Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I feel that Spring has finally sprung and is in full effect! I got this email from a reader yesterday that I wanted to share with you as well as my response.
Just had an interesting holiday weekend that I wanted to share with you. I have been divorced for eight years and have been dating the same woman exclusively for almost a year. My ex-wife and I have become friends since our divorce. This is nothing that I expected to happen. But we have a son together and we enjoy each others company as friends and parents. She is remarried and had invited me to her home in Northern California for the Easter weekend. I invited my girlfriend and it proved to be a mistake. While she was cordial in front of my wife, she read me the riot act for the entire three hour drive home. She said she thinks it’s weird that my ex are friends and so close after our divorce. Even though my ex is remarried, my girlfriend thinks we might end up back together again. She said she will not go with me to any more events that my ex will be present at as she does not condone the closeless that we have. Granted I am eighteen years older than my girlfriend, but I thought this was very immature on her part. I have strong feelings for my girlfriend. On the other hand, I like the relationship I have with my wife. How do you suggest I proceed? Or should I just proceed with breaking up with her? Thanks.
I am sorry about the ride home. I am sure you wanted to be anywhere than in that car with your girlfriend for the three hour ride home (which probably felt like eight). While I wasn’t there and don’t know how you were acting with your ex-wife in front of your girlfriend, it does sound like your girlfriend may be a bit insecure. I am sure your intentions are friendship and wanting the best for your son. If you are not going to budge on your relationship (which sounds like it is really a great one for your child) I would suggest attending couples counseling with your girlfriend to discuss this. If she can’t understand that life goes on after a divorce then you may want the leave your current relationship. You need to find someone who understands that you had a life before you met them and a responsibility to keep things peaceful and joyous for your son. She has to have trust and faith like the eggs pictures above!
Happy Valentine’s Day! I have written an article for The Huffington Post entitled, “Divorced, But Loving Valentine’s Day.” Spread the love by clicking here.
Well, you are now halfway there. You made it though the holidays and what I like to call the “fatal four” for new divorcees. You weathered Thanksgiving, you slid through Christmas, Hanukkah or Quanza, and now all you have left is New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. Then it’s smooth sailing from there. Well, more like an on the emotional ice rink.
Give your self some kuddos for making it through the first two holidays. It may not have gone completely smooth. The turkey may have been a bit overcooked, but who cares? It’s the start of the holidays as a single woman and you did it! Now it’s time to use the positive energy that you have created to help you gear up for the next two. New Year’s is this weekend, so get ready because it marks the beginning of the new year as well as your new life and you are not looking back!
It might be an old saying, but laughter does really heal all. This challenge is about making funny a part of your holiday this week. What are some great ways to laugh your way through your first holiday after a divorce? On the 12th day of Christmas my true lovegave to me…tickets to a comedy club.
Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #6 is to go with a friend to a local comedy club. Sure your ex might have been a bone head, but forget about him by tickling your funny bone. Lots of comedy clubs offer reduced tickets and drink specials on weeknights. Look around for a fun place and have some laughs because that’s really what you need. Not to mention, they say a way to a woman’s heart is through laughter. Who knows? You may find a cute single comedian to curl up in front of the fire with. Now his jokes might not be as funny as you ex-father-in-law’s Christmas sweater you were forced to say how much you liked. But it’s a close second and the company is much better!
The holidays are coming closer and closer, so that brings us to Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #5! You will undoubtedly have to do some holiday food shopping for the family this year. In the past, you probably went with your husband to Costco to grab all of the goodies. Lots of big boxes and bargains filled your cart. This challenge is about doing the shopping all on your own.
Head over to Costco and pick up whatever you need. You can get whatever your heart desires there. You could literally furnish a house and feed a village all in one shopping experience. You can get holiday toys, food, cards, wrapping paper, drinks, appetizers and the list goes on and one. Now I know it’s a huge place and it can be taxing, but dig in and do it. Lugging the items into the car and loading them up. Taking many trips to get all of the bags and boxes into your home from the cold. Packing them into the fridge and the cabinets. The bright side is that there are no bags to clean up, but there are boxes to break down. Phew, you did it! While you’re catching your breath, you might be wondering what this challenge was about besides exhausting you. It’s about doing things by yourself once again. Making this holiday happen on your own for the children is a sign to them as well as yourself that you can do this and make it special. You are strong enough to make things the way they were on holidays for the kids before you got divorced. Relax with a glass of white wine when this is challenge is complete. I know that bag of coal that you’re giving to your ex was heavy! Seriously, take a moment to smell the roses — rather, the poinsettia – because you deserve it!
