Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dealing with the Aftermath of Divorce

This was an article that was published in Details Magazine in 2008. Unfortunately I have lost the link to the archive, but here is what was submitted and published. Enjoy!

·       First of all alcohol is not is option! So, if you are still in love with your wife this is a painful experience. Just remember you are worthy. If your goal is to win her back just remember and it isn’t too late and stranger things have happened. I always say the only way to fight for love is to fight with love. It may kill you, but be her friend. Be her confidant, and be consistent with the kids.

·       Now, if you both agree it is time to move on, then just remember and be prepared for the sting. It is just human nature to react when you take the kids back to her and the new bo answers your door or is mowing your lawn. Just remember, to breathe. Remain calm and be as normal as possible. Your goal is to be a nice guy. It will make the new guy wonder why you split and it will work in your favor.

Then, go visit a friend and let it all out. Just get through it.

·       When your wife starts dating before you are ready to, start taking care of yourself. Do what you have to do to get yourself straight in the head. Spend time with your kids if you have them, work out, treat yourself to some small reward, keep life simple, and eat right.

·       Surround yourself with people who love and care about you.

·       Stay busy.

·       Take out a female friend. Sometimes just the attention and company of the opposite sex will lift your spirit.

2.  HOW TO GO ABOUT DATING YOURSELF - What are the rules to Re-Entry dating?
·        How to find Miss. Right.
·        You must first be in touch with your own soul if you are ever to find your soul mate. Figure out what gives you goose bumps in life. How will people remember you, these are the things that define your soul.
·        Join a gym, start a project, take up a hobby, take up a low impact sport (cycling…women love bike rides)
·        Where to go for a date.
·        I always recommend coffee for a first date. Coffee is something that is inexpensive and can be morning or night. After coffee, you can meander to a book store, or take a walk. Keep it simple. Picnics are a little too romantic for a first date.
·        How long should the date last?
·        In the beginning, the date should not last more than 2 meals…preferable in the order, breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Not dinner, then breakfast if you know what I mean.
·        What to wear?
·        Comb a Spiegel’s catalog or hit the mall. Sales girls love a dating mission. Bring breath mints and trim all probing facial hair!
·        Don't rush into anything.
·        Wait 2 good years before jumping into your next serious relationship. You wouldn’t buy a house without running a few comparables. So do your research; otherwise, you will end up with the same spouse who happens to have a different name!

These days there’s only a social stigma if you’ve been divorced more than once. So, learn from this experience. The divorce rate for second marriages is 60%.
·       Social settings that may get a little awkward for the newly divorced include sporting events for your children, dinner invitations that seem more like a set up, or work related functions maybe.
·       You’ll come out ahead if you act kind to your ex or take your personal matters up privately if you are both invited to the same function…for example a crab feed for a school fundraiser and both you show up with dates, but let’s face it, who can afford a fundraiser…you’re in the middle of a divorce, remember!

·        How do you inform?
I’m not a big fan of the shotgun announcement with e-cards. People send them for many reasons; one reason is so that you only have to tell the story once. But my friend, it is a personal announcement, so make it personal and tell your friends personally. You wouldn’t send an announcement if you were undergoing a vasectomy or hair transplant. So, my advice is keep it discrete and when the time is right, tell.
·       Who do you inform?
However, a few people need to know immediately: your boss, your children’s teachers, daycares, your children’s coaches. Bosses need to know so they can make adjustments to your workload and understand when you need a mental health day or two. Teachers and daycares need to know so they can monitor your children and if there are any court orders in place. Coaches need to know so they can get the schedule changes to both parents.

·       Who’s to say what motivates some one to go through, what I call, the PIG Theory after their divorce. For whatever reason, if you have to go through this just be educated about it. Know that you will get a reputation if you continue through this phase longer than the socially acceptable norm (4-12 months). There’s nothing worse than an ignorant Pig!
·       Don’t let your level of sexual activity exceed your level of commitment.
·       Date many people (not to be confused with screw many people). The last thing you want to do is jump back into a serious relationship and have a crazy girlfriend to contend with. You fought hard and sacrificed much for your freedom, so be smart.
·       If you find yourself going through this phase, then do the honest thing and tell the women you are dating you aren’t emotionally ready for any kind of commitment and it is, what it is. And guess what? If you score then you’ve achieved Pig status. Maybe you’ll get lucky and she’ll be in this mode too.
·       If you need the tactile touch of another, go get a massage before your date.       

·       This will just happen naturally. By now most of your friends that were single then are probably married now.
·       It only takes a phone call to reconnect with and old friend. They are not the issue. The issue is all of your friends are married making it hard to do things with them presently. So they may end up taking a back seat in your life for awhile. They will understand and your true friends will always be there for you.

