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From Flowers To Papers

From Flowers…

…To Papers


Chapter Select
1)  Welcome back to the single life!
2)  Realizing the truth
3)  Start, Smart, Saving
4)  The basic does and don’ts of divorce
5)  To move or not to move, that is the question…
6)  Getting through the most difficult times
7)  Over coming your fears and anger
8)  Pushing through
9)  Rising above
10)  You can get busy living, or get busy dyeing
11)  Influences
12)  Seeking help, and letting go
13)  Moving on is the hardest part
14)  So now what?
15)  Don’t sweat the small stuff…


 If you’re reading this you have reached my blog!  My name’s Christopher and I started this blog in December of 2010.  I started writing as a way for people to read about my adventures with my daughter.  As time went on I realized there are so many single parents out there.  I am a single Dad from divorce and I decided to change my blog to be more educational and helpful to other single Parents, Mom’s and Dad’s alike.  I am on the tail end; this means I visit my Daughter but she doesn’t have full residence with me.  She lives with her Mother and I get to have her on my scheduled time  We both still share custody and have 50% say but she resides there.

            I encourage you to view all the sections of the site and if you ever have a question or comment or tip please contact me I will reply.  I started updating my site to more about what I went though with my own divorce and pointers.  A divorce is horrible and you can’t always just jump right into being without your child and being comfortable.  So yes this section is about a break up and what maybe can help you, or what I did.  All I can say is if you don’t like it, don’t read it…   For those going through that dark stage my heart goes out to you and I’m sorry.  I hope you keep reading and learn something.  There is some good information and stories that I hope bring light to a dark time. 
My divorce started three days after Thanksgiving in 2009 and was fully signed and finished August 2011.  If you are going through a divorce and have a child or if you were not married but had a child with someone a separation is just as difficult.  This blog is not just for divorce, it is for people that were together and are now finding them selves lost and starting over.  You may not even feel lost or sad or hurt because deep down your body is trying to protect you.  But over time it does come out.  No matter whom you are or what kind of person you are it always comes, the most sensitive to the strongest, love will bring a person to their knees…

            I made sure I made this blog as neutral as I could.  There are many single parents out there and yes most Fathers like me visit and have their kids over for a short period of time.  But there are a lot of Mother’s that also are in this life style so I wanted to help anyone, Daddies or Mommies.  If you see your child every couple times a month or every other week it still isn’t like you’re seeing them daily so although everyone has a different setup we are all united the same.  I also wanted to be helpful to parents that have their child more.  Maybe a mother that has more custody and is looking for help, in short I just want to help… 
Please note if you also have anything to add or if you would like to offer your help or question something I say please write me or post a comment or Email me.  I may miss word something or be incorrect, hey, I’m only human… 

     Please feel free to post a comment or send an email to chrisr1312@yahoo.com
Thank you and always remember…

You are never alone…

Although I may not know you, I do love you…

1) Welcome back to the Single Life!

            Welcome!!! So you’re single again!  It may have been a while or not that long ago depending on the situation.  I can tell you the second time around is going to be very different.  Especially if you are a parent, you now have all this great responsibility.  As much fun as splitting up wasL, now let’s throw a child in the mix…  You’re going to feel hurt, you’re going cry, and feel why and how this could have happened.  You may even feel like you can’t breath or your heart is going just pop…  You’re wondering how to fix it and you’re going to try fast and hard.  This is all normal, this means that you really loved that person and that they were your life.  There are some that can act like nothing happened.  Everyone is completely different; this is what makes us so unique and special.  I can tell you this… take your time…  The next sections are designed to help you read and learn about what you need to do to start rebuilding and there are other sections in the blog about single parenting so please see them as well!

Like I said this section is dedicated to rebuilding from a break up not about parenting.  The difference between people that break up without kids and those that have them is that parents have to stay in communication and work together.  The first piece of advice as you start is to go slow.  Take a breath and try to realize if this is for real or if you are just fighting and someone said something mean.  Also don’t go out searching for tail, you’re not ready and that will only cause extremely large problems.  Keep your focus on your child and the fact that you have a long road ahead of you…

2) Realizing the Truth

          The day you first hear or say those words is a day that will live with you for the rest of your life.  “It’s Over” or "I want a Divorce". Sometimes they say the person that is getting dumped gets hit harder because they don’t know its coming or they do but don’t believe it.   Well I can tell you I was dumped yes, but I have spoken to many other people that have been through a divorce and they had to leave and how extremely hard and painful it was because it was something they had to do and felt it was the only way out.  Realizing the truth can be one of the harder parts and may take time.  Don't ever feel you have to rush anything.  You go at a pace that will protect you.  Remember if you have kids you will have to work with your Ex forever.

            First you have to get strong as quick as you can.  I know this is asking a lot and for this I am so sorry.  There will be time to grieve but the more you realize it’s over the stronger you will be.  Now remember this person is the parent to your child so you will always have a connection with them.  You may always love them and that’s totally fine.  At first you’re going to try to fix it. (If you were dumped)  You are going to say “please”, “listen”, “wait lets talk”.  You’re going to do everything to stop it because that’s your body and mind knowing it’s to late. As humans we don’t learn till the cusps the very end we want to change.  Just remember it is better for a child to be raised with parents that are happier apart than upset and angry together.  I don’t care who you are this is true, parents should never stay together and constantly fight and argue but think it is healthy because they are all in the same house. 

            I remember when everything first happened the first couple weeks and even a month or so in I literally broke down and barley ate.  I lost about 20lbs the first month.  I called it the divorce diet!  I recommend you don’t try it.  I just couldn’t eat and I can’t tell you how horrible the first month or two was.  I turned to everyone, my friends and family, her friends and family.  I called a lot of people and if you are in this stage of your break up and feeling low reach out to friends and family.  Or bloggers contact me!  Nobody should ever go through it alone. 

            Realizing the truth that it’s over is probably one of the hardest aspects of a divorce.  Some people just won’t do it.  They can’t believe their marriage was that bad.  They just felt they had issues they wanted to keep working on.  Although the divorce rate nation wide is now at about 52% people will still continue to fight for their marriage even if it’s unhealthy. You may go months even years before the realization takes place.  I think as for me I would estimate, probably about a year and 4 months after she said it was over and filed I finally realized it was over.  Maybe even a month or two past that.  Probably spring or summer I just realized.  When fall hit I fully realized and was moving on then.  But that was close to the 2 year mark.  Two years almost after… It felt like a life sentence…  But I did and I healed and I know you will and can to.  Do not let a divorce or break up ruin you!  Every no matter if you had to leave or they left you.  Do not waist time being sad you take the time you need but then move on. 

