A Letter To Kate Gosselin


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

Okay. I watched (like the rest of the nation) the marriage of the Gosslins crumbling on camera, and felt nothing but sheer empathy and pain for Kate and those kids.

It's one thing for that husband of hers to decide that he no longer wants to be in that marriage (whatever the reason...no ones business but theirs), but okay Kate...he's gone. Screw him. I watched you on Dancing With the Stars on a couple of occasions, and though I have no idea what it's like to literally live my life on camera, I'd think that the very fact that THAT is exactly what I'm doing, would keep me from whining ON CAMERA about the shit that's going on in my divorce, and telling my dance partner that "that's what I'm bringing with me here." Are you serious??

This Dancing With the Stars thing is your chance to 'stick it' to that prepubescent, cheating, soon-to-be ex-husband (for which Sweetheart, you should be thankful in the very least). You're Melissa! She got to show that Jason idiot that maybe he overlooked a special part of her when he ditched her (on national tv yet). But you don't dance like Melissa. Melissa danced as though dancing shook the weight of that idiot from her shoulders.

Instead of moving around that stage like the walking dead, I'd suggest that you THINK about the fact that that fool is gone (and he is from what I hear, no longer with his sandbox playmate). YOU'RE RID OF HIM! That alone should make you grin like the cat that swallowed the canary from ear to ear!! YOU get to start your life over!! YOU get to mould the way that life will look for yourself and your children from this point forward. Yes, the whole custody thing is a royal pain in the ass, but it's temporary. It'll be over soon enough, and you'll get back to life as usual (whatever that looks like for you, I have no idea). This is an amazing time! Yes, it's a time to look around, figure out who you are again, take the time to get to know YOU again.

My point with this little vent is this; You're a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman. Dancing With the Stars is your time to say to John Gosselin, "How ya' like me now?" He should be watching you blossom after he's gone. Not whining about how hard life is because he's gone.

As long as YOU are fine, your kids will be too.

Martinis for Everyone :)


It's been awhile...


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

Wow...I have to apologize for the length of time that's passed since my last post. Life is insane, and even as I'm typing this, my eyeballs are on fire (and it's only 7:40 in the evening). I'm exhausted.

See...I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. At the moment, I'm running two businesses (I have SEVERE A.D.D.), and my brain just won't shut off!

I hope you're all well, and staying sane. And that's the topic of today's post; Hanging on to our sanity :)

What's going on that makes you feel like you want to run away? (Been there...) Are the kids making you nuts...making a mess behind you as you clean? Are you feeling stretched? Feeling like you're completely alone? Are you getting that "what the hell am I doing here" feeling?

Here's what I do, and what I tell women who're feeling like they're 'losing it'; Take a deep breath. Take another. Close your eyes, and try to think about the fact that this is temporary. Things always 'feel' bigger than they really are, and all of 'this' will blow over.

I find that going over the things that I want to accomplish in my head (regardless of how big or how small), and how I'm going to get them, works wonders. That causes me to whip out my trusty notebook, and start writing. Once I'm engulfed in my thoughts about all the things that I want and how I'm going to get them, what I want my life to look like in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years, all of that 'little stuff' that I was stressing about goes completely away.

Try it!

First, get a notebook. This notebook is your "Big Book of Goals". Guard this thing with your mortal life. It's a loose road map for all of the things that I KNOW you can accomplish WHEN you put your mind to it. I say 'when' because there can't be ANY doubt in your mind that you can get these things....NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER.

What's going to go into your "Big Book of Goals"? Shoot me an email...Tell me!

Have a GREAT weekend! :)


It really IS all just 'small' stuff...

I was up half the night watching the events of the 8.9 earthquake that took place in Japan, on CNN. Holy Mary...it really got me to thinking that all of the shit that we worry about on a minute to minute basis really IS just that; Shit.

Between tweeting my friends and acquaintances on Twitter, staying in the loop and hoping to help others do the same, and comforting my daughter (who was terrified that we'd be wiped out by an unexpected wave from the Pacific Ocean), I got zero sleep last night.

It also had me thinking about the significance (or the insignificance) of all the shit that we think is important. I mean...okay...some of it, (like where is my next meal coming from) is legitimate, but it's scary to think that all of the things that we worry about...things that we think require a sleepless night, are really not that big a deal.

The second thing I thought about, is the fact that it took an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 to get that frakken annoying Charlie Sheen out of the news! (Whoooop!) Geezum...I'm sick of turning on the TV (which I don't do that often) and seeing his face on whatever channel the set happens to be on.

It also got me thinking, this life really IS unpredictable. Things change on a dime, and the time that we spend "sweating the small stuff" really is just time wasted.

So...what's the remedy? Well...there ARE some things that I've decided to change for myself...both personally and in my business(es). You'll know about whatever I change in both (cuz I'm gonna tell you), but I hope that the events of yesterday, and the not so distant future help you to think about the time that YOU most likely are wasting, thinking about things that, given the tragic circumstance in Japan, make you ask yourself the question; "What do I need to change about MY life, in order to know that I'm not just 'wasting time'"?

Shoot me an email. Let me know what you decide :)

Happy Friday All! Xx



For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

See you there! 

Just one month

This has most definitely been a trying week. I need to vent.

