Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Readers of the HuffPost’s Divorce section contributed to this list of preconceived ideas about divorce that they found frustrating. Of course everyone’s situation is different, but that’s the point.

1. “That divorce takes two people. It took both to get married, but the divorce can be a decision of solely one person.”

2. “People think that an adversarial divorce is ‘normal’ and exes who co-parent with respect and collaboration are ‘weird’ (I’ve been called that more than once!)”

3. “That divorce is the easy way out. It takes strength to maintain a good marriage and strength to get out of a bad one.”

4. “A lot of men think you must be desperate and ready to sleep with just anyone after divorce. No, thanks.”

5. “I hate reading those posts that say something like, ‘when something is broken, you fix it. If your marriage is broken, fix it.’ It makes it seem like divorce is an easy way out, a cop out or a coward’s exit. I find that tasteless and ignorant.”

6. “That its the end of the world and that it messes your children up for life. My kids are great and the divorce was not the end of the world.”

7. “The stigma of the ‘divorced’ status is so wrong. People think, ‘There must be something wrong with you because you’re divorced.’ It’s like they think you’re destined to be alone.”

8. “People think that getting a divorce makes someone a failure. Really? They say half of marriages end in divorce.”

9. “That all it takes is a good lawyer, a decent amount of money, a couple of signatures and a name change to get back to ‘normal.'”

10. “Your friends treat your divorce like it’s some kind of disease going around and avoid you because they fear they’re going to catch it.”

11. “People think not divorcing and staying together for the kids is a better alternative. That’s not always the case.”

12. “That you’re doomed to be single. I found real love again!”

13. “That you can live separate lives after divorce if kids are involved. Your kids need you to communicate now more than ever!”

14. “That getting a divorce doesn’t hurt the person who decided to leave.”

15. “Some people actually believe men don’t create drama in divorce.”

16. “The biggest myth is that people who get divorced are quitters who don’t take marriage seriously. (Confession: I used to think this.)”

17. “That they are immune. If you’re married, it can happen to you regardless of the promises made. Scary, sad and true.”

18. “A lot of people I know think the process is quick and easy. I get sick of people asking me if it’s over.”

19. “That divorce makes you incredibly sad. So many people said ‘sorry’ to me but my divorce meant freedom! I was thrilled to be getting a divorce.”

20. “People believe that you and your family automatically hate your former spouse. Some do (and deserve it), but plenty of us don’t.”

21. “That you are giving up on love and your life will end. That’s not true at all. You’re starting to love yourself and your life is just beginning.”
— Source: 21 Ridiculous Things People Believe About Divorce

Identity is something…

Identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is a process that you must be active in.
— Joss Whedon

We just read the article If the Reason You Earn Money is Just to Spend it, You will Always Financially Struggle on thesimpledollar.com. Of course he’s right. If you look forward to your paycheck so you can get the latest or a bigger this or that, be seen here or there, or go wherever, instead of using it for the essentials and then saving the rest, you will always struggle financially.

But even though that registers mentally, for some, spending money is tied to emotions. For example, I (Tracy) definitely spend more money when I have a job I don’t like or live in a place that doesn’t excite me. My money isn’t buying things. It’s buying happiness. (Yes, I’ve actually analyzed this.) When I’m happy it’s much easier for me to think about where my money is going and to control it.

During a divorce or separation ,one household becomes two. And items that your partner used to pay for (or at least their part)  will have to be paid for by you, or else disappear from your life. This is no time to go on a wild spending spree. Yet, this might be exactly when you fell most like doing it to make you feel better. To buy happiness.

If this sounds like you stop. Don’t make impulse buys. Sleep on it. It’s amazing how something you just had to have in the store is the last thing you think about the next day if it was a “want” and not a “need.”

Also think about what you won’t have if you buy that shiny new thing. Food, the ability to pay your electric bill, money for gas, money for car repairs, rent? You get the picture.

Think about what your money is really buying. And if it’s happiness, believe me, there are free ways to achieve that (exercising, listening to music, being with your real friends, doing something for someone else, for example).

P.S. If it’s social status and that really makes a difference to your friends, are they really your friends? Think about it.

Frenzy

Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control. It is often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions.

– Train Your Brain to Focus (www.blogs.hbr.org)

It’s only natural for someone going through a divorce or separation to feel like this at times. When those times come, acknowledge the existence of the negative emotion and they try to find ways throughout your day to balance your negative emotions with positive ones. To do this you can try exercising, meditating, and being mindful of the good and beautiful things around you. Do you have a favorite street? Then walk down it. A favorite scent? Spritz in on. Find ways to laugh. Use your senses to get out of yourself and appreciate the world around you.

And then notice what triggers those frenzy attacks. When you feel one coming on, treat it like you would a headache.

  1. Acknowledge that it’s there;
  2. Take a deep breath;
  3. Balance it with the positive; and
  4. Let it go.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

– Arnold Schwarzenegger

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We know that that it’s the thought that counts, but after the thought, you still may have gifts hanging around the house that you just, well, don’t want need. And these gifts can be a burden in two ways if you in the midst of a separation.

