Tag Archives: marriage

Is It Too Soon For A Relationship?

After I got divorced the first thing I did was look for a relationship.  I thought that was what I should do.  I did not realize that I should have taken the time to learn about myself and what I needed.  I did not take the time to learn what I wanted.

There were so many things that I did not realize at the time.   I was recently divorce and thought that I knew what I wanted.  I went on an online dating site and met someone within months of being divorced.  At the time, I thought I wanted a serious relationship.  I mean, what else do you do after divorce but find someone else….

We dated for over a year and it was a roller coaster of emotions.   At the time, I thought this is what I should be doing. I got divorced and now I should meet someone else.  Our relationship started out great, but soon faded.  We each had kids and with our schedules it was hard to find time together. In addition, as we got more involved in our relationship I wanted our kids to spend time together.  I quickly learned how hard it was to date someone with kids when you both have different schedules.  Dating with kids is hard.  I was trying to make him into something he was not and I was also doing things that I did not want, just to make him happy.

Besides thinking that we should each spend time together, I also thought that our kids should spend time together.  They were all different ages and did not all want to spend time together.  I wanted us to do things together as a family.    When I did not have my kids, I would spend time with him and his kids. I would help him with running them to their activities or whatever they needed.  And I did not have any time to myself or learn about my own life after divorce.  I thought this is what I should be doing.

Our relationship was very toxic at the end.  We would fight, said unforgivable things, and make up so many times.  I was scared to be alone and didn’t know what I would do without him.  We ended up breaking up.  Our facebook status couldn’t keep up with all the changes, it was a daily status update.  I  soon realized that our relationship was so wrong.  I was trying to go from a marriage of 13 years to a serious relationship with someone else before knowing exactly what I wanted.

I did not know what I wanted in a partner or even my own life.  I have now had the time to learn about myself and what I love. I have time finally do the things that I love.  While we were dating, I would spend my time doing the things he loved.  I did not take time to do what I wanted.  I love to workout, hike, and be outside.

I  would put those things aside and not do them because I felt they were not that important.   I have now learned that those things are a priority to me and I put them first.

It took me a long time to be ok with not being with someone else, not spending every moment with a date or a boyfriend.  It’s so important to know what you want and what you like before rushing into a relationship.   I learned that it is important to not settle, just to be with someone.  And I am pretty sure I have learned over the last year what I do not want..haha.  I had to learn about what I truly valued in life and in a person that would be spending time with me and eventually my children.  I had to learn what I wanted from someone in a relationship and how serious of a relationship that I was looking for right now.

During my relationship, I thought I was ready for this.  I can now look back on it and I know that I  should have taken the time to learn about myself, what I want in a relationship, and what’s important to me

Snarky divorced gal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

What’s In A Name?

I am always telling you guys that what you call a thing it becomes and often I will say change the way that you are framing something and change what you are calling it and that will give you a different experience.  Such as calling a historic event either a problem or a blessing.  Today I am pondering what it would mean for me to change my name…I have kept this pretty private…after 18 years of being single, I am getting married…

Yes, you read that correctly.

The kiddo is almost 19 and it is time now for me to start the next act —- my husband to be I have known for 20 years and someday soon I will share the whole Hallmark story in a blog post…for now I am going to stay focused on this name thing.

So…at first thought I was not changing my last name because of my work etc and that was totally OK with him and it still is.  Except now, I have been quietly pondering it all and I am wondering what it would be like to shed my former name and have the opportunity to become a different version of myself—which, honestly I am doing by getting married after being single for the last 18 years!

I am kind of thinking that I would have the opportunity to create myself in a different way, an opportunity to put the past to rest where it belongs…because the way I see it is every time I would sign or see my new name I would have to acknowledge to myself that there had been a shift…a BIG one…and that shift gives me the opportunity to be a better version of myself.