            You may do it just over time or some big event may happen and finally hit you.  Either way keep your cool and try not to fight.         

3) Start, Smart, Saving  

Or SSS as I call it.  Everyone has their own time frame and I would never tell anyone to go fast or slower.  I will advise if you have to leave be careful. 

START: Start knowing what you have to do.  If you have to move out or if you invested together figure out what you have to do.  If they got a lawyer you get one.  Do not wait, if you are hurting you may fall into the mode of just saying “its okay I don’t care”  STOP!  Remember, no sitting anymore you have to START and never stop.  Once the other person gets a lawyer you need to get one!  You do not want to loose you're rights or in the end you will never deal with the guilt.  Get someone who knows the law and is licensed!

The only very few exceptions are the few people that yes are extremely friendly and work out everything totally and just get someone to over see everything.  This rarely happens and I’m being honest.  If you have kids it is harder to just say lets just split up and it will be fine.  No kids, well it’s still very hard but not as…  A lawyer is not a bad thing they just tell you the law and protect you.  You need protection!  Especially in a divorce situation! Getting a lawyer is also SMART:    

SMART:  The next step is to get smart!  Start doing things like getting together things you need to start this process.  Call family, friends start getting help.  Being smart also is very difficult because well if you’re like me I did get a lawyer, finally at the buzzer!  I was doing things to impress, fixing up things spending money.  Thinking it wasn’t going to happen or that we would be okay and get by.  Now if you are on side of having to leave get smart and start saving before.  Most couples probably know its over they just don’t believe it.  Each side has talked about it to others or the word came up.  Not often people get mad never talk about it before and say bye!  But if you have to do the leaving, be Smart and start getting your things early.  If you are going to tell them soon or maybe your last leg of the relationship.  Getting smart also is about getting ready.  Finding help, family, legal, spiritual, and or professional help. 
           Saving:  Saving the last of the three S’s that is so very important.  If your on the end of the break up where you were left start saving.  The first thing that is going to run through you mind is “I can’t believe it is happening”.  It may take some time to set in.  You have to try to get your head straight.  If the person is as serious as they look its over…  In my situation well, the house we lived in was hers and we weren’t married long so I knew I had to move out.  My emotions were so high I didn’t think with my head will probably till now!  But I went out still and spent money on it and things.  She even at one point said you should save your money.  The only thing I could think of was though to try to impress her.  But it was over and she was ready in her mind for it.  This section I can’t push hard enough but I can’t tell anyone how to feel.  Many people told me to not spend anything unless it was part of the agreement of living there and things like that.  Nope I didn’t listen. 

            Christmas was weeks away and I ended up spending, well a lot…  Let’s just say that.  Just saying now that I have my own place and everything settled man I wish I didn’t go crazy with a lot of stuff.  You just don’t think straight.  You don’t see anything but that is the person you love and care about.  Unless you’re mid is set as well then good for you because it’s the only way to get through it as well.  

            If you know the divorce or separation or the break up is coming.  Think and maybe start to put away.  If you are the one that is going to

4) The Basic Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce

          *This again applies for a couple that breaks up with out the divorce involvement as well. 
The Do’s

1)      Start to get on your feet and save, think of you next move.

2)      Get your own place or work on helping them move.  You don’t however have to rush if you have children make sure you don’t rush because your children will have to live there too!

3)      Play with your child and be friendly with your spouse if you continue to live together.  Show the child everything is normal.  *This of course depends on their age.  If they are little it can be done easier than when they are older and understand what is happening.

4)      Be respectful to your spouse; get a long even when the child is not there. Be nice, play fair. (try your hardest)
5)      Bite your tongue.  (Keep the name calling to the playground kids, you're past that)

6)    Take a walk.  If you have to get out and cool down, do it.  Show them you are upset by just walking away if you get into an argument.  Maybe they started it or you.  It doesn’t matter it’s a break up they will happen!  Close your eyes take a breath and just say “I need some air”.
7)     Work together on things you have to split up.  If you can’t decide talk to your lawyers.  But don’t fight over who gets the 1 inch screw sitting in the tool box, it’s not worth it!

8)      Show your spouse your still contributing as long as your there.  If you have to move out don’t be an ass and just stop paying for things.  Most likely your lawyer will advise you keep paying it shows your not just squatting and is just good form.  Do your part you maybe moving but financially you should keep paying your part.

9)      Seek Help.  Reach out to family and friends for comfort and support, talk to other people that have been through it and just hear what they have to say.  Everyone will say something different but it’s good to hear the variety of what is done. 

10)  Be a good parent!  Always remember put your child first.  The day we became parents we took a vow to protect, raise and keep that little person safe.  Be a good influence on them and show them a good path.

The Don'ts 
1)      Do not fight in front of your child (n).  I know it may happen but if it starts go south revert to rule 6 of the Do’s.

2)      Do not start going out and partying or dating.  Now I just advise this but if you see friends that’s fine and normal but especially in the beginning don’t go dating especially if your emotionally not ready or haven’t had time to really understand what is going on it will make things very bad.  *Now on this note, if you and your spouse agree to see other people, say you’re stuck there for a while then that’s fine as long as both know.  Please though don’t bring your new “friend” home.  That will seriously cause issues.  Talk about a fight waiting to happen.  But when it comes to this you probably won’t listen to me…    
3)      Don’t make life miserable, it’s not a game to piss the other one off and say well “F” this I’m going to make living here hell.  It’s bad enough just try to be peaceful.  As much as you’re hurt or feel betrayed, play fair.  Seek legal advice so you’re not taken advantage of.

4)      Don’t fight over things like the child and who gets to dress them what days or feed them.  Keep as much peace as you can and express how you feel in an adult manner.  Talk to your legal counsel if an agreement can’t be made.

5)      Do not act like a 5 year old.  Your spouse has a child already your not helping the situation.

6)      Don’t sleep in the same bed or tell them it’s your bed.  Just go to the other room or down stairs.  *Now pending if you have another room or not this can become a gray area.  Sleeping by each other is a must if you have to.  If there is spare room, take it.  If you are asking the divorce maybe you have to leave the room if you are the one getting the divorce put on you then try to understand and just sleep in the other room.

