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DK Says.......

July 27, 2008
Remember the kids before you fight with your ex/soon to be ex
Getting divorced has to be one of the toughest processes we ever go through.  In our society I don't think there is a single one of us who hasn't been touched by it in some way.  And rather you are going through it currently, have survived and lived to tell about it, or just know someone, you know that if there are kids involved it is that much more difficult.  I am however constantly surprised that we grown-ups allow our emotional confusion and anger to lead us into actions that ultimately only hurt our children.  Rather you are going through the divorce or have come out the other side, I encourage you, each and every time you are tempted to argue with your ex to STOP and think.  Is what you are so vested in arguing about really that important?  Is it really worth having that revenge?  Is it life and death?  Because the emotional trauma that your child/ren are suffering by watching their parents argue is a pretty expensive price tag.  As much as you may want your child to take sides, the bottom line is that your child loves both of his/her parents rather you like it or not.  And when you launch your cannons trying to hurt your ex, unfortunately your beloved child (that you may even think you are trying to protect) is getting caught in the cross fire.  Nobody would ask for a child to live with parents that constantly fight, argue, manipulate, seek revenge, or are emotionally or physically violent.  Many of us leave relationships trying to get our child out of such environments.  However, there are also many of us who carry those same conditions right into our divorce and on into our shared custody relationships.  This is dangerous.........do you really want your child growing up learning how to be negative, nasty, and ugly, from you?  Think about if whatever you are arguing about is REALLY worth it.  Be very honest.  Step out of your emotional role for just a minute, and then decide?  Is it really worth chipping away at your child's happiness??

July 27, 2008
Staying friends after a divorce or breakup?
We've all heard it at least once in our life after a relationship ends, "Can we still be friends?"  I for one think maybe I've used up every ounce of "staying friends" energy on my ex husband.  I've done so for the benefit of my kids.  We chat daily, mostly about the kids, but about other subjects going on in our lives as well.  It was extremely difficult to get here.  Most times I wonder if it is more of a tolerate relationship than truly a friendship.  It's sort of something that we both feel obligated to continue for the kids sake, kind of like tolerating our mother-in-laws??  Since then I've dated a few people over the years.  Most of those relationships weren't as intense and so some of those have become friends.  It isn't quite so difficult, but again I wonder why I do it.  I have however been struggling with my last major breakup.  He continues to want to be friends.  I've tried.  I really have.  I enjoy his company, his conversation, and him in general.  However, I bounce back and forth between enjoying him and really being angry and annoyed by him.  In some ways it's sort of like not really being broken up.  I get to enjoy all of the good parts (well maybe not ALL of them?!?!), but get this constant gnawing feeling in my gut that is angry that he wasn't strong enough to work through the issues we had.  I get resentful that we aren't "really together" any more. So then I get sort of distant and cold.  It has become this little dance.  I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that maybe if you have had a deep connection with someone that you really can't remain friends, at least not for a long while.  I think maybe there has to be a deep healing that occurs and then maybe you develop a brand new friendship.  But to just launch into a friendship after the relationship is really too difficult, as it serves as a constant reminder of what you no longer have.  Maybe it really can't be done, at least not without a lot of pain.  I don't think I'm willing to continue with the pain.  Now I guess I'll have to figure out how to "break up" with him all over again.  Ugh!

July 24, 2008
Birthdays aren't the same after divorce
Tomorrow is my birthday.  As far as I know it is going to look like any other day.  I will be disappointed.  I suppose I have my mother to thank for that.  She always made a big deal of them, so somehow I always expect a big deal now.  When I was married, my husband didn't have a clue, but with a little guidance he usually made them special.  I've been doing birthdays solo for quite some time.  I don't even think my ex took the kids shopping this time.  I prompted them to maybe think about at least baking a cake.  From the rattles going on in the kitchen right now, I think that much is happening.  My birthday is on a Friday night, and I believe I will likely be home cuddled up with a good book, and maybe a good glass of wine.  You see I can't really go out, as it's my night to have the kids.  I know that if I were married, we'd probably at least go out to dinner and to a movie.  So instead I suppose the kids and I will go out to dinner, try their cake creation, and other than that it will probably just have to be an ordinary day.

