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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating After a Divorce

Now that you are divorced or otherwise single, what are you looking for? You’ve probably been asked that question, or a variation of it, many times, and it’s not always easy to pin down an answer. Most of us can readily identify what we don’t want, but putting a finger on exactly what we’re looking for in a partner and/or a relationship is often a difficult task.

As a relationship expert, I’ve found that many of our wants come from things that we’ve experienced in past relationships, or from things we’ve not experienced but would like to. We hold on to pieces of past relationships that we perceive as “good,” and we tend to drag that baggage into new relationships.

But this type of behavior raises a very important question: Is this fair?

The answer is “not really.” It is very important to enter into each new relationship with no preconceived ideas. Try to leave behind your past, and look at the new woman/man in your life with fresh eyes and an open heart. But, that does not mean that you should walk in with heart in your hands, ready to commit.

Below are three questions that you should ask yourself as you’re preparing to start dating again.

Question 1- Are you looking for a serious relationship?
If your answer to this question is yes, then your approach to dating may be a little different from the tactics used by someone looking for a casual setup. Ask your new love interest important questions before going on that first date.

Questions such as “are you looking to just ‘date’ or are you looking for a serious relationship” will help you narrow down your search to a man who has similar relationship goals. Most men will share their intentions, especially if they have been divorced, but there are a few who won’t, so always, always trust your instincts.

Question 2 – Are you looking to date many different individuals at the same time?
If your answer to this question is yes, you’ve set a solid starting point. Make sure to tell anyone you are thinking of dating, that you’re not interested in a monogamous relationship at the moment; you are simply interested in dating and having a good time.

I have found that many of the women on my website, as well as some of my friends believe that an honest approach works best for them. Also, talking with the male members of my site, honesty is an approach that they appreciate very much. Single and divorced men don’t want to waste their time any more than we do. Honesty is really the way to go!

Question 3 – Are you simply interested in friends with benefits?
This is the tricky question, but if you’re being honest with yourself, it’s really not that hard to answer.

If your answer to this question is yes, then again, honesty is the best way to go. There are many men/women who are not interested in this type of relationship at all. They do not like the idea that the person they are “seeing” may be intimate with other individuals. In my opinion, it’s important to share this type of information up front. You don’t want to hurt or offend anyone, but if dating is not something you want, nor does it interest you on any level, then you don’t want to be involved with someone who does.

Finally, and most importantly, remember that when you accept an invitation for that first date after a breakup (or extend an invitation!), the event is exactly that… JUST A DATE. Leave your baggage at home. Don’t spend your time with a new interest talking about all the wrongs of your past relationships. Don’t compare him/her to your past, expecting things to feel normal. Chances are he/she won’t be the same and things won’t feel normal.

Dating is very different than it used to be, and you truly may not know what you are looking for at first. Take time to figure it all out before you get serious with someone new. You know what you do not like, but your wants and likes may change daily, and that’s ok.

Don’t over think everything. Give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and jump! You truly will be just fine!

Follow Sheila Blagg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/divorcenation.net

How to heal from your past.

How do you heal from your past when, every time you have to deal with your ex, he does nothing but remind, and then adds much untruth to it? I have tried so hard to put my past behind me. I am happily remarried and have been for nearly 12 years. My ex is soon to be married, and he and his soon to be wife have decided to take me to court over money he owes me for the home he and I lived in when we were married. My ex-knows he owes this money, yet he is coming up with all sorts of reasons why he does not. He has created many false statements concerning our past, how we lived, and the decisions he and I made together concerning, myself being a stay-at-home mom, and the bills we assumed. In the court papers, only about two sentences concerned the actual case, the other 2 pages were pure lies! I don’t understand how you can do this to someone who literally has not bothered with you in any way. I have never interfered with his life, or his ability to be happy in it. My ex-did not like me when we were married. He was massively emotionally and mentally abusive. When I think back to the things that I allowed him to do and say, I am ashamed of myself. I am ashamed that I stayed. I am ashamed that I allowed myself to be treated that way. I must have in some way believed that I deserved it. I just don’t get it!

Insecurities: Where They Start and How to Get Rid of Them

Insecurities. We’ve all got ‘em. The million dollar question is, is it possible to get rid of them? Although most of us will probably never be completely insecurity free, I believe that it is possible to work toward a goal of reducing our insecurities. First, we have to pinpoint where they stem from.

Your insecurities may be the cause of one simple comment made by a schoolmate. Or, maybe a “loved one” voiced a critique that has stayed with you no matter how hard you’ve tried to shake it. For me, many of my insecurities are a result of my relationship with my father.

I grew up with a father who assured me that I’d never be good enough. He also cemented into my head that I was a mistake and that I ruined his life. After my father was through with me, my first husband continued feeding my insecurities with comments that told me that I should have been better than I was. Whether he was comparing me to my friends, the wives of men that he worked with or any other woman, I always fell short of the person he felt I should be.

Whose problem is it anyway?

I now know that the people who went out of their way to bring me down are the ones who have the insecurities, not me. My father and my first husband made themselves feel better by making me feel “less than.”