7)      If he/she goes out and you are tying to talk or get a hold of them.  Do not call a million times!  (This from experience, just don’t).  I know if they go out your going to wonder if there with friends meeting new people or getting hit on and your home with the kids.  It will kill you I know, I’m so sorry, it’s better you just don’t.  But you get to go out too with your friends so you have to let them have a night to relax.

8)      Don’t give in to peer pressure about things.  If you don’t feel you want to, then don’t take off your ring.  You may have pictures or stuff of the other persons and it takes time but you go at the pace you need to!  Family and friends are great but you do what you want at your own pace.    

9)      Don’t fight over the stuff like it’s the most importing thing in the world.  Your child is.  I know it sucks but just let it go.  Say fine, take it.  Pick what you really love and hold your ground then.  If you have some stuff that was in your family or something you really love and want to take then talk or just tell your lawyer.  Don’t fight!  Just say we’ll get back to it.  If you’re getting divorced the other person has to work with you and if you can’t agree well that’s why lawyers drive nice cars and we don’t… 

10)  Don’t let family or fiends get pulled in.  If you want to have people over, either have the other person leave. (if they will) See them other places or just work something out.  If family or friends do come over, maybe they have to because of distance please be nice.  If it’s their family just be nice and say hi and talk and then and do your thing. Come off as the person that is trying to just show there getting through it.  *Family coming is very hard.  I experienced but I won’t feel I need to include every detail.  If you need to talk more about this subject please contact me on the side.  We did good, we all got along but its hard not only to see your spouse but now their family to.       


 5) To move or not to move that is the question…

          When you move out and either get your own place or move home or with friends, no matter where you go it is going to be difficult.  Now again there are different sides because one person will have more custody of the child while the has visitation.  My daughter comes and stays with me so this next part will be more toward what I went though but I want to note now it still is difficult.  If you have your child more please give me your stories and let me know how the first couple months to a year was and will post it, with permission… 

            The fist year I did live at the house still.  We made it work and we had our arguments.  If you are living together just be civil work together and don’t argue in front of the child(rn).  Focus on saving and looking for a place to move out to and then talk about how you want to go about splitting up time and property.  I was advised to stay in the house.  Stay in the place to keep your presence.  If you are paying your share still then stay and don’t rush.  Don’t move someplace cheap just to make them happy.  Now if they move out with the child I would make sure you see your lawyer extremely fast.  This part is difficult to talk about because a divorce or split is never easy so I will just end with listen to your legal advice and be polite to each other.   

When I did finally get my own place and it was time to move out it wasn’t easy.  Most of the talking was done about our daughter and we were pretty set.  The stuff was pretty set as well and I had the place ready to go.  Packing up was difficult because I had flash backs of moving in and that can be difficult.  I’m sorry.  I can’t really say much besides that.  Do the best you can and keep pushing on.  Once you move out, if you didn’t sign any agreement make sure you are happy with it!  Do not sign anything unless you feel what the paperwork says is fair and equal.  The only thing I can say is once you move out it will be hard.  I won’t lie; you will go from seeing them every day to a few times a month.  This will be the hardest and the longest to adjust to.  So don’t move out right away because you can’t just move back in.    
6) Getting through the most difficult times

          When I spend my fist night alone in my new home it was weird.  I had my poor scared cat and my daughter was coming over the next day but only for a night.  The weekend was good but once she left things finally set it… 

            I realized I was in this house all alone and with nothing to do but think about the family I lost I started to go stir crazy.  I was working only one job so I had nights off and my daughter’s mom and I would talk a little but in the end I started to get cabin fever.  I would not to how to spend my time and then started bugging them.  Even when I had my daughter I started wondering how I could see her and for us to be together. 

            First the only thing that heals is time.  For this I am sorry it just takes time for your body emotionally to understand that you are now alone and you can’t just see your child anytime.  Think about getting a part time job, you may have to.  Think also about things you can do to with your time.  See friends and family, clean, just try to push the fact you don’t see your child out of your head and keep your cool.  If you have a hobby, focus on that or pick one up.  I started my blog in December a month after I left but never really focused on the fact that there are other bloggers going through what I went through.  I setup my blog to just put up pic’s of my adventures of my daughter.  Now I’m here to say hey, read my story.  

            Spending time with your family and friend’s does help but only time will heal.  Do not bother the child’s mother or father.  I know what you are thinking; maybe we can get back together!  Wrong… Well I don’t mean to be mean but if they left you or you left them there was a reason and most of the time going back doesn’t work out.  I know there are cases it does and time heals wounds but it is a very fine line to think about.  Please be very careful especially if you were dumped or left for serious reasons.  If you were left, don’t get hurt again!  If you left for a reason, I’m sure if you go back it will just happen again… 

            You’re going to have to focus on rebuilding your life.  Saving for all the things you lost and now have to buy.  Also there are lots of other fun expenses you will soon find out about…  Take my advice; try to be strong from the get-go.  Focus and start going forward, remember to keep busy and do things.  I can’t stress enough how hard it is going to be.  Read other blogs reach out and talk to others, seek out divorce groups.  Tell your story I created this blog and hope to make it more of a forum to help others give their advise and to come when they need help.  I had friends and family all over yet I still felt alone. 

            I woke up with nightmares and still couldn’t believe when I got up in my new house I was there.  I spent so much time waking up with my family and now I’m the one that has to adapt while she stays in her home she is used to.  Please hear me when I say this…  LET IT GO…  Just let it go…  If you are religious or have a place of religion I would very much use it.  Religious leaders are very helpful and caring.  They also sit and listen for fee! (Thank you very much Vicki)  Seek out professional help as well.  There is no shame in that.  I wanted to go to divorce care but had to work two jobs so I had to push out the sadness and hate on my own.  I felt I was detoxing along with out any help.  I do not suggest you do this!  It is extremely hard and not healthy.  When you move out the poison of anger, sadness, loneness, fear are going to set in and they will set in strong.  The more passionate of a person you are, the harder they will set in.  Some people yes can just move out and like their space and not care.  For the people that love being mom’s and dad’s your going to feel helpless and then the sickness comes. 

