How My Divorce Turned Me Into The Independent Woman I Am Today

When I first met my ex-husband, I was wrapping up a period in which I saw an amazing therapist. I was working on myself and trying to overcome certain things and doing a great job, but still had a ways to go. But hey—each journey begins with one step, right?

I say that I had a ways to go because when I met my ex-husband, I really believed that maybe I wasn’t quite good enough yet and that the relationship was proof that I was indeed, good enough. If you don’t know this, a healthy relationship begins with two people who already know they are worthy of love, and not needing a relationship to “confirm” this belief. Unfortunately, my ex used this to his advantage numerous times, trying to remind me how basically, I wasn’t all that great or smart and that I had “so many problems,” unlike him, who was apparently, untouchable from problems that the rest of the population had. Empathy was not his strong suit.

This isn’t to say that he never said good things about me and this isn’t to say I was the perfect wife. I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes of course like anyone, but that narrative was I was slightly lesser than and needed his help. Who wrote the narrative? Was it me? Him? Both of us?

Read More: How My Divorce Turned Me Into The Independent Woman I Am Today 

Stronger,

Laura

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How My Friendships Feed Me (Literally & Emotionally) After Divorce

While many people internally panic about the idea of being alone after divorce, one of the few anecdotes to “divorce” depression is not another partner, but the people you call your friends. In fact, for a lot of people, divorce can really fracture friendships because couples may have shared a lot of mutual friends, leaving people to more often than not, pick sides over who they are going to align with, even if in truth they really like both spouses a lot. In my case, my ex and I had some mutual friends that had to navigate new friendships with us after divorce, but most of my close friends were mine solely. The larger issue for us was that many people know us both since we went to high school in the same town.
So, if you’re not as fortunate as I was to have a tight crew already, you can be left almost friendless after divorce. Even if you’ve got a group of friends like I did, when I first separated from my ex, I really wanted to meet other people who were either divorced or on the journey like myself. It helps to have that support group. Over time, I met more single parents like myself, which made me feel less alone.

Read More: How My Friendships Feed Me (Literally & Emotionally) After Divorce

Get By With a Little Help From My Friends,

Laura

7 Things You Need After Divorce More Than You Even Realize

There are many things you need to make it through a divorce, most of which is courage and tenacity. The process can be long and hellish if you’re unlucky, quick and easy if you’re fortunate. In any event, after a divorce no matter how good or bad the divorce is, there are some things you need after divorce more than you even realize. The chances are really that you’ll realize you need these things when you’re in the middle of a crisis or low moment, but if you know ahead of time, you’ll be better off.

1 – Patience

Patience is a virtue of which I lack. But let me tell you, getting a divorce certainly beat the importance of patience into my bones.

More than you know it, you’ll need patience.

Patience to navigate life afterwards, from finances to dating and new relationships.

Patience for your kids.

Patience for all the things that a divorce can bring.

2 – Ability to Let Things Go

Ouch, here’s another thing I struggle with.

You can’t make your ex be a good person. You can’t make money fall from the sky. You can’t make love happen when you want it to.

There are some things I can walk away from, and others I struggle to.

If this is you, divorce is going to require you to learn how to do this, asap. Really, life after divorce requires that you let go of things and people and conceptions, and quickly.

3 – Acceptance of the Unknown

You thought your marriage was going to be forever. News flash, it’s over.

Pretty jarring, eh? Yes, it is. Your fairy tale took a sharp turn to the right and suddenly, it’s a tragic-comedy or just a drama series.

Read More: 7 Things You Need After Divorce More Than You Even Realize

Strength & Peace,

Laura

 

8 Serious Signs You Are Self-Sabotaging Your Love Life

You’re divorced and now you’re ready to meet the right one.

Ok, got it! So many of us are looking for love, part deux.

But are you putting your best self forward? Or are you sabotaging romance before a spark can set aflame?

It’s not unusual for people to go out into the world bitter, afraid and slightly jaded after a divorce or any major breakup really. The key is really going out there and meeting people when you are truly your best self. Here are 8 serious signs you are sabotaging your love life all on your own.

1) A Billion Things on the Checklist

Before you’ve even met the person, you’ve got a billion things on the checklist someone needs to meet or you won’t consider him or her.

