Today, April 14th, is Ex-Spouse Day.
Celebrating a divorce is almost akin to an oxymoron. Very few people actually rejoice in the thought of dissolving a union entered with such pomp, circumstances and commitment. Unfortunately, divorce is sometimes a harsh reality and whether you wanted it or not, you have to deal with the aftermath. Everyone has to process grief and loss in their own way. Take positive steps today to reclaim your future and your joy.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to make it through the day both emotionally (and physically) sound.
Finally, delete all their old pictures and texts from your phone. I know this is a hard one. If you are still in love and hurt from the divorce these are reminders, even if painful ones, of better times. You catch yourself looking back and re-living the pain. This is unhealthy and will not bring healing or closure. It is a huge step, but when the divorce was final, all of this information became irrelevant and a roadblock to your future. Delete them. All of them. Free up space on your phone and in your heart for something NEW.
Post a Meme with the hallelujah chorus and a picture of your ex. No matter how badly you want to, don’t! You can sing it to yourself and your friends, but gloating on social media is not classy. Be conscious of the posts and opinions expressed on your public online forums. Your ex may not have been perfect, but I’m pretty sure you would not want your dirty laundry aired for the world to see either. Don’t live in resentment. Pick up and move on.
Apologize. Quite possibly you have nothing for which to apologize. However, seldom does a marriage get all the way to divorce without both parties having contributed to the demise. No, it will not fix the problem or reverse the decision, and that is not the purpose. The purpose is to free your mind. Owning the issues or drama that you brought to this table will greatly reduce the likelihood of a repeat offense. Learn from your mistakes and theirs. This is also a good time to forgive if you still hold a grudge. This apology can be made directly to your ex, or even in front of the mirror. But it is a great first step to your future.
Send flowers to your ex with poison ivy as the accent greenery. Revenge can sound really good when the pain is at its worse. They poisoned your soul so you will poison their palms. I hope you know, I’m just kidding around. (I’m pretty sure flowers.com doesn’t stock poison ivy.) Seriously though, do not let yourself fall into the trap of seeking revenge. It is a vicious cycle. If they totally wronged you, try and find a way to be grateful you found out before any more time was wasted and move on. If they just decided to bail, why spend your precious time chasing a ghost?
Remember something good about them. You did choose him or her to marry after all. Very few people are all bad or all good. There was something about your ex, that at least for a little while, you thought you could not live without. Just for a moment today, recall a sweet moment or great adventure. Do not dwell on it, but remembering something good can help reduce the feeling of wasted time.
Host A Self-Pity Party. No one would want to attend anyway. If you make a habit of feeling sorry for yourself, you will not only have lost a spouse, but you may lose a few acquaintances as well. It’s not a pretty site to watch someone wallow. I know it may feel like you will never get past the hurt, and that no one really understands, but you will and we do. Hold your head up, shoulders back and never let them see you flinch.
Order yourself a Mimosa and toast your ex for the end of an experience. You had some good times. You rocked it for a while and gave it your best shot. There is no shame in ending the ride. Raise a glass to the memories. Don’t dwell on the drama. Figure out the lessons you can walk away with and apply when the next opportunity opens up. Here’s looking at you!
Text them after a few of those Mimosas. Toasting your ex is one thing; getting toasted is another. It is never advisable to drink and text, but in this case it is an absolute NO. Give someone your phone if you have to. Drexting almost always leads to someone doing something stupid that they regret. Do not let this be you!
Go out with your friends for dinner. They were there when you walked down the aisle, and they are still by your side. Celebrate the community of love that you still have in your life. Go out on the town and let loose a little. Enjoy the freedom of living on your own terms. This is not the day to live in the shadows. Go out and shine!
Order a dozen pizzas (or an exotic dancer – or both) in your ex’s name at their new home. Take the high road. Sure, it would be funny to see the look on their face when Magic Mike shows up with 12 Meat Lover’s Pizzas at their door, but it is not worth the……Ok, I’m sorry…that really would be funny.
I hope you get my point. These are just light-hearted ideas to help relieve a little stress at the thought of what this day may represent to you. You absolutely should never do anything damaging or harmful to your ex.
I can’t speak to the purpose of celebrating Ex-Spouse Day as a calendared event. I suppose at best it can be used as a springboard to healing. Moving forward is hardly ever successful without understanding the path that brought us to this point. Acceptance and forgiveness are vital to moving past the pain.
Turn the page. Turn the calendar. Tomorrow is a new day!
Hope With Abandon
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Jackie Suis is a relationship expert with over 20 years experience in online dating, single-parenthood and what she has coined “Solitary Refinement” which she defines as “a season of being single and continually developing oneself as an individual”. Known for her refreshing and often humorous take [...]