We’ve just hit the 10 000-page view mark! I truly didn’t intend this thread to go viral but it kinda has! Don’t know whether to feel excited or sh*t scared… Argghh OK, I’m just going to roll with it…
I just want to reiterate that I’m NOT a divorce/relationship guru. I am not selling or marketing this blog as “the bible to surviving all toxic relationships and divorce”. I have strong views – yes, but the goal is to open up new conversation around these topics not to dictate what you can or should be feeling/doing. If you feel strongly about any of the points I raise, PLEASE comment below. If you have your own story that you want to share with the rest of world on GADG please email me at email@example.com
PS: The comment section is often more entertaining/insightful than the blog itself.
Kay… Back to GADG Diary Entry #4…
Dealing with Your Ex and ‘The Other Woman’
Getting divorced is one thing, getting divorced and left for somebody else is like next level KAK.
Look, I can laugh about it now as I’ve moved on, done some intense healing and let go - In fact I’m actually quite amicable with my ex and the ’other woman’ (I just need the paper work to catch up)
Having said that, the road to where I am now hasn’t been easy…
Did you know that Divorce ranks second on the top 10 list of most stressful life events? I think getting divorced and being ‘replaced’ with someone else pushes it to first.
No matter which way you look at it - rejection SUCKS.
Breaking up a family SUCKS.
Fighting for your ‘monetary’ worth SUCKS especially when you’re fighting with the person you thought would never leave you or attach a price tag to your love and relationship, IT SUCKS!
Watching another woman play ‘mommy’ and ‘wifey’ to your now broken family SUCKS. (this only happens if your ex and the ‘other woman’ ‘go public’ i.e.: It wasn’t a once off fling, things are getting ‘serious’ and she’s ‘moving in’.
Divorce is full of sucky shit; I completely understand why it drives people to drink. (but it’s in your legal and better interest to not xD)
So over and above trying to survive the actual proceedings of a divorce how do you cope with the ex and THE ‘other woman’?
Well, initially - you don’t.
I give you full permission to act temporarily crazy just don’t do sh*t that you’re going to regret for the rest of your life or that will play against you in court.
I’ve had my fair share of PTDWSD (Post Traumatic Divorced Woman Stress Disorder) Ok… I made that up BUT I’m pretty sure it could be ‘a thing’.
#GettingADivorceGirl tip from Cath: Try keep your meltdown short, lawful and off social media. Stay FAR AWAY from tattoo parlors.
Yeah yeah, I’m aware I have an entire online blog based around my divorce but I’m not shit slinging or ex slamming. I’m at a place of peace where I can write objectively and truthfully to help others. I’m fully aware it takes two people to build and destroy a marriage, sometimes three… Whoops… Too soon? xD
The #GettingADivorceGirl “DO NOT” list…
DO NOT go online and start bashing away emotionally at your keyboard, sub texting is not allowed either! Your friends aren’t stupid - we all know who your “Karma’s a bitch” status is directed at. It’s so hard but you have to find a way to put your emotions aside, take care of business that needs to be taken care of and then deal with your emotions separately. (I know my blog is a bit of a contradiction to this – just trust me here, your time to ‘share’ will come)
DO NOT play the ‘blame game’. If you’re dealing with an affair this is a lot harder to avoid but again, in your better interest. Honestly, trying to figure out “who did more wrong” is a waste of time. No one wants to be labeled with the ‘it’s all your fault’ title. Not only is it childish but it’s also narcissistic. Blame or causing anyone to feel shame just because you’re feeling KAK is unacceptable even if your ex is truly an ASS. Focus on your own baggage. Unpacking and dealing with that is where you 1. Actually have REAL control and 2. A place you can actually heal.
DO NOT hang around tattoo parlours. I know of a guy who went and got the ‘other woman’s’ birthdate tattooed on his stomach in the midst of a divorce. Smart move? Probably not.
Or me – I got a freaking wolf tattooed on my finger. I mean really… A wolf. The lady who does my nails in Durban asked me if my wolf was a portrait of my child… Nuff said.
DO NOT break sh*t
DO NOT throw sh*t
DO NOT speak badly to others about your ex. Talk truth – yes. But you don’t need to add in the extra “he/she’s an asshole”, “he/she’s a b*tch, ect ect… Trust me, if he/she is in fact an ASS people will work it out for themselves.
DO NOT make threats. Threats are illegal people!!! AND it won’t bode well for you in court.