No matter how long it's been since your divorce, sometimes it's difficult NOT to feel like you're "in it alone". By that I mean, I have 3 children full time, and there are times when I think, "Geez...it would be nice to just drop everything and bugger off for a week, without having to think about making arrangements for anyone else." Some would call that selfish...I'd call it being a divorced male. I'd like to be a divorced man for a month...a divorced man, whose ex-wife has the kids 24/7.

I'd like to be a divorced male, with enough money to do what I want, when I want. I want to be able to have the time in my day to eat when I want to, and not have to worry about the fact that there's anyone else living in my house, that I HAVE to cook for.

I want to be the divorced man, who only gets to do the GOOD stuff with his kids. I'd like to try THAT for a month. I'm tired of being "bad cop". I don't want to be the one to raise my voice about doing homework, or vacuuming, or cleaning their rooms. I'm sick of hearing myself nag. I want to be the male side of the equation, "good cop" if you will, taking the kids to DisneyLand, Hawaii, rock climbing, out for dinner on a whim. I wanna piss off to Vegas with my friends ten times a year. I want to be on the side that gets to relive my 20's, the smart way now that I'm in my 40's. THAT'S the side that I want to be on for just one month.

On the flipside, it would be nice if the ex could take MY place for a month. Do all the things that I do, and say, and pay for. I want him to know what it's like to drive here, drop this one off 5 minutes before breaking the speed barrier to pick up the other one halfway across town. Make sure that the little one does their homework, because another trip to the school counselors office with his already tight schedule is gonna be a definite pain in the ass.

As the parent with the kids 24/7, he could be the one to try to figure out how he's going to pay ALL of the bills in the same month, AND pay for the kids' school fees, supplies, outings and whims. All of the things that require an additional cash outlay. It would be nice if he could understand first hand, that most PARENTS DON'T get to drop what they're doing, so that they can fuck off to Hawaii, or Vegas whenever the mood strikes them. MOST parents, especially those who have children full time, have to put the kids first, thus not allowing for many of those "Me" days at all.

Don't get me wrong, my children are my Universe, I'd jump in front of a speeding bus to save any one of them, and I have no idea how I'd manage without them. But at the same time, who can help but wonder, what it would be like, to live on the 'other' side? I'm sure that all of you who have kids 24/7 can relate.

Now...before you men click that "email me" button with the intention of chewing me a new one, know that this piece relates not only to men. It relates to the PARENT who doesn't have the kids full time.

And THAT'S my vent for this Saturday morning.



For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

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The only way to get through it...


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

... is to GO through it.

I get a fair bit of mail from women (and some men), asking, "how do I get through this 'divorce' thing? I mean, how do I get through all of the emotional stuff with my sanity intact?'"
And my answer to that question whether it's from a male or female is always the same; The only way to get through it, is to go through it. Period.

By that I mean, all of the emotions that you'll experience while going through the divorce process, will be useful to you in the short run. Know that they'll make you stronger, more confident, and I won't necessarily say "assertive", but you definitely will be able to relate to them and draw on them, almost as if doing so for strength or for using them as a gauge to how far you've come further in your journey.

There's a song by Christina Aguilera that I'm sure most of you can relate to. Every time I hear this song, it reminds me of all those emotions that we experience going through divorce, and every time I hear this song, I think "I could've written this. It's exactly where I am in this process right now."

The song is called "Fighter".

It goes as follows:

After all you put me through

You'd think I'd despise you

But in the end I wanna thank you
'Cause you made that much stronger

Well I thought I knew you

Thinking that you were true

Guess I, I couldn't trust
called your bluff
Time is up,
'cause I've had enough

You were there by my side

Always down for the ride
But your joy ride just
came down in flames

'Cause your greed
sold me out in shame, mmm hmm

After all of the stealing and cheating

You probably think that
hold resentment for you

But uh uh, oh no, you're wrong

'Cause if it wasn't for all

That you tried to do

I wouldn't know just how capable
I am to pull through

So I wanna say thank you

'Cause it
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder

Makes me that much wiser

So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster

Made my skin a little bit thicker

Makes me that much smarter

So thanks for making me a fighter

Never saw it coming

All of your backstabbing

Just so, you could cash in
on a good thing
Before I'd realized your game

I heard you're going 'round

Playin' the victim now

But don't even begin feelin' I'm the one to blame

'Cause you dug your own grave

After all of the fights and the lies

Guess you're wanting to hurt me
But that won't work anymore

No more, uh uh, it's over

'Cause if it wasn't for all of your torture

I wouldn't know how to be this way now
And never back down

So I wanna say thank you

This one's for you Lynne :) xo

Martinis for Everyone!


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Tired of the poison

It really has been a long time since I posted on this thing. I've been insanely busy, creating new things. I have a tendency to get bored quite quickly, so if I don't have like, 12 balls in the air at any one time, I go a little nutty.

I hope you're all well, and keeping your sanity :)

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in good 'old' Canada. This year, my kids will be at their father's (today actually) for Thanksgiving dinner, and we'll all be going to my brother's for our turkey dinner tomorrow.

Wow...where to start?

Last night, my middle child called her father to ask him to help her with something that she wants to do after she graduates high school (if not in the immediate future). You see, because he works (or maybe I should say "worked") in the entertainment industry (film), she figures that he might be able to point her in the right direction. She wants to be a singer....BAD. The kid's got some chops, I'll give her that, but she knows from experience, that her father won't help anyone (not even his own child), if it means that person might get ahead, but there's no payoff for him.

