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Episode 093: Ugh! It’s the holidays and I’m divorced
Episode 093: Ugh! It’s the holidays and I’m divorced with Leanne Linsky & The Boyfriend
It’s the time of year that seems to be made just for couples and families. Everyone’s together and having their traditional festivities and company parties. So where does that leave you? Leanne and The Boyfriend share their own experiences and how they determined whether or not to bring someone around.They also explore making new traditions and new adventures. Of course, if kids are in the picture, that could be a game changer. What will you be doing? We want to know! email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leanne: 00:23 Welcome to Life Lafter Divorce podcast, episode 93. I am your host, Leanne Linsky.
The Boyfriend: 00:29 I’m the boyfriend.
Leanne: 00:30 Welcome back to another wonderful week
The Boyfriend: 00:32 divorce!
Leanne: 00:33 Yeah, well, we got this down. You’re out there tuning in. Make sure you rate, review and subscribe and check out the website at life. Laugh after divorce.com. Yeah. Hey, and you know what? Holidays are right around the corner. So check out the website. We have an online store filled with handcrafted and lighthearted soaps and candles. All in a divorce theme just for you. So treat yourself,
The Boyfriend: 01:02 treat your friends, treat your family, treat your non-significant others.
Leanne: 01:08 There you go. Maybe send them an anonymous package and do you know what we are also? I am also giving away some free life coaching sessions. So if you want to try before you buy, give me a ring, actually go to the website, click on life coaching, click on the Aha Aha session, and we’ll do a free one-on-one for one hour. So we have lots of stuff going on. And it is that time of year where the holidays are right around the corner.
The Boyfriend: 01:40 Yeah, they start next week and it’s like a five week thing, right?
Leanne: 01:43 Yeah. And that boom, end of the year. That’s it.
The Boyfriend: 01:48 It’s all done. This year behind us.
Leanne: 01:49 Everything from this point forward is just a blur. It’s just going to Whiz by. And if you’re going through a divorce or you know, all of that could stop thinking about it. This is, this can be a rough time of year
The Boyfriend: 02:03 to go through a divorce. Yeah. Especially when you have family and business functions and all these things where you got to be cheery.
Leanne: 02:11 Yeah. And especially even if it’s in your first year. So like let’s say you split up, you know, last year, this is your first holidays alone for some people and its kind of different, especially if you had been with somebody for a long time or hold on, hold on. You say alone, you’re not alone, not alone, but you’re not a couple. You’re uncoupled, which is fine man. You were uncoupled when you came into this world, but a lot of people get hung up on that and it’s like, well I don’t feel right. And you know, it’s like, no, no, no, the boyfriend makes perfectly good point because it’s not a bad thing. It can be a very good thing.
The Boyfriend: 02:51 I’ve done a lot of years without anybody, it’s fine. It’s fun to spend with family and friends.
Leanne: 03:00 Yeah. I, I agree and I spent many years after my second marriage, you know, going to all of those. Let’s talk about that.
The Boyfriend: 03:10 You’ve actually been through this. I’ve only been through breakups, which is fine. Whatever. Just a relationship there
Leanne: 03:15 with that, right? With breakups. Well No, you’re going to say something boyfriend.
The Boyfriend: 03:20 You mean you were starting breakups. Okay.
Leanne: 03:22 Yeah. So like if when you. Okay, first of all, when you were dating someone, at what point did you decide that you are going to bring them around as a date to holiday events?
The Boyfriend: 03:36 Well, that changed. The threshold changed as I got older when I was younger and you’re dating somebody. Hello. You don’t even even been here that long on this planet, that long. So when you’re dating somebody you’re like, oh, this is fresh, this is great. I’m going to bring her around. And you and you take her to all, everything in that never last and they’re gone then, I think in college a little after college, yeah, it took a little bit longer. I wanted something a little more substantial in a relationship before I started introducing her to my friends and my family and friends in that respect for holidays.
Leanne: 04:19 Okay. So before you go further, what is substantial?
The Boyfriend: 04:23 Well, that’s different for everybody. I don’t know, six months or so.
Leanne: 04:30 Oh, okay. So like a time limit thing? Not necessarily like a feeling thing.
The Boyfriend: 04:37 Well, Hey, I don’t make it to six months if I don’t have any feelings.
