Category Archives: Advice

Christmas Survival Tips

While perusing the internet recently, we came across this article about surviving Christmas after divorce.

In it, the author gives us “helpful” tips on how to survive Christmas post-divorce, particularly if you are not in the company of your children for the holiday.  While we applaud the author’s efforts, we think her tips for survival are a little uninspired and perhaps a little too obvious to really warrant an article. Unless you consider painting a room of your house on Christmas Eve creative and fun. Then the list might be for you after all.  We break her tips down for you here:

1.  Think out of the box.: Here, the author tells you that you don’t NEED to have the same traditions you had when you were married! Well, yes, that’s probably fairly obvious. You probably won’t be wrapping Christmas presents by yourself while your ex-husband snores on Christmas Eve as you repeatedly hit him and say “wake up…wake UP! I need your HELP!” You also might lose that old tradition where your now ex-wife tells you on Christmas Day that she’s not sure she loves you anymore.

2.  Make a plan to call your children at a particular time. Hmm. Yeah, Ok. We guess you can do that. Or you can just call them at any old time, too. We think it probably doesn’t matter. But if planning phone calls in advance is what you do for fun, go for it.

3.  Invite family or friends over for Christmas Eve. Yes, this will be a new, groundbreaking holiday that you spend with your friends and family now that you’re divorced. With whom did you spend all of your married Christmases? Strangers?

4.  If your kids are going to be gone for two or three days and you cannot bear being in the house alone, plan a short trip. Oh yes, excellent. There is nothing to take the stress  off of you like traveling during the holidays. I hope your short trip is largely focused on siting in an airport waiting out weather delays.

5.  Allow yourself to do whatever you could not do when the kids were with you. You know how you always wanted to run around the house naked on Christmas Day shouting obscenities, but you couldn’t because the KIDS were there?! Now’s your chance!

6.  Watch a movie that makes you feel uplifted. She doesn’t give any examples here, but we can only imagine that she means something like one of the many Madea films. Tyler Perry, in a dress! It never gets old, does it?

7.  Do something creative. Here the author suggests: “[m]aybe a room in the house needs to be painted. You are alone, and no one said that you cannot decorate or fix up the house on Christmas Eve. ” Did you hear that? NO ONE told you that you can’t paint a room! So obviously you should do that. Finally, you’re rid of that pain in the ass husband who used to tell you EVERY Christmas  Eve that you are NOT ALLOWED to paint a room today! He’s been holding you back all of these years from exercising your extreme room painting creativity. Also, in case you’ve forgotten, the author would like to remind you that you are alone. All alone.

8.  Remember that divorce shatters both partners’ self esteem. Ok, we’re not entirely clear what the point of this one is. We suppose it might shatter both partners’ self-esteem, but also maybe not. Possibly if your ex-wife is already re-married to a taller, more handsome, rich doctor, her self-esteem is actually doing just fine.

9.  Write your story. No, please, don’t.

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of fresh paint.

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of fresh paint.

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Why Do People Get Married? Part 2

Why do people get married only to get divorced? How do you make that mistake?
This is by far the question we get asked most often, so we will keep answering it in new and different ways until everyone understands. It’s simple, really.
In the old days, there were several reasons that people got married:
  1. You wanted to get pregnant.
  2. You were already pregnant.
  3. You got that girl pregnant.

But nowadays, strangely enough, people often get married regardless of their fetal situations. Even in a state of absolute non-pregnancy, people vow to spend the rest of their lives with a person who they aren’t even particularly fond of. See? You’re not the only one.

Here’s the way it frequently goes down:

You go off to college and you think that you’re very wise and all grown up.  You demonstrate this by doing extremely wise things. Like wearing hemp jewelry. And getting your nose pierced. And joining the local chapter of the Green Party. And it’s at this point in your life, that you meet someone. You start dating and you’re basically soul mates! You like the same movies! He likes Indian food. And YOU like Indian Food! It’s shaping up to be the greatest love story of all time. And then all of a sudden you’re in your mid-20’s and you’ve been eating Indian food, and loving Edward Scissorhands for what seems like forever, and people just assume that you’re going to get married, and you’re one of those people! You don’t even think about it.