            I found my self up crying or just not sleeping.  Listen to music, meditate, blog, do things that keep your mind off of your family.  Like I said the more you love being a dad or mom and you are the one visiting the harder it will be…  One more key is to have the most fun and show your child that you love them so much when you do have time with them!  If you have ideas or stories please let me know they will help others and that’s why we are here… 
7) Over coming your fears and anger…

          An old Native American story was told.  A young boy was talking to his elder about hate and love.  The elder told the boy to think of love, goodness, peace, joy and anything good in you as one wolf.  Then think of hate, jealousy, anger, fear and anything bad in you as another wolf.  They are constantly battling and fighting to gain power and control you.  The young boy said what one wins?  The elder said which ever one you feed…

            Do not feed the anger in you.  Take everything slow and never jump to conclusions before you know what is happening.  One of the biggest mistakes I still sometimes make is getting a part of some information maybe from my daughter’s mom and getting frustrated and upset and making my own conclusions.  Take a breath and don’t react till you know the whole story.  If you make it bigger than it is and it turns out to be nothing or small then you look like you lost your cool and are a manic! I can’t tell you how hard this is to bite your tongue and wait or just let something go but you have to learn to.  Learn to fight only the battles you want to.  Pick your battles wisely and let the rest go.  If something is important to you then stand up and express it and try to do it in a matter of peace and not get to excited.  Remember one thing.  Your child will grow up and if they see you are being treated unfairly, for example you don’t see them that much or something like that.  They will catch on and see that.  I’m not saying turn them to your side.  I’m just saying in the end it will work out that if a loving parent doesn’t see the child that child will realize this and see that.  They may want to live more with you or express more time to be with you.  You have to be calm and not get frustrated though and fight and yell.  Just play by the rules. 

            The best way to over come your anger and fear is to be a good parent!  Show your kids(s) that you love them so much and play with them, teach them, take care of them.  Show them every second of the time you spend is just amazing.  They will see how much they are treasured and this will become the base of your relationship.  Now depending on when you and your Ex split it’s different.  The older they are the more they remember.  My blog is more based on younger kids because my daughter will never remember it.  But please send me info if you are in a situation and your kids are older on what to do it will be very helpful.  I will gladly update my blog and give quotes to that author of course if they wanted it.  As my daughter grows so will my blog and the information on it. 

            When it comes to anger I still find my self upset sometimes when I drop my daughter off and just look at the front of my old house it gets emotional.  The time we spent there all the memories, it can be a lot.  I guess I get upset because I felt we could have worked still… But it is over and I have found my peace.  You are going to be mad, getting over a break up or divorce is not easy then you throw a child in the middle and things just get even more difficult.  Closing your eye’s, taking deep breaths and just letting it go often helps.  I even still get upset, surround your self with people that love you and just don’t think about it.  Don’t forget you can take anger and use it.  I’m not saying in a bad way I’m saying think of the things in your past relationship that made you unhappy.  Don’t always be quick to forgive, think about what you didn’t like and now see if that is something they will change or if it’s something you talked about.  You will find after this you realize being alone can be better off.  Your mind and heart will be flooding you with memories mainly good ones to make you feel bad and that you miss that person. 

            You have to use memories that are truthful like things that upset you to remind your self if you go back it will be just as it was.  Now ask your self is that what you want?  Some may say yes, anything to get that person back…  Usually those are the people that got dumped.  (I was like that).  After time I though of the things in my marriage I didn’t like and things I know she would never change and then I started to realize I was better off and even our daughter maybe.  Now she has two different aspects of life.  She lives with her Mom who has a lifestyle and her Dad that has a different one. 

            You will find your children will have two different points of views. I explain this more in my Parenting 101.5 section.  See Different Strokes for different folks…

            What ever your fears are you need to over come them.  What ever anger you are feeling you need to control.  If you do not they will cause you to spiral down and make rash decisions.  Eventually you will look back and see how you wasted your life being angry.  I’ve met people that never gave love a second chance.  They were happy on the outside but their spirit was easily seen as hurt and angry.  I’m not saying you have to go get married or date right away or again.  But never count it out.  Never say I’ll never love again because it’s not fair to your hear and spirit.  Don’t let anger and fear control you… 

8) Pushing Through

          There will come a day you may want to just push through and wake up saying I’m tired of all this.  Your feet hit the floor and you realize it’s time to move on and stop being sad.  Now the sadness of the divorce or your family breaking up may never fully go away but you can control it and turn it to an example of how to change your life and learn.  I strongly advise never to just wake up and say your back!  That you all set and all you needed was a good nights rest.  I will not be enough.  You took months and years to fall in love have a child build a life you can’t just wake up and one day and say “all set”.  Pushing through is the middle from starting off sad and confused and angry and being at the top of the mountain looking out knowing you did it… 

            The thing about pushing through is you have to wake up and make that choice and be serious about it.  Sometimes a big event will make this happen.  A big fight or if you just loose your mind and the other person finally says your nuts or something.  An event usually gets the ball rolling.  I was living in denial for a very long time.  The entire year I was there during the divorce and then about 5 months after I moved out.  I had a big event that happened and I finally advised my self that it was time to push through.  Again one of the biggest cure is just time… I do hate to keep telling you this but a break up or divorce is just straight hurtful on both ends and only time will fully heal. The thing about time is that they say it will heal just about anything but it’s the waiting that is the hardest part. 

            For me, I stated pushing through in the spring of 2010.  As the year played out I realized I was doing better and better by the time the fall hit I realized she was over me and I over here.  I was healing up and even my spirit was too.  I though of talking more about it, but would rather just keep moving forward.  When I pick up and drop off my daughter it still can be tough.  Her mother and I don’t talk anymore unless it’s about her and that’s just the way our relationship is I guess. 

9) Rising above…
            To Rise above is to finally look down and realize that the mother or father of your child will always be in your lives but if you can work together for the greater good you still stand proud.  Remember you’re not a bad parent for going through a break up.  Your child will grow up loving you and respecting you as long as you are there for them.  There will come a day you wake up and walk outside and know you pushed through, grew stronger, and Rose above.  Now everyone is different some may want to do things differently.  Just try to be responsible and show your child you are there for them.  Focus on work and family.  I can’t tell anyone what to do or what is best.  I also decided I really wasn’t going to go into my whole story but just touch base on some points.  I figured if anyone has more in-depth questions to ask me I would answer and post them. 