July 20, 2008
Is the Grass Greener?

I went to a movie and dinner with a "married" girlfriend tonight.  I walked away thinking about how it is we always seem to think the grass is greener on the other side.  She was envious of the fact that I have built in time to myself every single week when my kids go to their Dads.  I of course was envious that she has someone to go to a movie with any night of the week.  Or snuggle with, or eat dinner with, or even just look at.  How about have sex with?  Oh, but I digress.  The point is, I'm sure if I were to pry, she would probably do just about anything to have some built in time and not have 6 little eyes staring at her every next move.  She would probably love to dance around in her underwear just once on a Sunday afternoon.  So why is it that us single people want what the married people have and the married people are always wondering what it might be like to be single again.  So I say, close your eyes, and count your blessings and know you are exactly where you need to be and enjoy the heck out of it.

July 18, 2008
Two houses with two sets of rules

"That's not how we do it at Daaaads," I hear.  Great.  So this split family living isn't always the easiest.  Being a parent of pre-teens isn't the easiest of jobs under any circumstances.  But what on earth do you do when they are shuffling between two parents who have two sets of rules.  Well my best advice is IF YOU CAN, talk to your ex.  Discuss some of the basic rules like bedtimes, curfews, homework habits and so on.  If at all possible agree to some consistencies.  If you can't because your ex thinks that when you have such conversations you are trying to "control" him/her, then don't.  Instead just calmly explain to your child why the rule is the way it is at your house.  Explain that in society there are different rules at different places all the time.  Like at school you can't chew gum or maybe wear shorts, but at home you can.  I also am a firm believer in not setting too many rules, as we all know rules are made to be broken.  So unless it is really causing detriment to your family or your child, sit back and see if maybe you are the one being unreasonable.  Many of us dig in our heels just to spite our ex, and if we really step back we will see that occassionally it is us being out of line.

July 17, 2008
What's for Dinner Mom?
It seems to be the question in every house at about 4 or 5:00 in the afternoon.  What's for dinner?  It certainly seems to fall a lot on Mom, especially in a married relationship.  Well this summer in our back and forth kids living between two houses I decided that maybe my kids could figure it out. So on Tuesdays, the day I pick them up from Dad's, they spend time looking through recipe books and coming up with a menu each.  They have been asked to plan one meal for later in the week, including making a grocery list.  So Tuesday afternoon when I pick them up they are to have grocery list in hand and off to the store we go.  I usually cook Tuesday night since we get home a little later because of the store trip, but my son makes dinner on Wednesday and my daughter usually on Thursday.  It has been an adventure, but each week it is getting more and more delicious!  So much so, that their Dad is anxiously awaiting to hear how it went so they can try their new recipes out on him when they go back over.  I love it, I have two nights a week I don't cook.  They're learning how to cook, read ahead, plan, shop, and be creative.  And even their Dad is learning how to be a cheerleader about something that goes on in my house!  I can't wait, tonight is a BLT pizza, salad, and blueberry smoothies!  Enjoy!

July 12, 2008
What happens if your ex dies and you had kids?
It's probably not something you tend to think about.  You're divorced now right?  But if your kids are next of kin and your ex has not made other provisions, nor has parents around, you may find yourself dealing with the estate.  Having an ex die may affect you in ways you can't imagine. Think back to Cher giving a eulogy at Sonny Bono's funeral.  She was sobbing and could hardly speak.  I have a friend who just lost her ex husband and though she is even remarried, she has hardly had a day go by for weeks when she didn't break down.  Just because you aren't married doesn't necessarily mean your connection is over.  And certainly if you have kids, it is not easy to watch your kids lose someone that they adore.  So though you may be divorced, the death of your ex spouse may touch you. It might be wise to discuss with your ex if there should be provisions or a will in case they die a premature death.  I know my ex and I are pretty good friends, and I can't really imagine anyone else at this point handling my affairs, especailly since it would be on my kids behalf.  But you may not have that kind of relationship, nor trust, so it's wise that you think about it and have that conversation sooner rather than later.