You don’t think about the possibility that there are any other options. You’ve known each other FOREVER. And you’re definitely old enough to make big life-changing decisions now.  You’re 23. Sure, he bugs you and he makes you angry but that’s normal. You can’t break up with a person just because they say the word “nuclear” incorrectly, right?  So you don’t even consider the possibility that you won’t end up married. You’ve seen television shows. Everybody Loves Raymond or whatever. They’re adults. They’re married. But they are constantly pissing each other off. That’s what love is, right? Thinking that your boyfriend or husband is a complete idiot. Way to go, Hollywood. Everyone’s been so worried about how the media promotes eating disorders and promiscuity, when the real problem is that it teaches young people that being married means that you’re eternally annoyed by your doofus of a mate.

Anyhow, let’s forget how Ray Romano ruined our lives. You’re 20-something. So old!  And everyone knows you’re going to get married to this person. So you just do it. And you might even know, deep down, that this isn’t the greatest idea. But you can rationalize that you’re doing the right thing. Let’s not forget the Indian food connection.

Of course this does not apply to everyone. There are people who get married at a very young age and stay married for the suggested duration. (Forever.)  And there are even some people who enter serious relationships with someone who isn’t quite right for them and they actually manage to break up with that person before marrying them.

Let’s go ahead and assume that you don’t think that getting divorced is a mortal sin.  Maybe you believe in God, but you don’t believe that you’re going to go to hell for getting divorced. What’s the big deal? Getting a divorce is just like any other break-up except it involves a lot of paperwork and it’s a colossal pain. But there’s no need to be embarrassed.  People break up all the time. People make mistakes.

And the secret is that an ill-advised marriage and the subsequent divorce can be quite amusing. It’s like any painful decision. It’s not so funny at the time. It’s sad. It’s stressful. But with time and distance, you’ll be able to laugh about it. Just like the hemp necklace. But, again, with more paperwork.

Not everybody loves you.

Not everybody loves you.

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7 Signs That You’re Ready to Start Dating After Divorce

1. You feel like wearing pants that are not of the “sweat” variety.

2.  You’re craving brunch.

3. You’ve watched everything in your Netflix Instant queue.

4. You’ve reached the limit on cats permitted in your apartment and you’re still lonely but you don’t really care for reptiles.

5. You purchased a ‘buy one get one’ Groupon for gelato.

6. You’re in the mood to play an awkward round of miniature golf with someone you hardly know.

7. You started dating before your divorce.

God, brunch is dumb.

God, brunch is dumb.

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FAQs: For the Parents

This might come as a shock to some of you, but occasionally, you aren’t the one getting divorced. Sometimes, it’s your CHILD that is getting divorced. And you suddenly have feelings about it. Maybe even sad feelings. And it’s pretty common that your child won’t understand your feelings. Maybe your child is actually quite happy to get divorced, and you’re sad about it. Or maybe your child is sad, and you’re happy about it. Either way, we want to help you get on the same page so then you can both focus on planning and paying for that second wedding. So we’ve decided to answer some FAQs. For the parents.

My daughter just told me she is getting divorced from her husband, and I had NO idea things were even going badly for them! Why didn’t she tell me?
Well, the answer to this question is pretty simple. If she told you, say, 6 months ago that her husband is kind of an asshole, then for the next 6 months until she told you they were getting divorced, you would basically hate him. But she would still be married to him. Do you see the problem here? She couldn’t tell you earlier, because then if SHE forgave him, you might NEVER forgive him. And what if they NEVER got divorced? From then on, all holidays would be awkward for her. And she was NOT going to ruin Christmas Eve dinner, she just was NOT going to do that. Trust us. And what about Flag Day? No one wants Flag Day to be awkward.
My son is getting divorced and I will miss his wife so much. We had become very close! How do I cope with these feelings?!
If YOU love her so much, why don’t YOU marry her!?
But seriously. Put on a brave face for your son, man. Lots of people we like in life come and go. But it’s time to be on your son’s team and support him. HE needs you now. She’s got her own parents to whine to.
I’m humiliated. No one else in our family has gotten divorced, my child will be the first. What do I TELL people?
You tell them that your son or daughter got divorced. Do you want to know why they won’t care? 1) No one cares as much about you and your life as you imagine they do. And, 2) Everyone gets divorced. If this is the only person in your family who has ever been divorced, then you have a bigger problem, and that is, you have a very weird family. Or you just have a family of people pretending to be happy. Which is also weird, when you think about it.
I don’t want to pay for another wedding.
That’s fair.
See?  She understands.