            Rising above also means you’ve accepted the breakup or divorce fully.  When I was growing up I told my self I would never, EVER, get divorced so when it hit me for the longest time I just couldn’t believe it.  It happened to me.  When I came through and looked down I realized yea, I am now divorced.  I’m one of the statistics that everyone talks about.  A single Dad with a whole new set of obstacles to overcome.  I realized the divorce was real.  I signed my papers in my Church with my minister who married us on the alter she married us on.  I guess it just made sense to end it where it began. It really helped with the closure and through out my meetings with my minister she showed me life will go on and that I will Rise above.    After the paperwork was given to my lawyer I sill had my ring on.  I ended up taking it off around the middle of October just short of the 2 year anniversary of her telling me it was over. 

            I feel what I did was right.  I don’t ever criticize anyone for wearing their ring though a separation or divorce and when they are fully ready they can then take it off.  I would say that over time it is good to take it off.  You have to move on and let it go.  In most times a lot of older people will wear their rings after their spouses have passes but typically I was told in a divorce you should take it off to heal.  I left my on till a little after the papers were signed to just at least give myself that closure.  I knew though once it was off it would never go back on.  When I met with my minister in October to have the ring taken off I knew it would be my final test.

            I talked to her before because I knew I didn’t have the strength in my heart to take it off and I’d never let anyone else touch it because it was very spiritual to me.  We talked on the alter and said a prayer and she removed it from my hand.   The feeling of sadness was mixed with relieve.  The pain fell from my shoulders but the feeling of failure set in one more time to try to claim one more stake.  The still ring lay on the alter table and the years of my being with her flashed through my mind.  I sat there as I looked down and saw the now lonely ring.  I left that day strong but still weak for I knew it was fully over and I wouldn’t relapse or put it back on because I was scared or needed it like a security blanket.  The next couple days I got stronger and stronger.  I was rising up and moving on.  Finally by the holidays I was my old self again.  My friends and family were there by my side and I stood tall knowing that even though a very difficulty time in my life I did things the way I needed them to and for this I was able to recover and my mind, body and spirit were able to strengthen. 

            I urge you to follow your heart.  Be strong though and know if the other says it’s over to head that call.  Take your time and don’t rush trying to just get over them.       

10) You can get busy living, or get busy dyeing…
            When the dust all settles and you start to move on with your life you have to come to a cross roads you will find you can get busy living or you can get busy dyeing…  I would suggest letting the past be the past.  You may still have a lot a head of you to go but just bury it and call it a day.  Think about dating again; focus on your kid(s), work, a hobby and family and friends.  If you end up staring at old pictures of when things were different, it’s only going to kill you more.  Put everything you had together away and safe.  Start over, cover your home with pictures of family and artwork from you child.   My lawyer told me the only way to get over her is to meet someone new.  Well dating is a very hard chapter to write about and I’m not the best so I may write about it I don’t have experience but there are other blogs that do reference this.  Something very hard I went through was having all these pictures up.  At first it felt good because I missed her but then I realized it was over and she didn’t care about me.  The pictures became memories and feelings I will never get back.  As time went on pictures came down and now I don’t look at any of them anymore.  I have one of the three of us in my daughter’s room but that will probably come down next.  Some day if my daughter ever asks me what happened or about our story I will pull out everything I saved.  It’s her right to see that yes there once was a time we were happy.  

            Now this brings us to a sub section about your ring.  This is a difficult topic but I’ll try my best.  For me it was hard to take off.  I kept it on until the papers were signed, and then about a month or so after.  It was about two years and it was not easy.  Not because I wanted to take it off but I guess because the day she told me she wanted the divorce she took her rings off.  So I haven’t seen it since.  I just felt I should keep them on at least till the end.  I was afraid once it came off I would really feel like I failed, like I broke my vow and I couldn’t fix my marriage.  After much help from family, friends and my minister I realized none of those were true.  I took mine off after I realized she was not the person she was, when I realized it was over and it was time to come off.  Now about your ring you can take if off or leave it on it’s your choice.  People are going to tell you to take it off and joke about it so they push lightly.  They will tell you its sending mixed signals.  Take this from me; leave it on if you want.  Don’t go doing anything for anyone just to please them.  Why?  I finally said “you don’t like it, don’t look at that finger!”  
I’m also a believer that you shouldn’t take your ring off but then put it on if you’re feeling bad.  Once it’s off leave it off…  This is why I tell you make sure you fully know you’re ready.  Once mine came off I knew fully it was off forever.  For this I leave only what I went though.  Remember it is up to you but I would advise it does help if you one day take it off.  Why punish your self for staying true to someone who isn’t to you anymore… 
Putting all your tings in a save place is good because looking at old memories will only bring you down.  I put everything in a safe place but didn’t destroy anything for one day my child may want answers and I told my self I would have every thing for them and the answers to her questions.  Some people feel better if they get rid or burn everything.  Yes there is a lot of closure in that but with a child I suggest keeping the items they may want to at least see.  But everyone needs to do what they feel they have to.  I have a few items that were to big and not as sentimental I have around.  As your first year goes by you will get very much strong.  Depending on if you and your Ex talk more or less. 

            Remember everyone is different and every split is to.  Some suggestion are to talk to many people, as many as you can about their split if they don’t mind.  Many will talk to you and tell you what happened.  You will hear every single story is different so you have to follow your own path. This brings us to my next chapter that is more designed for pointers. 

11) Influences

          When going through a split as well as raising kids as a single parent there is going to be many influences!  I added Influences to this section of my Blog and not Parenting 101.5 because I believe there are just as much influences with a split than raising a child alone. 

A)    People, this actually may not be the biggest influence out there.  I know family and friends or other people that may have stories will be talking to you but when I was going through my divorce it sometimes seemed like a blur with people talked.  I mean don’t get me wrong I listened to them but I was so confused and all I just had to have time pass I guess.  Then when I felt the time was right I started to talk to people.  Mainly people that were divorced so I can understand their story.   I found so many different backgrounds and endings that I realized everyone’s divorce was different but yet they all had a united front.  It just didn’t work out…  Now being years since the split and divorce and stronger than ever I find my self giving my advise.  I try not to be persuasive but just talk and be helpful.

