though my kids weren't excited by the idea at the time, I got remarried. (They held onto the idea that Mommy and Daddy would get back together for a long time, until they saw how much happier Mommy was with Step-Daddy.)

    Step three: I learned how to drive a semi-truck. (I'm 5-foot, 2-inches tall and female!) And I spent the bulk of those 4 years co-driving the semi-truck that I co-own with my new hubby through 16 states.

    Step four: I adopted a couple of dogs. They became my substitute children, and they're spoiled. The kids love the dogs, too. ;)

    Step five: I made a cook-book for my kids, filled with all of their favorite "Mom Recipes" -- you know, the ones that don't really have recipes because everything is in your head. I slowed down and took the time to think about every step, every measurement (yeah, I had to measure it all out), and then I wrote it all down for them. That took longer than the 4 years because I was in the semi-truck for 12 days at a time, and only home for the 2 days when I had "visitation" with my kids.

    I still have the cook-book on my computer, and when they start their adult lives after college ... I'll print it and give it to them. A little piece of the ME I used to be, becoming the ME I am now. :)

    Step six: I never stopped fighting to get my kids back. I never stopped fighting all the BS motions and crap my ex filed against me, even when it landed me in jail for a couple of weekends because the "Good Old Boy Network" issued a bench warrant for me because the ex asked for it. There were no charges, and I was released on Monday morning on a signature bond ... just in time to make sure that I didn't get to spend the weekend with my kids. Yeah, that's the kind of @$$hole, I dealt with.

    When I won back custody, I made sure MY lawyer put it in the paperwork that visitation would re-start when HE (the ex) called me to set it up. Going on 4 years later, he hasn't called and two of my kids are legally adults now. The youngest is 16, and doesn't miss his dad or the BS his dad put him through. In fact, he doesn't want to even TALK to his dad.

    Life goes on. You will survive. You will thrive. And you'll look back on this time, if not fondly ... at least without so much pain, hurt and regret. One day at a time, Sister. :)

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  54. Help This Woman: Divorce Sucks Monkey Balls , great post , thanks for it , I was searching it , Thanks michiganfamilyattorneys.com
    Michigan Custody

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  55. Hi! Divorced recently and wrote a book. Would love your feedback!
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00UGCAMWI/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1426082325&sr=8-1&keywords=So+I+Married+A+Douchebag

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi! Recently divorced and wrote a book! Would love your feedback!
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00UGCAMWI/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1426082325&sr=8-1&keywords=So+I+Married+A+Douchebag

    ReplyDelete

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