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Divorce Blog

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore

By Karen Stewart

“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore — The Theme Song of those Separated and Divorced on Valentine’s Day”

Red Rose FlowerMany of us may remember Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand singing this song in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I remembered thinking then how sad it was when people remember with nostalgia the way things were between their partner or spouse and what it is now that they have parted. As Valentine’s Day approaches this song came to mind again for all those people who are separated or divorced who will not be receiving “flowers anymore”. With almost 50% of marriages ending in divorce in North America, that’s a lot of people. That statistic does not even include those people who are just separated and have not filed for divorce or common-law couples who are now separated.

There will be many dreading this Valentine’s Day as not only will they be constantly reminded of what “It used to be” but it also will emphasize a feeling of lack. I don’t just mean a lack of flowers, chocolates, intimacy or “singing of love songs”. I mean a lack of “love” and feeling loved. It is bad enough having to deal with the emotional stress of separation and divorce without it being in your face as it is on this day.

Does that mean those that are happy and in love should not celebrate that love because someone else may feel bad? Of course not. It means that those that are not in love don’t have to hide or stand on the sidelines.

There is a major turning point in this “theme song” by Diamond and Streisand.

“But used-to-bes don’t count anymore

They just lay on the floor

Till we sweep them away”

That’s the cue — yesterday does not count anymore so get that broom out.

Valentine’s Day is about love. Period. That love can include your friends, your family, your children and YOU. One of the biggest things separated and divorced people need to do is to learn to love themselves again or perhaps for the first time in their lives if they were major co-dependents. There is a huge difference between selfish love and loving yourself. Selfish love may have got you where you are today — thinking about what you wanted to do, the way you wanted to do it and getting things in your life with no or little regard for the feelings of your spouse or partner. Loving yourself – is about learning who you are inside and the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you may be wanting now because what you pursued before did not work out. It is about learning to love the real you, and saying that I am worth loving. When you can love yourself then that is when another person will also be able to love you again.

So now that you have “swept the floor” what can you do?

Let’s start with your kids. This is a great day to really show that love as you help them make ready their valentine’s for school. Make a handmade one for each of your kids and have them make one for you their siblings and yes even the other parent. It will show them that love means forgiveness and understanding even if the other person hurt you. Because you know what – you may have hurt your kids during this tough time too. Bake a heart shaped cake and decorate it with 300 chocolate kisses. Or make a giant Valentine’s cookie gram. My kids loved that.

Treat yourself with something that will make you feel good about yourself, will make you laugh, make you smile, or to just be you. Go buy yourself those flowers or those chocolates, or book. Go to the spa, or go to the motorcycle show or hockey game. You deserve it.

Love is about giving. So give of yourself. Volunteering makes us feel good about ourselves and often we get more back than we give especially if it comes genuinely from the heart. Volunteering is a great way to get out “of the used-to-bes” playing in your head and into your heart. When you are able to give to those less fortunate than you, it is a wonderful reminder to be grateful for all that you do have in life.

Lastly, don’t choose to be alone. Be with a friend or a member of the family. Be with others who are also thinking about those flowers they don’t get any more. Not to commiserate but to celebrate love for self and all that is good in you. Sharing time with someone is the greatest gift of love for friendship and family you can give or receive. For those who feel more venturesome and have had sufficient healing — get out your dancing shoes and go dancing with some friends and meet new ones.

Don’t end your song with “You don’t bring me flowers anymore” as Neil and Barbra do. That is living in the past. Create your new song by living in the present appreciating “you”.

Who said you had to wait till February 14? Start today!

Mary Krauel, Fairway Divorce Solutions Mississauga

1020 Johnson’s Lane, Unit A3,
Mississauga, ON, L5J 2P7