Tag Archives: divorce

I Took Back My Name

I stepped away from my Father’s name at age 19 with the assumption I would never go back. I took my husbands and proudly  wore it like a badge of honor. Then things went south and there I was with a daily reminder of things gone wrong attached to me like a curse. I thought keeping it was right for my children, gave them a little bit of normalcy of everyone having the same last name, but then I chose to remarry. Throwing a curveball into best laid plans, my new husband wanted me to have his name versus my ex and it made sense at the time. Here I was making the choice to change it again and stray further and further away from my born name. But then like some things do things went sour and here I was with the choice to keep his name or change it.

So I changed it

I took back the innocent, carefree young girl I was. I decided to go back to the beginning and start fresh. I wanted to go back to a time with I had it all figured out and knew what I wanted out of this life. I wanted to simplify and detox my life and I started with my last name. It felt amazing to hold my new ID with my reclaimed identity and the first thing I did was order checks with my new address and reclaimed last name. I did it. I started fresh and I had the checks to prove it! For the first time in a long time I felt whole, like I had it together, like I was me again.

Getting two divorces by age 27 isn’t what I had in mind for my life, but life throws you curveballs and you have to have small victories to get past the big stuff and reclaiming my last name was one of the small victories 2019 brought me. I got my fresh start, I got a chance to start new again in this life and many people don’t get that.  I am proud to rock my dads namesake and I don’t plan on changing it again. I’ll die with my Daddy’s last name.

Serendipity

A Married Stay At Home Mom To A Working Single Mom

I never would’ve thought I’d be a single working mom if you’d asked me ten years ago. When I got married at the age 28, I thought I’d almost ridden out my “troubling 20’s” and was proud of myself for waiting until I was almost 30 to get married. I thought I had life pretty much figured out; I’d get married to this wonderful man, (13 years my senior), and he would make me happy……….boy was I wrong! 

We got married on Friday, October 13th, in the year 2000 on a cliff in Maui, Hawaii. Right as my dad started to walk me down the aisle, a gray storm cloud was overhead, and it started to drizzle rain. The preacher assured me that the rain meant we’d be fertile. Ironically, we went through IVF to conceive our twin girls in 2002! We made the decision that I would be a stay at home mom. It was a dream come true, or so I thought. 

In April 2003, my mother died after battling cancer since my wedding in 2000. I sank into a deep, dark hole of depression. We welcomed our third daughter on February 23, 2005. I had three beautiful daughters that I was so fortunate to get to stay home with, right? Wrong! With nowhere to be if I didn’t want to, I felt I had no purpose in life other than to care for my children. My marriage began to suffer around 8 years in. In hindsight though, it was never going to survive. Our marriage ended in 2012. 

I had gone back to work teaching preschool 16 hours a week, but I had no benefits and was making very little pay. My ex husband and I couldn’t afford to each buy a home so we lived together post divorce for about 4 months. I know it sounds crazy, but we had to do what we had to do. It was not a healthy thing to do, that is for sure. 

So here I was, a well educated woman with a college degree, but couldn’t find a job to save my life. Being out of the workforce for so many years left me unmarketable. I managed to get a job as a paraprofessional in the school system where I had benefits, but still very low income. I bought my own home as well. With my job plus child support, we were barely getting by, but we were making it!!!! I have since gotten a better paying job, but then got served papers for a modification of child support. Ugh.

Although I have a decent job, it’s not what I had in mind as far as fulfillment goes. I go through the motions, but still have a goal of doing more meaningful work.  I have a passion for helping single women, hence me writing this blog to The Working Single Mom. 

Single moms, you ROCK! 

Karen

Learning To Navigate The Steps

When I say steps, I don’t mean the kind you walk up, though this is an uphill climb too. I mean the kind that result from a new marriage. 

My kids gained a step-mother  in May of this year. They also gained a step-sister who lives with them when they are with their father and his new family, which is 50 percent of the time. 

I will not lie and tell you that this was hard for my children in the beginning, it was hard for me. It was hard for me because I was jealous. It was hard to watch him move on. It was hard because where my ex and I had communicated well before, even to the point that you could say we were friends, the communication was cut off. On their side of things, I could not definitively tell you the motivation for that. However, I will concede that it must be difficult being a new spouse and forming a new family when there are extra catalysts for discord. 

