Dating. It seems easy enough. You’ve done it before. You can do it again, right? Dating after divorce can’t be that hard.Perhaps you’re a bit rusty and you need to get some kinks out, get some air in those tires and figure out if you can still keep your balance. So you venture out. However, the climate has changed this go-round and the conditions are a bit cooler than expected. You’re starting to wonder if it’s you that has changed or the women you’re trying to date.
The honest answer, at this point, is that you both have. And that’s just fine. In order to make the terrain easier to navigate here are three common potholes to avoid at all costs when dating, post-divorce.
Are you familiar with the adage “Don’t bring sand to the beach”? In the dating world this loosely translates to “Don’t bring your ex on a date.” You would think this would be obvious, right?
We took an informal vote of every woman on the planet, and asked how many wanted to hear you talk about your ex on a date. Although we are still awaiting complete results, the answer so far is zero. Zero women want to hear you talk about your ex. Now, if this seems harsh, or if you can’t imagine an evening spent without discussing her, your wounds may be fresh and it may be too early. And that’s fine. It simply means that you should spend more time around your friends until that stage has passed. And it will. Someday.
How can you tell? Simple. Conduct a self interview. Can you make it through dinner without talking about her, albeit negatively or nostalgically? Yes? Great. Are you 100% confident in that answer? Do you think you’re a rock in this area? I suggest you test your mettle prior to dating after divorce and find out how many drinks can you handle before you start talking about her. Subtract 2 from that number and that’s your limit on a date.
Less Is More When Dating After Divorce
Oftentimes when in a new situation or when uncharted territory arises, there may come with it feelings of unknowing or insecurity. In order to give the illusion of confidence, the tendency may be to overcompensate or take up more space in a room than necessary. Behind closed doors, women refer to this as the Peacock Syndrome. And then we giggle. Guess what? You don’t need to unnecessarily self-inflate and I’ll tell you why. She already agreed to go on a date with you.
It’s that simple.
Rather than flood the room with what I’m sure is your fantastic personality, rest assured she is already there for a reason. She is interested in you. If she weren’t, she wouldn’t be there. Use the ‘less is more’ approach to take some time to get to know her. The only way to do that is to talk half as much as you listen. Imagine the date is over and she is on the phone with her friend talking about you, because it will happen. Would you rather she say there was something different about you she liked (hint: you listened) or that you were cool but you really only talked about yourself the entire time? Easily avoidable pothole friends, easily avoidable.
Don’t Bring Presents – Be Present
Showing up with a lavish gift when dating after divorce may be a bit awkward if you barely know the person. Even though showing up with flowers is thoughtful, it may still be a bit awkward, as it brings with it the dilemma of where to put them during the course of the evening.
The best way to avoid awkward is to bring another kind of gift: the gift of self. What does that mean? It means put down your phone, take a deep breath, settle in and give her your undivided attention. Give yourself the time to enjoy the company of the person who took time out of their busy schedule to get to know you. What do you find interesting about her? Does she throw her head back when she laughs? Does she play with her wineglass while she talks? Is she nervous too? Is she a good storyteller? Do you have anything in common? Can you imagine the unexpected payoff of being present for these moments? Some day, all these little things may add up to something incredible, and you’ll be thankful you paid attention.
We’ve all been there. That point of no return where you’ve reached your limit and can’t possibly keep your mouth shut. You’ve stood at the edge of the abyss of anger and said “screw it”, right before you went over the edge. Or maybe you didn’t even pause on the precipice, and just sailed right over, not giving it a second thought.
The red-hot rage train running out of track at an alarming rate. Passengers, crew and onlookers all voiceless and wide-eyed as the situation unfolds. We can point fingers in these situations, assign blame and accuse the other person of “pressing our buttons”. But in the end, we are responsible for our own actions. In the end, we always have a choice. As it is much easier to learn how to keep your mouth shut when you’re not already seeing red, let’s look at reasons to hold back.
This Too Shall Pass
Whatever situation you’re in, whatever is stirring your emotional hot-pot, and no matter what whatever expectation you had that’s not being met, it will pass.