1) They add to the things you have to pack if a move is in your future; and

2) They could be replacing things that you do want like other items or cash, both of which can be very valuable if you’re strapped for money due to a separation.

The good news is that by doing these 5 things, these gifts can keep on giving to you. Here’s a list as seen in the article,

5 Smart Ways to Turn Unwanted Gifts Into Extra Cash by Elyssa Kirkham (GoBankingRates.com).

1. Return Unwanted Gifts

Great for: gifts for which you have the receipt and/or know where they were purchased.
Go ahead and ask gift-givers for copies of the receipt if you need them; it might feel awkward, but if they are in a true gift-giving spirit, they will probably want you to end up with something you love. If they don’t have the receipt, you can still try and return the item as long as you know where it was purchased.
How to Return Unwanted Gifts

It’s easiest to return an unwanted present if you have the gift receipt, but there are ways to get around this.
Stores with the best return policies will accept returns or exchanges without a receipt, including Costco, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Most stores will require a valid government ID, such as a driver’s license, however. Additionally, many stores will only issue store credit for returns without a purchase receipt.

2. Resell Unwanted Presents

Great for: gifts you are unable to return, valuable or popular products, and gift cards.
If you can’t return an item, you can always try selling it. You might not get the full retail value in return for the item, but cash in hand is better than having to figure out what to do with an unwanted gift.
How to Sell Unwanted Gifts

There are a few venues you can try to resell your extra holiday goodies. The obvious choice is to sell the item yourself, through listing services such as Craigslist or eBay. This is a particularly good choice if you have items with a lot of inherent value, such as name brands or in-demand electronic devices.

If you aren’t up for the risk, responsibility or hassle that comes with selling directly to buyers, you can try the “Fulfilled by Amazon” service. You simply send in your unwanted items to Amazon, which in turn warehouses them and includes your price on the product listing. Once a buyer is found, Amazon will handle all the shipping and give you a check or credit after taking a small cut.

Lastly, if you were given a gift card to a store or restaurant you’re unlikely to frequent, there are several services that make it simple to get cash in exchange for your unwanted gift cards. Some top-reviewed sites to sell gift cards include CardPool.com, GiftCardGranny.com, Raise.com and CardHub.com.

3. Regift Your Holiday Loot

Great for: generic gifts like gift baskets, consumables (check expiration dates) or gift cards.
If you get a duplicate gift or already own a similar product that isn’t worth enough to sell, it could be the ideal candidate for regifting. Examples include accessories for electronics, entertainment media, jewelry, and health and beauty products.

How to Regift Unwanted Presents

Consider if there is anyone you know who you think would appreciate or use the item you have. If it is specific to your interests, such as sports memorabilia, chances are there is a family member or friend who is a fan of the same team. Just make sure to follow proper regifting etiquette to avoid any uncomfortable scenes.

Once you’ve decided who to regift the item to, label it with a Post-it with a reminder of the intended receiver’s name and occasion (i.e. birthday gift, anniversary, house-warming, etc.).

Items that have general appeal are ideal for regifting, as they can be given to a wide variety of people. General items can be kept on-hand as easy, last-minute gifts for any occasion. When an occasion comes up that calls for a gift, you’ll already have an item ready to be wrapped and given away.

4. Swap It For Something You Want

Great for: entertainment media, gift cards and apparel.

How to Swap Gifts You Don’t Want for Ones You Do

Gift-swapping parties are a great way to switch out something you’re not crazy about for something you are. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, after all. Arrange a get-together with friends or family and ask them to bring items they were given that they don’t love. Then guests can mingle and check out each other’s loot, and agree on a fair exchange.

If you would prefer a swapping system that is more automated, there are several swap sites out there to help get the job done, such as Swap.com or SwapAce.com for entertainment, and SwapStyle or ThredUP to sell or trade apparel.

For exchanging gift cards, try CardPool.com, which allows you to trade gift cards as well as sell and buy them.

5. Donate it For a Tax Write-off

Great for: unwanted toys, clothes and anything you feel would help someone in need.

How to Donate Gifts

There are several charities that will take gift donations, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots. In addition to those larger charities, many churches, synagogues and homeless shelters are in constant need of clothing, food and toys for needy families in their area or people without homes.

Donating gifts is a wonderful way to help those in need, but could also help you with your end-of-year finances. Many donation centers, religious institutions, educational charities and welfare foundations are 501(c) charities, which means that your unwanted Christmas present can become a tax write-off, potentially increasing your tax return next year. To make it easier to write off the donation, make sure to ask the organization for a receipt that denotes the value of the item given.

Do you have any other ideas?

Fear to a great extent….

TEDxConcordiaUPortland2012 - Cheryl Strayed

TEDxConcordiaUPortland2012 – Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: TEDxConcordiaUPortland Planning Team)

Fear to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told.

Cheryl Strayed

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.