Take a look at your life, your insecurities, and ask yourself “Did I get here on my own?” Is each self-criticism something that you truly do not like about yourself, or are your insecurities the result of the unkind words or actions of someone else? The majority of my insecurities were rooted in me by someone else. They are not mine to own, nor do I allow them power in my life any longer.

Make a list for yourself. Write down all of the positives that you like about yourself. Make a list of the negatives, too. Then, as you are reading the good and the bad, ask yourself, “Is this truly how I feel, or has someone made me feel this way?”

Keep the positives on your list; they work for your better good. But, if you come across a negative that started from someone else’s actions or words, then it’s not yours to own. Get rid of it!

Analyzing and owning (or not owning) your positives and negatives is not an easy process, but it’s also not as hard as you may think. Every day, take steps to rid yourself of any and all negativity by reinforcing the belief that you are strong, beautiful, loved and important. Anything other than positive thoughts have no place in your life, so I want you to reject all negatives instantly!

Fill yourself with your chosen positive thoughts every single day. Plant your seed, water it and watch it grow. The more you believe in yourself, the less power others have over you and your future. You control your thought process. You control what you allow to take root in your life. Do the work, get rid of the bad, and start your life as you want it.
Take the first step. The results will be more than worth it!!

Follow Sheila Blagg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/divorcenation

Why Do We Cheat?

Studies show that nearly 57% of men and 54% of women will commit adultery at some point during their marriage. This majority is astonishing. I was also astonished to discover how universal some of the motivations are behind the drive for cheating.

When it comes to adultery, you are sure to come across a variety of opinions, judgments, and strong emotional reactions. For instance, have you ever wondered what type of brokenness or loneliness would make someone choose to look elsewhere?

Or do you believe adultery is simply a sex-driven act?

Below you will find three reasons given by men, and three by women, for why they cheated. For all the differences between the sexes, it appears our reasons are often much the same.

Men

1. Emotional Neglect
Men need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. They need to feel needed and appreciated. It’s as simple as a sincerely-felt “Thank you for all you do”, “I appreciate you”, or “How was your day?” Simple, but powerful gestures.

2. Feeling Attractive & Wanted
Men want to know that their significant other still finds them attractive. They want to be wanted, “lusted” after. They want to know that their spouse is still interested and finds them sexy.

3. Sex
Men want to know that they satisfy their partners’ needs, especially in the bedroom. They also want to be attended to themselves. When a man feels he is pleasing his spouse, and his own needs are equally being met, his interest tends to stay at home.

WOMEN

1. Emotional Neglect
Women long for their husbands to understand and appreciate them. This can be especially true for women who have chosen to stay at home as caregivers. Again, a sincerely felt “Thank you”, “I appreciate you”, or “Can I help you?” goes a long way. But feeling unappreciated, undervalued, and lonely can push someone in the other direction.

2. Sex
Women crave “Don’t stop!” passion! They want to feel like their partner can’t get enough of them. Trouble comes when the sex is no longer hitting the mark. Women, like men, will cheat due to a boring sex life.

3. Because He Cheated On Me

A woman wants to feel that her spouse is concentrating on her–solely on her, in all areas. But she can feel emotionally and mentally drained by a husband who cheated on her. Women stated, “I needed to feel wanted, attractive, but mostly touched and attended to.” When a husband cheats, he becomes less able to be there for her in the ways she needs.

Absolutely no one deserves the shock and betrayal of being cheated on. It causes a ripple effect in all parties, not just the one who did the cheating. Getting caught up in the day-to-day chores of parenting, coaching, bill-paying, housecleaning etc., we lose sight of tending and paying attention to our spouse. Neglecting their needs, and yours. Marriages are hard; whoever said they weren’t, LIED.

As I always say…” What it takes to get them, is what it takes to keep them.

5 Suggestions on How to Deal With the Stresses of the Ex’s

There really isn’t a class that you can take, or a way to mentally prepare for all of the ups and downs that can occur when dealing with your significant others ex, specifically when it comes to their children.

If you are blending a family, then you have exes on both sides to deal with. There are holidays, sporting events, school plays and birthday parties in which you must deal with one another. In an ideal world everyone would put personal feelings aside and do what is in the best interest of the children. That actually happens more than you think but, not as often as it should.

Below are tips that may help you and your spouse deal with stresses of the ex-together

1. Always operate as a United Front! (Extremely Crucial).
Ex-spouses may try to manipulate circumstances if they feel they have a “leg up” over your spouse. (I.E…can be the children, or feeling a sense of entitlement toward your spouse). Communication between the two of you concerning any, and all decisions regarding the ex, children, changing of schedules etc. Being in agreement depletes some of the power the ex feels he/she may have and can relieve some stress from the situation.

2. NEVER, EVER give your ex the impression that you want to do what he/she asks because if you do, you’ll be in the dog house.
Your ex will take this as an opening to ask you about your relationship. (“Without really asking)”. You may not do this purposely, but this will have a long term effect on your spouse from both your ex and children.