Let’s say, for argument sake, that it’s your soon-to-be ex, and things have gotten ugly toward the end of your marriage. You’ve both adopted that “screw it” attitude toward each other, and the verbal gloves are off.
The beauty of this situation is that the sooner you stop engaging in negativity, the sooner the negativity will stop. It’s no longer an argument when just one person is involved. The firestorm will become a thing of the past rather than something you’re surrounded by.
What You Say Can Be Used Against You
We’ve all been there. Said that one thing we wish we could take back. No sooner did the words come out than we felt a sharp pang of regret. The look on the other person’s face as the pain registers is palpable. While the pain is visible on the surface, permanent damage is happening on a deeper level. Remember when we said this too shall pass?
No matter how angry you are with this person, there is a high degree of likelihood that someday, at some point in life, you will be civil again. This may be very hard to believe while in the heat of an argument or at the end of a marriage, but it’s true. Make life that much easier for yourself. Keep your mouth shut. There will be less resentment, less to overcome and apologize for later.
Do You Really Want To Say That In Front of the Kids?
Arguments are rarely a two player game fought behind closed doors. They’re in public, in front of friends, coworkers and even children. Your audience is paying attention, both to you and how you are handling yourself. Children may emulate you.
There is plenty of research that shows fighting in front of the kids can be damaging, as reported by ABC News, Good Morning America. Just don’t go there.
If someone set up a video camera and filmed you during an argument, would you like what you saw? Everyone is a baby-kissing, handshaking rock star when things are going great. You’ve created a memory for your audience, and they are taking stock of your character when things are blowing up. Keep your composure and walk away the good guy.
What Goes In Cyberspace Stays In Cyberspace
We’ve all been witness to arguments in the social media arena. Please. Don’t be that guy. Know that we, as a collective audience, are rolling our eyes as people take passive aggressive shots at one another online. We all know what you mean, and who your “inspirational” quotes are really addressing.
Dude, leave us out of it. If you happen to have a few too many one evening and take to proselytizing your true feelings online, deleting it the next morning amidst a haze of regret does not your problem solve. Know that your comments are saved in the camera roll of at least ten people. Save yourself the pain of becoming a meme and keep your mouth shut online.
What If She’s Right?
“She started it!” At least once in your life you have either thought that or said it out loud. And it was beyond the third grade when it happened. Well, guess what? Maybe she did. And maybe the reason you’re so angry is because what she said holds a degree of truth. Bear in mind, anger is a secondary emotion and most often masks pain. If what she is saying truly hurt, take note. She may have done you a favor. Also take note that even if it is true, did hurt, and has made you angry, how you react is still your choice. Choosing to keep your mouth shut is a viable option.
There’s A Better View From the High Road When You Keep Your Mouth Shut
Maybe you’re in a heated debate and the conversation has taken an ugly turn. Mudslinging ensures, and dammit if you didn’t forget your raincoat. Guess what, friends? The view is better from the high road.
The amusing thing about taking the high road when involved with a mudslinger is that very little effort is required on your part provided you hold your ground. Hold your ground by remaining silent, fold your arms, and watch as they slowly but surely sink before your eyes. Your view will improve in a few short minutes.
Nice Guys Do Finish First
Nice guys are a misunderstood breed. Honestly. Nice guy don’t receive enough credit for who they really are. Under the surface of every nice guy is a man who is skilled in the art of mediation. Think about it.
Guys who can handle a hot situation are sexy.
Consider a situation that is on the verge of escalation and consider who steps in. Nice guys right? Nice guys are masters at distancing and disconnecting. Rather than engage in an argument they smile and laugh.
Nice guys have an amazing ability to see situations for what they are, just a stream of passing words. He will change the tide of argument with a gentle laugh, a reassuring tone and a well-timed use of touch. Don’t believe it? Watch a nice guy in action at your next opportunity.
So the next time you are in a wicked hot rage, dial it back to wicked not and save yourself the trouble of explaining yourself later!
How do you handle wicked hot? Or Not? Tell us your best and worst in the comments below.
Need more convincing? G.D. Wessel will clue you in on the 6 Ill Effects of Talking About Your Divorce on the Internet. Then, check out Aileen O’Leary’s advice on Winning Strategies for the Battle of the Exes.
