Moving On

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D- I- V- O- R- C- E.

I believe it was Loretta Lynn that sang the song. Divorce, is ugly, hard, heartbreaking and I read somewhere it is worse than death. I always had a hard time understanding why it was described as “worse than death,” that is, until I got divorced.
After thirty years of marriage, I tossed in the towel, with the hope of finding happiness and peace. Well, I have had some of both and lots of other things that I didn’t expect. Despite the fact that our grown children said they understood why I left, the reality is, they still wanted their parents together. Getting over that bump in the road is difficult at best.

I’m not sure if there is a right way or a wrong way to leave a marriage. I tried many different ways over the course of my married years and all seemed to have a flaw in them somewhere.

There are some things I have learned since my divorce. Have a plan.

Get a good education that will help you earn a living before you leave him. At the very least if you have been a homemaker though out your marriage, take some classes to bone up on your employability skills. Few of us can live on alimony or child support and even though the ex husband may be ordered to pay one or both. Getting the ex to actually pay it is sometimes equal to getting blood out of a turnip or pulling hens teeth.

Squirrel away some money, I don’t care if you have to cut back on groceries, stick some of the money in a sock, and hide it if you need to. Instead of buying those to die for heels you saw in the mall, stick that money in the back of your wallet for later. Trust me; you are going to need it.

Don’t feel guilty for hiding away money.

All men have their own “mad money” hidden somewhere. It may be in a joint account with his mother but trust me he has one.

Living on minimum wage earnings is next to impossible. If you’re currently unemployed, get a job and stash your paychecks. You’ve lived on one paycheck (his) for most of your marriage, continue to do so. Remember, that check is not only a means for your escape it is also a means for your starting over and survival.

If you can, establish some credit in your name only. Keep it simple and clean, with today’s economy a little clean credit is far better then a lot of clean or messy credit. Remember, your income bracket is going to be take a downward fall. Creditors always look at your income level for determining wither of not to issue you a credit card or line of credit. If you have credit in your name, pay it off. If you have a car in your name, pay it off. Running from the repo man is not fun by any stretch of the imagination no matter how cute he may be and waking up one morning to find your car repo’d is not a good way to start your day.

If you are the one doing the leaving, remember there is a good chance you will be starting over from scratch.

You’re going to need to set up and furnish a new place to live. Think of what you’re going to need and how much you can afford to spend. You can shop thrift stores, yard sales and dollar stores to get a lot of the items you’ll need.

Utilize stores that have ninety days same as cash programs for buying bigger ticket items, such as beds, a couch etc. Ask if they will hold the items until your ready for delivery to your new place. If Layaway is available in the store, use it to your advantage. Ninety days same as cash and layaway are interest free. If you have a friend that has storage space available she is you can use it until you are ready to make your move. Yes, I know it sounds sneaky but there is no “Fairness” in DIVORCE. What there is is a WAR. A war of wills, emotions, and hearts.

Call around to find out what the utility companies are charging customers for electric, water, deposits. Check out the local market on apartment rentals and the deposits required. Some can be quite pricey and many do background and credit checks as well. Do they accept pets, children, is there a minimum or maximum income requirement.

Never and I repeat never, think you are going to get half of the marital processions and property in your divorce. Request it all and feel blessed and lucky if you walk away with a forth of it. Prepare yourself; your current standard of living is going to take a downward turn when you divorce. The statistics are out there and if you think they are wrong just start asking other divorced women how their finances and lives have changed since their divorce.

Develop a support network of friends, especially single one’s. You are going to need them. Be prepared to lose contact with your married friends. Unfortunately, married friends view divorced friends as a threat to their own relationship. Yes, I know its 2010, but some things and peoples attitudes never change.

The most important piece of advice I can give to any woman who is leaving her marriage or has already left is to have a friend that will listen to you. She/he doesn’t have to be there to give you advice, you need someone to listen to your heartaches, your fears and your left over baggage from your marriage, and there will be plenty of baggage. You can’t afford a shrink but a good friend that listens is priceless and you’re going to owe her or him big time for all the hours they’ve listened to you.

Also, don’t jump into another relationship. Take the time that you need to get your life going in the direction you want your life to go in. When you do, you will attract the kind of man you want in your life. You’ll also have a better chance of having the kind of relationship you’ve always wanted.

You may not know right away what you want in a relationship, but if you stop and think about it, you do know what YOU DON’T WANT in one. After all, that’s why you’re single now!

Respect yourself and require the man who is interested in you, to show and give you respect. If we don’t’ respect our own self there is no way a man is going to respect us.

Your life will get better. Yes, being single again after all those years of marriage will make you feel like a fish out of water but it does get easier with time. Go out and do things with friends. Even if it’s going to the water front area in your town, window shopping or out for coffee with a girl friend. Just get out of the house, make new friends, network and hey you may even wind up bumping in to Mr. Right.

A word of caution, there are many a Mr. Right Now out there waiting for a new Ms. Single lets have a good time in the sack, but you are waiting for your Mr. Right For You to come along. As the saying goes. Only fools rush in …

Don’t be the fool; take your time because the next time around you want it to be a good solid marriage and or relationship for the both of you.



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