See? She understands.

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How to Deal: Other People’s Happiness

One of the worst things about being newly single is dealing with “wedding season.” (In case you’re not familiar, wedding season is when most people get married, usually falling somewhere around May through August, but also September through December and February through April.) It’s not that getting divorced makes you a horrible bitter person, but when it seems like everyone you know in the world is getting married or engaged, but your life is crumbling all around you, it’s hard to want to celebrate love.  It is quite easy to drown your sorrows in a jar of peanut butter, but we’ve been told that we prescribe that home remedy far too often, so we’re going to give you some non-nut-based tips for coping with other people’s happiness.

Tips for how to deal with EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN THE WORLD getting married or engaged when your life is crumbling all around you:

  • The name of the game is denial.
  • First clean up your Facebook. Hide all stories from every newly engaged or newly married friend. In fact, play defense and  hide stories from anyone who has been in some sort of committed like relationship for more than 90 days.
  • Warning: your Facebook newsfeed will get a lot more depressing, but that’s ok because you should spend less time on Facebook and more time in the world trying to meet someone richer/younger/hotter/older.
  • If you’re getting announcements in the mail, fire your mailman and move to Costa Rica with no forwarding address.
  • If your mom keeps calling you and telling you about cousins and friends and blah blah blah just got married or just had the cutest baby, DO NOT TRY TO FIRE YOUR MOM.  What you can do instead, is as soon as she starts talking like “do you remember SO AND SO?” just concentrate hard on something else like naming all the bones in the human body.  And if you’re already a bone doctor or something, think about something that you don’t understand like “Who is Demi Lovato?”
Time to commit this to memory.

Time to commit this to memory.

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Hey dummy, you can’t save your dumb marriage

Believe it or not, there are people out there that think they can save your doomed marriage from its inevitable divorce-y end. OK, they don’t ACTUALLY think that, but they think they can convince you of it and/or they want to sell you something. The people trying to sell you something are usually pastors, but not the real kind, the kind that appear on TV and try to sell you books. These TV pastors would be happy to sell you a book entitled something like, “HOW TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM THE BRINK OF DIVORCE BY FORCING THE DEVIL OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND ACCEPTING GOD’S LOVE.” (Note: To be safe, don’t buy any books that we haven’t written.)

Other non-pastor people might write articles about saving your marriage, for seemingly no other reason than to make you feel like a failure. These people aren’t doing it for money. They just want the satisfaction of feeling superior to you. Maybe one of these people *believes* they’ve saved their own marriage from the brink of divorce, but what they don’t know is that the only reason their husband is acting happier now is that he has a secret 25-year-old girlfriend.  Here’s the real deal, ladies and gentlemen: you can’t save your marriage from the brink of divorce. You CAN’T! If your marriage is already on the brink of divorce, it’s because someone (either you or your spouse) no longer cares. Maybe you or your spouse NEVER cared. Maybe you’ve both been miserable the whole time. Maybe you or your spouse fell in love with someone else. Or one of you just got bored and wants to start over. That’s ok. It happens. But don’t blame yourself. That isn’t going to help ANYONE.