3. If you and your ex have shared parenting, or specific visitation days, when/if possible arrange the dates so you and your spouse have some nights/weekends alone.
Blending a family and dealing with all that comes with it can take a toll on your relationship. It’s up to the two of to stay connected and committed to making this work.

4. When planning a night or weekend with your spouse and your ex has a pattern of interrupting, ask a friend or family member if they will be the “go between” in case of an emergency.
Then talk with your children, share you’re plans, but no specifics. Let them know if an emergency arises, or they simply miss you, they can contact the “go between” who will then get in touch with you. Even in divorced situations, children want to see their parents happy. The fact that you’re sharing your plans gives them a sense of being included. The bonus here… It sends a very undeniable message to the ex that he/she is not welcome. To avoid the “20 questions” your children may have coming, inform your ex that your children have no idea where you are going, so no need to ask them.

5. You should not allow your ex to speak badly about your spouse.
Shut that down immediately!!! This is a most definitely a way of baiting you into a fight. It really doesn’t matter what they think about your spouse, or anything else for that matter. You are divorced for a reason. If you do not get along on any terms, then there isn’t a reason to discuss anything other than your children. If he/she can’t seem to stick to the subject of your children, and two out of three conversations are toxic, you should have a mediator delegate a schedule for you both. If changes need to be made, that individual is to be contacted.

After a divorce many life changes take place, and will for years. Setting boundaries right off the bat is key for your future and future relationships. Second marriages face challenges that most first marriages do not. You not only married your spouse, but in a sense married his/her ex. Do your best to keep your relationship with your spouse, and the family you are working to build first and foremost in your mind.

It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of crap that may come your way. It’s up to the both of you to work together, figure it out and make it work! It most certainly can be done!!

By Sheila Blagg www.twitter.com/www.@divorcenationnet

5 Suggestions on How to Deal With the Stresses of the Ex’s

There really isn’t a class that you can take, or a way to mentally prepare for all of the ups and downs that can occur when dealing with your significant others ex, specifically when it comes to their children.

If you are blending a family, then you have exes on both sides to deal with. There are holidays, sporting events, school plays and birthday parties in which you must deal with one another. In an ideal world everyone would put personal feelings aside and do what is in the best interest of the children. That actually happens more than you think but, not as often as it should.

Below are tips that may help you and your spouse deal with stresses of the ex-together

1. Always operate as a United Front! (Extremely Crucial).
Ex-spouses may try to manipulate circumstances if they feel they have a “leg up” over your spouse. (I.E…can be the children, or feeling a sense of entitlement toward your spouse). Communication between the two of you concerning any, and all decisions regarding the ex, children, changing of schedules etc. Being in agreement depletes some of the power the ex feels he/she may have and can relieve some stress from the situation.

2. NEVER, EVER give your ex the impression that you want to do what he/she asks because if you do, you’ll be in the dog house.
Your ex will take this as an opening to ask you about your relationship. (“Without really asking)”. You may not do this purposely, but this will have a long term effect on your spouse from both your ex and children.

3. If you and your ex have shared parenting, or specific visitation days, when/if possible arrange the dates so you and your spouse have some nights/weekends alone.
Blending a family and dealing with all that comes with it can take a toll on your relationship. It’s up to the two of to stay connected and committed to making this work.

4. When planning a night or weekend with your spouse and your ex-has a pattern of interrupting, ask a friend or family member if they will be the “go between” in case of an emergency.
Then talk with your children, share you’re plans, but no specifics. Let them know if an emergency arises, or they simply miss you, they can contact the “go-between” who will then get in touch with you. Even in divorced situations, children want to see their parents happy. The fact that you’re sharing your plans gives them a sense of being included. The bonus here… It sends a very undeniable message to the ex that he/she is not welcome. To avoid the “20 questions” your children may have coming, inform your ex that your children have no idea where you are going, so no need to ask them.

5. You should not allow your ex to speak badly about your spouse.
Shut that down immediately!!! This is a most definitely a way of baiting you into a fight. It really doesn’t matter what they think about your spouse, or anything else for that matter. You are divorced for a reason. If you do not get along on any terms, then there isn’t a reason to discuss anything other than your children. If he/she can’t seem to stick to the subject of your children, and two out of three conversations are toxic, you should have a mediator delegate a schedule for you both. If changes need to be made, that individual is to be contacted.

After a divorce, many life changes take place, and will for years. Setting boundaries right off the bat is key for your future and future relationships. Second marriages face challenges that most first marriages do not. You not only married your spouse but in a sense married his/her ex. Do your best to keep your relationship with your spouse, and the family you are working to build first and foremost in your mind.

It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of crap that may come your way. It’s up to the both of you to work together, figure it out and make it work! It most certainly can be done!!

Follow Sheila Blagg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/divorcenation.net

Divorce advice from real people who made it through

When you’re getting married, you usually have months to plan, along with a partner and plenty of wedding magazines to help. But divorce is a lonely place, with room for one plus an attorney who charges per minute. So we rounded up divorce advice from real people who have been there, done that — and made… Continue reading “Divorce advice from real people who made it through”