·       The bright side to divorce is that you will establish new friendships. You will gravitate toward other people who are going through what you are going through. These friends become your pillars of strength and your support network. They are what I call, Chump Friends. They will relate to you better than anyone and will give you perspective…what you need.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year, New You

It's the new year. Watch my video on a new you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tomi's New Year's Resolutions

I don't think any of my resolutions are that crazy this year, but I thought I would share them with you nonetheless. I figured mayby by hearing mine you might be able to trump them, because like I said, they aren't too crazy.

Last year my resolution was simple: To get paid for having fun. I think I accomplished that. I love my job and I love to write. I will continue to add this goal to my list, but here are the few I came up with:

1. I think I would like to actively pursue date night again with my husbands. Did you catch that typo! I meant with my husband (singular)! Eek-gads, one is hard enough! We have a three year-old and my husband has a crazy work schedule. Going out without the little guy is tough, but I also have a teenager at home who is always willing to babysit—the perks of having kids ages apart.

2. I would like to tythe more. Is that how you spell it? See I don't even know, so obviously this is a good one for me. Up until now, charity has always begun at home. I need to change this and be more generous. One of my characters in my book, The Bird's Willow (which I am currently seeking representation for) says this about his relationship to money: I can't wait to make more money just so I can give it away. That's a motto I want to live by.

3. I want to spend more quality time with my family. I'm in the process of defining what this means. We spend a lot of time together at home playing with the little one, but I think we need more of a balance of getting out together more too. I need to feel less guilty about growing as a writer when it takes me away from them. Haven't found the balance yet.

4. I want to reach more people who are experiencing divorce and the aftermath.

5. I want to help my husband more so he can work less and have less stress in his life.

6. I want to see my parents more. I am 2% of the adult population who's parents are still married and still living. I should be so lucky to have that!

7. I want to do more to give my children rich environments for their creative and academic talents and nurture them.

8. I want to grow and nuture my relationships with friends and colleagues. Would love to have more parties in 2014. Maybe I'll come up with some theme parties just to get us all together.

9. I want to read more books and watch more movies in 2014.

10. I want to write another book and screenplay in 2014.

Send me your new years resolutions. Truthfully, I didn't have any until I sat down and wrote this. I came up with all of these in about 15 minutes and I could still come up with more. Try it. It will be good for you and you'll be glad you did it.

Most of all have a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 days of the Year for Romance

Here are 5 of the top days throughout the year that romance is a must. These tips are not expensive either, but are big on impact. These were just a few quick ideas, but please let me know if you have some better ideas. I would love to hear from you.
1. Birthday – Ask in advance of her actual birthday what she wants to do. If she doesn’t give you any ideas, then make plans for her prior to the day. Plan a day trip to take a drive, hike, walk, or bike ride. Start her birthday out with flowers and coffee and the rest will be gravy.

2. Anniversary – Have a weekend-get-away somewhere. Buy each other’s anniversary gift in the town you get away to. It will have extra special meaning. Make it something for the house and you will see all the time.

3. Valentine’s Day – Draw her a candle light bubble bath. Leave her a gift of jewelry wrapped up in her towel. (Be sure the tub is clean and the bathroom is tidy. She will appreciate the little extra touch.) Have headphones and her favorite CD waiting along with a glass of champagne, then disappear. Leave her a bell to ring when she is ready for your return. When you return bring her two chocolates on a plate and the bottle of champagne with another glass. (This is the part where you are naked!) Pour yourself a glass of the champagne then hop in the tub with her. Feed each other the chocolates, then enjoy the champagne and each other.

4. Christmas time – Share in the delight of your family at this time of year. Take a night to see the lights around town together as a family. Sing Christmas songs together as you drive around in the warmth of the car. Maybe do this in your p.j.’s. Pack hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for the ride. Build a fire when you return and watch a classic Christmas movie together under a blanket with the kids all around.

5. Special Occasion – Give her your credit card and let her pick out a nice outfit for your special occasion prior to the event. Make arrangements for the kids and on the night of the event take them to their activities for her while she gets ready and get make sure they are fed. Have the car ready and the route planned. Leave plenty of time for dinner and the event. Take a picture of her before you leave. Tell her how beautiful she is. Get to the event and ask someone to take a picture of the two of you together. Hold her hand and make lots of eye contact.
What are your top 5 days?

