You Can’t Keep Up With Your Married Friends’ Budgets After Divorce–& That’s Ok!

Although there are exceptions to every rule, many of us feel a financial lifestyle shift after divorce. This impact can be lessened if you end up getting good financial support from an ex or, if you have family who helps support you. But overall, most people have to make financial adjustments. This may mean that you won’t be able to spend like you used to on everything from “must-have’s” to “want-to have’s.” This can be extremely frustrating and hard to adjust to, but the reality is being happy is more important than having a certain lifestyle. As long as you have a roof over your head and are healthy … that’s more than many people have.

If you beat yourself up over these financial changes, it can really bring you down. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of coming up empty-handed, while you think others are doing great and able to give their kids the world. The operative word being “think,” as you really don’t know how other people live, and what they go through. And no matter what, you’ll never measure up by comparing yourself to a two-income family and by doing so, you will only make yourself feel worse. There are ways, however, to deal with these financial stresses and comparisons between your friends and yourself. Read on – and hang on because it always gets better.

Read More: You Can’t Keep Up With Your Married Friends’ Budgets After Divorce–& That’s Ok!

In the Balance,

Laura

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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

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

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

5 Ways Giving Up Can Be A Sign of Strength

One of the first things we tell our children is to “not give up!” So, we hold the same value for ourselves: giving up is a sign of weakness and persisting is a sign of strength and character.

Overall that is a true statement: Persisting and believing in our dreams and goals are positive ways to be! However, sometimes persisting on and on is actually a bad thing. Sometimes, giving up is a sign of strength and an acknowledgment that something you are doing or “persisting at” is not healthy or helpful for you. Throwing in the towel can require more strength sometimes, than to keep on the same path that you’ve been treading forever.

  1. GIVING UP REQUIRES THE STRENGTH WHEN YOU KNOW THE UNRAVELING WON’T BE EASY

     

    Maybe it’s getting a divorce. Maybe it’s leaving your job and finding something new. Maybe it’s cutting off a bad familial relationship. Whatever the case, sometimes giving up is harder and requires more mental strength simply because we know that while giving up the situation is best for us, it will be a tough path to get to where we need to be. For example, with divorce, we know the end result is best for us and our children, but just knowing how tough the process can be getting to that happy new place, is hard to face. So, when you are giving up on something that perhaps you once put a lot of effort and love into, like a marriage, remind yourself that you are not weak: giving up requires strength.

Read More: 5 Ways Giving Up Can Be A Sign of Strength

Let go,

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

8 Signs You’re Limiting Yourself After Divorce & How to Stop It

You’ve gotten the divorce and made it this far, but you’re not really happy. It’s as if you’ve got one huge dark cloud over you and you can’t seem to escape it. Mostly, because you seem to keep getting in your own way. Your life was supposed to evolve and get better, which is why you got a divorce in the first place, but it’s as if you’re stuck. The real issue is you are limiting yourself and it’s keeping you from fulfilling your full potential, as well as being happy. Here are 8 signs you’re limiting yourself after divorce.

1) You Act as if the Divorce Happened Yesterday

Even if the divorce was a year ago or more, you’re acting still as if it happened yesterday. You’re mourning. Depressed. Angry. You can’t seem to get past the whole drama of the marriage, even though you say you’ve put it behind you.

You haven’t! It’s the shadow that follows you and it limits your potential.

2) You Have a Million Excuses for Everything

When someone asks you when you’ll start dating, exercising, seeking a raise, or doing anything remotely productive, you’ve got an excuse for it.

It’s never the right “time” you say.

You don’t have enough time, encouragement, money, energy etc.

The list of excuses is Old Testament long. Biblical.

Really, you are the biggest problem you’ve got and you hold yourself back.

Read More: 8 Signs You’re Limiting Yourself After Divorce & How to Stop It
Excuses, Excuses,

Laura

7 Ways to Create New Holiday Traditions After Divorce

Okay, so you’re divorced and now you’ve got to figure out the holidays…on your own or with the kids. It can take adjusting. Missing your ex (or maybe not!). Missing your ex’s family unless you still see them…or also, maybe not. Sharing your kids. Being alone. Less money. Being single.

It’s not surprising if you’re already feeling a little grinchy and not so spirited. But—and here is the challenge—even if you don’t have your kids…they’re watching you before they walk off to the other parent’s home. So you’ve got to shake off the holiday blues and make different memories and traditions that they will love, and so will you.

Or in other words, your divorce is not a death sentence. It just means some adjustments have to be made for you to find a new happy normal! Here are some holly jolly ways to create new traditions at the holidays after divorce.

Read More: 7 Ways to Create New Holiday Traditions After Divorce

Jolly, Jolly,

Laura