If your list of criteria is so stringent it is enviable to college application requirements, you’re not ready.

Yes—you should have deal breakers in your list.

Yes—you shouldn’t settle.

But no, it shouldn’t require jumping through hoops to be with you.

2) A Great Big Dump

Are you joining dates for a drink, only to prattle on about your ex or how jaded or torn you are about love and relationships?

You’re not ready. You’re a big hot mess of negativity and sorry, no one wants that.

No one wants to date your sad stories. A potential partner wants to date you—the available loving, you. Sure, you come with baggage like everyone does, but if your baggage arrives at the date before your personality can…you are not ready!

Read More: 8 Serious Signs You Are Self-Sabotaging Your Love Life 

Tellin’ Y’all It’s Sabotage…

Laura

6 Things That Keep You From Moving On

Are you separated? Newly-divorced? Struggling to find some happiness and a life of peace and joy? There are certain things that will hold you back from having the life you want. Some of these things you may not even realize are impacting you, whereas others may be more obvious.

If you’re not as happy as you hoped you would be, here are some potential things keeping you down and preventing your progress.

1. NOT FINALIZING YOUR DIVORCE

Stalling your divorce is not going to help you. Hanging onto the marriage and drawing out the separation is only going to impede your progress. Of course, you don’t want to rush a divorce agreement, but stalling or thinking that making it legal doesn’t matter, is a bad move.

It will keep you from cutting ties and starting afresh.

Read More: 6 Things That Keep You From Moving On 

Move On, Friend,

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

How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

It is very hard to stare down financial hardships and see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless you make a plan. Truly, having no financial plan in general, is dangerous. Even if you are scraping by for now and can’t be strategic, you can take these financial challenges you are dealing with, and turn them into life goals that will help serve you. Here are a few ways you can turn your financial hardships into something fruitful!

CREDIT ISSUES

Do you have a bad credit score or maybe a lot of credit debt? This is a common issue after divorce. Perhaps your ex racked up debt or you racked up some yourself. Whatever the case is, take credit issues as a journey towards smarter spending.
Some tips I have learned from the advisors I met through Savvy Ladies:

Read More: How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

Challenge is On!

Laura

How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

First things, first: I am not so stubborn that if my arm is about to fall off, I won’t ask for help. I will ask for help…with certain things. Certain things are easier for me to ask than others, but overall, I find it hard to ask for something that I really need from people I care about.

Asking an employer or someone I hired to do something I can do. But asking people within my life and community for help is much harder. For example, there were quite a few times I probably should have gone to the food bank instead of using limited funds for food. Pride kept me from going…and also, I didn’t want people to know in my small town that I was not doing so well. I also felt my ex would be more punitive if he knew.
So, there were logical reasons to resist, but there were also damn good reasons I should have gone to the food bank. Either way, we ate and no one went hungry…but still, I noted my pride.

Applying for state health care was also something I truly abhorred. I felt terrible. How could this happen to me? Well, it did. Life happened. Medical bills. Ex fiascos. Lawyers. Childcare. Caring for my daughter. Unemployment stints.

Life happens. And when it happens to the best of us as it all does, you must know how to ask for help. Period.

Asking for help made me stronger because…

Read More: How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

Stronger,

Laura

15 Things About Divorce Only Divorced People Will Understand

When you’ve been through the trenches, you know how the war goes. That’s exactly how it is when you’ve been through a divorce. You’ve lived to tell the tale. You’ve earned the battle scars . . . and the right to heal. Sure, divorce is more common today, and people who are married or single can understand the pains and gains of such a massive split, but they don’t really understand it the way someone who is divorced does. When you’ve actually watched your marriage — that former fairy tale you used to dream about — crumble, it’s life changing on so many levels. It can feel isolating and lonely, but there truly is a whole tribe of people who know exactly how you feel. Keep reading for 20 relatable things only divorced people will get.

1. You Feel Happy About Something So Devastating

Only people who have been divorced understand how happy you can be about something that is also — for you and for many other people — devastating.

Read More: 15 Things About Divorce Only Divorced People Will Understand

I Get “It,”

Laura