My current last name is my Mother’s maiden name—our family name and it means a lot to me, it always will—however it also represents a lot of history and experiences that were hard and sad and difficult—my childhood was rough, raising Antonio alone was rough and although there are a lot of triumphs and so much strength and grace there are also moments and pieces of time that I definitely wish that I had done differently.  Probably like all of you there are versions of myself that I am not fond of…with age comes the wisdom of seeing where you could have done it different…and although I have forgiven myself, it might be very interesting to start a new chapter with a new name.  When I was married before I added that last name at the end of my own, so never in my life have I just simply assumed a completely different name.

I was always so busy feeling like I had something to prove by keeping my name—showing everyone how independent I was.  Now I understand that my independence and abilities are not tied to a name—they are a part of who I am and always will be.

The new workbook came out last Tuesday and on last Sunday’s live we started talking about ‘changing the game’— I feel like for me changing the game for 2020 could encompass taking on a new name and with that getting better at being disciplined in the places where I am still lacking…you know the ones, I have shared them with you in blogs before.  The daily TO DO list, the workouts, being better about what I am eating, keeping my closet cleaner, really working with my manifestation list etc

I am pretty disciplined, however these places where I am lacking have been the same for the past 7 to 8 years—-in coaching you all to change the game it is time for me also to up the ante in changing my game.  I feel like by changing my name I have the opportunity to choose a better version of myself in every new moment and that could be a powerful thing.

I am still thinking through all this and I will keep you posted, in the meantime grab yourself a copy of the new workbook and tune in this Sunday to the FB live at 10am EST to start walking through the process collectively.

See you then.

XO, Noelle

The Hardest Month….October

I dread October. As a person who loves warm weather I let my Fall loving friends believe it’s because I’m not a fan of the:

Weather

Pumpkin Spice

Fall/Halloween Decorations

There’s a bit of truth to that, but really it’s because October and this week actually marks when my divorce was final. I was the one that made the choice to leave my marriage, but it doesn’t mean it hurts any less.

I never dreamed of a big wedding. Or even being married. Being a Mom yes. Always, but I never believed someone would love me enough to be with me in a partnership. That I would get the dress and cake and honeymoon. I think my family was just as surprised as I was when it happened.

I was proposed to during a fight. Which could have been a cute story, except he later admitted he was trying to make me stop crying.

We had a destination wedding and rumor was- on the flight over my ex sister-in law tried to talk my ex husband out of it among other things. Our best man wore shorts.

So many flags. Those are the ones I’m ok sharing. But when something happens you never thought would, you hold on, you fight for it.

Even when maybe you shouldn’t.

If you read my blogs you already know why my marriage ended. Sometimes you marry the wrong person because at the time they seem like the right person. Even when everything and everyone says that’s not the case.

As I’ve mentioned before I come from parents who are still married. Both sets of grandparents married until someone passed. I saw partnerships and loving your best friend. So much love. Even now. I wanted that. I still do.

Mr. Rogers said “ there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to Love once you’ve heard their story.” Except my ex husband. He heard my story and wanted to change it and me. So rather than grow together- we grew apart.

I tried. Counseling. Time apart. Time together. More counseling. But when someone has excuses for everything, who can’t say they’re sorry, who meets your tears with anger.

You can stay.

Or you can go.

I had a little person and I needed to show her what I knew. A marriage can be an amazing, love filled partnership between two best friends.

My heart still hurts I don’t have that.

This week is hard for me.

Especially October 12th.

That’s the day.

I became a single Mom with a two and half year old. I went from a little house with a big yard we loved to an apartment with a deck. We made it work. We created traditions. Like celebrating Halloween at our local Y. G is twelve now and costume planning has already started.

October is a hard month. If I tell you it’s because of my distaste for Pumpkin Spice Lattes that’s true, but it’s more than that. Now you know.

But as I always tell you Mommas and will remind you and myself… we are magical, strong, and amazing. I mean we’re Moms!