Sound like anyone you know? Remember to share this on social media!
(c) Can Stock Photo / Elnur
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Being a divorced Dad can be one of the most frustrating experiences any parent will ever face. For many it seems like a can’t-win situation. You find that you’re constantly trying to prove yourself – to your ex, to the children, and often to a Step-Dad who has moved into the picture.
When Mom has time with the children, frequently your kids are seeing more of Step-Dad than you. That can feel very disempowering and bring up all sorts of issues – not to mention jealousy. While it’s understandable for any Dad to feel that way, it is also wise to get a handle on that jealousy … for the sake of your children.
Think about it this way. When it comes to those children, both you and Step-Dad share a common interest, their well-being. For that reason finding a way to get along with Step-Dad, and show him some respect for his efforts on their behalf, can positively impact everyone in the family dynamic, especially your children. They don’t want to see you angry, fighting, or putting down Mom or Step-Dad. The emotional upheaval this creates for your children complicates their lives, filling them with guilt, confusion and a lack of confidence when it comes to trusting new relationships.
Tom Wohlmut, President of Stepfamily Network, says “Men tend to be very competitive and territorial. But, when they’re parenting the same child, they need to think about being on the same football team, not opposing teams.” A supportive father will therefore help his children to not feel guilty for liking or supporting Step-Dad as he interacts in their lives.
In fact, says Wohlmut, you might want to ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do to acknowledge the male father figure? Children need to understand there is only one Dad and one Mom and that will never, ever change. But, that doesn’t mean the other male in their life doesn’t have good qualities they can benefit from.”
This, of course, is equally relevant if a new Step-Mom enters the picture on your side. The goal is to do whatever you can to keep your children from feeling conflicted or disloyal if they get along with their Step-Parents and find many of their qualities or areas of expertise to be appealing.
Children have a huge capacity to love as well as to learn from many influences in their lives. Don’t force them to depend exclusively on you, especially if you’re needing it as an ego boost. The real challenge is to continue to build, keep and maintain your relationship with your children – despite time intervals and distance – because of your love for them. You are fortunate when Step-Dad is a complementary figure in their lives who sincerely cares for them and strives to do his best.
No one ever said being a divorced Dad was easy. There are no guarantees regarding who a new Step-Dad will be either. But when you keep your perspective clearly focused on your children’s emotional and psychological well-being, you’ll be steered in the right direction for yourself and your children. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. To get her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies For Getting It Right! as well as coaching services, articles, advice, expert interviews and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues, visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.
© Can Stock Photo
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File for an Online Divorce
Are eDivorces Really a Thing and Three Ways to Get One
The 21st Century is all about saving time and convenience. We can get married in Las Vegas through a drive-through. We shop online for grocery deliveries, pay our bills and bank online, and do many other things online. It isn’t surprising that you can now file for divorce on the Internet.
What Is an Online Divorce?
An online divorce is when paperwork is legally prepared with the help of online forms to end a marriage. Typically, a service will act as an intermediary between you and your local court system and will file all appropriate documents on your behalf. An online divorce is legal and only allowed for uncontested divorces. An uncontested divorce is when both people want to get divorced and have a speedy, unhindered process.
How Does It Work?
Go to an online service such as LegalZoom or WeVorce and go through a step by step process. The paperwork will address all aspects of the divorce.
You will verify that you and your spouse actually want the divorce. Then you will go through a marital settlement agreement that includes a division of property, debt division, child custody, alimony, child support, a child agreement, etc.
Everything is taken into consideration and documented so both spouses have access to the online divorce documents. Easy to follow instructions are given on how to file these papers with the court.
The websites that prepare the paperwork often can’t file the divorce for you. If you do need help filing, then they’ll refer you to a professional. Depending on the laws in your state, you may have to appear in court for a hearing.
Usually, an uncontested divorce doesn’t require a court appearance, but there are exceptions. Once a judge signs your divorce decree, you may wait a few weeks to receive a copy, and when you do then you can consider yourself officially divorced after your state’s applicable waiting period (if any).
How Much Does It Cost?
It varies on the service you’re using but an uncontested divorce is a fraction of the cost of most contested divorces. Lawyers often aren’t necessary in uncontested divorces, and an eDivorce may actually save you thousands of dollars.