Here is a list from a real, live article we found that provides you with a list of ways to save your marriage. The author gives 7 things you can do to save your marriage telling you that “chances are good” you can fix it even if you really feel it’s headed for divorce. This author is lying to you. Here are her 7 brilliant ideas:
1) Say “I love you”— Good thinking. If you only tell your spouse, “I love you,” after reading a listicle, your marriage is definitely salvageable.
2) Accomplish something together— Here, the author actually suggests–FOR REAL– that you do yard work together or spruce up the bathroom. First of all, who actually uses the phrase “spruce up”? Secondly, we’ll give you one guess as to how many marriages have been saved by caulking a bathtub together. Yes, you guessed right.
3) Give a gift— This can be okay. It’s not going to save your marriage, but gifts are nice. However, we would change the suggestion just a bit. We should change it to “Receive a gift.” There’s nothing wrong with a nice parting gift before you go your separate ways. Maybe a vacation or something. But not one that you have to go on together. Gross.
4) Have sex— If just reading this made you retch a little bit, your marriage is over. Our condolences.
5) Flirt-– Now, THIS one sounds fun! Who doesn’t like flirting? Wait, what? Oh, they mean flirt with your spouse? Ugh. No, this is a terrible idea. If your spouse doesn’t want to be with you anymore, no amount of flirting is going to change his or her mind. In fact, they’ll probably just feel sorry for you. You don’t want to be that person. The person who is the sad pathetic puppy dog, flirting away, while your spouse secretly looks for apartments on craigslist. Don’t be that puppy. Be a sexy puppy who gets divorced.
6) Take over a job— By this, the author means, if you are a man and your wife is always the one to do the dishes, maybe YOU should do the dishes. Granted, she’ll probably like it. But will she feel inclined to stay married to you because of it? Probably not. She’d probably rather just buy plasticware and divorce you. But nice try!
7) Commit— When the author says “commit” she apparently means do something like renew your vows or have a ceremony of some sort. Can you even wrap your mind around that? Here, let us set the scene for you: You and your husband have been on the outs for months. Well, if you’re being honest, years. You don’t sleep in the same bed. You don’t have date nights. He stays up all night playing World of Warcraft and you chat with your friends online about how much you hate your life. He always forgets your anniversary. He’s been taking secret phone calls in the bathroom and you’re pretty sure he isn’t a government spy or anything that would explain that sort of behavior. You’re sad and unhappy. He’s sad and unhappy. So then you read an article online and decide to have a ceremony to recommit to each other. You say:
“Husband. I know we are living miserably, and have been for years. I know we’ve talked about divorce. But I think we should go out in the backyard and pick wild flowers. Then we should hand them to each other under a full moon and say vows to each other to re-commit to our marriage. I am sure this is the answer to our problems and will result in long lasting love.” He won’t hear you say this of course, because he is wearing headphones while playing World of Warcraft. But at least you tried, right? Ok. Now you can file.
Bathtub caulk: saving marriages since never.

Bathtub caulk: saving marriages since never.

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Is he cheating?

If you Google “I think my spouse is cheating on me” you will get approximately one million different webpages that purport to tell you how you can determine whether or not your spouse is cheating on you. We’re going to be real with you: if you Googled that, he or she probably is. But if you still aren’t sure, we’ve created a flow chart that might help:

Cheater

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Nothing Helps: Tips on Combatting Divorce-Related Depression

If we know one thing here at EGD, it’s that nachos are the greatest food ever invented ever. However, if we know one MORE thing, it’s that getting divorced is terrible and nothing anyone says or does is going to make you feel better. That’s just the way it is. But your friends, god bless ’em, will still try. No one likes to see you so sad. It’s depressing.  We can’t even see you and it’s depressing. We can just feel the depressing mopey energy coming through our computers.  And THAT is how blogs WORK.

Anyhow, we say all this, because we, too, are your friends. And we know that even though nothing is going to make you happy right now, it’s still worth a shot. We want to make you happy, so we’re going to throw a bunch of ideas at you. Most likely, they will all make you mad or sad or a frightening combination of the two. But you never know. Maybe, just maybe, something someone says actually WILL help. But probably not. Just hang in there, kitty on a tree branch.