 

<3 Caprise

The Day That Will Never Be The Same

There used to be a certain day in my life that was even more important to me than my Birthday. I might even go as far as to rank it higher than Christmas. It was a day that I gave myself in front of God, our closest friends and family to the man that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. When that day came around once a year it was always a day of celebration. It was romantic candlelight dinners, beautiful flowers, night of dancing to our favorite bands or just spending an evening at home without the kids. It was a day to honor our love and commitment to each other. Something we did for 19 consecutive years. We were just 4 months away from hitting the 20 year mark when that date just became another day on the calendar.

How does one day lose the meaning it once held? To just becoming another day on the calendar?

When this day came around last year for the first time since the divorce I found myself being surrounded by closest members of my tribe. They took me to dinner and a funny movie. I chose that day to honor me and the woman I was becoming after our divorce.

This year today I find myself sitting in a hospital room at my daughter’s beside supporting and loving on her. She had a craniotomy yesterday. She is doing great. Fast forward a few hours and now that she has been released and tucked into her own bed at my house, her father and his girlfriend are currently at her bedside. I could say a lot more about that, but that is for another story on a different day. For now I am swallowing my pride and doing what is best for my daughter.

Today on what would be our 21st anniversary, I find myself numb to feelings and with lots of questions that will never be truthfully answered by a man I thought I would be with till death do us part.

The one thing I have learned in the last several years of seeking my soul and climbing out of the depression that I found myself in is that there is a reason for everything. I now know it’s ok to have a Plan B-Z. Not everything in life goes as we have planned. It’s how we pick ourselves back up that matters.

So for me today I will vow to myself to Love & honor myself even in my worst days. To not shrink for anyone. I will no longer allow anyone to steal my joy. Today I will live for my kids and myself. Until my knight in shining armor arrives.

 

-Jeanna

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

I am a person who unfortunately does not sleep much. That means while the rest of my house is sleeping blissfully at 3 AM, I am on Pinterest, social media or You Tube.

There are a few vloggers I follow regularly and they are celebrating marriages and babies and lives together and taking me along for the ride.

While I recognize some of these shares are beautifully edited the emotion is there and definitely gets me emotional.

I feel like I have been carrying around this suitcase of memories from my life before my divorce and I need to throw it away.

I didn’t realize how raw those hurts still were until I started watching those videos.

We all have an idea in our head of how things will be. Our wedding, children, marriage and you either work as a team,meet in the middle, or you don’t.

I also think you forgive a lot because you think it will change.

Once the baby is here.

Once she sleeps through the night.

Once we have been apart a year we’ll get along better.

My biggest red flag was me all wired up having contractions after being in labor for almost a day and my Dad never leaving my side. My ex husband however, not only leaving several times but when he was in the room he was on his computer the whole time. Not once did he comfort me.

Yet I chalked it up to nerves.

No

There would be things later that would show me it had nothing to do with nerves.

I can dwell in regret and compare or I can celebrate the fact I have G. Remember some of the funny moments from that time in my life.

I can be determined to make sure I speak up now with my person and if it feels like a red flag it probably is.

It is incredibly easy for many of us who have been hurt to not let it go. To let it lead us. I have done an absolutely fantastic job of building a very tall wall around myself.

But maybe the tape in our heads instead of coulda,woulda,shoulda should be:

I’m here

I’m badass

I’m a Momma and that makes me magical.

I say it a lot. Being a Mom is magical. We grew people!!!

When that suitcase feels like it needs to be unpacked, kick it back under the bed and remember who you are.

You are a Momma

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

How Do I Pick Out Curtains?

Who knew of all the different types of curtains that are available these days… seriously.. .All I know is that now I am picking out these things all by myself. I had rented a house with a million windows and all I needed was curtains. ughh… seems easy doesn’t it.

I spent months in the divorce process and then its final. Where do you start? What do you do with your life now? So many questions running through your head.. For months I had lived in a bubble, just getting through the day and not thinking anything else. What do you do first after your divorce? Many you have never worked or even lived by yourself, but now at age 40 you are on your own. You get to pick out your own curtains or your own furniture. You don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion, which can be exciting and scary at the same time. Or the other side is now you have no one to ask the easy questions too.. I did not know of all the small decisions I would need to make by myself.