She learned that lesson again last night. I don't believe it's my job to tell my children what an idiot their father is. At 13, 17 and 20, they've already started finding that out for themselves. He's the kind of person that someone summed up in a quote "I must succeed; but my friends must fail." He has a lot of money (not because he "made" it). He won't help ANYONE, not even his own mother, if it means that that person will be better off for it. NEVER. He seems to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. He's said of his 'friends' "Everyone thinks they're a big shot." I think he's looking into a mirror with that one.

Anywho...long story short, my daughter and her father got into a HUGE fight, ending with her crying and hiding out in her room. My children have actually nicknamed him 'Alec'. Draw from that what you will.

When the kids ask him for anything, his general response is, "The court says that you guys aren't allowed to ask me for anything." What a great dad, eh? What a colossal piece of crap. About a week ago, our middle daughter asked him to go with her to get her grad pictures taken, then she had to run to the mall to get something for volleyball. His reply was typical; he declined because he thought she was trying to "trick" him into buying her volleyball knee pads. What a grand piece of work.

For years, I've told my children and my ex that I don't want his poison in my house. It's been fairly harmonious here since he left, and the only time that there's really any animosity in my house, is when he calls with a burr up his ass. He reaches out via cell phone, dumps his emotional venom and bile into the place where my children live, then hangs up, leaving someone crying and inconsolable. He's a bitter, argumentative, controlling, possessive, insecure, obsessive, Napoleonic little narcissist (he's also about 5'6" with serious "little man's disease. As a result, I don't date short men as a rule).


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

Pick Your Battles Girls...

Okay...I first have to start out by apologizing for the length of time between my last post, and this one. It's been a nutty few weeks, I'm starting a new business, and let's just say that I've missed this thing something nasty, but I'M BACK!!!

Alright...my latest...

My ex husband is a serious control freak (I think I've told you all this before). Our daughter (the 16 year old) did something this past weekend without permission, and to make things worse, she lied about it. Typical 16 year old girl behavior, butr she didn't hurt or kill anyone, so no real reason to go nuts...right? (When I was 16 I already had a license AND a car...pure trouble.)

But I digress...

Not only did he phone all of her friends and freak on them at one in the morning (I shit you not people...his explanation was that "it's the only way i'm gonna get the truth"), but he cut off her cell phone (probably well warranted as she never answers it when he calls and he pays for it), and threatened to take away her computer as well, something that he gave her as a a gift. (He has this tendency to give gifts that have heavy, rope-like strings attached...'you piss me off, I take your gift').

My punishment for my daughter was probably not as harsh, but I got my point across.

She's a 'social butterfly'...loves to be out with friends....wherever there's a gathering of two or more, my daughter is there...not an attractive trait in my book, but we are who we are. I took that priviledge away....and it's Spring Break :) She's not happy in the least (you'd think I killed her dog in front of her), but here's the big kicker; My ex husband (my children's father) thinks that by grounding her, I'm not being nearly harsh enough, and when I told him that "You don't get to decide what kind of punishment I dole out under my roof. You did your thing....", Then he hopped up on his soapbox, and gave me his best speech about how just because he doesn't live in the same house, doesn't mean that he doesn't get a 'say' in what kind of punishment our children get. He has a tendency to 'flip right out' at the smallest things. Generally this is supposed to turn into an angry argument and I just don't take his bait; I don't freak out, start yelling and screaming...it's so not worth it. I kind of try to find some middle ground, and steer the boat into calmer waters. I don't have any gray hair yet, and I'm sure as hell not gonna let him give me any.

I pick my battles....with my children AND with my ex husband. Handle what you can handle. The rest is filler.

Thanks Lynne for your 'participation'. I really do appreciate it :)

*What I'm listening to now: "Quickly" - John Legend (feat. Brandy)


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


I thought I was finished posting tonight, and then I found this article. Read it. It verifies exactly what I (and you I'm sure) have known for a very long time. It's the reason that The Divorce Poster Child exists.

Part of it reads, "The effects of divorce upon income are so marked that they are enough to haul men out of poverty while plunging women into it. The incomes of ex-husbands rose by 25 per cent immediately after the split, but women saw a sharp fall in their finances, which rarely regained pre-divorce levels."
I can't believe that someone actually had to do a study on this to figure it out; divorced women like myself have known it for years. Though I've known it for years, it still makes me angry.

The Divorce Poster Child™ isn’t so much a title as it is a principle; a brand-spanking new way of looking at how we absolutely need to change our own lives for the better after divorce.

The Divorce Poster Child™ is a maverick principle whose goal is to help women understand that life after divorce can be celebrated; it should be inspiring and entertaining. “We should feel empowered to live our lives to the utmost, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around us”.

This ugly statistic of the woman (and her children) whose quality of life goes right into the toilet after a divorce has to change. The study that this article was based on was done in the U.K., but I don't see that the trend is any different in the U.S. or Canada.
We need to change this girls... as far as I'm concerned, we need to do for ourselves.
Read the entire article HERE.

Thanks for reading my rant =)

Martinis for Everyone!


Copyright © 2009 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved.


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


...not with your heart.

When my ex left the house that we shared with the children, the children and I lived in the house for about 3 years, after which time he and I agreed on a ‘buyout’ price for the sake of my being the only one on title, able to do as I wished with the house once I could call it my own.

We sat down one evening, and agreed on a price at which I would be ‘purchasing’ the house. We set a price, and made a verbal agreement. I knew in my gut that I should’ve got something in writing, but I thought to myself, “He’ll stick to his end of the deal. He wouldn’t try to screw me.” But my gut still nagged at me.

