Tag Archives: divorce

What Not to Say Wednesday: It Will Be Okay

11 Jan

I thought I’d start a new tradition here at Just Keep on Moving… What not to say Wednesday! This started with a post about all of the things not to say to a person going through a divorce. I realized the list was looooong. Thus, What not to say Wednesday was born. These posts won’t always just be about what not to say to someone going through a divorce. Over time and depending on  my inspiration we’ll explore other totally ridiculous things that people say. And we all know that there is an endless supply. Fun, right?


So up first… “It will be okay.”

Here’s the deal. Someone going through such emotional turmoil and general upheaval in their life, doesn’t need people telling her something as trite as “it will be okay.” Is that the best you can do? Really? “It will be okay” seems to be a quick reaction when we don’t know what else to say. This is most likely the case when it comes to finding out a friend or loved one is going through a divorce. We don’t know what to say. Our first extinct is to try and ensure this person that things will work out for the best. Unfortunately, these four little words fall flat. Way flat.

Somewhere under all of the emotions and the crap, this person knows that things will be okay in the end. This is how life is. “Time heals all wounds” and all that crap. They certainly do not need you trying to tell them this. They know they will go on living and breathing and in time life will bring other challenges. “It will be okay?” No shit. Try something a little more heartfelt next time Sherlock.

What to say instead: “I am so sorry you are having to go through this right now.” Empathize. Show this person that you care. Show them you understand enough to know that this is a really difficult situation for them. If you want to go further with any words of encouragement or the glass is half full approach, adding something along the lines of “In time, I know you will get through this,” is appropriate. See what I mean? So much more meaningful.

Words and changes,


Forever, Kind of

2 Oct

I got to thinking more about my tattoos after writing my post yesterday. When I was going to get the first one I was telling my neighbor about it and he said, “yeah that will be good and you can always get it removed if you don’t like it.” Huh?!

Funny how in that moment this sentiment reminded me of marriage. Yes I’m comparing tattoos and marriage.

I didn’t go into marriage thinking if I didn’t like it I could get rid of it. I certainly didn’t get a tattoo thinking if I didn’t like I could get rid of it. But the truth is, we’ve created ways to get rid of these things that we don’t like or want in our lives any longer. Interestingly enough I hear tattoo removal is more painful than getting the tattoo in the first place. Funny how divorce is also more painful than the marriage in the first place. As it should be.

His comment made me wonder though – how many people go into these things because they know there is a way out? I’ve heard and read stories from people who claim they knew they weren’t marrying the right person, but they did it anyway. I don’t know any of these people personally, however, and it truly boggles my mind. None of my friends who have been through divorce felt this way. They all went into it truly believing that it was forever. And so did I. Same goes for the tattoos. I purposively got them in places that won’t embarrass me in 60 years… if I’m still around. My skin may get wrinkly and old but these tattoos should stay in tact for the most part.

Are some people really so spontaneous or crazy that they don’t think of these things ahead of time? Is this why we’ve had to create ways to get out of these forever situations that we put ourselves in? It’s my fault I was married. I made that decision. It’s my fault I’m divorced. I also made that decision. And it’s my fault I have ink on my skin that’s permanent. Let’s all take some responsibility here.

I’m torn on this topic. On the one hand, I really, truly needed a divorce. On the other hand, I don’t think we should all be so flippant about decisions in our lives that are meant to be forever. If you change your mind, fine. But there’s a reason these decisions are difficult to reverse. And they should be. Changing your mind shouldn’t be something we consider as we’re walking down an aisle or as we’re sitting down on a table with a needle nearby.

Forever love,

Still I Rise

1 Oct

Today I got my second tattoo! I got my first one in June when I was turning 30. This one I got days after signing my divorce papers. I went 30 years without getting any tattoos and then within 5 months, I now have 2. 🙂

My first one is an exact replica of Buddy’s paw print on my foot. And yes, it hurt like hell. I don’t advise getting a tattoo on the foot. Especially one that has a lot of shading. Anyway, I got it in June when I was turning 30, which was a difficult birthday for me. I just wasn’t where I thought I’d be in life at age 30. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and I’ve thought about this tattoo for a long time. Bud’s paw on my foot means we are always walking together through life. I’ve talked about the connection I have with my dog before and this was just another way to express it. Long after he’s gone, I’ll have another way to remember the ways he touched my life. I’ve also recently explored more of a vegetarian lifestyle and I like to be reminded of the compassion I have towards not only Buddy, but towards all animals.

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30 Sep

Yesterday I signed the official papers to end my marriage. Then I went and had copious amounts of margaritas with some friends.

Were we celebrating? Commiserating? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I have some great friends and an amazing support system. I had a moment during dinner where I was just so humbled to have such wonderful people in my life. Over the past 13 months, they’ve allowed me to just be me with no worries about how I appeared to them. It was okay to be a crazy person. They got it. They allowed me to be fine one minute and go through an entire box of Kleenex the next. They allowed me to express love for my husband and then rip him to shreds, all in one breath. They have truly been invaluable. Good girlfriends are a necessity for any woman, but the woman going through a divorce will truly find a new level of appreciation for these gals.