I had lived in a bubble for so long. Going through all the emotions and then when the divorce process starts It takes over your life. And once its final, you have to stop and think what do I do now. I think we all get ahead of ourselves and want to build this new life so fast. I think the best advice I can give anyone that is starting over after divorce is to take it slow and learn about yourself. It’s hard for me to remember the days or months right after my divorce, I think I was in such a bubble or daze throughout the process that it’s hard to remember all the changes. It was being on constant autopilot and no time to process the changes that I was going through. We all want to put our kids first and make sure they are happy, however its so important that we are learning to be happy also.

Take time to really learn about what you now want. Some days will really suck, you learn you need to do things all by yourself. You might have never picked out your own curtains, so this is new to you you and it might take you a day to make that decision or it might take you months…either way, it doesn’t matter because you did it. Some days you might want to lay in your robe until 2pm and do nothing, and you can… You can take the time and do what you need. Start figuring out what you want in your life for you.

You might make one decision by yourself and you should celebrate. Something that seems so small might be your biggest accomplishment. Take the wins!!

Snarkydivorcedgal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)

You Got This Mommas

You got this mommas…

Every week late Sunday afternoon I curl up somewhere with a beverage, music, blanket, and my iPad and start to write a post that will appear here.

I always try to find something I hope that will resonate with someone. Maybe help. Make someone laugh. Feel better.

The irony that my maternal instincts kick in, even when dealing with something like a blog post isn’t lost on me.

As I write this – it’s Mother’s Day. I will share with you that while I was never a 100 percent about getting married I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.

I am far from a traditional Mom and my own daughter sometimes compares me to a teenager on occasion, but I have always and will always put her first.

I worry and overthink when it comes to her. I try not to Tiger Mom her too much. I maybe get too much joy out of singing loudly to a song she doesn’t like in our car rides together.

Meals can sometimes be more like snacks.

She definitely gets too much time on her iPad.

I let her have two swear words a day.

My heart hurts when she is at her Dad’s, even though when she’s home we are rarely in the same room.

I love being silly with her. That she is almost taller than me.

Being a Mom is the best thing, deciding to do it alone was one of the hardest decision I ever made. I still worry about it, but I also needed to be a healthy, happy Mom for G. I still have my moments…

I will never be a PTA Mom. I send gift cards and emails to school. I am thankful for her teachers and her grandparents who have helped me to raise such a beautiful, funny, smart and kind spirit.

I don’t look like the other Moms with my tattoos and piercings, but I look like her and when she asks me to I dress up or down – I do. I love that we both like Vans and fun t-shirts.

In all of this ramble this is my point… no one is the perfect Momma. She doesn’t exist. But what you are is a Momma who is doing amazing on her own terms with her whole heart and that’s what it’s all about.

At least I hope so.

You do got this Mommas

<3 Caprise

It’s Over..But It’s Not

You think it will be over…but it’s not.

“You can’t buy a book bag but you can buy a $52 steak?”

Unfortunately, this is a typical question that occurs to me after I hang up from another wasted phone call.

Getting out isn’t something that you just do. It takes planning and replanning, then planning some more. It takes an ability to think like your abuser, anticipating reprehensible actions and successfully countering them-emotionally, physically, spiritually, and legally.

Leaving is dangerous…sometimes for years, because the danger can, and typically does, morph from physical to mental, emotional, financial…you get the idea.

I’m coming up on 13 years of building this soft, sensitive, productive human in the face of a storm that does not know how to exit. Abuse morphs. Control is sought on whatever level an abuser can find. Money is all there is left for him. My support system has neutralized that.

