Recently I got involved in a project on Facebook aptly titled #TEAM DIVORCE. It’s trending all over social media right now if you count the three people Twittering amongst themselves. Our matriarch accidentally (Click on the link, that would be an example of a pun) wrote a post about the Top Ten Things I’d Tell a New Ex-Wife, and asked me if I would write a rebuttal from the divorced man side of things. Since I only say no to piercing the ears of a grizzly bear and eating gas station sushi, of course, I accepted the offer. So here goes Skipah’s Top Ten Things I’d a tell freshly divorced man as a rebuttal to my #TeamDivorce sister from another mother!
You have nothing to prove
Your damn right you have nothing to prove. I got blindsided, I lost the house, I lost the dog, I lost the kid. You know what, though, it made me mentally tougher than someone that holds a P.H.D. in Zen. Divorced man fraternity brother, it will get better, and you are going to be happier than a three-legged man at an ass kicking contest once you realize it.
This too shall pass
It will pass, it will also cost you an arm and a leg if you have kids and actively want to be in their life. Stay strong, dad, depending on the age(s) of your children, they figure it out really quick. You never chose this, and it sucks; there is a period where you are mentally running at the speed of light. Get a therapist if you can afford it (thank you health insurance), surround yourself with friends and family, and don’t so much as fart without consulting them first. In the end, though, it will pass, and you will look back and be proud of yourself for getting through one of the most stressful things life will ever throw at you.
You are still a role model to your kid(s)
Kids don’t have the first clue of what is going on initially; they are trying to comprehend that mommy and daddy don’t live together anymore. Their UBT (Universal Bullshit Detector) will figure it out real quickly and you will be in a position to either dump on your ex or take the high road. Take the high road and sit back and laugh when their young minds start connecting the dots. More than likely, freshly divorced dad, you fell prey to the cash grab that is family law. There are movements to reign this in, but it isn’t going to help you in the present. The time you get to spend with your child(ren), make it count! Do you want to watch a montage of Victoria Secret models playing beach volleyball when your kid(s) want to go get ice cream? Guess what, you can YouTube that crap after they go to bed! I have a daughter; she will never open a door in my presence if I can help it, nor will she be the one walking closest to traffic if we are taking an evening stroll. Hell, I use these principles with Miss Madison and she’s a grown woman! Mr. Divorced Dad, it’s on you to be someone they look up to in this transition. Don’t blow it!
You can do this
You’re a grown ass man! Of course you can do this! Ex-wife did the laundry? It’s not rocket science, figure it out. Learn to cook for yourself if you already didn’t know how. When you are ready to jump back into the dating pool, this will drive your sexiness meter up at least 20 points! Of course you can do this, otherwise your man card will be up for revocation at the next committee meeting. It will take a few months, but you got this freshly divorced man.
Do something for yourself every day
Newly single and sitting at home alone many nights, what else do you have to do? Start a blog; it’s therapeutic and an easy release for what is going on in your head. Get involved with volunteering and charity work. Lose the shell you lived in, this is your new lease on life. Personally, I got involved with colon cancer research and any 5k walk/run I could find.
Be in charge of your money
Great advice if you can do it, but more than likely, divorcee brother, you are scrambling worse than an egg in a 1980’s “Say no to drugs campaign.” Your income just went from two to one, and you’ve spent your married life budgeting on that second income. Guess what, lawyers aren’t cheap, custody wars (if the case) are even more expensive. You are in charge of it, but there comes a time where keeping the lights on or fighting for the kid become life altering decisions. Of course you choose the kid(s), but sitting in the dark for a night or two sucks!
Talk about it as much as you need to
I’m in total agreement here. I personally ran up over 5,000 cell phone minutes once I learned I was getting divorced. Form yourself your own #TeamDivorce team and lean on them every single day. Since the divorce rate in this country is around fifty percent, chances are this isn’t the first rodeo for anyone in your inner circle. Mr. Man, don’t hold it in. I don’t care how tough you think you are, your life just got turned upside down and find others to help you cope. Otherwise, you may end up dead; I know I almost did.
When you meet the new “other” in their life
I can’t give a good response to this. I’ve met my child’s stepdad only once, and that was before he was a stepdad. It wasn’t under the best of circumstances at the time either, but, freshly divorced dude, when you find out he stole your ex-wife and took a vow of marriage for the fifth time with your baby mama, just be yourself. God knows your kid(s) have it figured out, and that is all that matters.
Try not to be jealous
Pal, welcome to the divorce club. It’s a moniker you never thought you would wear, but wear it proudly! Jealousy will get you nowhere. It’s over for you and the one you chose for the “love of your life,” the quicker you accept it, the better things will get. Take my advice on question #4 and make sure you are Rico Suave in the kitchen. You will meet new people that are sexier, younger, and more intelligent that the one that just divorced you. Even better for you, jealousy gets flipped, and it kills your ex on a day to day basis to see you survived without them and got to trade in that 1994 Chevy Blazer with rusty fenders and a tick in the engine for a 2016 Porsche with heated seats! Mr. Divorced Male, we are brothers in arms from this point forward—you continue to be a good parent, hold your head up high, and when you have to be around your ex for anything, just freaking smile.
Divorce does not define you
Hell no, it doesn’t define you! In my case I never chose it. Almost two years later, I would say it’s the best thing to ever happen to me (the GDP of a third world country in legal fees that got me nothing notwithstanding). I met Miss Madison, and before I even met her, I got involved in the blogging culture and made friends that I wouldn’t have ever met otherwise!
About it for now, #TeamDivorce is always looking for new members (unfortunately), guys or gals, seek out our help! We’ve been through it, and can steer you through the uncharted waters you are about to endure! It sucks monkey nuts, but you will come out on the other side in a better position!