DO NOT withhold your child from your ex (this obviously only applies if you have kids). Unless he/she is abusive or using narcotics, excessive alcohol… aka a threat to your child’s well-being. You need to be ‘fair’ with custody until there is a court order in place or even better – reached an amicable arrangement. I’m going to do an entire separate blog post on ‘child custody’ as this topic has been a FAQ in my inbox.
DO NOT send your ex or the ‘other woman’ inappropriate text messages about how shit you think they are.
Yup I did this and so did he (told my ex what a kuk person I thought he was) but it didn’t bring much satisfaction – Long term anyway.
But seriously, it’s truly not acceptable to think you have the monopoly on hurt feelings… You are NOT the only victim of your divorce and you DO NOT have the right to turn your back or ‘discard’ of others. Do whatever necessary TO NOT turn into a raging narcissist. If you are in fact a narcissist, well.. This blog post is not for you. Your personality type confuses the hell out me and anyone who’s involved with you. I’ll address my thoughts on narcissism in another blog post.
Reality Check from Cath #1– Your ex and the ‘other woman’ are still human beings, morally confused but still human beings non the less. Yes, they may be making bad life decisions but that’s no longer your problem. You don’t have to be their besties, guard and look after your heart, but you should try to be civil especially if you have kids like me.
More importantly, you need to focus on YOURSELF more than anything else so STOP wasting time trying to change a situation you’re NO LONGER IN CONTROL OF!!! Let the new ‘happy couple’ be… You’ve got your own new lane to worry about now…
I know it’s a hard pill to swallow. I didn’t get it right initially either but there is so much freedom and happiness to be found in letting go (once you’ve gotten to a place where you feel like you’ve honestly tried/done the best you can to save your marriage, remember I’m not pro divorce).
Have I mentioned I went through a ‘reconciliation phase’ about four months after the divorce was initiated? That was torture but again, I’ll save it for another blog post.
If you are currently in a place fighting for your marriage with a ‘third party’ involved please keep this in mind - you can’t ‘fix’ a marriage single handedly, it’s got to be a ‘fight’ FOR each other from BOTH sides
It’s funny, initially I wasn’t angry with my ex about the affair, even though he was essentially the one breaking his vows. I spent many weeks blaming the ‘other woman’.
Reality Check from Cath #2 – The other woman is the least of your problems. I know it’s hard not to hate her but it’s honestly not worth your energy.
Going back to my thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the divorce/affair…
…Why did this chick not sympathize with the fact that my husband was married? Married with two kids! How do you enter into that territory without feeling shame, guilt or flippen sick to your stomach? You don’t just ‘fall in love’ with married people after two months of working together – do you?
My questions were endless and no one could give me straight answers. All I knew is that I wanted her gone. If she would just disappear my marriage would be saved – WRONG.
Gosh, I wish I could take back the days I wasted my energy being so angry and confused by this ‘other woman’. When you get divorced after an affair ‘the other’ woman is such a small insignificant piece of the larger picture. You don’t see it this way initially, understandably so, because how she “came to be” BUT it’s the TRUTH. Don’t focus on her. You’re eating into energy that needs to be used on YOU. You’ll see this clearer as you start to heal and PLEASE… also note… the courts don’t give a sh*t about affairs anymore. Sad but true.
Reality Check from Cath #3 – I know it’s hard but you have to let go. I don’t know why affairs happen, I don’t know why marriages end - but they do. The sooner you can come to terms with the fact that your once husband/wife has moved on and that it’s important for you to do the same, the divorce process will become easier. Forgive yourself, forgive them. Have faith that the world and God are always working in your favour.
It takes some f*cking big balls to be able to face and greet your ex and the ‘other woman’ whilst still dealing and processing the divorce... Face them WITHOUT feeling any animosity. It’s hard but it’s called “maintaining your integrity” and “putting on your big girl panties”.
Reality Check from Cath #4 – There is no freedom in being a bitter bitch.
You REALLY need to let go of ALL negative energy as fast as possible. For me the only way I could fast track this was by moving in with family (well I actually got kicked out of the marital home but that’s not really an important detail right now) and surrounding myself with friends and family who loved me unconditionally. Getting out of Durban wasn’t intentional for me, but in hind sight SUCH a good move. Toxic relationships and people are like cancer, you have to cut that sh*t out before the infection spreads everywhere and destroys you.
You need to find a way to restore your self-worth. Being a bitter bitch just proves that you have no control over your emotions and you’re essentially letting the divorce, your ex, the ‘other women’ get the better of you. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN!