Let me be uber-specific:

My loved ones housed and fed my child and I for 5 years. If not for them, I would not have been able to get out of an abusive marriage, finish school, and get a job. My parents have filled every physical and financial gap I’ve had from then until right now. We are blessed that we have men (and women, but that’s another topic) in our lives that stand up when called upon. They have presented themselves as rock solid father figures and protectors-something my child deserves.

My best friend was home base when I ran. The safe shelter she gave my baby and I for those first 2 months can never be repaid….have you ever had to hide from an abuser? It pisses you off and makes you want to fight, but you can’t because you’re living for your child and every move you make, or don’t make, affects their life.

When the day arrived, another friend was there with her expertise and to help with the heavy lifting when I went back for whatever I could get-which wasn’t much. Have you ever had to sneak into your own home to take back some of your premarital belongings and leave a list of everything you “took?” Ever play by the rules only to get burned in the end? Maddening, isn’t it?

One of my favorite people on this planet paid tuition when I didn’t have it. They also stepped forward and coached teams and showed love to a child that was not their own. Those people are God’s soldiers and their above-and-beyond actions never go unnoticed by me.

Never.

Jesus Christ Himself has kept me out of jail by not letting me follow through on everything that man deserves. My friends have balanced and supported me emotionally enough to keep me between the lines when bordering on a breakdown.

All parties above have one thing in common; a love for me and my daughter. They share a basic understanding of the importance of doing right by a child and setting them up for success.

It takes a village. In a never ending hurricane, it takes a scrappy one, and I am thankful for mine. I am a survivor raising a warrior. Because of her, I will not fail.

Mental health matters.
Josie

The Last Time

I am a few weeks away from taking a solo trip to California. The last time I took a trip by myself G was almost 2 and a half and it was to New Orleans to spend some time with my best friend.

It was also a chance for me to decide if I was ready to leave my husband.The writing had been on the wall for a long time. Even leading up to our wedding. But as I had come off an extremely abusive relationship, my soon to be husband seemed like the change. A new start I needed.

Except he wasn’t.

There were so many flags.

Some I still can’t talk about because I’m ashamed I let those things happen to me a second time. I let someone once again hurt me. I still remember being out with a group of friends and my ex. He sat in the corner his arms crossed and sulked the whole night. These were women who had been in my life for years. Suddenly he was making me question them and myself. Were we too much? Was I?

Or being put with his friends, all of them by the way college drop outs with extremely high IQ’s teasing me,a woman with two BA’s about loving pop culture as much as I did. He didn’t defend me. He joined in. My BA was a waste. I was just a glorified babysitter. His sister at dinner questioning why I ate like I did.

There’s so much I could unpack here, but it’s already been buzzing in my brain with this trip coming up.

You put up with a lot when you think you have no choice. When you think you deserve it. When you are afraid of change. When you are afraid of being alone or failing.That trip was the balm I needed. The reminder I was absolutely not all the things I let him tell me I was.

Leaving was hard. He absolutely did not make it easy and he actually didn’t grant me a divorce for several years. Even now he reminds me what he thinks of me. I think you know it’s not good.

As a result I hid from a lot of people I care about because I was so ashamed I let this happen to me. I am ashamed to say… I still do.

I pride myself on being a strong, independent person.

Not someone who had panic attacks when the clocks strikes 430 because that means my husband will be home and the house needs to look a certain way.

Not someone who cared so much about how I looked.

He hated my hair a certain way.

Tattoos.

Certain clothes.

Even food I ate.

Not someone who can’t decorate my current house in a certain shade of green because that was the only color he allowed me to decorate in.

I am still not the best at a lot of things.

Loud noises can be too much. Specifically any kind of sounds in a kitchen. Maybe another blog…

I tend to go inside myself rather than ask for help.

I take a long time to trust someone.

I cut my hair off, am covered in tattoos and piercings.

I have become a homebody.

But at the end of the day I don’t think my ex is a bad person – I mean I have G. Except he is maybe not a husband person, at least not for someone like me. Obviously.

We are still trying to figure out co-parenting. It goes without saying it’s a huge work in progress.