About a month later, we got around to ‘finalizing’ the deal. He wanted $10k MORE than he had agreed to one month earlier. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS??? I was fuming. But I only had myself to blame. Had I got it in writing before, I would have got the price that I wanted. If I actually wanted to fight him over the $10K, I’d have to take him to court, which in itself would have been a lesson in futility; spend God knows how much time, sweat and money trying to prove that he agreed to ten grand less, four weeks prior. My bad, it’s a lesson I learned the hard way, but it’s definitely not a mistake I’ll ever make again.

As women, we have a tendency to give others the ‘benefit of the doubt’. We think with our hearts, not with our heads. We are even worse when it comes to the divorce process. We think that this person with whom we’ve shared everything, and for whom we bore children is going to live up to his moral obligation with regard to finances and property…assets in general. Especially when we spent the last God knows how many years taking care of home business so that he could go out and conquer the world. That’s the thanks we get.

Think with your heads girls. The words “he would never do that to me” don’t exist in your vocabulary. Banish them. I don’t care how small it is, get EVERYTHING in writing. Don’t ‘wimp out’ on anything. It’s not generally easy by any means, but figure out what you’re willing to give in to, get it in writing, and get on with your fabulous life.

Martinis for Everyone!


Copyright © 2009 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved.


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


Wow...I can't believe the weekend is over already. Where'd the time go?

I'm seriously dreading Monday morning. It actually means that I have to get up early, and head out to do something that I'm not particularly enthusiastic about.

But you know what? I'm working on changing that.

Someone told me last week, that she isn't "happy in her 'spot'". When I asked her what she meant, she rattled off a few things about her life (or her 'spot') that she isn't exactly enthusiastic about. Most of the things that she named though, were things that she could control....if she chose to. (I know that she's reading this, or will have by Monday morning sometime.)

Since my divorce, I've let a million things 'run over' me. I've let various things get to me, that I really shouldn't have. I let some things that I could control, get out of control, and then I wondered why I was miserable.

I've been taking a long hard look lately at some of the things that make me miserable. I'm working on changing them. One in particular HAS TO GO. It's killing me slowly. Within 6 months I will have changed that landscape entirely.

Imagine what it is that you'd like your life to be. Those things that work for you right now, you keep. Those that make you miserable...you ditch...or you change. Some things will be easier to change, some will be more difficult to do (I still have 5 lbs. to lose from Christmas. It's February, and it's still here). You just have to decide how badly you want it.

I have a list; it's a list of things that I'm going to get for myself by the end of 2009. Some of the things on this list are much smaller than others, some won't materialize until closer to the end of the year. But that's ok. With this I can be patient. If that's how long it takes, it'll be worth it.

My point here would be; Decide what it's worth to you to change the things that you can change. Make your list. Change those things that you're unhappy with.

And now, off to bed.

It's a little late for martinis, but you know the drill =)

Debbie :)


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


I get mail on a regular basis from women from all walks of life, and some of their stories would make your hair stand. One of those women has an ex husband who, after losing an enormous amount of weight, decided that he’d much rather be single. So before even leaving the home that he shared with his wife and children, he created himself a profile on an online dating site, and found himself a Russian bride....while he was still married.

Then there’s the lovely lady whose husband was having an affair with one of the other moms at the school that hers and this other woman’s children were attending.

He would bring this woman into the house that he shared with his wife and children for fun and games, while his wife was at work during the day! He’s now her ex-husband, and he takes any and every opportunity to make her life absolutely miserable, taking her to court over every five minute change in the children’s visitation schedule. He even emails her his immature gripes on a regular basis…four page letters that he expects her to respond to …immediately. When she doesn’t respond in some fashion, he contacts his lawyer, and she gets one of his rants via snail mail. She has changed her email address, and he sent her (by mail) a 3 page letter about his disagreement with that!! She sends the children to his house with new clothing, it doesn’t come back with the children…the ex keeps it. Never to be seen again.

My ex husband can be an ass. No doubt about that, he definitely has his moments. But compared to the ex-husbands of some of the women that I receive mail from, and even some that I know, he’s a brand new pair of Jimmy Choos.

The point here is this: Regardless of your situation, there’s always a bright side. Regardless of what you have to deal with, you could always have worse. We're rarely given more than we can handle. God only knows why I didn’t get a husband who had stones big enough to bring some woman into our bed. If that were the case, I’d most likely be writing this from a jail cell now (and something tells me that he would know this).

Find the bright side of your story. You know what my bright side is? My bright side is that my ex doesn’t harass me by email, the clothing that I send to his house with the kids returns with the kids, and he hasn’t chosen to live half a block away from where I live (Thank God).

Add to that, I have three healthy, happy children, I get every other weekend “off” when my “angels” are with the ex (didn’t have that before my divorce), and life is more peaceful than I ever imagined it would be.

What’s your bright side?

Martinis For Everyone!

Debbie Burgin.

Copyright 2009 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved.


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


Some years ago, the ex and I were having issues with regard to child support payments. Where we live, there’s a guideline as to how much is to be paid with regard to income and how many children the couple has.

My ex husband is the type of person who was somewhat financially controlling, and when he didn’t get his way, didn’t generally matter what it was, he would take it out on the kids and I financially.

