Divorce Blog

Straight From the Headlines!

In just 11 days Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise reached a divorce settlement.

For most of us, the thought of reaching an agreement with our former spouse in just 11 days seems like a fantasy. How were they able to do it so quickly? From what I can tell there are two major factors that allowed the actors to reach such a rapid agreement.

First, they entered into their marriage from a standpoint of starting a business together. Despite Tom’s use of Oprah’s couch as a trampoline when he announced his love for Katie, their marriage wasn’t just a romantic notion. They realized that marriage is actually a legal agreement much like a business partnership. Katie and Tom worked with lawyers to cover the possible contingency of their partnership not working and so had a prenuptial agreement that was very solid. This business approach to their marriage removed a good portion of what they could have spent time arguing about during their negotiations.

Second, they each know that Suri needs both of her parents. Despite how they may feel about each other, they apparently respect the other as their daughter’s parent and know they will need to have regular contact with each other to effectively parent…

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How To Take That Post-Divorce Awkwardness Out Of Special Occasions

Family celebrating one of many post-divorce special occasions.

What do you do about special occasions like birthdays when you get divorced?

Let’s take a look at this question from a couple of different angles. First, let’s see what you can expect to be different. Next, let’s dig into the question of which ones you should still celebrate. Finally, let’s talk about how you celebrate these occasions.

So, what can you expect to be different about birthdays when you are separated and divorced? Most likely, you’ll celebrate fewer of your former in-law’s birthdays than when you were married. It’s also common that former spouses no longer celebrate each other’s birthdays. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, former spouses will still contact each other on their birthdays. This is especially common when they have children together. You can expect that the way you’ll celebrate these occasions will change too.

Let’s dig into the question of which birthdays make sense for you to continue to celebrate when you’re separated and divorced. Many people have positive, healthy relationships with former in-laws and continue to celebrate birthdays with them. Notice the phrase, “positive, healthy relationships”. I don’t condone continuing to send your former mother-in-law a birthday card because you feel guilty or because you’re hoping that she’ll…

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Riding the Ride: How To Recognize And Manage Your Emotions Through Divorce

The emotions of divorce can feel like a runaway roller coaster.

Some decisions are really easy to make – What will I have for breakfast? What TV show do I want to watch? What time do I need to get up in the morning? Other decisions, like whether or not divorce is the correct path for you to take, can be agonizing.

Let’s begin by focusing on the person who is contemplating whether or not to divorce – the leaver.

Often times, the leaver is unhappy in the marriage and hasn’t been able to effectively communicate what changes they want to occur in the marriage. They may have tried therapy – either individual or couples. They may have tried some form of medication like anti-depressants or alcohol or even food. They may have tried distraction – an all-consuming hobby, focusing on the children, focusing on work. Yet everything they’ve tried just isn’t working and they’re still unhappy in their marriage. They may also have tried nothing because they didn’t believe they had any options.

On the other hand, perhaps the leaver has been able to communicate EXACTLY what they’d like to be different in their marriage yet their spouse isn’t willing or isn’t able to make the requested changes. When this is the case, the leaver often…

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Finding Your True Power

I love the Beatles. OK, it’s more accurate to say I love the Beatles album 1. I consider it “happy music” and often put it on when I’ve got a long drive ahead of me or when I just need a pick-me-up. One of the songs on the album is Help!

If you’re not familiar with the lyrics of the song, you can find them on Metro Lyric’s website. For me, the idea behind the song is that we learn how to be independent when we’re young and as we grow and mature we yearn and search for interdependence.

When we’re born we’re completely dependent on others and essentially helpless. All we can do is cry and scream when we want help. Then, when we turn about 2 we begin to discover our own power and the magic word “NO!”. That’s when our natural desire is to begin to find out who we are independent of our parents. Most of us tend to begin intently striving for our independence during our teen years. Some of us wait until we get to college to become independent and some, like me, don’t realize our full independence until much later. Regardless of when you establish your independence, it’s…

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Life Is What’s Happening Now

Time is one of those concepts that we all get, but is difficult to define. It’s a marker that allows us to separate past, present, and future.

Why bother discussing time? Because, I agree with Alan Lakein who is credited with saying, “Time = Life, therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.”

When we go through divorce, it’s so very, very, very easy to get caught up in either the past or the future instead of being here, now.

We can get caught up in the past by thinking things like, “If only s/he would have told me they weren’t happy, I know we wouldn’t be getting divorced now.” We might even think things like, “I knew before I got married that I shouldn’t marry him/her.” This was one of the thoughts that I had when I was going through my divorce. It was the truth, but it didn’t do any good. The fact was that I had gone ahead and gotten married despite what my gut was telling me. Spending time thinking about a decision I had made YEARS ago wasn’t making the situation any better. It wasn’t helping me to deal with what…

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