Leanne: 04:44 Okay, good point. Okay, good point. Okay. So, so after college it was more like a six-month thing and then what then,
The Boyfriend: 04:53 and I only, I didn’t bring home, I didn’t, it had to reach a pretty high bar for me to want to bring you around for holidays. There were, there were girls I dated that my parents met, but to bring him into the whole holiday.
Leanne: 05:10 Oh, so that’s separate, like your parents would meet them but not, it wasn’t a whole holiday.
The Boyfriend: 05:15 No, the holiday deal than just meeting the parents. I’m not only need to subject her or me to the whole holiday for family stuff. Yeah. So I will. Yeah, there was a, yeah, they, my parents may have met her, friends who definitely would have met her, but to do the whole holiday thing at a party, what would you call it? The Circuit Holiday Circuit with the family? Yes. Yeah. So, yeah. So yeah, so I don’t, I didn’t do that very often.
Leanne: 05:51 Okay. Yeah. Well I feel you passed the test, so, so. Okay. What about with full? Okay, so let me start with mine and then I have another question for you on that.
The Boyfriend: 06:04 Yes. You, you actually were married, so you actually had a huge as well from my perspective, you had a wedding ceremony, so family and friends were there, so at that point they expect to see them at the holidays and things. Right,
Leanne: 06:19 right, right. Because now you’re married and stuff. But oddly enough, like thinking back, my first husband, he didn’t, he never liked w we, we were married in Vegas, so we never went back home to where I’m from, back to the Midwest. We never went back there once. And only once did he meet everybody, like,
The Boyfriend: 06:45 and then it’s not a holiday thing. It’s just meeting.
Leanne: 06:48 Yeah, it was like a, it was a family. It was a holiday family, one family thing, but it was such a big event. It was so long ago. Gosh, I can barely — see this is good news, everybody. You will soon forget all of this stuff and be like, well, I don’t remember. so yeah, it was really weird. That was like the wedding and then one other time that he have an extended family members. And then the, my, my second husband, he met even less family members because it was my second wedding. So there weren’t that many people who flew out and came out to the wedding, you know, it was like all coworkers. so it was much different, much different in that sense. And then he never ever went back home with me and all the time we were together.
The Boyfriend: 07:37 So. So this isn’t about bringing your husband around. This is about divorce. So after you were divorced, both of these individuals, what was it like? Did you bring your, your. Were you dating your second husband before you got married? During the holidays?
Leanne: 07:54 Dating my second husband?
The Boyfriend: Yes. Did you bring him around?
Leanne: Gosh, I don’t remember. Oh this is really good news. You forget this stuff and maybe I’ll probably remember it at like three in the morning tonight and be like,
The Boyfriend: 08:14 oh wait. Yeah, don’t worry.
Leanne: 08:16 I brought my second husband around. I think he met my parents somewhere. I don’t remember when I knew it was serious though, right? Like I didn’t bring him around like the minute we started date, it was like, no, it was later when I knew like if I was serious and then.
The Boyfriend: 08:37 Yeah. But hold on, hold on. Backing back. So our, our listeners, or you get divorced, when did. How long between your first divorce in your next marriage? So in a couple of years you met this individual, you got serious with them. Okay.
Leanne: 08:55 Yeah. And I don’t, I don’t remember. Yeah, I don’t remember when. I don’t even remember how soon I brought him around. My parents were fairly close, but yeah. And, and then. But after my second marriage, my parents specifically said, “you know what, just date, but we don’t really want to meet anybody.”
The Boyfriend: 09:19 After your second marriage, after it was over then your parents made the call. Don’t bring anyone else around.
Leanne: 09:26 I don’t know if they were, I don’t know if they were kidding. Not Kidding, but they were. So I do get a serious and I was like, yeah, okay, good point. I think they were serious. I think my mom was like, yeah, yeah, we probably don’t need to meet anybody, you know, because they get attached, you know, they liked both of those people and they got along with them and they’re like, yeah, that’s, you know, sad. So yeah. So I never even brought anybody to a company holiday party for many years. I think I only brought someone like one time
The Boyfriend: 10:02 a holiday things the company holiday circuits different than the family holiday circuit. Very close to all the people I worked with so well.
Leanne: 10:10 And my ex husband used to work with me so I didn’t bring most of those people had been in our wedding, so I did not. I just didn’t bring people around and plus, it just didn’t make sense. So I don’t know, I just didn’t feel right doing that
The Boyfriend: 10:25 well. Yeah, because you dated somebody you worked with, that’s bad. You don’t do that. Yeah, we dated a, married him this bad.