We had been battling over child support for some time, and one day, he just decided to stop paying. Period. No more checks. No more support. Nothing. Cold turkey. Done. For four months he paid absolutely nothing, and behaved as though absolutely nothing was wrong.

Somewhere in the middle of the month that he stopped paying, he came over to pick up the kids for their bi-weekly visit, and we found out that he had bought a new car. Not only did he buy himself a new car, I'll also tell you that he bought himself a brand new Range Rover. Can you say, “slashed tires”?

Anyways…I digress.

Though I was seething, I calmed down quickly because I’m a firm believer in Karma. I believe that in this life, we get what we give. I believe that if we give shat, shat is what we get. I believe that when you crap on someone, you get crapped on…maybe not by that person, but Karma will make sure that you get yours...one way or the other.

Once the battle for child support began, the following things happened to him as I went about my business with the kids;

· His house was broken into…not once, but twice. My home has never been broken into.

· Both of his cars were broken into (he had a Porsche as well)

· He moved into a new condo; it was on the top floor of the building, supposedly one of the most secure suites. Though a key was required to even access his floor, that place was robbed too. The thief ran across the roof of the building, swung in through an open window, and ransacked the place. Security cameras caught him leaving the building in my ex’s clothes, dragging a large box of his belongings. They never caught the guy.

· One day, my ex called to ask me if I’d “used that credit card that we used to have” (we used to have a joint credit card). I hadn’t thought about that thing in years, and had cut it up ages ago. He informed me that someone had been using his credit cards. As it turns out, his identity had been stolen.

All of this in the span of just 2 years.

I believe in karma like I know my own name. Whatever you want to call it...Karma, the Law of the Universe, or plain old 'bad JuJu', he got what was coming to him. I believe that had he not given us such a hard time about the financial issues, he might have saved himself some grief.

Trust me when I tell you my friends…regardless of what your ex or soon to be ex does to you, don’t stress over it, don’t worry about paying back. Karma’s a serious bitch…and I'm positive that she's a divorced woman.

Here’s to happy!


Copyright © 2009 Debbie Burgin. All Rights Reserved


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

9 Steps to Regaining Self-Esteem After Divorce

Okay Ladies, don't shoot the messenger, I don't make this true, but even if you have the best divorce, it can still be difficult. Even when a couple makes a combined decision to divorce, it can be extremely trying.

What happens if the decision is one sided? What happens to the party who can sometimes feel blind-sided by one person’s decision that they no longer want to be a part of this 'team'?

Been there, done that, burned the tee shirt. Only I wasn’t the one who made the decision to leave the relationship. It was my ex-husband’s decision. Okay, I probably gave him a 'nudge' out the door (okay...it was maybe more like a steel toe), but the result was the same. Feelings of “what’s wrong with me?” are abundant.

So, regardless of how it comes about, here are some suggestions to help you to start getting your self esteem back after a divorce:

1. Talk to someone.

The first step to resolving those feelings is to talk to someone. Bend a familiar ear…be it biased or unbiased. Whether it’s to a trusted friend, or to a counselor, getting it out verbally is a great start to regaining your sense of self.

2. Be Honest.

If you decide that you’re going to seek help from a counselor, make sure that you tell the entire truth about what you’re feeling. Be as honest as you possibly can. How can a counselor do his/her job properly, if you’re not completely honest? Regardless of what you tell a counselor, he/she is not there to judge you, merely to listen and to offer some constructive unbiased advice if necessary. Not criticism, just advice.

3. Keep a Journal.

Writing down what’s going on in your head is also helpful, weather you choose to do that via paper journal, or online journal, both are helpful. I find that using an online journal is much easier, as I don’t write nearly as quickly as I type, and I'm impatient that way =)

4. Get to know yourself again.

It’s typical to lose yourself during the course of a relationship. I know I did! So after my divorce, I took some time to get to know “Me” all over again. Do whatever it is that you love to do! If you enjoyed snowboarding before you were married, get back to it! If you enjoyed knitting, put aside some time to do that. Read some good books, listen to some great tunes, enjoy spending time with new friends, go away for the weekend, go and be you!

5. Don’t let those negative feelings back in.

Once you’ve written down feelings that aren’t positive (“I hate him/her. I can’t believe that he/she did this to me” and other thoughts that might be a tad more drastic) in a journal of some type, you’ll notice that if you go back and re-read those ugly feelings (and we all do it at least once), you’re mentally and emotionally back in that place all over again. Re-reading the details of my divorce for instance, used to make me nutty (I’ve since tossed that journal). So my advice with regard to writing down negative feelings, is to write them down, then discard them. Tear them up, burn them, whatever it takes, but don’t give those negative thoughts a chance to get back in.

6. Meet some new people.

When couples divorce, there may be a feeling amongst some of the friends of that couple who feel as though there is a need to take sides. You need to meet new people, and take a step back from that even for a short time. Get yourself some friends that you and your ex don’t have in common. My ex and I used to work in the same industry, and as a result, we shared a lot of the same business colleagues. So as soon as our relationship ended, I started my own business doing something that wasn’t related in any way, shape or form to what he does for a living. I feel like a zillion bucks.

7. Find new interests.

The next step to rebuilding your sense of self-esteem would be to find some new interests. Find something that makes you feel good/better about yourself. Kickboxing. Kickboxing is an amazing way to get rid of certain frustrations. It's great excersize AND introduces you to a new sport (I brought a picture of my ex to my kickboxing class, and taped it to the heavy bag.). If you enjoy being outdoors, you might consider joining a running club, a rowing club, or anything else that allows you to be outdoors while meeting new people.

