How to Survive Your Boyfriends Divorce: Loving Your Separated Man Without Losing Your Mind by Robyn ToddI hesitated several months before deciding to read this book. While making up my mind, I read the reviews and the free portions on Google Books; chew on the tidbits and think some more. A week ago, I bit the bullet (note: while PMSing) and purchased/downloaded it to my Android, then stayed up one night until about 3 oclock in the morning reading.
Unfortunately, I didnt sleep particularly well after reading four or five chapters. The next couple nights I read again, until somewhere in Chapter 8 -- the one that asks whether or not you are a Transitional Girlfriend. At the sentence where the author says, Well, you are!...regardless of what youre telling yourself..., I lost all respect for her expertise and, after more thought, decided to not continue reading and deleted the book from my handheld and my purchase library.
I respect her personal experience. For whatever reason, her dating a separated and/or divorcing man did not end with any happy ever after together. I didnt like the tone of the book book but I still respect that she probably invested quite a bit of herself into something that didnt end the way she might hoped.
I was reading a book by a woman whose perspective is anything but neutral. It has a decided bend toward beware, because this sucks. It is very negative, caustic; there is a way to deliver cautionary news without being completely negative.
The author does not know me or my partner, or our children, our backgrounds, eye color, allergies or where we live.
She does not know our situation, nor the two years of conversation and discovery, nor the continued slow but enjoyable and fairly steady (and, yes, frustrating, at times) unfolding of our lives, together and apart (because my situation is also long-distance). She does not know the friends we have who suggest we see other people -- because they have their own, likely jealous or immature, agenda. We laugh about this privately, with love, because their well meaning suggestions are rather undermining. Not everyone is daring or courageous (or crazy enough) to date someone who is still separated (read: still married).
The author, as many do, writes about her experience. It is one gals narrative in a library of men and women trying to figure out a complicated, emotional thing. What she knows is that her date-a-divorcing man thing did not end positively. Maybe in hindsight she is happier, but suffice it to say at the time things ended she was hurt, angry, and Im guessing, she felt used and maybe even duped or lied to.
And I agree: that would totally suck!! I hope that is not the outcome of the whatever-it-is I am currently in (relationship is a word I dont often use, but thats another essay); in my private thoughts, public here, I see us arriving at the beginning of an us because were good to each other. No lies, no BS, nothing not out in the open. Are there any guarantees? Oh, hell, no. This whole thing is a risk -- but most good things are.
There are many, maybe too many, real life example couples in this book. So many, it reads like a soap opera character roster...when Janice met Pete...when Marvin and Loretta went on vacation. The book, the examples, would be better served streamlined to he said/she said or if this happens, dont do that, etc.
So much of dating is common sense: dont date a liar; be honest with what you want and hope for; dont reroute your life/week/day/date for someone who does not openly and eagerly tell you they see a future with you, even a future as near as the next date. A man who hides you probably has something else hes hiding. Ask. Use your head, and when your heads not working or you need a sounding board, talk with a trusted friend.
Much vibe of this book rests on a foundation of distrust, betrayal, suspicion and I told you so -- its hard to see any redeeming qualities in a person who is separated let alone considering or actively divorcing, but they are there.
I put my partner and me under a fuzzy, inaccurate microscope while reading this book until the revelation that the ONLY person(s) who can appropriately say if we are working well together are him and me. Period. Our friends can have their say, as can family, but this is between us (with primary considerations to our respective children). Frankly, we dont care what other people say. This is about what is right for us.
Will we make it? I have no idea, nor do I want to speculate. But I know we love each other, our kids are happy, were happy, and the rest is up to time, energy, positive thinking and a few things we have no control over. I have a great deal of faith, and he is a huge optimist.
One thing at a time. I trust and respect my partner; whatever he needs to do for himself, hell do. Hes a big boy, capable of decision making. I choose to stand nearby and support him should he decide to change his life. Eyes wide open. And, I am free to go; to choose a fully available partner.
Use your head and listen to your gut. Buy a really good book on intuition or meditation instead of this Debbie Downer.
The 5 Stages of Divorce
You Will Survive Your Divorce
I knew what my parents wanted to say. He was going to stay at a hotel for a few days to think. But the days stretched into a confusing blur of weeks. I missed the signs, little and big. He never let me park in the garage. He was always needed at work dinners, at business meetings that lasted until the wee hours and on frequent trips. When he was home, his eyes were trained on his BlackBerry.
We were together for 13 years. Other times it seems like it never happened. I thought we had a whole life to spend together. We navigated foreign countries and slept on straw mats while lizards crawled on the ceiling and the ocean heaved and moaned outside. We sat bleary-eyed in emergency rooms at ungodly hours, taking turns holding our sick and wailing infant who would not be comforted. We stood hand in hand at the newly dug graves of parents, weeping and silently holding each other.
I never wanted to be a woman with a last name different from her kids. I never wanted to be a statistic — at least not this kind of statistic.
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Parenting after divorce: the art of not being ugly
Ladies, you're strong enough to make it. There's nowhere left to go but UP! Everyone tries to hold it together during the holidays for the family, for the kids, or to try one last time. You think to yourself, "I just can't do this for another year. I honestly don't remember what month it was when I hit that wall. What did I just say? Getting a divorce is a lot of things — it's paperwork, it's moving, it's mourning and it's being on your own again.
If there's ever a time you need a little distraction in your life, it's during the divorce process. That's why we launched our Divorce Care Package series. With each post, we'll show you what things -- books, movies, recipes -- helped others relieve stress in the midst of divorce, in the hopes that a few of their picks will serve you well, too. Want to share what got you through your divorce? Email us at divorce huffingtonpost. In the wake of her divorce, HuffPost Divorce blogger Elizabeth Denham said she took comfort in take-out food and hobbies she had put on the back-burner during her marriage. But what really helped her get past her breakup was realizing she'd have to accept the divorce before any progress could be made.