Leanne: 10:32 Yeah. You don’t, you don’t. It’s not a good idea. So, but, but I didn’t, I don’t know if I would have brought someone around anyway. It just didn’t seem. I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me. So, so many holidays
Leanne: 10:49 you know, how it’s like this is, this is that kind of time where it feels like you should be with someone. It’s kind of romantic. Everything you see as advertised for couples to be together.
The Boyfriend: 11:02 I don’t watch advertisements.
Leanne: 11:04 you don’t, you don’t even watch TV so, so if it gets that feeling like you should, but truth of the matter is you, you don’t, you shouldn’t, should, shouldn’t. People shouldn’t say should or what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Those people, should we mind their own business. You have to do what’s right for you. But I experienced so many years of doing things alone over the holidays that I would do lots of things with friends, lots of things with their families. I took it as an opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally do because once you get back into a relationship, you’re stuck. You’re only doing family, their family, your family, splitting the family, doing that, you know, you’re kind of doing someone else’s traditions.
The Boyfriend: 11:47 I enjoyed friends-giving and I enjoyed those kinds of things with my friends and my coworkers in when I wasn’t able to make it back home to see family. Like you said, you get to experience it through other people’s eyes and enjoy it and learn their traditions and I don’t know, it’s just a great experience to me and I, and I’ve done that many times in my life and I’ve enjoyed it.
Leanne: 12:08 Yeah. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. So I think the point is with us talking about this, this, this time is with the holidays coming up, you know, forget about all this unnecessary pressure to find a date for these events to find someone to share it with. You know, it doesn’t have to be a “date.” It could be a friend, it could be a family member, it could be volunteering. I did a lot of volunteering. I loved volunteering, especially at the holidays because it matters. You know, you’re doing something that really matters. Like there’s other ways to feel good about yourself and to share in the holidays for somebody else without it having to be picking
The Boyfriend: 12:57 You can actually experience the holidays or some of the true meanings of the holidays are instead of just focusing on the one person like, oh no, you can actually use the holiday for giving back and helping others and just enjoying the time.
Leanne: 13:12 Another thing that friends have done when they’ve gone through breakups and things I love to travel after my divorce is. And so holidays can be a great time to travel and do something very nontraditional, you know, when people go to, to Cabo San Lucas or something for, for the Christmas holiday because it’s, you know, you’re not going somewhere where there’s snow and you have to feel nestled in and do like do something opposite day. create a new tradition I love, you know, picking up and going and doing something completely out of the box that I wouldn’t normally do. Don’t have had plenty of those opportunities too
The Boyfriend: 13:50 So what are we doing? Let’s get outta here!
Leanne: 13:53 Right? Wait a minute, we’re on the beach.
The Boyfriend: That’s true.
Leanne: We don’t, we don’t have it so bad, but yeah, there’s all this opportunity to do something. and, and do you. I dunno, so holidays don’t have to be scary but I get it because going through holidays after a divorce, you’re going through all those first like, well I always said this with that person, this was our holiday where we always did x, Y and Z and we, but now you’re not doing those things, but now is your opportunity to try something completely different or take something that means something to you and make it a new tradition. Right? Kind of like when, when you, when you go to a restaurant with somebody and then you guys break up and then your friends were like, no, let’s go make new memories there. So you don’t have to like never go there again and you can’t, you don’t play it with bad memories. Same with these holidays. Instead of having them being plagued with memories of somebody else, create new memories with New People.
The Boyfriend: 14:53 I don’t know. You don’t think so. I agree with that, but I was, first I was thinking most of the time you’re in holidays with somebody, they should be good memories and you can always go look back and have good memories. But then I remember most holidays typically something goes wrong and there’s always arguments, there’s always something with the holiday, so I’m like maybe that wasn’t a good idea.
Leanne: 15:14 So maybe just stay away from everybody you know. Go to Cabo Lucas and get a hotel room by yourself and hang out with strangers. So there’s options, there’s options. But then also when it comes to the holiday party, what would you say boyfriend is like, what would you do for holiday? For Company parties? You said they were different.
The Boyfriend: 15:38 For me it wasn’t. I could bring people there because I didn’t date inside of my own workplace so I could bring new people all the time and it was just whatever. And then the guys I work with would be like, Hey, nice job, or hey, why that one kind of thing and no big deal. And if she was around week it was fine. I’ve had some questionable choices in my life. It’s fine. so, so to me it wasn’t, it was just hanging out with friends and friends could meet whomever you’re dating at anytime. So it was the holiday parties didn’t have the same sort of weight that a bringing in a special, someone to a family get together.
