Do you have a good thing going…or WANT a good thing going? I’m sure you don’t want to screw it all up once you have it. I have 3 MUST know post-divorce relationship tips to help you out!
When my boyfriend (Mike) and I first met, we spent every waking moment together. We learned everything there is to know about each other mostly because we were stuck on a base thousands of miles away from home without any responsibilities outside of work. That left us with tons of time to talk about everything under the sun. From current things to our childhood. He learned all of my weaknesses, as I learned his. We grew as friends first and completely understood and accepted each other for who we were before things became romantic.
We really lucked out having been deployed together. We got to spend 6 months day after day learning about each other. Most couples don’t get the luxury…because life’s responsibilities tend to slow things down a bit. We worked together, lived across the bay from each other, we were inseparable.
When we got home from deployment, we went back to our home base. 6 hours away. This month marks our 1 year in our long distance relationship. So I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to keep things going strong, how to keep that spark and that friendship alive.
Here’s 3 must know post-divorce relationship tips I’ve learned over the past year that has kept my “good thing” going!
1. Stop Comparing
Once I stopped comparing every little thing about him to my ex, things got a whole lot easier. For one, it’s not fair to them. Would you want to be compared to their ex? And by comparison I mean, they jump to conclusions about you because the majority of the people they’ve been with acted or did certain things…so they assume you are the same. Nobody wants that. Everyone deserves their fair chance to prove themselves to you, so open up your mind and let them try. If you don’t know something about them, ask. Don’t assume.
2. Stay Involved
Staying present in their life is crucial. But it doesn’t mean that you check in every two seconds or expect them to. You are both adults. No need to walk on eggshells. You deserve to live your life without getting permission to do things from someone. The goal here is stay in touch with each other throughout the day in a supportive way, rather than an interrogating way.
It took a while for Mike and I to get on the same page with this one. I’m very hands-off and I don’t check in throughout the day, but I catch up with him at night about everything. He’s the type that wants to stay connected and know what I’m up to just because he misses me. So we both had to meet in the middle. We text every morning, call on the way to work (around noon), text 1-2 times at work and call immediately after work. We typically video chat every single night to recap the day. Although sometimes I have to take a rain check so I can blog! 😉 Just last night, we video chatted and he helped me come up with the topics for this post. He’s very involved in my blog even though I’m sure he has things he would rather be doing, but he does it because he knows it’s something I’m passionate about.
He’s in school to be an X-Ray tech. It’s one of the most boring things to talk about. But he will send me his study material, I’ll print it out and quiz him on video chat. We will stay up until 1am making sure he knows every little thing before he has a test. Do I have other things I want to be doing? Of course. But I do it for him because I love him and I want him to succeed.
Even though we are hundreds of miles apart, we’re so involved in each other’s lives that we feel so much more fulfilled in our relationship compared to all our relationship’s in the past when we were living under the same roof with our ex’s.
3. Open, Honest Communication
Something that goes hand in hand with staying involved is being honest. We tell each other everything, even when it’s hard. I tell Mike everything that’s bothering me, even when it’s about him. I tell him in a non-attacking way. He never takes things to heart. He takes it at face value and we talk it through. Like when I told him we were talking too much on the phone, I was getting bored. I absolutely hate small talk and when we sit there for hours just repeating the same things over and over again, it was really getting to me. We talked it over and he didn’t get mad. He told me he understands and I’m very different from his ex. In a way he was relieved because he has a lot more freedom in this relationship than he’s ever had in the past.
We’ve had all the talks; from the girls at his school, to the guys I work with. We’re very honest about things and what/who we encounter everyday so we can lay everything out on the table, which builds trust. A lot of our success as a couple comes from that foundation we set on deployment. He understands me and my past and I understand him. He knows why I take forever to respond to him on texts. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s because when I’m consumed in something, I find it hard to break away from it. I would rather give him a genuine response than a half-ass rushed one.
Even if it’s super uncomfortable to bring up, even if it’s a secret you’ve been holding from them for a long time, just tell them. If you see this person long-term, you want to keep things 100% open and honest. It’s not fair to be in a relationship that isn’t truthful. I mean, if you can’t tell them anything and everything, why in the world would you want to spend your life with that person?
Forever is a LONG time. You will go through many trials throughout life and you want to have someone there that can truly support you and understand you. If you keep things from them, you’re selling them short. You aren’t giving them the opportunity to love all of you. You’d be surprised at how forgiving people can be towards someone they love.
So stop comparing, stay involved and communicate honestly. Those are the secrets to success in a relationship.[bctt tweet=”Stop comparing, stay involved and communicate honestly. Those are the secrets to success in a relationship.” username=”makingmalissa”]
And that wraps up this Dating After Divorce series! I certainly had a blast sharing my experiences with you. Let me know what you thought of the series! Did it make you more confident? Has it improved your relationship?