B)    Television/Movies, this influence believe it or not is very influential.  This as well mixed with maybe movies can be a powerful influence.  Why?  Well TV does things to us.  We get involved, the writers, actors even the music playing in the back ground captures us.  They have to its how they keep us watching!  One of my favorite shows out there now is very influencing.  It is the show Parenthood.  It is on NBC.  It is a drama, about a large family and their smaller families and their stories.  Each family has a different story and there are all different factors they touch base on.  I use this as an example because of how powerful the story can be.  How they talk about raising kids alone and how the single parents work and sometimes it gets very powerful.  There are a lot of funny family shows out there.  One of the differences between a lot of family shows out there is at the end of the hour or half hour the show usually comes to a conclusion and everyone laughs.  They are funny lesions and I totally feel the shows are great.  Those kinds of shows are fun and they for a moment make us laugh and get away from the long day.  Sometimes we don’t like to watch the drama filled shows because when a clip comes up that is difficult to watch we turn away.  Its shows like this that help us deal with the truth about life.  Yes there fun parts of life, but in the end the shows like Parenthood show us life can be difficult and we are all going through it.  The show also has a longer story line you have to follow which I love.  There are stories in that show that relate to probably everyone out there.  How we deal with our kids, our parents, jobs, co-workers.  It is an incredible show and will be referencing it throughout my blog.  We don’t always go to bed laughing or happy.  We hurt, we have kids that are amazing but are challenging.  Theses shows relate to us because they tell our stories.  Don’t get me wrong the funny based shows are very good to watch and see how your quirky family has tings in common.  There are times I have to remember it is only TV and not to think this is what I should try.
C)    People of influence, now you’re wondering what the difference from section A is?  Well these are more like Ministers, or a boss at work, or therapist, someone who has some influence on you or as skills in dealing with what you are going through.  I would say my lawyer, but I never listened to him. (and I should have more)  I would say to talk to a person of faith and maybe someone like a therapist.  I’m not pushing religion or my religion.  What ever religion you are and if you practice is no issue of mine.   But what I can say is that people of faith like leaders have a lot of experience in this and listen very well.  They guide you with their heart and don’t always have to refer to preaching.  My minister has been a blessing.  She helped me so much and just was there to listen and help me get strong.  They also usually listen without a co-pay. J  But a therapist will also be extremely helpful.  If you have one already or maybe using the one you and your Ex tried.  Stay with them they know you and know the other as well.  They are trained to help you along the way and if there is no getting back together they will help guide you and give you skills on how to handle issues like parents, work, stress issues like these.  The last kind is a group or organization like Divorce Care.  Held at churches or community centers but not pushing religion they talk to all kinds of people with all different kinds of back grounds.  They have material that helps you learn and understand your separation.  You watch video’s and have group sessions.  There are booklets you use to fill out and it’s like a small class.  You usually go once a week.  You also just talk; some have both men and women some keep to men only and woman only.  I was going to go but I had to work my other job.  I have attached the link when you click on divorce care.  Please check it out, they are amazing people and the course is very cheap.  I worked with a guy that became a counselor.  I may still go one day. 
D)    Family.  Family is a huge influence.  Once the breakup or divorce starts they will be there for you.  Well I mean most are I know there are some situations where families don’t talk and all but yes typically your family comes to your aid.  They maybe your bio family or maybe a very good close friends you call family.  But the closest of close will come to your aid first.  With parents they will be there but also don’t let them interject.  They are not to take the place of the other parent!  Guys… your mom is not your kid’s mom now!!  Also goes with girls and dads.  I don’t mean to be mean but sometimes yes if a woman figure is out another will step in.  So guys, DO NOT let your mom take over! You need to stand your ground and say, “I’m the Dad I will parent, and you are the grandparents.”  I have said this and I still do.  They mean well, but they are grandparents.        

E)     Other sources, the last would be pretty much kinda saying the rest.  Books, magazines or just general information out there.  I would but Blogs in this section because not everyone turns to the internet for help.  Although now a days people are going to the internet because of how powerful it is and how nice it is to talk to people and get ideas.  They can be across the entire country for all you know.  I was going to say blogs as its own case but not everyone goes to blogs for help.  They may not know where to look.  Finding blogs and sites isn’t easy, in fact my blog isn’t easy either getting my link out there is proving challenging.  Sorry but I refuse to use Facebook, I just don’t want to. I know it is a great way to get my message out there I just don’t want to use it.  I will include a list of valuable sites and links for anyone looking for help getting through a breakup or divorce.  When it comes to other sources be careful even when reading my blog.  I am trying to make it more of a blog/forum for help and discussion but never be persuaded that one option is correct over another.  Options aren’t facts and when it comes to getting through a break you can take advice but really in the end you have to figure you own path.  You will have easy and hard days but you will get through.  Sometimes blogs get very personal or information on the web can be misleading, just be careful.  Also when it comes to the media and celebrities try not to pay to much attention.  I know every day some celebrity is braking up or something.  When I was working on this blog Seal and Heidi Klum broke up. The media was actually in shock because of how much they were in love.  I was well over my divorce but honestly it made me nervous about dating again.  If they can’t make it who can?!  Well after reading you realize there was a lot to the story just like every break up.  Be careful of outside influences.  Once the breakup starts you will be very vulnerable to what you hear and see.

12)  Seeking help, and Letting go.
          When the divorce first happens you will seek help immediately.  Family and friends will be there for you but also use people in a religious area or professional.  I reached out to my minister when everything went down and then kept in contact with her.  I would go to her when I had an event come up like signing papers or just if I needed prayers.  I would setup a time and we would talk.  I went into this marriage and my minister was there to guide me, I only felt it was fair as I let go she help me down safely and slowly.  We would have meetings to just talk and see how I felt what was going on and just have some small prayers.  I would also sit in the church alone and look up at the empty alter, the quiet always calmed me.  Find a place like this were you can go and be at peace.  It helps with the confusion and anger.  As time went on my minister was there for me every step of the way.  She sat with me when I had the first set of papers to review and she was there for my final papers.  I talked to her about my ring and why I just wanted to leave it on and she advised it was something I had to do at my own time and that she would be there helping me.  I like to end things the way they started.  A small story about my ending, this may help with yours.
Letting Go:  As the spring came I had my Aunt find something from my grandmother, her old wedding band she grew out of as she well, shrunk.  I was at a very difficult place, not knowing what was going on, living on my own.  I took the ring to my minister and she red some passages and then placed it on her bible and blessed it.  She blessed it to give me guidance, protection and patients.  I started wearing it in the spring and still have it on today.  From then I won’t lie I had some hard days but try to remember why I wear it.  My grandmother was one of the most caring calm persons you could ever know.   She made me understand the phrase, “Just let it go” and tough us never to hold a grudge.  As time went on and my papers came that late summer I again met with her and she helped me through it.  I signed them on the alter for I felt ending something where it began was only the right thing to do.  We prayed and I got the papers to my lawyer.  Nothing felt more like failure then turning them over, except one thing…  About two months later I realized it was time to take my ring off.  I was thinking about it for a while now and realized I wore it two months after my divorce and a year after she filed.  Being religious I knew I couldn’t just take it off I knew someone else had to.  The feeling of failure was too overwhelming.  I met with my minister and we again stood at the alter.  We did some prayers and she removed my ring.  I know to some it may not make sense, but growing up I told my self I would always try to make it work that divorce wasn’t an option.  As I saw the ring come off I realized my future was changing, not really over but not as bright as it was.  When you get married there is nothing like seeing the person you love slide your ring on your finger.  A sign of love and faith, a piece of metal that has no end.  When you see it come of it feels like forever, all I could see is that ring, that sign of love slide off and you stand there alone, even though you aren’t there is nothing anyone can do.  I stood there and felt like I was all alone.    