According to LegalZoom.com the average contested divorce ranges from $15,000 to $30,000. If you have a simple uncontested divorce then it can be as little as $250 to $500.
Who Actually Qualifies for an Online Divorce?
Surprisingly a lot of everyday people are getting them. Nora Gibson and Mark Kormylo of Boise, Idaho used WeVorce to file for divorce. They had a 12-year-old child at the time and didn’t want to go through a nasty divorce as others that have gone through.
“We had both heard horror stories of screaming across attorney’s tables and this seemed like a much more cordial way to end our marriage,” said Kormylo.
More than 250 couples that have gone through WeVorce and the company claims that they’ll make $16 million in revenue.
This isn’t a new phenomenon, back in 2003 CompleteCase.com and LegalZoom.com each said they have served 20,000 customers throughout the U.S. in less than three years of operation (at that time).
How do I get an Online Divorce?
We recommend online legal services that will guide you step by step, and create court documents for you. Let’s look at the online services in more detail.
- Both spouses will get all the completed documents.
- Easy filing instructions.
- A marital settlement agreement.
- A parenting plan that includes your child agreement.
- A financial child support document.
- Name change for your wife if she desires to go back to her maiden name.
- Free revisions for 30 days and free delivery of your entire order.
- Customer service throughout the entire process.
A peace of mind review. LegalZoom will contact you via email and the telephone and fact check with you, that everything is accurate. All the given information will be verified to be correct or corrected, and that it complies with your state’s laws. The peace of mind review isn’t available in Missouri.
A standard package starts at $299, but it excludes court filing fees.
- Both spouses will get all the completed documents.
- 1 hour free consultation ($149 value) if you choose to file
- Before filing the divorce, you can schedule a free 20-30 minute consultation
- Easy filing instructions.
- A marital settlement agreement.
- A parenting plan that includes your child agreement.
- A financial child support document.
- Additional consulting services.
- Mediation services.
- Customer service throughout the entire process.
A standard package starts at $749, but it excludes court filing fees.
WeVorce does things a little differently from LegalZoom. You fill out a free profile and Wevorce will ask you basic questions about your current situation. What makes WeVorce unique is that they use an algorithm for each couple. It’s similar to how Netflix will make recommendations based on your preferences.
Once you fill out your profile WeVorce gives you a likely scenario of the possible outcome of your divorce. Your profile will also include advice on your divorce readiness, the financial impact, and behavioral indicators based on your archetype.
There are similar alternatives such as CompleteCase.com and UsLegalForms.com but they pretty much offer similar services to LegalZoom and WeVorce.
The D0-It-Yourself Version of an Online Divorce
Maybe you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have already had the talk and are in agreement with what you both want to do in regards to your divorce, property, children, pets, etc.
You both want an uncontested divorce and want to bypass lawyers and even third party websites such as the ones we mentioned because they might be too expensive for you.
eDivorcePapers.com will actually provide you free divorce and papers for you state. They provide all the basic forms to end your marriage and come to a marital settlement agreement. There are also instructions on how to complete the forms and file them with the court.
Also, you may even get your divorce court fees waived if you can show financial difficulties to the court.
Although eDivorcePapers.com doesn’t offer a sophisticated algorithm, mediation or consultations, and it’s best for those that know they are going to have a simple, fast, uncontested divorce. They do offer basic divorce advice and refer you to divorce lawyers should you need them.
They don’t really offer customer service as the other websites do, the only way to reach them is through an email.
Divorce is messy, costly, and traumatic for both parents and children. Actress Lena Headey claimed to have less than $5 dollars in her bank account a couple of years ago, even though she acts on Game of Thrones and makes six figures.
She explained that she was going through a rough divorce and was fighting for custody of her son. She eventually got back on her feet but not everyone has a six figure salary to fall back on.
Here at Guyvorce we recommend that you avoid an expensive divorce as much as possible and that you settle your divorce amicably. We would prefer that you focus your energy on rebuilding your new life.
Remember that these services are actually helping you represent yourself in court. They’re not acting as your legal lawyers. If you feel it’s best to consult a lawyer at any point even if it’s only for one session during your uncontested divorce then go with that.
