6 Lessons Learned on My Three-Year Divorce Anniversary

Very shortly, it will be 3 years since my divorce date and over 5 years since I have been separated from my ex-husband. As it gets close to that date each year which also is right next to our wedding anniversary ironically, I always reflect on the trials, wins, and growth I’ve made in that time. In some ways, I always find myself a bit short of where I want to be, and in other ways, I always find that I’ve surpassed my expectations. Now that it’s almost three years out, here’s what I’ve learned, where I’ve been, and where I’m headed.

1. DOING THE RIGHT THING ALWAYS PAYS OFF

There were many times when it came to my ex or things involving him where friends would say I was “too nice” or going out of my way.
This isn’t to say that I always did the right thing each time, but that overall, I usually tried to do the right thing.

Read More: 6 Lessons Learned on My Three-Year Divorce Anniversary

Growing,

Laura

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Real Stories of Love, After Divorce

The words “love” + “divorce” aren’t usually paired together. In fact, after a divorce most people find themselves wondering if perhaps, love is just a scam. Of course it’s not, but it’s normal to feel a bit weary or jaded, as long as you don’t let those feelings linger. After all, if you believe it, you’ll receive it— meaning that if you have a bad attitude about love, you’re most likely apt to attract negative situations and people. Believing is part and parcel of finding love … you just need a little blind faith. Hopefully not too blind, or you might choose the wrong person again.

With Valentine’s Day here, you might be licking a few salty wounds or feeling lonely. It is a Hallmark holiday in many ways, but if you’re a romantic like me, it’s normal to want to have someone to enjoy it with. So, as my present to all those wondering when cupid will strike, here are a few love stories after divorce to inspire you to have faith, be patient and believe.

You Say He’s Just a Friend

Jackie, creator and Editor-in-chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, had been divorced for 11 years and her ex had been remarried for quite some time when she ended up in a relationship that lasted for 6 years.

“It was always comfortable, but I felt like I wasn’t ready to get married again and neither did my boyfriend–which made things easy,” she says.

However, the tides turned when when boyfriend finally wanted to settle down. That’s when the issues started. After a few “make up’s and break up’s” as I call them, they finally ended it.

Read More: Real Stories of Love, After Divorce

Believe,

Laura

6 Bad Attitudes That Keep You From Finalizing Your Divorce

One of the biggest themes I see in the divorce groups I frequent as well as moderate is the grey zone of separation. So there you are. You’re separated. Maybe you’ve been separated for a few months or maybe, a few years. You figure that as long as you’re separated, it’s done and finalizing the whole deal…doesn’t really matter.

Wrong.

That’s what you have told yourself, at least. I’ve watched, counseled, listened and read person after person struggle with cutting the cord for good. Almost everyone (including my former self!) has had excuse after excuse to delay the process.

When usually, the reality is that you’re harboring some bad or negative attitudes that are holding you back from making it official. It could even be fear of what’s to come. The hope of reconciliation. The dread of dealing with the legalities.

From separation to the final court date, it took about two years for my ex and I to make our divorce official. And that, my friends, was too long. Too long for both of us, I am sure, but now at least it’s been done for a few years now.

Read More: 6 Bad Attitudes That Keep You From Finalizing Your Divorce

Move Ahead,

Laura

5 Ways Divorce Changed My Attitude About Love for the Better

After my divorce, I wanted to be better, not bitter. Loved, not lonely. Positive, not prattling on about how things didn’t turn out for me. Whining is not sexy and after age six, it’s downright dreadful, to be honest. Even before age six, but I like to try to give kids a benefit of the doubt until kindergarten. Wink.

I knew I didn’t want to be that angry chick at the bar pissing and moaning about her ex-husband.

What Motivated Me?

A million things, but one day, a girlfriend of mine and I went to a bar by the shore for a drink. It was a beautiful summer night, and a lecherous drunk dude kept bothering me. When he asked me out, I—
surprise—said no, and he proceeded to curse me out. Thank god the bartender told him to back the heck off. Once drunk dude quit yelling at me, he went on to talk about his “whore ex-wife.”

That was not going to be me I thought, in the middle of finalizing my divorce.

Read More: 5 Ways Divorce Changed My Attitude About Love for the Better

Believe,

Laura

The Top 6 Things I Learned From My Failed Marriage

People don’t walk down the aisle expecting to end up going separate ways. If they did, that would be clinically insane. With that said, sometimes things don’t go the way we planned or hoped, and that goes for marriage. We could have a billion good intentions and truly believe in our heart of hearts that this marriage will work out and then … it doesn’t.

The vows have been said. Families have been made. Bonds have been created.

And broken. And frayed. And destroyed.

What happens when it doesn’t work out? What happens when the love is gone and you have to start over?

You live. You learn. You move on. You grow. You love again—and often, even more than you did before.

That may be hard to believe if you’re in the middle of watching your marriage disintegrate, but it is so true! Here are the top six things I learned from my failed marriage, and they have served me all for the better.

