I went into my marriage with the belief that I needed my ex. No, I didn't need him. I haven't needed a man in a long time, because I'm a complete person on my own. That's called healthy.
And no, I don't think the divorce itself is my baggage. Even though I never deserved the abuse that happened to me in my marriage, I'm very aware of my attitudes and behaviors that can contribute to a cycle of abuse. Awareness, as always, is the key to not repeating the same mistakes again.
Red flags? You'd better believe I'm watching for them and believe them the first time. Relationships aren't just dates and roses, and I know that red flags grow exponentially when I pretend they don't exist.
Sure, I'm like a hawk about red flags. Annoying habits, however, are not deal-breakers. It takes the crumbling of a marriage to realize that a dude leaving the toilet seat up is NBD.
Um, no. I didn't fight this hard for mediocrity.
Y'all, divorced women aren't to be pitied. We're bad-ass. I look back over my journey with awe, and I want a man who can do the same with his own life. Two people who value themselves highly make for a great partnership.
There was a time when I needed tall, dark and handsome. Now I just need honest and kind. As a result, the men I choose to date can fit outside my box, which leads to interesting people and experiences.
Daring to find love is scary, particularly after a divorce. But it's not so damn scary as staying in a terrifying marriage, or even escaping it. The incremental risks of growing into a healthy relationship are now well worth it, in my book.
No, divorce hasn't ruined me for men. It's ruined me for douche-baggery. After emerging from my divorce, I have so much more love and respect for good men and the behaviors that make them who they are. Baseline love and respect — rather than the fear and annoyance that is so common in dating spheres — is a great starting point for a healthy relationship.
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