SOME DUMB SUGGESTIONS FOR COPING WITH DEPRESSION:

1. Call a friend. I mean, obviously, right? But do it. Don’t just cry in bed. Cry on the phone. Or over Skype. Or even in person. Have lunch. Have lunch with drinks.

2. Get some exercise. I know – it is the WORST. But allegedly, it helps people. Even sad, pathetic people like you. Tip from Jeanne: Set an attainable goal of 30 minutes, doing something easy. Then just quit after 22 minutes.

3. Punch a pillow. It sounds SUPER DUMB but of all the things you want to punch it is the least likely to get your arrested. It is still possible to get arrested, especially if you are making a big pillow-punching scene in a Pier 1 Imports.

4. Keep a journal. Even though everything about your life is terrible, try and write 5 things that you are grateful for. (Hint: Nachos, nachos, nachos, nachos, and nachos.)

5. Just go to the pound and get a new spouse that looks exactly like the old one.

These potential new husbands have had all their shots.

These potential new husbands have had all their shots.

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Tips: How to Spice Down Your Marriage

We all know the tricks for spicing up your love life. But what if you’re not in love? How do you spice it DOWN? How do you kill those last pesky shreds of romance in your marriage?

HOW TO SPICE DOWN YOUR MARRIAGE:

1. Surprise your spouse with a phone call at work. Whisper, “Thanks for leaving that bowl from dinner in the living room. It was a fun challenge trying to scrape off the caked on chili.”

2. Try new things. Like storming out of a NEW restaurant before the entrees even come.

3. Practice the long lost art of flirting. With an attractive coworker.

4. Leave little notes around the house. Things like, “Can you try and remember to rinse out your bowl for a change?”

5. Stray from your normal routine. Instead of going home after work, spend some time with an attractive coworker.

6. Make time to talk. Talk about how you really don’t want to have “date nights” anymore. Or at least not with each other.

7. Invest in some new lingerie. The kind that comes in a plastic 6-pack.

uglyunderwear

 

 

 

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Tough Love: February Edition

As you know by now, February is the most popular month for divorcing. So what are you waiting for? Oh, that’s right, you have a bunch of lame EXCUSES. Well, guess what – we don’t accept your excuses. Watch how we use our tough love magic to turn your excuses into a pile of garbage.

“I’m scared.”

Scared? What are you, some stupid baby? Everything in life is scary because it ends with you dying. You know what’s scarier than getting divorced? HOUSE CENTIPEDES? But you know what is less scary than house centipedes but more scary than getting divorced??Being miserable YOUR ENTIRE LIFE and then dying STILL MISERABLE.

“I don’t want to hurt her.”

Oh. Right. Because you’re SUCH a prize. How selfless of you to worry about HURTING her. That’s probably why you stay up late every night so you can Facebook chat with that girl you dated for 4 months in college. How NICE of you to let her stay in this pain-free sham of a marriage.

“I want to wait until the kids are 18.”

GOOD IDEA. They’ll definitely turn out perfect this way.  And everyone knows that everything that happens after you turn 18 has no impact on the rest of your life. Good thinking.

“Maybe things will get better.”

They won’t.

“But it’s almost Valentine’s Day.”

NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME. Christmas is over and Flag Day is still months away. THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN RIGHT NOW. Forget about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday in the world, even if you’re HAPPY. But when you aren’t happy and you have to pretend that you are, it’s even more horrible. Save yourself the trouble of buying one of those stupid little gifts that they sell by the checkout at Barnes and Noble. A heart-shaped miniature zen garden was not going to save your marriage.

“But I work for her father.”

That is so so stupid. Don’t you have your OWN father to work for? You can get another job. Actually, you probably can’t. But you’d be surprised how much more appealing living in a box on the side of the road is to living at home with someone you kind of hate.

“My in-laws will hate me.”

Of COURSE they will. But if it makes you feel better, they probably already hate you.

“We have too many mutual friends.”

Just let them go. You really only need one friend. Surely you can snag ONE FRIEND from the bunch. Or maybe you can’t. In which case, don’t you have any COUSINS? Sheesh.

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