I wanted to be friends with my ex and his new wife and if we could not be that, I wanted to at least be friendly. This was never allowed. It was seen as an attack on their relationship when I bought a Father’s Day present for my children to give their father. Virtually every time I contacted them I got knots in my stomach because I knew it would be met with nastiness or ignored completely. It was painfully obvious that he was not able (allowed or otherwise) to respond to simple text messages about the children, without consulting her first. I understand being partners very well, and I think if the roles were reversed I would tell my husband about it, but I would not ask what I was allowed to say or do. The thought of asking permission makes my skin crawl. Though trying to see things through my partner’s eyes does not.

I have struggled and agonized over how to handle this situation. I ask myself over and over when contacting them if it is 100% necessary. I ask myself what is in the best interest of my children. I have gone so far as to consider going back to court to attempt to gain primary custody, though that is never what I wanted. I want my children to have a relationship with their father, a great one even. What I do not want is for them to have to play telephone between their father and me. That is not fair to them. It is not fair to them for people to not act like adults. My ex or myself. 

I am still learning. I am dodging minefields some days and not giving it another thought on others. But, the truth of the matter is that this is a real, raw, and nitty gritty part of divorce. I will keep doing what I feel is in the best interest of my children, and I will take it a day at a time. I will swallow my feelings and my pride to be what they need. And I hope if I am met with the situation my ex is in, I am stronger for my kids than he has been.

Stronger Than Yesterday, 

Alice

Tug Of War With Friends During Divorce

You have lived the last 10 or so years with the same group of friends.. you have spent numerous girls weekends, movie nights, and couple vacations together.. and then divorce hits and it seems like it all vanishes.. the people you thought would be your support have vanished…  The ones you spent sharing your last 10 years with are gone. 

No one can prepare themselves for the process of divorce. As much as you want to prepare, you can not until you are going through it.  And when it’s time to tell your friends about your divorce, you hope they will continue to stick with you. In many cases, they may not.  They may not understand your decision or it may break up the couple dates..or adult vacations…or cabin weekends. They might leave you when you probably needed them the most.  And sometimes it could be for the most selfish reasons. 

Maybe they had questions and you just couldn’t answer them. Maybe they feel hurt because you didn’t prepare them for your divorce. Maybe they continued to ask you to do girls night, but you didn’t feel comfortable attending anymore…

My neighbor unfriended me due to my divorce because I was moving out of the neighborhood and I wasn’t going to live next to her anymore.  That’s the honest truth. And those are the friends that you just let go…. The ones that do can not show you any support and they put their own selfishness ahead of your decisions.  

You may ask yourself over and over again what happened…How can this decision about your life make your friends disappear… the truth is many times your friends do not know what to do to help you or make it better for you.  They might not know how to support you. Other times, they might not agree with your decision and as much as you want them too, they just can’t. They do not understand what you are going through in your life. They have a hard time relating to what you are experiencing.  Or they might not want this to disrupt their life…. They want the friendship to remain the same. As the friend, you might need to forgive many times during their divorce process due to the amount of stress or emotion that they are experiencing.   

And the other side is.. your friends may feel hurt because you couldn’t talk to them about your divorce. Or they do not know how to talk to you anymore. They feel that they can not relate. Or they continue to ask you to join them for girls night, but you just couldn’t do it.  

Many times through my divorce,  I did not want to talk about anything relating to my divorce.  As the friend of someone going through a divorce, I would say just be there for them.  They might not even know what they want. Their life is changing and it is a scary process.  You do not need to agree with them, but just listen to them and be a great support for them. They might distance themselves because they are working through a lot of emotions and changes. Give them time and space, if they ask for it.  Just be patient. 

I have made my circle tighter. I gave my time to the friends that stuck with me, when at times I was probably not the most fun to be around The ones that supported me by doing anything, a walk, a drink, a movie, a good cry, or a just a laugh.. the ones that listened to my endless rants.  The ones that just asked if I needed anything and when I said I didn’t’, they still showed up. The ones that I trusted.  