13) Moving on is the hardest part.
I can remember when the divorce hit how I told my daughter’s mom I would never move on and that I would never be able to move on.  The first year was very difficult I lived in the house as I worked on moving out and that can make moving on harder but I got to see my daughter everyday which I now miss so much.  But over time we will move on.  I say this in almost every section but yes every break up is different.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve so you will know how I’m feeling.  I guess as the year went on and I realized she wasn’t texting me or calling me on special events like birthday’s or holidays is when I finally realized she doesn’t care anymore.  She was happy with her daughter and that’s what she wanted.  I tell my readers this if your hurt and still doing things like gifts and cards, well I can’t stop you but if they aren’t doing anything then you will wake up one day and realize this. 
I remember the first Christmas after our break started it was probably just a month very fresh very hard.  I spent so much I don’t even want to put the number on the blog…  She said we agreed no gifts but she knew I would get her things.  I guess maybe then I should have realized she’s moved on.  Probably new it long before but as the year pressed on I continued with cards and gifts and there were time yes she did get me things.  Now for special events we get things and tell them they are from our daughter so its all good.  But I think half way through 2010 I just realized that she wants to be without you so I had to move on.  It took sometime but now holidays and birthdays come and go and I don’t txt or call her because I know when mine comes she won’t or with holidays I get something from Quinn.  I can honestly say Thanksgiving 2010 was the first holiday I didn’t text her and wish her to have a good holiday.  I can honestly say it was hard.  I was used to saying it but I finally stopped because in September I wished her happy Birthday and I waited till October when mine came and nothing…  I just realized I’m done I don’t care anymore I’m sick of trying to impress someone who could care less about me.  But before I start to ramble on I’m going to say more holidays came and went and I just did my thing.  Our anniversary is in February and it would have been 5 yrs in 2012.  I just take it day by day and remember you moved on. 
            I made the decision to never go back.  Some people have asked and blogged to me if I’d go back.  I will not…  Ever…  Sorry it’s over.  She made her decision and I gave it 2 years and literally lost my mind over it.  I was broken physically, emotionally but the worst was I felt hut spiritually.   When I pick up my daughter now I see her mother as just that.  The mother of my child, I used to have a hard time.  I used to see her as my wife, my best friend someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with but after so much I finally realized she wants her own life now and now fully strong I pick up my little one and say hello.  Talk about Quinn if we anything and then I go.  I will always be nice but one day as they walked down the driveway I just finally felt free.  Free of the pain and hurt.  I drove away and didn’t cry, or even tear up.  I didn’t feel hurt or have any pain.  I didn’t care what she was doing that night or who she may see.  I felt the chains that tied me down were finally lifted.                                                                                                                  
              I was told you have to treat a divorce like a death.  You have to take it seriously.  Express your emotions if that helps, cry, talk to people, and scream if you have to.  How can someone put build a life with someone else, have a child then when it’s over expect to walk away or just say “Oh well, better luck next time”.  Especially in the beginning, I get upset with anyone who gives another person a hard time about grieving from a divorce or separation.  You have the right to feel hurt, betrayed, crushed even like your heart is just going to explode…  Without getting into my experiences I will say yes in the beginning I felt like I was never going to make it. 

There are people out there that will lend a shoulder, they will help you, hold you, and cry with you.  Do now show weakness to people without emotion…  Over time yes you will have to get over it you will get stronger I did.   In the beginning you are allowed to grieve, its part of the natural process.  I say to you this also, if you don’t feel your spouse cared or showed emotion like you did.  Well everyone is different but also it may not hit them yet.  They also may not choose to show emotions in front of you.  For the person leaving you they probably won’t, their job is to be strong they can’t show they miss you because that showed they are having second thoughts.  Mark my words though everyone will fell it.  Maybe not at first, maybe down the road, maybe years down the road but some day they will see what they lost…

For me I did I treated my divorce like a death.  I did everything I could to lay the marriage at rest.  I even feel the woman that was once my wife is gone.  Just how I feel…  I go to get my daughter and her mom is there yes, but the woman who loved me is gone, buried and laid to rest.  It’s not her and I’ve accepted that.  This is why I will never go back; I will never probably even see my daughter’s mom unless I have to.  Everyone has to do what they feel best.  This is why this is probably the hardest chapter to read…            As you read this please note, yes it is a good feeling to leave and not feel hurt.  But there is actually is a different pain I had to get over.  The pain of now actually not feeling anything for my once wife.  This my readers is a whole new feeling.  Not as bad as the other pain of loss but the pain of just looking at her as a regular person is something I have to do.  I do it now because I know she will probably never want to go back and the just under two years of trying as shown me to just get my daughter and leave.  IT’S OVER…  Being an emotional person I learned that yes the past two years was utter hell.  I felt I had to walk through hell it to see any bit of light.  But I am fully stronger and healed now.  I hope she knows that is fully over and she shouldn’t try to ever go back.  I don’t think she will.  As far for you my readers.  Everyone is different but if you feel its over and felt you did all you could then move on with your life and do not go back.  Just be nice and let it go.  If you feel you tried your best, then I guess they weren’t worth it anyways…
              Letting go is going to be your final step, the last stage before you are free.  It’s the place where you look back at the time you had and your heart still aches, but it does not bleed.  It’s the place where your eyes maybe start to tear up, but you do not cry.  I think the only thing harder than actually accepting the truth and moving on is actually looking at that person and feeling nothing…  They human heart is a very mysterious organ some say it just pumps blood, others say it’s where your spirit and emotions all lay.  Either way there is no pain like a broken heart there is no real cure but time.  But there is love, friends, family and most importantly there is hope…  Where ever you are in your journey I urge you to keep going strong and yes there maybe times you see pictures or have them up in the house still.  What ever helps get you to the point of realizing you do.   Just keep in mind the other person maybe already gone and someday they may realize what they lost but that’s not up to you to worry about…Let it go my friends… Just let it go…

