By Richard “RJ” Jaramillo
Founder of SingleDad.com
Being a newly divorced dad can be challenging in today’s world. You have to balance your career and a whole new single parent role with your children.
As the founder of SingleDad.com and a divorced father of three children, I will show you my methods on how to “Make Life Happen…Again.”
Every month I am going to help you recognize your progress though a series of articles called “Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable” on DadsDivorce.com. These articles are a combination of my own personal experiences, as well as contributions from my members during my coaching sessions on SingleDad.
If you are a newly divorced father and reading this article for the first time, believe me brother, you are not alone from the place you are standing in your life right now. There is a great life ahead of you, and it is my job to show you the way.
What Happened to My Old Life?
That most common conversation I have with my website members is dealing with the shock of everything that has happened and keeping the events of the past in the past. During the first 12 months of post-divorce life, there is a lot of “what if’s” that go on inside your head. This feeling of replaying the circumstances over and over in your thoughts, or piecing together the dramas that led the relationship to a crashing end, is perfectly normal and common.
This first 12-month period is a time for grieving, but it doesn’t have to be eating away at your thoughts every day. Avoid the common pitfalls of abusing your mind and body. No overeating or under eating. No heavy drinking or drug use; this only leads to trouble that you cannot afford in your life, and consequently keep you further away from your children.
I strongly recommend for most of my members to find a licensed therapist to help you though the tough times. I still see the same family therapist for over 10 years now, and I enjoy getting a “tune up” about every 6 months and the opportunity to share the stuff in the past that I get hung up on. The point I am trying to make to you is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even guys like me who have made it through the tough times still need coaching.
Read, Play, Laugh…
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What do I do with my spare time?” My response is typically countered with, “When was the last time you laughed or felt happy?”
You see, for most of us newly divorced men, life has been an emotional marathon and there has been very little time to take inventory on our positive emotions. Laughter or feeling happy was locked away during the divorce process and life just took a more serious tone. If you haven’t laughed in a while, and you are looking to get your emotional balance back, here are three easy to read books that will make you feel like you are getting back to the “old you.”
“How to Talk to a Widower” by Jonathan Tropper
Don’t let the title of this book fool you. The story is about a man who lost his wife to an unfortunate circumstance and he is out to blame the world for his misery. Many newly divorced men can relate to the main character for many reasons.
The author does a great job of mixing dry humor, sarcasm and flat out “I have felt that way before in my life” experiences onto the pages of this book.
What makes this book special is how you will discover a little bit of your own “life story” within the body of this novel. You will get pulled in very easily to this story. The pages will begin talking to you, as this book will bring a smile to your face and laughter back in your life.
“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
This is a thinking man’s book. The author talks about the ancient Toltec Indian Tribe and how the community lived under four basic principles that helped create continuous harmony for hundreds and hundreds of years.
This book helps the newly divorced man get back to building some personal freedom and establishing an emotional foundation again.
It’s a short book and very “guy friendly.” This is the kind of book that reminds every newly divorced man to flush out the chaos in our heads and stick to four basic easy to follow rules during our divorce life transition.
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss
I know this book sounds strange to recommend, but believe me when I say this; there is more meaning behind this book than you will ever understand. I don’t know of any other book that explains life’s crazy experiences any better.
All I can tell you is that you will have a better understanding of me and this book when I tell you that everything happens for a reason, and ALL things in your life right now may not make sense, but they will all work out in the end.
Just because they are not making any sense or working right now, it just means that you haven’t reached the end. Try to figure that one out and get back to me on this.
I hope reading these three books will help you jump start your new life and attitude as a newly divorced man. I look forward to reading your comments and offering more of my tips and experiences on DadsDivorce.com.
Just remember, you can always reach out and contact me on SingleDad.com for more information on my Single Parent Coaching Classes. If you have a topic that you would like for me to cover in a future article, please email me at email@example.com.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, 45, is the founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single father with children. RJ is a self-employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”