As I reflect on yesterday, my ex is signing his part of the papers today. I don’t believe he is happy or at peace with what is happening, but he’s doing it anyway. Perhaps, this is his final way of trying to show his love for me. It’s been an emotional day for the both of us. My heart aches for him. Despite it all, I don’t enjoy seeing him in pain. I know this is extremely painful for him. I pray that he will eventually be able to find peace and move on. The compassion I have towards him often surprises those around me. Why would I want to see him suffer? I once pledged my love to him til death do us part. I meant it. It may not be in the traditional sense, but I still mean it.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” -Dalai Lama

Love and compassion,


The Official John Hancock

29 Sep

Today is the day that I will officially sign my divorce papers. Once this is done, it will go to the courts and a judge will sign off on the official divorce in about 30 days. Naturally, I’m not feeling great about it.

I wrote before about being ready and how I was feeling on the day the lawyer called and said the papers were ready to sign. Everything in both of those posts still applies. I’m ready, but I’m not happy. It’s time, but it’s difficult to believe it’s here. It’s the right thing for the two of us, but it doesn’t make me happy.

Divorce sucks. It’s sad. It’s devastating. It’s challenging. It’s life changing.  It’s forever.

The best way to describe it to people who haven’t felt everything I’ve felt is to say that I feel at peace, but incredibly sad. It seems contradictory. It took me a long time to feel at peace with this decision and some days it seems I’m more resigned to the fact that at peace with it. Sometimes in life, doing the right thing – the best thing – is the hardest thing. I would say this qualifies.

Ironically, September 29th also marks the day I signed the papers to buy our house just a short two years ago. So much can change in two years.

So today, I will sign the papers that will forever change my life. Today I will end my relationship with a man I love and care about deeply. Today I will do what needs to be done. And today I will be at peace yet incredibly sad. That’s where the margaritas come in.

Peace and sadness,

John Hancock

23 Sep

I got a call from the lawyer’s office today that the divorce papers are ready for my John Hancock. Remember the other day when I said I was ready? Well, I still feel ready but certainly not great. At peace with my decision, but not completely at peace with the fact that this has happened to me.

It’s a really weird feeling. It’s a hard one to describe. So far I’ve found that my friends who have been divorced get it without any explanation. My friends who haven’t been through this question what my hesitation means. Does it mean I’m not ready? Does it mean I have doubts about going through with it? Does it mean I’ve changed my mind. No, no, and absolutely not.

It does mean that it’s a huge step. It’s a turning point. It’s final. Official. Real.

When I got the call, I immediately felt sick to my stomach. Anxious. Nervous. I wanted to cry. Signing these papers means forever leaving him and the relationship behind. It means forever being “divorced”. Ouch.

I still have a hard time with the failure aspect of this whole thing. People say I didn’t fail. I tell others who are divorced they didn’t fail. Believing this myself, about myself, is a whole other ballgame. Signing these papers means I’m admitting I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have married him in the first place. It means I’m breaking promises. I meant it when I said “til death do us part.” Now I don’t. It means forever having an ex-husband. A first husband. Not the end of the world, but certainly not something I’m proud of. It’s obvious I still have some work to do. Focus on the things I am proud of. Not be ashamed to say “I’m divorced.”

I know these things will come. I also know I’ll sign the papers next week. At some point. Margaritas will be involved.

Love and moving on,

Words for my Friend, Part 3

22 Sep

This series began as a result of trying to help a very good friend who found out her husband wants a divorce. To catch up, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

After my first email to my friend, I told her a second installment would be coming at some point. This is my latest email to her. Unedited, unchanged, honest.

Picking up where I left off; some additional thoughts…

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21 Sep

I called the lawyer’s office today to draw up divorce papers. I’m ready. Well…. “Ready as I’ll ever be” definitely applies here. I also had a session with my therapist today and we were talking about a new man in my life. She asked if I’m ready. I am.

It would be easy to prolong our separation and wait to file the official divorce papers. We already have our separation agreement in place. We’ve already come to an agreement on things financially and legally. We don’t have any pending problems. We aren’t in a constant state of distress or arguments. Now I understand why people can stay separated for extended periods of time without filing for an official divorce. The marriage is already done. It’s just the state that has to proclaim it at this point. The only difference a divorce makes at this point is we will file separate taxes and we could get remarried if we want. That’s not in the cards for me any time soon. So what’s the point?

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Words for my Friend, Part 2

18 Sep

This post is part of a series in response to my very good friend whose husband just told her he wants a divorce. In part 1 I kept it simple. Sometimes simple is all that’s needed; sometimes we need more. This post was originally part of an email I sent to my friend. The only editing I did for the blog was to take his name out of it. Everything else remains just as I originally intended it and felt it.

Here are some thoughts from my experience (yours could be totally different)…

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Words for my Friend

13 Sep

I recently told you guys about my friend who got a phone call from her husband saying he wants a divorce. You can imagine the heartbreak I felt knowing that her heart is in shambles.

I don’t know what will happen with my friend and her husband. Perhaps they will be able to repair the damage he has done. Perhaps they will come back from this stronger than ever. Perhaps in time she’ll realize that divorce is the only path in her future. In the

Looking back on my year it’s pretty easy to now pinpoint the things I needed and wanted to hear the most. The things that would help with the pain.

This is what I would tell my friend….

You are loved.
You are needed.
You are wanted.
You can do this.

Simple. To the point. True.

Love and friendship,