14) So now what?
          So now that you’re going through your divorce or break up you’re probably wondering “So now what”? Where do I go?  What do I do?  Well this is where you step up and figure out your path.  It may take a while, it maybe hard and difficult at times, but your human, you will survive.  There will be bumps and curves but if you stay on the path and you think, feel and act positive then you will find the road is lit.  They say most people that were happy being married it will marry again.  Even if things fell apart always remember there was once a time you were happy with that person so always try to be nice to them.  Letting things go they may do to upset you will be your greatest challenge.  Try not to think about the past or things like old dates, or your wedding day.  When you exchange children for visitation keep it short and move on.  For those with kids I know your Ex will be apart of your life but if you just stay positive and keep focused you will do just fine. 

If your child is little do not skip this part!  You will be going a long, long time before change is made.

              I will tell you, however this part is very important and I will mention it many times. 
If your ex files you get a lawyer and when the time comes you look over everything in the paperwork!  When I comes to things in the house well you have to think about how to split that up.  Make sure if you are moving on you do get things, you have to start over.  Most important you read the child area's.  The person writing up the paperwork may put things in there you don't like or agree with.  FIX THEM NOW!  I will tell you one very important thing, once the papers are signed, its over!  DONE.  It is so hard to get anything changed.  So if the separation agreement says you do not have your child a specific day or time you have to ask the other person for this.  If they say no, to bad.  If your ex tries to get you to sign and you are not ready.  DO NOT SIGN! 

     Here is a small story of why I puts this in.  My divorce, I didn't walk out with anything.  I left with just the small stuff my family got us and the things I brought in.  I didn't fight over every nail in the house, but I should have fought more.  We got many things for our wedding.  There were many things we both just kept and sets she didn't want to split up.  Now I don't really have anything nice I could have left with to start my life with.  I let to much go... 

       The other is about our child Quinn.  My lawyer didn't look over the parts that were important like dates and times.  He reviewed odd area's of raising Quinn.  Both him and my Ex said to sign quickly so we don't go to trial.  It was one of the worst mistakes I ever made.  You read every part!  Now because its to late I don't have Quinn on my birthday or her birthday unless it falls on my day to generally have her.  I also have to bring her home on holidays and Fathers Day.  Yes I don't even get her overnight on my own day.  I ask her every year and get a little more time but that's really only it.  Your ex will tell you not to worry and you will work together, I hate to say this but maybe, maybe not.  If your Ex says they will work off the books then tell them to just add it in because they don't have to keep their word.  My ex told me as Quinn got older she would let her stay at my house later and she denied ever saying it. 

          Make sure you read over all the wording when it comes to your child, it maybe the only time you can have your ex listen.  If you don't sign you may have to go to trial but your ex can not do anything until you reach an agreement.  So look over the papers, make sure you look over the parts that talk about your child, make sure you split time, and you get the days you want in writing!  Also make sure you get to claim her as well.  We both claim her, we just rotate years. 

Then make sure you  have things they way you want them, once the ink is dry its set! Stone, Sealed! Done!  Understand! 
            I hope that if you read this its not to late but if so then you probably know how a lot of us feel.  It will be hard to be bound to a set of rules you felt pressured into reading fast and not fighting over.  
            Everything I have written I hope has helped guide you.  If you feel you have something that has helped you and you would like to add it please reach out and contact me I would love to add it.  Honestly where you go now is up to you.  You maybe young or older but life has a lot surprises and you never know what will come up.  I wish you the best in your journey and what you do.  Always remember you are never alone…

15) Don’t sweat the small stuff…

          I wanted to end this section by just saying, if you can work it out, please try.  If it doesn’t well I don’t know how I really feel about going back.  It’s a very hard topic.  Can people go back after a break?  Well that’s a whole new ballgame but if you’re just reading my blog and your upset that your husband leaves a dish or two, or three in the sink.  Or he doesn’t vacuum or something like that, don’t sweat it.  Get help talk to him do things like that.  If you feel your wife isn’t paying enough attention to you, or you feel pushed out talk to her.
            What I’m saying is don’t just jump to a break up or divorce over small stuff like that.  Work it out, talk; take a get-a-way weekend. Relax and go to dinner take a walk and get a sitter for the kids.  REMEMBER why you fell in love!  I know kids are your world now but you have to remember this is couple’s time!  There is “us” time too, a healthy relationship is important. Tell family and friends to just step back if you feel they are getting involved.  My therapist said the big 3 issues with couples is Sex, Finances and Parents.  Parents can be tricky like I said earlier up top they get excited especially over a child…  But let your spouse talk to them and then be supportive.  But also know they are there to help and they are just excited to be grandparents.  Now since every story is different and there are a lot of factors, please don’t crucify me after you read this because I said it before every family is different.  As far as we as kids go, well our parents are our parents so… 

            Just stop and breath, think about where you are and if it is just so necessary to leave.  If so then it has to be done.  A child raised by two separate happy parents is healthier than two parents that fight but are together.  Just remember that day you got married or started dating.  Think about things like dinner they made your or late night talks.  Kids can bring a lot to the table.  Your not alone anymore, you have this little person that puts a lot of stress on your shoulders.  Sleepless nights, everyone wants to see the baby your tired it’s crying…  These all push down on us.  But remember back to why you loved that person.  Again I’m not saying you have to stay a couple but I am saying you came together for a reason and some day you or that other person will sit down and think how much you miss them… 

            I am very happy, the first year or two of the divorce was hell.  I got though it and its better that way.  We both changed and I feel yes it maybe for the best.  Our daughter now has two different styles of being raised. 

Just know…
We are only human after all…

Always Remember… You Are Never Alone…