8. Make peace with yourself.

Understand that what happened, for whatever reason that it happened, is done. Over. Let it go. Move on. Whatever kind of bitterness that may have existed when he/she left, is going to have to get lost or it will get in the way of your progress. I know. I did it. You have to get past it.

9. Accept the fact that 'stuff' happens.

No doubt about it. Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. Stuff happens more often than it doesn’t. Nothing we can do about it. Can’t control it. Can’t keep it from happening. Accept it. You’ll feel better for it.

Thanks for reading!



For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


Every once in awhile, I'll sit back, and think about what life was like before my divorce, and I can honestly tell you that I'm thankful every day for it. I know that sounds a little unorthodox, but it's the absolute truth.

Don't get me wrong...at first, I was miserable...didn't know what I was supposed to do...felt like shat. But once the grieving process was over (and it takes as long as it takes), and the clouds cleared, I started to think, "Wait a second...he's gone. No more walking on egg shells...no more random agitated calls on my cell phone 3 minutes after I've left the house..."

It took me about six months to 'snap out of it', but once I did, all I could think was, "I can do ANYTHING...I can do anything I want...I'm so excited...but what do I want to do??" I decided to start my own business. I also decided to get a tattoo (he hated tattoos).

And the same goes for you. There are new decisions to be made about EVERYTHING. All those decisions are entirely yours. What's for dinner....when do I want to go to bed....if you're a stay at home mom, you might have to decide what you're going to do for money. What're you going to do for a living? Are you going to work at home? Or are you going to hop into the jobsearch traffic? Are you going to take up a hobby? (Kickboxing works WONDERS for stress =)

The world is your oyster....there are no limits. You can do as you please (within reason...).

Here's a question; If you could do absolutely anything for a living, and be guaranteed that you WOULD NOT fail, what would you do? And why? Email me and let me know. I'm interested in finding out what some of us would do.

Here's to new beginnings!

*What I'm listening to now: "Bust Your Windows (Remix)" - Jazmine Sullivan


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)


My thoughts for today are running along the lines of support. Not of the financial kind, but support that includes friendship. So I'm going to tell you a little story.

I have a wonderful friend. For the sake of this post, I'm going to call her Angela.

Angela and I have children who are almost the same age...within two or so years. She and I were merely acquaintances until maybe 6 or seven years ago. She was married, also has 3 children....lived in the same neighborhood as I did. You know...she was someone that I saw around the neighborhood, and would wave to casually...nothing major.

One day about a year or two after my divorce, I bumped into Angela at our local grocery store. We said our cordial hellos, and made some kind of small talk. Then something quite unexpected happened. Angela turned to me, and she said, "So, Steve and I are getting a divorce." (Steve isn't her husband's real name either). I was stunned. I mean, I know that things are rarely what they seem, but she and Steve seemed so solid. Three great kids, nice house...she had her own business at the time...who knew?

After a brief silence, I said, "You're kidding....I'm so sorry...are you okay?" She said that it had been a long time coming...that she had been unhappy for some time. 'Steve' had issues with drinking, so it wasn't actually a surprise. I was surprised at how candid she was.
We went our separate ways, but gradually stayed in touch on a more regular basis in various ways.

Since that day, we gradually became great friends. It was like our respective divorces created some kind of bond...a sisterhood type feeling.
During her separation, we went for dinners and coffee, hung out merely in order to support each other. Because I was ahead of her in this process, we talked alot about what she could expect, she told me about her feelings of insecurity and inadequacy (as most of us do at this time). I told her that no matter what else happened, just like my experience, this was not about her. Their issue was something that Steve and only Steve could take ownership for, and all she could do was take care of herself, and that in taking care of herself, her children would do wonderfully. She's a great mom (also a Mombot), who was running her own business and a household for 3 children at the same time. She's also an irreplaceable friend.

Angela is now (7 years past her divorce) a completely different person. A bright and vibrant woman who's tendency is to look for the bright side in just about everything. We still do coffee and the occasional dinner and movie as often as we can, I'm so proud of how she's come past the misery and uncertainty of 7 years ago.

My point with this little story is that I believe like I know my own name, that we as women have a duty to support each other. Period. I'm not a feminist, I just believe that if it wasn't for the ear, and support of some of the women that leaned on, and call my friends today, I might be a much different person. The same goes for all of us. We all need support, especially during the complex and uncertain time surrounding a divorce.

Take care of each other.

Caramel Apple Martinis for Everyone! =)

*What I'm listening to now; What Goes Around - Justin Timberlake



For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

This has been the longest day in recorded history. I have a raging cold, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and go to sleep until Monday morning.

Today (this evening actually) the kids are all going snow boarding with their dad, and I get to stay home by myself. Our son generally goes to their dad’s every weekend, but is staying with his father until tomorrow sometime (Saturday) because the Superbowl is on Sunday, and God forbid that he should have his son during the Superbowl. But the girls will be home tonight.

Come tomorrow, I’ll have the three of them back under my roof, and I’ll be seriously hunting for a place to hide.

I don’t feel like cooking ...picking up sushi on the way home. I’m drained.

I often wonder about what it would be like to win the lottery. I've always said that if I ever won a huge sum of money, I'd help every divorced mother I could, because this shat's not easy....especially when you don't have any money...and most divorced moms are short on that.