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Divorce Versus Annulment
Examining the Differences in the Most Common Ways to End a Marriage
They both are a means to an end. An annulment completely erases the wedding and marriage from history. Divorce acknowledges the union existed but legally ends it.
In our day in age, one would think we’ve all come to accept that marriages end. Pencils do have erasers, after all. But for some, the shameful stigma of failure is enough to leave them wishing the marriage hadn’t occurred in the first place.
That said, annulments aren’t easy to come by.
Reasons for an Annulment
When Actress Renée Zellweger filed for an annulment in 2005 from singer Kenny Chesney after four months of marriage, she cited fraud as her reason for doing so. She was eventually granted her annulment.
Fraud could mean any number of things. One spouse could have lied about something that deeply impacted the other spouse. And that could be about anything from their ability to have children, marrying to gain citizenship, or one of them could’ve been underage at the time they married.
A few years ago in the UK, twins who were separated at birth found out they were siblings after having married. They later sought to have their marriage annulled in a secret court hearing.
Although rare, unintentional incest does happen. In those cases, courts must give room for unique situations.
Bigamy occurs when a person marries someone new while still legally married to their prior spouse.
It applies most to cases in which one person is coerced into marrying another. This is probably most obvious with teen brides in certain fundamentalist religions.
Britney Spears was hanging out with her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, one night in Las Vegas. The two got married that night in 2004, and 55 hours later, their marriage was annulled.
Disability or Mental Illness
Either one or both of the spouses could have entered the marriage without understanding the consequences. Sometimes mentally capable people marry someone with a disability.
No Consummation of the Marriage
A marriage in which the parties have not engaged in sexual activity can end in an annulment.
Marriage Prohibited by Law
In the past, marriage was inaccessible to same-sex and interracial couples. Thankfully, we are becoming a more progressive society. But there could be actual legitimate reasons for a marriage to be considered an illegal union that we haven’t covered here.
In certain religions, like the Roman Catholic church, for example, you can actually receive a religious annulment after getting a civil divorce. This annulment allows both parties to remarry someone in their religion.
Reasons for Divorce
Divorce is complicated. Depending on your state, you may have both no-fault and fault divorce options. In a no-fault divorce, neither is blamed for the breakup.
In an at-fault divorce, one spouse wants the other to have the responsibility of being blamed for ending the marriage. Many states, however, no longer recognize fault divorces.
An at-fault divorce generally includes:
This could be a serious addiction to anything from drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.
One or both spouses had affairs.
Whether physical or emotional, one spouse subjects the other to domestic abuse.
Sometimes one spouse will leave the other.
One spouse could have developed an incurable mental illness.
If one commits a crime, is convicted, and is sent away to prison for a significant amount of time.
Objections to At-Fault Divorce
You can object to an at-fault divorce for these common reasons.
In collusion, both spouses agree that one of them will take the fault for whatever allegation the other cooked up. It was a common practice long ago when two people grew tired of their marriage and wanted an easy way out.
The acceptance of a certain type of bad behavior. If the marriage was an open one, and one of them tries to file an at-fault based divorce claiming adultery, it’ll backfire. It can be difficult to prove condonation as not everyone will commit adultery.
Connivance occurs when one suspects the other is cheating. An elaborate scheme gets cooked up to catch the deceitful partner in the act.
For example: Say a woman knows her husband is struggling with sex addiction. She invites her female friend over to entice her husband. The wife arrives home to find her man in bed with her friend, just as she planned.
In court, she alleges adultery. He could argue that his wife set him up and connived him into it.
Someone made you do it. If a wife accuses her husband of domestic abuse, he could claim she provoked him by hitting him first. It’s taboo to talk about this but male domestic violence exists. In these cases, men are victims just like women are.
Often, may star in the relationship because they are usually in denial. They want to protect their children, or their church encourages them to continue to work on the union. It’s the same reasons women stay.
At the end of the day, most courts want to have a solution to the problem whether that means an annulment or divorce. Courts aren’t interested in keeping people together if they’re not interested in being together. In the end, it all depends on your specific set of circumstances and your state’s laws on whether you can file and be granted an annulment or divorce.
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