Leanne: 16:21 What’d you say? Like a company holiday party is like taking someone to the airport.
The Boyfriend: 16:27 I wouldn’t go there,
Leanne: 16:29 but there’s expectations then, right? Because now that person feels like a company. Holiday parties. Maybe not the best first date for somebody.
The Boyfriend: 16:37 No, no, no, no. It’s not the first day, but I don’t need a six-month kind of thing. You could have been dating for a few times in, hey, I got this thing going at work. You want to come? Yeah.
Leanne: 16:48 Now the question I wanted to ask though is in the case where you’ve never been married and divorced, but I have, is that weird to tell your family? Like if when they ask, like, is that strange to say? Well she’s been married not once but twice.
The Boyfriend: 17:07 Not Now, 10, 15 years ago. Yeah. But not now. Because you were older, they don’t care and I think society thinks of it a little differently now a little more open up to divorce because it’s so frequent. and the fact that I am older, like if I was younger and they’d be like, well you could find somebody that’s not the worst. And I’m like, what now? It’s like no big deal.
Leanne: 17:38 Right.
The Boyfriend: 17:40 Trying to think. My parents looked down upon
Leanne: 17:44 because you know, if, if our listeners, if there’s people out there, well I’m divorced, I’m dating somebody, you know, is it possible? I, you know, I used to think if when I was dating other people years ago that okay, when they go and when they go and talk to their family or they or their family, like really she’s been married twice like you can’t get. So you know, like what’s wrong with her? That kind of thing because we know there’s a stigma associated with it. And so at holidays, if we’re dating someone for a short period of time and they don’t bring us around, is that something we should be feeling? Well, not. I don’t think there’s that word should again, but a lot of times it goes through our mind of like, well, maybe I’m not coming around because you know, it’s the holidays. It’s weird, right. There’s a shame. A lot of people have shame and guilt associated with divorce.
The Boyfriend: 18:40 No. Yeah. I don’t know. I guess I don’t think of it that way anymore. Probably because of age and experience and just being wiser about things and getting to know you a. yeah, I don’t. I don’t see it that way. I’ve been broken up from year long relationships that have been longer than your marriage is just because I didn’t. Just because I didn’t sign a paper or something doesn’t mean it’s any different than you going through what you went through.
Leanne: 19:09 True, but you’re not going to be. Someone’s not gonna enter. Tell, go home and tell your parents like, well, he’s been divorced. You know what I mean? We would just assume that you’ve dated in broken up with people over at some point in your life,
The Boyfriend: 19:24 but which to me, so it’s not that much different than a divorce. Kids get a little more interesting when someone said kids, but you don’t have any.
Leanne: 19:34 No, I haven’t had kids. I have none that I know of. I have dated people who are divorced with kids. And did you do holidays? Well, not well. I’m here with you. No, no I never. I didn’t do holidays with other people. I don’t remember if I did. I don’t remember. I’ll remember all of this at like three in the morning when I wake up to go the bathroom.
The Boyfriend: 20:00 So if you are dating someone with a kid and how, how was that just in general?
Leanne: 20:06 The one time that it, that really stands out to me. I mean I’ve dated a few people with kids, but most of the time like I didn’t have much contact with those kids or anything. It never got that serious. you know, I, maybe I met them and I was just introduced as a friend or whatever. But one in particular I dated, he had a little girl and he brought her on our first date. My mind was blown up. It’s like, okay, well, okay, how do I handle this? You know what I mean? and it went well. We had a great time and know we went bowling and she was adorable and we, we ended up dating for awhile and I, she was great. Like she, you know, she ended up calling me mom and we weren’t together all that long. But you know, he’s a good person, beautiful daughter.
Leanne: 21:05 She was awesome, but it didn’t work out with us. And that’s the hard part is now, if you don’t know that, it’s kind of goes back to what you were saying. It’s like if I’m not in it and committed like if it is in six months or more than, that’s probably a, probably a good rule for someone with kids. For me not having kids, I’ve, I probably, that should have been a huge red flag, like don’t do that because that can be very damaging to a child, not to mention me or him or anything like that because that puts a whole new dynamic on things. Bringing kids in that quickly. And I think, you know, if I think about it, I wasn’t around holiday time, but had it been that would have been had more connection because you do all of these other special things that families do, create memories and then they stick out and those stay with you forever even, you know, they mean that, that just adds so much more weight.