I have a few friends who're divorced moms...I'd give them some of my loot. One in particular who has the most adorable kids (teenaged girls) you'd ever want to meet. She's at the top of my list.

It just seems so strange...why is it that women get the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce? Okay...let me rephrase...the one who is 'awarded' the children, gets the short end of the stick financially when it comes to divorce. I've seen it time and time again. One party gets the kids, and the other gets to make 'adequate' child support payments which most of the time, are completely inadequate.

I used to have that short stick. It seemed as though in every situation that had to do with finances, even though I was the one with the kids full time, he always came out on top. It bothered me to no end. Until one day, I was having this conversation with my brother, who said "take back your power".

"Take back my power?" What's that supposed to mean? By "take back your power" he said that, I gave away my power by depending on the money (support payments) that my ex husband was paying for the children. But my reasoning for that was that because my children were young when I went through my divorce, I had to stay home. I couldn't get out into the work force, as my paychecks would go straight toward daycare. I'd be working for nothing.

After a very short time of reflection on what he'd said, I realized that he was absolutely right. It was MY job to either get a job, or start a business regardless of my circumstance, and regardless of what he was paying.

I did that. I started my business. I loved what I was doing, and I didn't have to leave my children to make 'extra' money.

If your ex is making support payments, and you're sitting at home with your kids because you don't "have to" go out to work, go out to work anyway, or start something of your own. Make your own money. Take back your power.

Thanks for reading.


My Friends Call Me 'The Divorce Poster Child'


For the record, it's been awhile because I was busy writing "The Joy of Ex" and building another blog. Come on over and visit me at www.thejoyofex.net! :)

My friends tell me on a daily basis that I'm 'strong' and 'brave'. To them, I've come through the process unscathed, so they've nicknamed me 'The Divorce Poster Child.

At the age of 20 I was married, and by the time I was 22 we had our first child.

My husband was away at work every weekday, so it was just myself and the baby, from seven in the morning, until five thirty in the evening, every weekday. Eventually, my husband and I found ourselves with three children, and we were now both working in the same industry. We worked for his company, and he was still away at work every day, while I managed to work from home while taking care of the house and the kids.

We worked apart for all of our marriage, and we got to the point where, when we were together, we had very little to talk about besides the kids, and work. Eventually, there was even less to talk about, because it would seem that my ex-husband to be, was getting more and more distant. I sensed the distance, sat him down and said, "If you're feeling like you want to be a single man, don't go behind my back and sneak around because you want to be with someone else. Don't make me do all of the detective work that I see those poor women on T.V. having to do before finding out that their husbands are cheating on them. If that's what you want, then go. Let's cut our losses now, and do it amicably." To which he replied, "I would NEVER do that! I don't want to be single. I love you guys. What would make you say that??"

Apparently, at about that time, my soon to be ex-husband was slowly developing younger woman syndrome, and eventually decided that he would rather be a single man. So, to make a very long story, somewhat shorter, I wasn't about to leave the home that I raised my children in, so he left (That’s the Coles' notes version.)

We've been divorced for four and a half years now. I went through many phases. The first was definitely blinding anger, followed closely (actually overlapped) by betrayal, which came before overwhelming sadness and feelings of failure, which were replaced by apprehension.

Apprehension stepped aside to welcome self-pity. Major self pity. Self-pity was quickly replaced by revenge. I went on a spending spree, maxxing out his credit card twice. Each stage came with its own set of ups and downs.I've learned so many things about myself because of my divorce. I have acquaintances who are going through the same things right now, who ask me for advice, and it surprises me to hear them say that they're having the same feelings and thoughts that I had in the various stages of this journey.

There were times when I thought that I was going insane. But we all go through these phases. I found that mine were therapeutic, and educational. I learned that I'm much stronger than I thought I was. I learned this when apprehension came to visit me. I learned that I have a lot more patience than I ever thought I could have. I learned that I CAN be the bigger person. I learned that as long as I take care of myself, my children do wonderfully. “The ex" is a regular visitor in our children's lives. We’re not best friends, but I’m okay with that. We get along well enough, and once I grasped the lesson that what he did wasn't about me, my life improved dramatically. It was his mess. It was his mental and emotional mess. There was nothing wrong with me.

I'm happy with my life, and with who I am at the end of the divorce process. I'm running my own business, and for the first time in my life I'm in complete control of every aspect of my life. If I want to eat Frosted Flakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I will without having anyone berate me for it. If I want to spend an outrageous amount of money on a pair of amazing shoes, I will (Mr. Visa loves me).

My divorce actually made me stronger. It gave me the strength to be the person that I am supposed to be. All's wonderful in my world. I proudly bear the title "Divorce Poster Child". I think I just might put that on a tee shirt.

Martinis for Everyone!

Debbie Burgin

Copyright 2009 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved


Many of you already know that I’ve been divorced for 5 years now (Martinis for Everyone!), but I learned more than a few valuable lessons in those 5 years that I’m going to share with you.

When my ex-husband first left, I was almost literally drowning in thoughts of “What’s wrong with me?” I lay awake nights thinking of how I could have been different, and what I could have changed about myself to make the outcome different.