And in the end, there might need to be forgiveness on both sides,  and maybe some friendships will diminish, and maybe new friendships will start to grow…

 

Snarky 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

The countdown til the guy in the red suit is officially arrives is on.  It also means I must start planning on how I will spend my Christmas alone. I am working. As much as I can. It means tense emails and texts about where my daughter will be and with who.

Some of which has been dictated by a  judge and lawyers who don’t know us.

Some of the decisions I have caved to, to avoid a fight with my daughter’s Dad.

After almost nine years of this- at my daughter’s Grandpa’s urging I asked G what she wanted.

She is twelve. I feel like in the midst of thinking I was doing the right thing I did a lot of the wrong things over the years. She missed out. I should have fought harder for her to have more of a Christmas, instead of being so afraid of her Dad.

So … like I said, I asked her.

My girl is a diplomat. I think a lot of kids of divorced parents are. She insisted she hasn’t felt slighted, she enjoys Christmas but she has not waffled from what she wants either.

This year she wants Christmas Day at both our houses. I know I can manage it, but her Dad will put up a fight. He will have dates and times and examples. He will make threats. He will make this hard on me.

I will take it for my kiddo, and stand my ground. This time of year isn’t about me.

It’s about her. Like it is everyday all year long.

When I told her I would figure it out for her because it’s what she wanted, she smiled and grabbed my hand. Said” thanks Mom”, and gave me her twelve year old smirky smile that I live for.

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

Being a Mom is tough. Being a Mom during the holidays can be downright bananas. It’s hard. But at the end of the day we have these amazing incredible humans who love us.

I am wishing you all so much joy and happiness over the next few weeks and into the next year.

<3 Caprise

Sometimes The Grass Is Greener

Lately I have heard several people say that “the grass isn’t always greener.” Some have implied that it is never greener, in fact. I know plenty of instances when this is true. We all know the anecdotes or have personal friends who have been involved in an affair. Affairs are most often great examples of this. Most who break up a marriage or long term relationship to be with someone else end up regretting the decision, or at the very least the way it came about. This is not at all to negate the byproduct relationship, maybe it is awesome, but sometimes the factors involved in breaking up the first relationship overshadow the love in the second. Examples of this are issues with children. They could be resentment, acting out, angst in general, astronomical child support, and honestly plain old logistics. If there are no kids involved it could just be alimony, separation of monetary and physical possessions, internal wounds on all three sides, and distrust and jealousy in the new relationship because of how it came about. With all of those things taken into account, it certainly does not sound greener. And when applied to these circumstances, I would argue that at least eighty percent of relationships broken up by a third party meet the criteria of the grass not being greener.

However, my experience is different. When I chose to end my 16 year marriage (17 by the time the divorce was final), it was not for a third party. It was to ensure there never was a third party. It was so that I would not be a cheater. It was so that I could avoid all of the things listed above. My thought process that I would not have to deal with some of those things was flawed, but I digress.

My marriage did not break up because we “fell out of love.” I firmly do not believe that to be a reason for divorce. If you do, I am not trying to offend, but that is not part of my belief system. I believe in the concept of limerence as outlined by Dorothy Tennov in 1979. Limerence can be summed up as the feeling of being “in love.” She proposes that the longest shelf life of limerence in people who have requited cohabitational love is two years. That is the maximum. I believe that. I also believe Joanne Woodward, who by the way was married to Paul Newman (who was smoking hot), her quote was, “Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” Another line from one of my favorite underrated movies, which coincidentally covers this same topic is from The Story of Us, it is spoken by Rob Reiner’s character, “Love is just lust in disguise, and lust fades, so you damn well better be with someone who can stand you.” I say all that to say, I was once possibly “in love” with my ex-husband. That feeling faded, and we were never able to get it back, but it was well within the beginning of our marriage, and was not at all the cause of our divorce.

People confuse limerence with actual love. I know I have a time or twelve. However, they are completely different things. What we see in fairy tales and romance novels, that is limerence. What we see in nursing homes or nurseries, that is love. This will sound cheesy, but the story The Notebook is a good example of both. When they were kids, they experienced limerence. When Noah built that house for Allie, it was arguably a work of love. There is some gray area about forbidden love when it comes to limerence, meaning it can elongate it. But when he returned to the nursing home every day to read their story to her over and over again, he was being self sacrificing, showing real love and devotion.

