My bachelorette party was a small affair. My maid of honor, Shannon and my other Stephanie took me out in Wilmington, N.C. On the whole, it was pretty calm. No naked men, male genitalia cakes, no games etc… I liked it this way. Shannon did bring with her some Mardi Gras style beads. She intended for me to hand them out to young lasses, but apparently I had my own idea of what I should do with these beads. Two bars into our crawl, I became appalled at the amount of young college-aged women grinding up on guys who could care less about the brains attached. These women needed saving. They needed beads. I began distributing the beads, with the advice, “Stay in school, don’t trust men and focus on your career.” It seemed everyone wanted some beads to wear. Soon, girls were coming to me asking for the beads. Now remember, even though this is a calm affair, I’m still a bachelorette and I’m wearing a veil on my head. Advice+veil did not match.
My friends dubbed me the “Bride Mother Teresa.”
And since the marriage didn’t work out, I can’t exactly wear that title anymore. Out of respect for Mother Teresa’s faith, I will not go with “The Divorced Mother Teresa.” Making her a bride was bad enough.
But my intentions to save others remain the same, so I’d like to present Stephanie’s rules for divorce — for the ladies in the house. Kindly note, these beads of wisdom are not intended to meet everyone’s specific divorce situation. For example, I didn’t have children. Take my ramblings with a grain of salt. However, unlike the last time I dispensed beads, I am sober.
- First and foremost: Take care of yourself. At this point, your marriage is over. You are not a “we” and you must start to think like a “me.”
- Find a place to live where you are completely at peace. This is going to be your retreat, your refuge and your new life will start here.
- Try, try not to go down negative paths with your ex or his family. You will slip and fall here. You will do and say things you regret, but be strong and use as much self-restraint as you can.
- On that same note, DO NOT engage in ANY communication with your ex’s new girlfriend. (If you are so lucky to have an ex with a new girlfriend.) Even if she tries to engage in diaglogue with you, be the bigger person and don’t, don’t, don’t lower yourself to that level.
- Find your true friends and lean on them. They will rise to the top. They will be the ones who answer the phone at 2 a.m., who bring you tissues and junk food, who allow you to text thoughts intended for your ex, who will celebrate your triumphs and most of all, who won’t judge you.
- At the same time, find your inner strength and know you can make it on your own. Slowly you can start to wean yourself from the dependence on your ex, your friends and your family and you will find a powerful new you.
- Date when you are ready. It’s ok to pull the cord on dating if you decide it’s not for you, but if you even have an inkling to date again, go with it. It can be a lot of fun. It can also provide some perspective on your situation.
- Use retail therapy with caution. A little can be ok.
- Take life one day at a time. Time is your enemy and your best friend.
- Read anything that makes you feel better. Not every divorce guide book is for you, but find a few that you can glean some nuggets from. It will make you feel better to…
- Know you are not alone. E-mail me if ever want to talk.