July 6, 2008
How Can I Meet New People?
It seems like after a divorce we are cleaned out.  We're cleaned out emotionally.  Sometimes financially.  Sometimes we are physically drained or physically cleared out of our houses.  So once the shock of everything wears off it can be tough to realize one of the other things that might have cleared out is your friends.  So just how does one go about making new friends or getting back into living again?  I just made the most interesting discovery in the internet world.  It fits right into my idea of I want to meet a new person to date by doing things I love.  But it will work for anyone trying to meet anyone for friendship, activity partner or whatever.  The greatest resource for divorced people to connect with others online is of course www.divorce360.com, but to actually be able to meet people in real life, in person, my new discovery is www.meetup.com.  It's a website designed to put people together to do real life connecting with people of similar interests.  So far I have attended two events.  The first was for people who love hot and spicy food.....we had a "hotluck".  It was really fun, all with people who love spicy food like me!  My second event was today with a hiking group.  We took a lovely hike in the mountains and then went out for a delicious pizza lunch at a local pizzaria.  Both events were with people that were all looking to do activities but didn't have anyone to do them with.  As the leader of the hiking group explained to me, he was looking for someone to go hiking with..........now he has 1100 people to go hiking with!  Of course they don't all come each time, but it's pretty much a given that if you are in the mood to go, at least someone will come along.  So check it out. I'd love to hear about your meetup experiences!  Get back out into life.  Do something you love........with other people who love it!

July 4, 2008
With kids, would you consider getting married again?
Marriage.  Hmmm.  Sounded good in theory, but it didn't work out so well for me.  Well it didn't work out so well in the marriage part, but as a human being I have evolved and grown in ways that I can only look back and be thankful.  I divorced when my kids were 1 and 3.  I am rapidly approaching the ten year mark.  My kids now almost 11 and 13!  If you would have told me when I first got divorced that I would not be remarried by now I would have thought you were out of your mind.  Today, I think that for my kids sake, I'm glad I haven't.  Of course I haven't found exactly the right guy or relationship yet.  You see I think that during the last 10 years I have been shopping for three of us.  Of course I want something that is good for me and helps me grow and will last long beyond when the kids grow up and leave away.  But for this time when I've got kids in my day to day life, that relationship must fit well for them as well.  I would consider marriage again if it is something that is right for all 3 of us, not just for me.  I would love to find a relationship that will set the example to my kids of exactly how a relationship can be done and done well.  But unless it is going to be exactly that, I'm not settling.  I'm too important and so are my kids.

July 3, 2008
So what is the dating etiquette these days?
So I'm on my new path to dating.  I'm not out "looking" for someone to date. Instead I'm just out doing whatever it is I love to do and theoretically eventually I'll meet someone interesting that loves doing that same thing.  I've been testing it out and thus far it's been successful.  Sort of.  My first venture was at a concert in the park.  This very nice and attractive gentleman came up, introduced himself, asked if we could go to dinner sometime.  I gave him my number and explained that I thought we should visit a little bit more on the phone (it was hard to talk much at a concert!) before we go to dinner. When we left we agreed he would call.  I was looking forward to it.  He never did. His loss I suppose, but why would you act so interested and then blow someone off???  Maybe my website scared him away???  Ha!  My next venture was at a political function.  I met a charming fellow.  We hit it of very well.  We actually spent the rest of the evening tucked away in a cafe sharing wine.  We scheduled a date for the next night at a concert in the park (what can I say, I like concerts in the park!).  He was so completely different from the first night.  It was almost like the wine had him just saying anything and then without the wine he was hardly the same person and suddenly our interests didn't match much.  He never called again either.  Is that the norm these days?  Do you not call and at least say, thanks but no thanks?  I guess it's fine, but it sure seems like a strange way of doing things if you ask me.


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