I cared for my ex. I truly did, but it was not limerence and it was not self sacrificing love. I did not love him with a fraction of what I felt for my children. I cared for him, but we were not partners. Love really had nothing to do with why our marriage ended. What my marriage had was a fundamental incompatibility that neither of us knew we had at the beginning.

We got married young. I had just turned nineteen. We had dated for exactly four months, lived together for probably three. As you sit there and shake your head, read that again, I was nineteen, enough said. And listen, if you are reading this and you got married young and you have made it work, I commend that. But you either put in some hellacious work, or you were very compatible. At that point in my life all I wanted was a return to the family life I left when I left home at seventeen. Psychologically, I was probably not ready to leave home at that point. I point that out just to say that I was not in a place I should have been making lifelong decisions. People tried to talk me out of it. Of course they did, as they should have. I used to tell people that your mindset when you got married was not the problem, but rather it was your mindset when you decided to get divorced that was the problem. That statement is not categorically untrue, but it is a very blanket statement and it shows my age in that it was very black and white. It is true that there are some things we enjoyed in common, unfortunately the things we did not share outweighed those.

When I made the decision to end my marriage, I felt like a failure. I know that is a sentiment many of you know well. I had such overwhelming guilt. It did not help that I was the only one who wanted the divorce. I found myself on the floor crying and praying so many times. The irony is that inside my marriage I never cried. I never cried though I was deeply wounded, I just did not realize it. The pain manifested in other ways. I was truly a failure then, honestly. The failing did not happen in the leaving.

So back to the topic at hand, “the grass is not always greener,” is an expression I have become intolerant of. I always took this to mean that it wasn’t greener in another relationship. I never considered that it could mean in being alone. Honestly, when people say it to me, I think they most often mean in another relationship. And you know what, my grass is greener now, alone. My daughter has told me that I never seemed as happy as I do now when I was married. My friends are telling me that I seem relaxed and happy. I was so afraid that I was a person incapable of happiness. It turns out, I just was not capable of being happy in that situation.

So, now I water my grass the way I know it needs it. I fertilize it with the right kind of fertilizer for that particular grass. I have learned how to do this through trial and error, and sometimes it is more error than anything, but I came out the other side. It took time, but my lawn is the healthiest it has ever been. And bonus, I proved some people wrong in the process.

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

Why Are Doritos Enough?

Why are Doritos enough? Being content without being in a relationship.Soon after my divorce, I dated quite a bit and then I was in a serious relationship,for over a year and a half.  Which I know I have wrote about in some of my previous blogs….

Fast forward a couple years, why am I NOT serious about dating now? Why am I content spending nights eating Doritos and watching Netflix.  I hear all the time, why don’t you have a boyfriend.  I get asked about my dating and why I’m not in a relationship… Maybe because I just want to do other things and I am content.   Back off Debra…

Kids…

I share 50/50 custody with my children.  My children are in their prime years.. they are 15,12, and 9.  And they are heavily involved in sports, activities, church friends, etc. I complain a lot about them because my nights and days are spent driving them everywhere. However, I know that these are the years I will never get back. I love my time with them and I cherish it.  We spend our time just hanging out and having fun. I have realized that this point in my life, I do not want to change the dynamic of our family and life. They feel comfortable and safe at our home.

Time to myself…

After my children leave for their dads, I have learned that I love to have time to myself.  I need that time to decompress after the crazies have left.. I love to have a night to myself to go for a walk or hike. I am not being selfish, but I love that time. I know I have mentioned this before on how my house can go from a crazy madhouse to deathly quiet. Anyone that has shared custody with kids can probably relate to this analogy. I am a huge advocate for how important making time for yourself is in life.

Not enough time to commit…

I feel that with the demands of my children, I would not be able to give the amount of time dedicated to being  in a relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it.  I know that right now, I can not dedicate the time needed for a relationship.  I have been in a relationship and it was very hard to divide the time between my children, boyfriend, and everyday life. I was overwhelmed much of the time.  I just couldn’t get it all done and I had no time for myself.  Many times I was so stressed and crabby, I was mad at everyone.   There were times in the past when I knew I picked my relationship over my kids. Or I would drag them along to activities that they had no interest in, just to see my boyfriend.