Putting up a Christmas tree the first time after a divorce is always an interesting experience. If the divorcee doesn’t have kids, she’ll tend to leave the holidays by the wayside. Well, don’t be a sap (no pun intended). Your Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #3 is to take tree trimming head-on!
The first step is getting a tree. Don’t do a fake one (it will remind you of your ex). You’re keeping it real, so your tree should be no exception. After you pick out a tree that’s full and fresh (just like your new life) it’s time to dress it up. When you break out the ornaments it might bring on a rush of emotions. Some you may have gotten together during your relationship. Try not to put those on the tree. Instead, I suggest buying a few new inexpensive ones to mark the beginning of your new holiday journey. If you have children, you can all try to make some homemade ornaments. There are a lot of fun sites on the Internet that offer instructions. Put on some holiday music and really get into it! Next, break out the stockings. When you come across your ex’s, it may upset you when you see it. Don’t let it. Instead put it to good use as firewood. Just toss it in the fire and toast a marshmellow over it. Don’t you love the holidays?!
The holidays are here and it’s time for all recent divorcees to make some plans. There’s no time to cry in your eggnog about your marriage that just ended. Instead, start your new life and the New Year off in an exciting way. Read my latest article for SheKnows for some ideas on how to get out of dodge this holiday and enjoy life!
A geeting card can be quite the greeting to everyone in your life after you are divorced. The Your Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #3 is to get a new holiday card that represents the new you. You may want to mark this with a photo of yourself and your kids alone. Or if you have pets, you could take a picture with your furry best friends solo. If you decided to go back to your original maiden name, put that on the card as it’s another step toward saying goodbye to yesterday and hello to today. The point of this is to move on and marking the holiday with a card alone is a sure sign to everyone — including yourself — that this relationship is behind you.
Do you send a card to your ex? That is entirely up to you, but I say go for it! It shows you hold no animonsity (and the return address on the envelope reminds him where to send the alimoney check if he conveniently forgot). This holiday is about you and a card is a great way to wish your loved ones Happy Holidays and give you the chance to, yet again, mark your freedom.
I am sure that you will be making your way to the mall to do some holiday shopping (if you haven’t already). Head out with a friend and pick up something for the people you love. Also, while you’re at the mall stop by one of the restaurants and have a meal and a cocktail. Afterwards, you will need to complete your next challenge.
Your Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #2: Sit on Santa’s lap!
You may have a photo of you and your ex on Santa’s lap from back in the day. That’s one of those things most newly married couples do around the holidays. Since it’s your first holiday alone in a long time, set a new tradition. Get a photo of you on Santa’s lap. Maybe use it as your Christmas card. Or, put the photo up on Facebook. Tweet it to the world on Twitter. Tell all of your friends that Santa is the one man who wants you to be naughty AND nice!
Over this month, I am going to give new divorcees some holiday challenges that they should consider. These will not only get you re-acqainted to single life, but they will bring you some holiday cheer.
Your Divorce Day Holiday Challenge #1: Accept All Invitations.
A friend of mine whose divorce was just finalized in October reached out to me on Thanksgiving. It was great to hear from her, but she seemed a bit down because it was the first holiday of this season since her divorce. She said she felt a bit alone. I told her that this is understandable after a break-up, especially since she was married for 18 years. She also said she just got invited to a tree lighting party next week at a friends apartment in her Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. She said she didn’t feel like going. I encouraged her to RSVP for that invite and all of the ones that will be coming her way this holiday season.
If you are recently divorced, the holidays are a difficult time as no one wants to be alone. However, as I told my friend, she is not alone. In fact, she already got invited to a party and it’s not even December yet! She has lots of great friends and they can’t want to see her. By the way, so do you!
I encourage you to accept all invitations that come your way this holiday season. That special someone is not going to crawl in your window or our of your chimney. So accepting all party invites is the first challenge and possibly the most important to kick off the holiday season. I don’t care if there are two parties you’re invited to in one night…go to both! A couple of hours here, a couple of hours there and those friendly smiling faces is what you will get you through this holiday season.