We know what you’re thinking. “Who are you to give advice?” “What do you know?” Well, one of the positive aspects of getting divorced, is that it’s an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Where did it all go wrong? We’ve done extensive research and analysis and come up with these rules for a happy marriage. Read it. Study it. Live it.
1. Admit when you’re wrong.
A lot of people have trouble doing this. But once you get in the habit, it’s really easy, and it feels good. Try it. “I was wrong – the capital is Canberra, not Sydney.” Or this. “I was wrong to think you’d ever change.” Simple!
2. Spend time together, but enjoy your time apart.
Having some alone time is crucial to a successful marriage. Try maintaining separate residences. It worked wonders for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
3. Don’t bring up mistakes of the past.
It’s tempting, but it gets you nowhere. It’s far more productive to make wild accusations about the future.
4. Never go to bed angry.
This is so important. You MUST stay angry and awake for as long as is humanly possible. After a grueling 20 or 30 hours, one of you will probably fall asleep. And that settles it. That person is the loser.
5. At least once a day, compliment your partner.
It doesn’t have to be a different compliment every time. And there’s almost certainly one thing you like about your spouse. Don’t take it for granted. Tell them every single day. “I really admire the shape of your head.”
While mourning your failed marriage/relationship, you’re going to find yourself crying a lot. Especially if you’re a woman. This is a fact. We’re all (both) women here at Everyone Gets Divorced and we’re just speaking from experience.
Real Things That Have Made Us Cry:
1. Being out of raisin toast.
2. Reading Wikipedia summary of The Velveteen Rabbit.
The point is, you’ll probably cry even more when you’re going through a big breakup.
Places You’ll Cry:
Here at Everyone Gets Divorced, we take the “moving on” process very seriously. By that we mean, seriously, you don’t need a box of old wedding stuff in your closet. Now we’re going to persuade you to get rid of it so you can get on with your life and subsequent marriages.
If you’ve ever watched anything on TLC, you know that the most important part of any wedding is the dress.
You probably spent more time thinking about the dress than the person you were marrying. Oops! On the other hand, you probably liked the dress more than the person you were marrying. So we understand that saying goodbye to this dress can be tough.
Well, life is tough.
HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS
In theory, selling your dress is one option. But in the world of wedding gowns, “worn only once” is not that great a selling feature. For normal clothes, being worn only once is pretty close to being brand new. However, for wedding gowns, the average lifespan is one wear.
This is not to say that you can’t sell it. Although the longer you were married, the less likely it is that anyone is going to want your dress. You’ve seen wedding dresses from the 80’s, right? No one wants to look like that now. Well, maybe, for some sort of ironic hipster wedding. Call it “vintage.”
However, if your marriage was of the short-lived variety and your dress is still reasonably in fashion, you’ve got a better chance. But remember, you’re not going to get what you believe is a fair price. Nothing about this is fair. Also, when selling it, make sure you don’t let on that your marriage ended. People seem to think that’s bad luck. Be sure to write your Craigslist ad in the tone of a happily married person.
If you find yourself unable to sell it, consider trying it on to see if you’ve gotten fat since your wedding. You didn’t? Great! Celebrate and have an egg roll! You did? Hit the gym, doughball!
If you just want to be rid of it, you have two quick and easy options.
1. Shove it in a garbage can.
2. Lay it neatly ACROSS a garbage can so that your neighborhood and sanitation workers can appreciate its beauty one last time.
Giving it Away:
Perhaps you have a friend who is getting married. And she happens to be the same size and height as you. And you know her marriage is doomed anyway. Offer your tainted dress to her.
In your post-spousal life, one of the best things you can do is master the fine art of “revising history.” Moving on is much easier if you can train yourself to talk without constantly mentioning your ex. One argument is that it’s perfectly natural to talk about someone who was a big part of your life, even if that part of your life is over now. Another better argument is that no one wants to hear about your ex.
Revising history is easy. Here are some examples to get you started:
You’re used to saying: “My husband is a Type 1 diabetic.”
Change it to: “I once knew someone with Type 1 diabetes.”
You’re used to saying: “We had the best cupcakes at our wedding.”
Change it to: “I’ve been to weddings where they had cupcakes.”
You’re used to saying: “We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon.”
Change it to: “One time, I went to Hawaii.”
You’re used to saying: “My husband coaches our son’s soccer team.”
Change it to: “My son’s soccer coach is disgusting to look at. ”
You’re used to saying: “My husband is from Idaho.”
Change it to: “In my experience, people from Idaho are unable to pronounce ‘nuclear’ correctly.”
If you have dogs, and you’re thinking about getting a divorce, you’re probably dealing with a lot of guilt. “What about the dogs?” people will say. Well, worry no more. We’re dispelling some of the most common myths about dogs and divorce.
Myth 1: “Your dog will never forgive you after the divorce.”
Fact: Your dog doesn’t know that you’re divorced.
Myth 2: “Your dog won’t be able to have a healthy marriage in the future.”
Fact: Dogs are not allowed to get married.
Myth 3: “‘Your dog will regress to previous infantile behaviors.”
Fact: Your dog eats poop.
Myth 4: “Your dog will have problems at school.”
Fact: Dogs don’t have to go to school.
Myth 5: “Your dog will miss your ex.”
Fact: Your new boyfriend gives your dog treats, too.”
Myth 6: “Your dog will start overeating.”
Fact: If given the option, your dog would literally eat until he died, regardless of your marital status.