Why Men Divorce

This is one of the best articles about the reasons men divorce. It's in plain language so we girls will get it. Take a peek.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday gifting can be vexing for kids of divorce

AP Photo
AP Photo/Cheryl Lyngar
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tomi Tuel remembers a particularly vexing Christmas after her divorce. Her two kids received an Xbox as a gift and hauled it from home to home when it came time to visit their dad.
"It was a complete hassle," she said. "All the cords got unplugged and rolled up and transported along with the games. Of course parts would be left or games wanted would be left behind."
So the siblings took matters into their own hands, working and saving enough in Christmas and birthday money to buy a second one, said the Folsom, Calif., mom.
Divorce can be challenging at the holidays under the most amicable of circumstances, and gifts sometimes add another layer of frustration - for young and old.
Edwin Lyngar in Reno, Nev., has two kids from his first marriage. From his second he has two more kids and one stepson. Usually, he and his ex coordinate gifts for their two, but he recalls an unauthorized electric piano one year when his daughter, now 13, was about 5.
"Because I have primary custody, all of the presents end up at my house, and there are some really heinous things that I wish could stay." Stay at his ex's house, that is. "They're loud or annoying, but we try."
Whether gift goofs are accidental or on purpose, a little planning can go a long way, said family law attorney Alan Plevy in suburban Washington, D.C. At the top of his wish list for such families: Avoid gifting competition.
"The recession has made it difficult for some. Suddenly a task shared by two now falls on each parent. Work together so one parent doesn't `outgift' the other," Plevy said.
And if a child gets a long-wanted treasure, don't put limits on it, "such as `I gave you this gift so you can only use it at my house.' Children value peace over presents and they don't care about which parent gives them the most or the biggest gifts," he said.
Plevy's law partner, Kathryn Dickerson, said pleasing the kids come gift time without considering the ex can make a painful situation worse. "The children show up at the custodial parent's house, where they're living most of the time, with a puppy," she said. If that parent had wanted a puppy, she says, "they would have gotten one."
Jeff Goldberg has been divorced for about seven years and has three kids - 11-year-old twins and a 12-year-old. The subject of where their gifts live has come up with his ex, said the Long Beach, N.Y., dad. "I have a smaller house than she does so I like to get everything out of here," Goldberg said. "However, whenever we show up with anything, whether it's the holidays or not, it's like, `Oh no, take that back home. If you bought it, it's staying with you.'"
For Goldberg, who has one spare room for all three kids, it's a matter of storage. "I'm kind of a neat freak so if I can't put it away somewhere, I'd rather not have it," he said.
Things have slowly worked themselves out, though, and now he realizes that having more stuff for the kids to call their own at his place gives them something to look forward to when they visit, usually every other weekend.
Tuel's kids are now 17 and 21 and estranged from their father, but when regular visits were a part of their lives, "My general rule was if it could fit in the car they could take it."
At the holidays, especially, there was no way around the stress of moving the kids and their stuff from house to house, she said. Tuel said the kids came to her for Christmas Eve and her former husband picked them up Christmas Day, with a gift haul at each location. "I used to make them make a checklist to take with them and stuff it in their backpacks so they would remember to gather everything they took," she said. A lot of toys would get lost and misplaced, she said.
Lyngar has been divorced for 10 years and called the holiday for his kids a "cluster Christmas," also involving separate gift hauls and sometimes rides on airplanes. Because his ex now lives in a faraway state, leaving treasured gifts behind would mean his 13-year-old daughter might not see them for months.
For his two youngest, ages 4 and 6, Christmas comes twice - this year on Dec. 14 first, before older siblings head out for other family visits and commitments, then again on Christmas Day.
"It's just a huge chess game," he said. "You have people moving in and moving out. You try to have one day when everyone's together. Whether it's two weeks before or two weeks after, it doesn't matter. That's Christmas."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do You Suck at Valentines Day

Do you struggle with coming up with the perfect Valentines Day gift? Don't. It's not that serious. The key to a memorable Valentines Day is to keep it simple. Time is the best gift you can give some. It is something you can never replace, never take back, and comes in limited quantities.

So when you are stuck thinking, how should we spend our time, or what should we do, just remember: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. (I'm not calling you stupid, that's just the expression.) Women love the traditional Valentines Day gifts: a box of chocolates, flowers and jewlry. So what if she's on a diet, we all love to receive chocolates. We all love flowers and jewelry too. These things don't have to cost an arm and a leg either.

Use your imagination and just do something together or alone if you are single at the moment. Get out of the house for awhile and just go do.

What are some of the best ways to spend Valentines Day on the cheap? I'd love to hear your ideas or ways you have spent cheap Valentines Day together. The cheaper the better.