Leanne: 22:04 So, you know, with the holidays coming up, there’s so many ways to approach it. It doesn’t have to be, you know, with somebody who’s not right for you, you know, just to be with somebody. I’d rather have all of the memories I have with all of my friends looking back, I’d rather, I’m so glad that I was able to do the things that I did and go and experience all of those things. And do you know, travel, meet people, experienced eat different foods, you know, not have the traditional things. Tradition is great, don’t get me wrong, but you know, starting new traditions, traditions. Yeah. And exploring like who I am as a person and what I like to do and what I would want to do with someone like you and I, we do. We started our own little traditions like for Fourth of July and then we didn’t do it again, you know, like just stuff like that.
Leanne: 23:01 It’s like, well what do we want to do? What makes sense for us? Because even what I did on my own before doesn’t necessarily make sense for us as a couple because you bring something new, does a table and then it’s like we become our own thing. So I think things just have to evolve over time and as we look at the holiday season coming up and I don’t know, it’s just, it just seems like a lot. I feel like when I talked to other people who are going through a divorce or something, they’ve never been. It’s like they feel like everybody’s talking about us and what happened and everybody’s wondering what happened and I’m going to be around family. I think we talked around this like, you know when you’re going to barbecues and stuff in the summer and now I got to be around all these people and I feel like they’re just going to grill on this stuff.
Leanne: 23:46 Well the same goes for this time of year. This is the season where you’re going to be around all of those people. It’s, it’s up to us as a divorcee on how we want to present our story because however I present it to someone is going to kind of determine the response. It’s kind of like baiting the question. If I approach it with all doom and gloom, everybody’s going to be like, oh boy, you know, and then they’re going to want to give me free advice that I don’t want. But if I approach it like, hey, everything’s cool or whatever.
The Boyfriend: 24:16 Yeah, you sort of changed the subject, changes everything and I’m doing this or doing a b, and then they want to know about that. I mean it’s a whole different conversation and you move on and you don’t have to worry about that baggage.
Leanne: 24:29 So like a great thing to have in the back pocket is okay, when someone asks me, hey, how is it going with the divorce? Or Hey, I heard the news, my response is and have it prepared because otherwise we fall in the trap of being like, Oh, and you know. Yeah. And if you don’t want to go, if you want to go there, great, go there. But if you don’t want to go there, practice that. Practice what your story is. Not that you’re lying, but just how you’re framing it.
The Boyfriend: 25:02 That could change the whole holiday for you. Yeah.
Leanne: 25:07 Yeah. Because then you don’t have to sit there and rehash all of the gory details, over eggnog
The Boyfriend: 25:13 when you’re going to make new memories and enjoy it. Enjoy the time with your family.
Leanne: 25:19 Yeah. Do something fun, you know, it doesn’t have to be terrible and if you want it to be terrible, stay home, go to Cabo San Lucas or go spend it with your family would do terrible things. So. But there’s options and that’s, that’s the whole point of this conversation is just knowing that there’s options. There’s different ways to approach it. you don’t have to be in a couple. You can build new traditions and no matter where you go, when someone asks you about it, we can learn to control that conversation. We can determine where that goes and how we want to talk about it, how we want to think about it and how I want to spend the rest of the night.
The Boyfriend: Well said.
Leanne: Thank you. Thanks boyfriend. So what are we doing for Thanksgiving and Christmas?
The Boyfriend: Splitting time amongst family.
Leanne: Yes we are. We are. So we’re building our new traditions with our family and in doing those things we will not be going to Cabo San Lucas. Oh. So we want to know what you guys are doing and you know, if you have questions, drop us a line, email us at info at lifelafterdivorce.com. We’d love to hear from you and you know, give us a shout out, let us know what you ended up doing. Tell us afterwards so we can hear your stories and maybe share them on the podcast. Sounds great. Maybe give other people inspiration, you know, for what to do over the upcoming
Leanne: 26:59 holidays after our American thanksgiving.
The Boyfriend: 27:03 Yeah.
Leanne: 27:05 Alright. You guys hang in there. You’re going to get through it. You’re going to make it through the end of the year is going to be awesome. We can kiss 2018 goodbye soon. We’ll be glad to meet you guys. Thanks. Thanks a lot. We’ll talk to you soon.