There aren’t many good reasons to see, speak with, or think about your ex, but from time to time, it does happen. “Why does it happen?” you ask. Let us tell you.
Type 1: Business Transaction
This is most common in the early stages of separation. Breakups are a lot of drama, but there are still a lot of boring parts. Getting your mail. Discussing utility bills. Really, anything that involves paper. If you have children, the business transactions will be more regular and will also cover picking kids up, dropping kids off, and appendectomies.
“Did you take care of the thing with the insurance company?”
“No. I’ll do that Monday.”
“Ok. Let me know when it’s done.”
Type 2: Playing Nice
There are two reasons to remain friendly with your ex: 1. You want them back. 2. You feel guilty. In almost every failed relationship, one party feels immense guilt over ending it. Some people choose to swallow that guilt and wash it down with lots of alcohol or, in a pinch, Nyquil. But others maintain a friendly relationship with the person they dumped, in hopes of someday feeling better about it. These interactions are sort of like match.com dates. Lots of smiling and non-controversial chit chat. It’s disgusting.
“I like your hat.”
“Thanks! I just got it.”
“That sandwich looks good.”
“It is! Would you like a bite?”
“No, I’m good. But thanks for offering!”
“Oh no problem. I’m glad you picked this sandwich place. You’re good at picking restaurants.”
“Thank you. You’re good at ordering sandwiches.”
“That’s nice of you to say.”
Type 3: Cyber Stalking
It can be hard to resist cyber stalking your ex. Whether you love them, hate them, or you’re just bored with everything else the internet has to offer, you’re going to do it at some point. If you’re still facebook friends, it’s pretty easy, but, in a way, less gratifying. The real prize is finding their online dating profile. And by “prize” we mean “terrible idea.”
Sample Encounter (with public part of ex’s facebook wall):
“Oh, wow. He commented on a Washington Post article. Isn’t that nice? He never read the Washignton Post when WE were together. What a phony. Well, well, well…became friends with Kristen Murray on March 31st. Moving fast, don’t you think?”
Type 4: Accidental Run-in
Even if you and your ex have mutually agreed to act like adults and pretend that one another never existed, there is a chance that the matrix will be shattered when you run into each other in public.
::pretends not to see ex::
Type 5: Horrible Failed Attempts at Making Ex Jealous
This happens. And it never really goes according to plan. Because if you’re the one trying to make your ex jealous, chances are, you care a lot more about them than they do you. Additional chances are you’re really drunk and you’re embarrassing yourself.
“Yeah so, things are going really well. Like, really well.”
“I mean, with girls. You know?”
“I’ve been working out a lot. Thinking about buying property. Might grow a mustache.”
“Busy time though. Lots of social engagements though. You know?”
“Sure. By the way, why are you at my company Christmas party?”
“Why wouldn’t I be here?”
“Well, you don’t work here.”
“I’m going to go talk to those girls over there.”
A lot of people find that dinner time is when they miss their ex the most. It can be hard to adjust to eating alone. Don’t even google “cooking for one.” It won’t make you feel any better.
As we see it, the smarter (and easier) solution is to stop eating dinner.
You already had breakfast and lunch. Isn’t dinner just greedy?
Here’s a quick and easy dinner alternative.
Personally, I like to use peanut butter. But you can use any nut butter. Not sunflower seed butter though. That is gross.
After opening the jar, I like to use a teaspoon to eat the peanut butter. I find it helps monitor your butter intake.
If you don’t have a teaspoon lying around, that’s fine. Any small spoon will do. You can also use your finger. Or a pen. Any kind of stick, really. Get creative! Cooking should be fun.
“This candle is garbage.”
“These DVDs are garbage.”
“These mittens are garbage.”
“This bow tie is garbage.”
“This food processor is garbage.”
“This spear gun is garbage.”
“I’m going to put this garbage out with the garbage because it’s useless trash.”
When you split up with someone, you have* to tell a lot of people. Eventually, you’ll tell everyone from your closest friends and family to your former co-worker that you bump into at the grocery store. You will experience a variety of reactions from these people. Here are some of the most common ones. (We’ve also gone ahead and rated them on a scale of helpfulness where 1 = “Great, now I’m getting divorced AND I have to murder you” and 10 = “Thank you, that’s actually very helpful.”
This is what people say when they want to know who cheated on who. If no one cheated on anyone, they’re really not going to be satisfied.
Helpful score: 2
“Awwwwwwww… poor Ex’s Name.
This is what people say when they have no ability to filter their thoughts.
Helpful score: 1
“I’m sure you’ll work things out.”
This person doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Helpful score: 2
“God hates divorce.”
This person is trying to be helpful. God hates so many things these days, it’s really hard to keep track.
Helpful score: 1
“But you had such a beautiful wedding…”
This is a lovely sentiment to hear the day after your wedding.
Helpful score: 2
“You know, marriage is WORK.”
This is very true. And jobs are also work. But sometimes you get to quit them. And sometimes, you even get a cake on your last day!
Helpful score: 2
“Those poor kids…”
A wonderful reminder that you should feel guilty about what this will do to your kids. And a very strange reaction if you haven’t any kids.
Helpful score: 1
“Let’s get drunk.”
Helpful score: 10
*You do not have to tell people that you’ve split up if you don’t want to. However, if you don’t, people are just going to keep asking you “How’s Jim?” and “Where’s Jim?” for the rest of your life. And you’ll grow tired of saying, “I have no idea,” or “Probably with his new wife and kids.”