About 70% he’s a pretty good Dad. 30% I do genuinely want to throat punch him.

Last but not least if I have learned anything.

If someone loves me, they love me.

They have my back.

I am stronger than I think I am.

I will always put G first and make sure she always knows it’s beautiful to be yourself and anyone who doesn’t think do absolutely doesn’t deserve you.

I’m looking forward to a trip this time just to go be.

Not figure anything out.

Just be.

 

Hugs Mommas

<3 Caprise

Divorce For Grown-Ups

Divorce for Grown-Ups: 5 Tips on Achieving Your Best New Normal

None of us is immune to divorce and I’m here to prove it.  Though I was trained and practiced as a marriage and family therapist, I have had my fair share of moments where it didn’t matter.  It didn’t save me from the ick.  And I’m grateful, because those experiences have taught me the most.

My ex-husband and I met in a doctoral program in Social Work. We waited to marry (we were 30).  We planned long enough to have a child that I was labeled a geriatric mother (I was 35).   And yet today, I am still the divorced mother of a twelve year old child.  What-are-ya-gonna-do?

Alas, there are no guarantees in life. And although divorce is difficult and challenges will always remain, I personally discovered you can make your journey to the new normal easier on you and your kids, with no Ph.D. required:

 

  • Respect Survival Mode. A friend introduced the idea of “Survival Mode” to me during my separation when I was (yet, again) revisiting the facts, feelings and current state of our marital dissolution…I was deep in my feelings and in my head. She stopped me and said, “You know, you don’t have to do this to yourself.  You’re in Survival Mode.  Let’s save the therapeutic analysis for when you are not trying to just put one foot in front of the other and be a good mom.”  Wait? What? I don’t have to do this to myself?

When someone is trying to survive in the desert, they don’t spend a lot of energy and brainpower on how they ended up there and how unfair it is.  Instead, they focus on getting out – on surviving.  It was a very freeing for an over-analytical person like me to give myself the gift of giving myself a freaking break—and just get through now, this moment, today. There will be time for the post-mortem—later.  And I did it, when I had the bandwidth to do it.

 

  • Take off your spouse hat. Stop viewing the world (including your ex’s actions) through the perspective of being that person’s spouse. You’re not anymore, so stop. When your ex does anything – the more view that action as their spouse, the more likely it will do a number on you.

The only hat you are allowed to wear is your parent hat. Period.  You will be amazed by how much you can take off your plate once you make this one adjustment to your perspective.  It is not your job to make your ex a better person, or at least not a jerk, in your eyes.  You’re done.  Not your problem.  Off the hook.  You only ask: How does this directly impact my kid and their relationship? And don’t try to warp the issue into being about your kid, when it’s really just about the spouse hat you’re still sporting. Hat off.  And see how much better you breathe.

And bonus: the moment you stop acting like something bothers you is the moment it may stop happening, so stop taking the bait. A little secret I discovered…

 

  • Don’t wait for the karma train. You feel wronged.  Treated badly. Undeservedly so. Yep. That sucks.  Not fair.  Stop screaming at the sky and demanding the karma train to hurry up and get’em.  Because each day that you focus on thinking your ex is “getting away with it” or has “won” is another day you have wasted not getting your best life.  Focus on you, your life. Things have a way of working out, but you are not in charge of the timeline.  So deal.  Go back to figuring out your new normal and living well.

 

  • Social media lives forever. Don’t Vaguebook about your ex. Don’t outright hash it out publicly on social media.  Your kids and lawyer will thank you.  Stop.  It’s a bad look and your friends are cringing for you.

 

  • You are a teaching tool. Remember, your kids are watching and learning important life lessons from you at this moment about how to be resilient, face disappointment (and reality), and conquer challenge—all needed life skills. It’s ok to show vulnerability though—they should also know perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Just be human with superhuman tendencies.

~Dr.L~

 

Dr. L is divorced mom with a global consultancy based out of North Carolina.