Until one day, a bolt of lightning struck me. I was at home, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, caring for 3 children while my husband was at work socializing with other adults, male and female. Treating himself to dinner out with “clients” after work, most often to meals of sushi and dishes like teriyaki chicken, while the children and I feasted on Kraft Dinner. I thought at that time, that being completely wrapped up in who I was as a mother, probably made me a little neglectful of who I was as a woman. I mean, who has time for make-up when you’re running to and from ballet classes and piano lessons, along with being literally showered with whatever the baby decided that he didn’t want to eat for dinner? Make up? What the hell’s that?

My bolt of lightning was this; I was (and am) the mother of 3 children. I did my job with regard to caring for those children, making sure that they had food on the table, and clean clothes to wear. If that job required that I look like a dish-rag part of the time, he would just have to deal with it. His way of “dealing with it” included ‘play time’ with people outside of the relationship that he had with myself and our children, and that was his decision. There’s nothing that I could do about his decision. I could though, start making some decisions of my own.

I first decided that divorce was mandatory here. I went through the various stages. After which time, I realized that this divorce thing could be whatever I chose to make it. It could be my chance to grovel endlessly in self-pity, and beg him to come back. But I didn’t want him back. Once he left, it felt as though a huge brick had been lifted from my chest. I could breathe again. My household was much more relaxed. Why on earth would I want him back?

I realized then, that this was actually my chance to make my life what I wanted it to be. I accepted that I couldn’t control his actions. I could though, control exactly how I reacted to what he did. I realized that what he did wasn’t about me. Yes, it very definitely affected me, and our children, but I had to learn how not to take it personally. What he did, he did for his own selfish reasons, and there’s nothing that I could have done to change the outcome. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

And that's the lesson for today. Learn not to take the behavior of others, personally. You cannot control the actions of others. You can control how you react to the actions of others.

Martinis for Everyone!

Debbie Burgin


So, you’ve decided that you’re no longer “a couple”, but for whatever reason, you and your spouse have decided to stay together "for the sake of the children".

Isn't that what the children need? Don’t they need the strength of a two parent household in this mad society that we live in? Don’t they need the emotional assurance that Mom AND Dad are together? Don’t they?

Or do they?

When my ex and I decided to divorce, we decided that he should probably live in the house with the children and I, for their sakes. We weren’t getting along to make things worse, as he was still doing the ‘single dude’ thing outside of the house, skulking in at all hours of the morning, making hushed calls from his cellular phone at weird hours of the night, etc.

I thought that I was doing the best thing for the children at the time. I allowed him to stay, because I didn’t want to put them through the emotional upheaval that I was sure that they would have to endure if I kicked him out.

Something happened one night that changed my opinion on that whole “staying together for the kids” thing.

We were having one of our usual “discussions” at about two in the morning. As usual, it got loud, and our eldest daughter woke up (she was ten at the time), came out of her room, and said, “Will you two stop it?! I can’t stand it anymore!” It was like a light bulb lit up in my head, and I thought to myself, “Why are we doing this? Why are we putting these children through this nonsense? They’re clearly not in the best emotional place that they could be. We’re done.” At which time, I went downstairs, and sat at the kitchen table. I thought long and hard about what I was doing. Why was I really allowing him to stay? Was it really for the kids? Or was it for me? Was it because of my fear of being ‘alone’ that I allowed my children to hear and be witnesses to things that I would prefer they not? Was it because of my fear of what kicking him out would bring on?

Whatever the reason, I had to stop thinking about whatever it was that I was afraid of, and start thinking about just what his presence in the house was doing to the emotional well-being of our children. They were miserable. He had to go, and that was that.

It’s my job as their mother, to make absolutely certain that my children are protected, emotionally, physically and spiritually while they’re under my roof. So, I stood up from that kitchen table, and walked back up those stairs. He was standing at the top of the staircase, looking straight down at me. I looked up at him and I said, “You have to go.” To which he replied, “Go? Go where? Where do you expect me to go at three in the morning?” I headed back down the stairs as I said, “I don’t care where you go, but you need to be out of this house tonight.” He gave me the usual caveman response, “Well, if you want to try to make me go, go ahead.”

Now, during the course of a relationship that isn't going so well, eventually one of the participating individuals will decide that they've about had enough. I was in that place. I'd had enough of the drama, enough of the stress. Very few things can deter a mother who is trying to protect her children. So I was prepared. Completely fed up, I let out a big sigh, and I said to him, “We can do this one of two ways. You choose. We can do this the easy way, where you get your things, and walk out the front door on your own steam in 15 minutes, or we can do this the hard way, where you give me flack, and I call someone who’ll help you be out of here in the next 5minutes, with or without your stuff. It’s your call.”

I went back downstairs and sat at the kitchen table...waiting for whatever it was that he'd decided to do.

After about five minutes, he came down the stairs, bag packed. He kissed the kids, and walked out of the front door. Our eldest daughter, closed the door behind him, and said to me as she did so, “Thank God. Now we can have some peace.“ Hearing those words coming from her mouth at three in the morning changed my thinking forever.

When you think that you’re staying together “for the kids”, think again. Whatever emotional upheaval you’re going through in your situation, they’re feeling as well. Don’t think for a second that your children don’t see it. They see and hear much more than we realize. I decided that I would much rather have my children in a loving, one parent household, than a dysfunctional, two parent household, in which the parents are constantly at odds with each other. Kids are all eyes, and ears. They take in a huge percentage of what they see and hear at home. My household is happy and healthy now. There’s no fighting. There’s no stress.

I made the right decision, I've never had a second of regret, and my children are much happier for it.

Martinis for Everyone!


Copyright 2009 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved.

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