Read More: The Top 6 Things I Learned From My Failed Marriage

Always Learning,

Laura

4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Our children are bystanders in the divorce process. Theyoverave no control in the matter and can often just sit or stand by and watch as their families change, drastically. Depending on the age of the child and the child’s individual personality, some kids will roll with divorce more easily than others. Not to mention, a child will fare better and come out happy despite divorce if the two parents are both active parents who for the most part, get along. This doesn’t mean you and your former spouse have to be “BFF’s,” but that the more you get along, the easier it is in general.

Keeping this in mind that our children are bystanders and the “audience” of the whole divorce debacle, how can we minimize the negative impacts a divorce can bring? Because our kids aren’t part of a passive audience: the divorce changes their lives in many ways.

Whether you’re separating, newly divorced or an old seasoned “pro” at divorce, keep in mind these 4 perspectives when parenting children after divorce.

Read More: 4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Support Them,

Laura

 

6 Thoughts You Will Have About Your Ex and Damnit, It’s Ok

If we really loved our exes so much, we would still be with them. You don’t divorce someone because that person is the love of your life. Of course, you can still have plenty of positive thoughts about your ex-spouse after a divorce, but if you have a few bad ones, well … that’s not unusual, and you won’t go to hell.
Unless of course, you treat the person like garbage. That’s a whole other story.
But if you’ve ever had these thoughts about your ex, you’re in good company with many others who have felt the same way. Have a laugh and also, take heed of the positive spin I’ll give on all of those negative feelings. If you can’t grow from this experience, then what was the point of divorcing the person?

  1. HOW DID MY EX FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO FALL FOR HIS/HER SH*T?

     

    Yup, this isn’t an unusual thought to have. But before you go crazy wondering, keep a few things in mind:

    Read More: 6 Thoughts You Will Have About Your Ex and Damnit, It’s Ok

 

You’re Human,

Laura

7 Bad Habits to Ditch From Your Marriage For a Happier Life

Whether you realize it or not, you formulated bad habits during your broken marriage that need to be left behind. We’ve all seen it: people get divorced or break up, and they carry that heavy baggage with them, bringing along a boatload of issues to the next relationship. We can’t completely ignore the fact that our experiences do shape us, but we can let go of certain bad behaviors and habits from our past in order to transition to a healthier future.

If you’ve dusted yourself off after your divorce and want to have a happier future, here are some bad habits to ditch from here on out.

  1. BELIEVING YOU ARE A VICTIM

     

    Yes, your ex could have been abusive or manipulative. Yes, your ex may have lied and had an affair. These are both horrible things, and difficult to recover from.

    However, you are not a victim. You got out of the situation and while you may still have to deal with this person, you need to view yourself as empowered and not a victim. You need to see yourself as having options and being in charge of your destiny. You chose to marry the wrong person. Accept this, and move on knowing you will choose better the next time.

Read More: 7 Bad Habits to Ditch From Your Marriage For a Happier Life

Say Buh-Bye, Bad Habits,

Laura

8 Signs You’ve Healed After Your Broken Marriage

Healing from a broken marriage requires time, love and patience — to a different degree for each individual. How much time, love and patience you’ll need with yourself to heal really depends on a few things, like:

  • How positive your outlook is
  • How your mental health is to start, before the divorce process, as mental health issues may play into your healing
  • How strong your support network is
  • How self-aware you are of your own role in your marriage’s demise, whether it was picking a bad abusive partner, making bad choices on your end, or a mix of things
  • How committed you are to having a better life after divorce
  • How much change you need to make to finalize the divorce (housing, money, etc.)

 

No matter whether the cards are stacked for you or against you though, you can move on and heal from your broken marriage. It may seem hard to put the past behind you, but you have to. You have to leave it where it belongs…in the past. It can’t be changed, reversed or altered, so accepting what is and trying to decide what will be next is vital to your happiness. Your future is bright and your glass is always half-full!

 

Here are 8 signs you’ve healed past your broken marriage:

  1. YOU WANT SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE WITHOUT FEAR HE/SHE WILL BE A REPEAT

     

    You’re not sitting around fearful that the next person will just be like your “insert bad word” ex spouse. Sure, you may be afraid to be vulnerable and get hurt, but the fear is not so paralyzing that you’re going to A: self-sabotage something with a great new partner or B: run from any commitment. You know you could get hurt and you’re scared, but not so scared that you’re about to stay home alone every Saturday night to protect yourself from getting hurt.

Read More: 8 Signs You’ve Healed After Your Broken Marriage

Feeling Good,

Laura

When Life Gives You Lemons, Tell Life F U And Laugh

Life loves to hand out lemons. Whether you’re rich or poor, young or old, male or female or whatever you choose to identify as, I can guarantee you that life will send some lemons your way, for sure.

And let’s be real: when you’ve gone through a divorce you sort of feel as if you took the whole friggin’ lemon in your mouth and drank sour juice for months on end. Even in the best of divorce situations, we’ve all had a bit of sour taste in our mouth and it’s easy to be depressed and discouraged with puckered lips to boot.

With a show of hands, how many of you have simply felt like you couldn’t handle another thing life handed you? How many of you have felt like it’s never going to get better? Like life is raining little tiny sh*t balls all over you? Feeling like you’re walking around the corner, getting slimed by your worst enemies every day?

Read More: When Life Gives You Lemons, Tell Life F U And Laugh

Adjust Your Crown & Keep Walking,

Laura