There’s no ‘winning’ in a divorce. If you see your divorce as a ‘game’ or ‘challenge’ to ‘screw’ the other person over. STOP. Negotiation and being ‘reasonable’ is paramount to you coming out of this alive. So if you can avoid fighting – do it. If you can’t well… Please make sure you have a damn good lawyer and LOTS of money to fund the operation.
2 things I want you to read and remember NOW if you’re currently going through a MESSY divorce laced in an affair and PANICKING.
1. There is THE LAW and lawyers for a reason. You need to have faith that you will walk away from this shitty situation with what the law, the court and this earth believe you deserve. Don’t fall victim to you own expectations. If you have no expectations, you can’t be let down…Even if that translates to you walking away with NOTHING – have faith that God and the universe have other plans for you.
Perhaps it’s time for you to exercise your own strength and use your independence to make it out on your own. The world works in weird and wonderful ways, have a little faith – trust me.
This goes hand in hand with my above comment about how important it is to restore your self-worth.
Let me be the one to remind you that regardless of how your marriage ended or how KUK a person you or your ex has made you feel, YOU ARE NOT worthless, YOU ARE NOT useless, this IS NOT your defining moment (unless you right a blog about it xD) and better days are coming!
In fact, you’re a fucking warrior! The minute you realize this and stomp it into every step you make going forward you’ll see you don’t need ‘help’ or affirmation from your ex, the ‘other woman’ or anyone but YOURSELF. This is where you take back control of YOUR OWN life and become formidable, a force not to be messed with - what better place to be!
“OnCe upon a time there lived a girl who needed no one’s affirmation. She lived happily ever after. The end.”
2. The other woman is not your problem. She is not better than you, she is not smarter than you, she doesn’t dictate your worth, in fact she’s done you a favour… Ended a relationship that probably wasn’t right for you anyway.
Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t ‘choose’ you?
Let me answer that one for you - No you don’t.
All you need to worry about is if you have kids that this woman looks after them. If you don’t have kids, please stop wasting time letting her and/or your ex get inside your head. Yes, if they’re being immature they both probably think you’re crazy and evil and whatever other label they’ve attached to your name and spread around town. NOT YOUR CONCERN unless you’re into other people dictating your worth. Always take the moral high ground even if that means swallowing your pride. I know I had to do this on more than one occasion. I’m finally somewhat amicable with my ex and want it to stay that way for our daughter’s sake.
Reality Check from Cath #5 - And remember… you’re eventually going to meet somebody else too!
This was a huge wake up call for me. Not that I’ve been ‘dating’ whilst trying to finalize this divorce (I had a one-week-boyfriend which wasn’t my brightest move – try stay single until you’re officially divorced and properly healed) but I have met some other interesting individuals who have opened up my eyes to the fact that I WILLfall in love again and will also be in a position one day where I need to introduce my new partner to my daughter and her dad. I think it’s the right thing to do… right? Or can one bypass introducing your new ‘partner’ to the father of your kid? Hmm…
Anyway, my original point was, I know you’re hurting…
Divorce sucks, affairs suck harder, but over and above everything I’ve already said forgiveness is really what you should be focusing on, even if it’s forgiveness from an apology you’re never going to receive!!!
Please don’t misread this, I’m not endorsing divorce or affairs by any means, forgiveness is not a get out of jail free card for your ex-spouse, that cards FOR YOU.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you”
Wheels turn, love comes again so there’s really no point in getting stuck in the negativity from the past.
Yes, the past hurts, you’re allowed to feel pain but you also don’t want to play victim and be imprisoned FOREVER. You have a grace/grievance period of about a year, sooner if possible - after that, divorce is no longer an excuse. Not a very attractive quality for your next potential partner either xD I’m excited to write a column about “love after divorce”… one day… Maybe a book J
FINALLY, if you’ve totally ignored EVERYTHING I’ve said above and still on ‘revenge’ war path - Let’s make this ‘revenge’ about believing in yourself, getting on with your life and just being happy and positive. Direct that sh*t at your ex and the ‘other woman’, wish them well and MEAN IT! Life is about to get a whole lot better for you anyway…
That’s it from me for now… PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW no matter how controversial… The real fun always happens below.
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Chat to you later…
All my love
Following the Bean is a two-part team consisting of 1 x superhero Mom and 1 x model-extraordinaire Bean. Mom (aka Catherine Basson), a professional photographer by day and Bean-blogger by night has 3 years of fashion-knowledge sneakily tucked under her belt while Bean (aka Rebecca Aaliyah Alexander Basson) is a part time baby and full time model.