How to Turn Modern Divorce Into a Positive Experience...

Dear Readers: This article was written by a divorced woman expressly for this blog. When her son was diagnosed with Autism at two years of age, her husband started to abuse him to get the boy to change. She divorced him, and had been homeschooling him until last year. When it was suggested that she take him off all sugars, she took the advice. She then put her son through a metal detox and he asked to go to school and for the first time. He is now twelve years old and sleeps through the night. Her story is not only inspiring, but life affirming. She has so much to share, and I am thrilled to place her words on this blog.

Modern divorce is just as disruptive to your life as historical divorces, however, today there are a lot more things working in your favor to minimize post-divorce trauma. While there is going to be discomfort, emotional trauma and financial stress, you can survive a divorce. To come out of your divorce in a good place you will need to follow a few simple divorce survival tips.

When you get divorced you are going to be given lots of different divorce survival tips. Some will be helpful and some will be useless. If you want to improve your post-divorce life then you need to find useful resources. These resources include things like counselors, support groups, stress relief resources and emotional support resources.

The next set of divorce survival tips will relate to your finances. One of the most stress causing issues that divorcees have to deal with is their finances. Surviving financially after a divorce can be challenging because not only is your monthly income reduced but your monthly expenses are increased. You can improve your financial position after your divorce by creating a budget. Your budget will not only identify your costs and income for the month, but it will also help you to determine where you can make cut backs and what financial holes you need to fill. If you are having a hard time handling your post-divorced finances it may be a good investment to work with a financial planner, especially to help you get your individual retirement finances set up.

One helpful strategy that I found that helped me was to carry a very small notepad everywhere I went. Even if I spent a few cents on a package of bubble gum, I inputted the date, day of week, what I purchased and how much it cost. At the end of the week I transferred the information from the notepad and put them into categories on an Exel sheet. It was an eye-opener!

In addition to finding resources to help you survive your modern divorce and to help you get your finances in order, you also need to address your personal life. For most people it is a good idea to avoid jumping back into the social scene right after their divorce. Give yourself a few months to get your life back in order and to adjust to your new single life. This short waiting period will give you the time to rebuild your confidence and it will help you to avoid jumping into a relationship with the wrong person. Also, with your life in order, you will be a much better catch and you will attract a better selection of potential mates.

If you are dealing with children and divorce then you have a few other issues to iron out before your life can move on. First of all you need to set up a parenting relationship with your ex-spouse that is functional. Regardless of the issues that led to your divorce (barring abuse), you need to develop a working relationship with your before spouse so that you can continue to be excellent parents to your kids. This means communicating with one another, supporting each other's parenting decisions and focusing both of your efforts on a joint parenting strategy. If you remain focused on what is best for the kids you can avoid many of the pitfalls of divorced parenting.

Divorce doesn't have to be the end of the world, or the end of your family unit. In fact, you have the opportunity to develop a life that is better than when you were married. The key is to focus on what is important, not to dwell on the past and to invest your time in doing what needs to be done to be happy. This may mean bringing in the help of a professional counselor, a professional financial planner or even a relationship mediator to help you design strategies to maximize the benefits of being divorced and to minimize the drawbacks.

When do you become "single"?

It's been a long time since I posted, partially because I lost the log-on information (again.) The truth is, the more time that passes, the more single I feel. My marriage, which began its precipitous downward slide exactly ten years ago, now seems like a distant memory. I no longer miss Bob. And I am no longer frantically searching for a male companion. If I meet a man, he will catch me unawares, doing something I like, and most likely laughing.

Time is slipping by quickly and I rarely feel alone. The best post-divorce actions I took were to fill my house with tenants (especially in this tough economy) and acquire a dog. I have a challenging job, and I keep stretching myself, acquiring new skills and trying new things. My only regret is that I did not take care of myself physically, and my couch potato-ness has affected my health. So for the foreseeable future I will be spending my free time at the gym, and walking the dog, and eating wholesome foods.

Several of us had this discussion recently: When do you become single again? Is it a state of mind? In filling out an application form, when do you check the singles box instead of "divorced"? What are your thoughts? Here's an online discussion thread on the topic.