Since that relationship, I have taken a lot of time to understand why it didn’t work.  Relationships require a lot of commitment.  They require hard work and making them a priority. I know that I would not be able to make a relationship a priority right now in my life.

In the past, I seem to attract men that are really looking for a serious relationship.  Even after, I am very honest with what I was looking for in dating and the amount of time that  I can commit. I get overwhelmed by the constant texting and not being able to respond. Yes, I know all the quotes about “if you really want to, you will make time”.  I have heard it all, but its not at the top of my list.  I do understand that thinking however, when I’m with my children, I do not feel like taking time away from them to be texting possible dates.   And from some of my past dating experiences, some of the guys that I have met think that all my free time should be spent with them.  This is even after one or two dates.  That is not true.

Priorities…

Right now, I have many areas in my life that I want to make more of a priority. I enjoy writing my blogs and gaining more experience. This is something that I have taught myself through research, podcasts, and social media.  I am learning new things all the time that I want to learn about.  I think I was in an unsatisfied marriage for over 13 years and the last 5 years I have learning all over again what I enjoy.  Until I can accomplish these goals or priorities, then a relationship will not be a priority.

I’m Actually Content…

I guess what it comes down to is my life, is that I’m very content and comfortable right now.  I look at how much I have changed and grown in the last 5 years.   I’m comfortable with not having my children 100% of the time. That was a huge obstacle for me. I am content hanging out by myself. I am comfortable saying no to a date..  well unless he was really cute.

There is no magical answer to when is the best time to enter in a relationship.. it’s all up to you and what you want out of it.  As I have adjusted to being divorced, I have learned there is no rush in anything. And there is no problem in waiting or saying it’s not a priority right now.  So just tell your family and friends to back off….

Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

How To Mother When You’ve Been Motherless

How to Mother when you’ve been motherless…

Friday night, sitting on the steps facing the front door waiting. Always waiting. Hushed whispers behind me as my Dad takes a call from my mom. I let out a deep sigh as my brothers give up and head back upstairs knowing what Dad is going to come say. I don’t give up I wait, she promised, and I believed her. My dad comes and takes a seat next to me and says, “baby its time to go to bed Mom isn’t coming. “this is the constant memory I have of my mother, my entire childhood spent waiting on a woman who couldn’t be bothered to show up for her three kids twice a month.

Motherhood scared me, How would I raise kids of my own when my own mother checked out of my life at such a young age? Would I care enough to stay in my own children’s life when my own mother couldn’t be bothered? How do you mother when you were motherless?

I spent my entire pregnancy reading every book on mothering I could find. Those around me told me I’d be great, “its instinct they’d say,” and laugh off my fears. I ignored them and paged my way through another book on parenting. If my mother didn’t have the instinct to mother, then maybe it wasn’t natural for me.

But then the day came, after 20 minutes of pushing I was handed this 8-pound 6-ounce baby boy and suddenly my entire world centered itself. Holding my son in my arms felt right, felt like I was meant to do it. It hasn’t been easy and two more kids later I’m still no expert on mothering, but I’m doing it. Just because my mother walked out on me doesn’t mean I was destined to walk out on my own kids. There’s nothing I love more than coming home from work and seeing their beautiful faces staring at me. Nothing fills me with passion like motherhood does. It’s a whole new world I never expected to find myself immersed into.

You can move past all the bad things in your life and create something good. Its always a possibility. You just have to have a little faith in yourself. I never imagined I would be a successful mother based on the fact my own mother didn’t step up, but here I am day in and day out rocking the mom thing. You can do anything you set your mind to and no one can stop you.  My mom failed, in no uncertain terms, she failed at being a mother, but I am succeeding, and I refuse to let my children sit on the stairs and wait for me.

 

Serendipity

There’s Another Woman Spending Time With My Kids

I never imagined that my kids would now be spending time with another woman… I had never thought about it. When I started my divorce process, it didn’t even cross my mind that my children would be spending time with another woman and then it happened very soon. Never in a million years had it entered my mind.. stupid me.

My ex husband got remarried not too long after our divorce…so my kids had a step mom.  I had no idea how to handle the feelings I experienced. I did not prepare myself for the hurt and heartache that I felt.

My children were now spending time with another woman besides me.  She was texting them, going to their sporting events, buying them gifts, and sharing memories with them. This hit me harder than anything else In my life.  I had been the center of their universe since they were born. I was not sharing them.

What if they loved her more than me?  What if they wanted to spend time with her? What if they wanted her to take them shopping?  This woman was not buying their bras…. All these questions and a million more go thru your head.

How do you get thru it?  How do you accept that this woman is spending time with your kids? It takes a lot of strength and self discipline. I say that because you will probably feel like going a little “ cray cray” on this woman. You will also have your best friend dig up anything on social media that you can find … you will become the best private investigator around.

Remember that this isn’t about you and as much as it hurts, it’s about your kids..If they talk about her then support them. Be positive.  Kids pick up on everything… every facial expression, every sigh, everything thing that comes out of your mouth.  There were so many times that i just wanted to cry or scream, but I tried to not let my kids pick up on it.  Ohhh my friends have seen my tears over the years, but not my kids.

If they want her included in activities and events, then support their decision.  If they want to text her, then let them.  I remember the first time my daughter wanted her step mom to go on a field trip because I could not, it killed me.  But I knew it was important to her and she obviously felt comfortable enough to have her come along on a school trip.

If possible, in the beginning set boundaries regarding her involvement.   Keep the communication still between yourself and your ex husband regarding the children.   Also, set boundaries between your relationship with the step mom….I can not express enough how much boundaries are important.  Then everyone knows what is acceptable.

The best advice I received  was that when its your time with your kids concentrate on them.  Do not worry about the “other” mom. and what she is doing with them or buying them.  Try to put all those insecurities behind you and concentrate on them.  Your kids will always come to you. You will always be there number one. They will always turn to your first.  They will always trust you more than anything. And  if your daughter has a bad day at school she’s still going to call her mom!

Let them engage with their step mom. I know I didn’t handle it perfectly in the beginning because I was not prepared.  And honestly, I can’t say the heartache feeling ever goes away, it doesn’t.  But you will learn that you will always be their # 1 mom!!  Nothing ever takes that away….

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

I Want To Thank You

I want to thank you…

Last week I dipped my toe in the pool and shared with you all the reality of my marriage.

Believe it or not I am a pretty private person. So even though every week I share pieces of me here. I have people in my life who are still trying to piece together if I’m married. No.  Or dating… I will say this.  Maybe lol.

But that’s not what this is about. It’s about the aftermath of putting such a big piece of me on a platter.

Full disclosure last week I read every last comment  on my post right before I had to pick up my daughter, I got in my car and sobbed. Heavy, shaking sobs. First my heart was breaking that so many women understood. Second, my heart was breaking because complete strangers understood when the people I loved and trusted had not.

I can not put into words how much I appreciate all the messages and kind words.

I didn’t share my story for support, I shared it in hopes of letting other people know they’re not alone. I shared it to show it can happen to anyone. I shared it because it’s important to share it.

Again and again and again.

Even though its incredibly hard to admit it happened. I have always been a strong person I still am. But even strong people can get hurt.

I was asked by someone who I care about immensely after they read it, two things:

Why I let this happen

If I am bitter

It’s like I’ve said. Sometimes you get so far in, you believe all the words. You don’t know what to do.

Becoming a Mom dug me out. I don’t make that a secret. G deserved to see what a happy Mom looked like.

Am I bitter? No. Am I guarded and private and quirky as all get out? Oh my goodness yes.

I strongly feel I just chose poorly. I also know I don’t make it easy for people to know me. I still believe in being married and someday maybe again.

But I have very high walls.

I also still live with the worry my ex will somehow see these. Which shouldn’t matter. But I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you, he still makes me nervous. What he might do.

My hope is that someday I won’t.

My last and final share here is I am happy. It’s taken a while and things aren’t perfect but the fact that I can share any of this. The fact it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, means I am finally taking me back. And you Mommas have helped me.

Thank you

<3 Caprise