Go to therapy. With divorce comes a lot of emotions. You might experience grief, anger, pain, excitement, and relief to name a few. Divorce can be quite the rollercoaster ride and having someone to talk to that isn’t directly connected to the situation is so beneficial.
As part of our series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup” I had the pleasure of interviewing Krissy Hadick, the blogger behind The Hadicks. She holds a master’s degree in Anthropology from California State University, Sacramento. Hadick has been featured in Parents and Better Homes & Gardens. A mother of one, Hadick loves reading, traveling, hiking, and helping other parents navigate through the early years of parenthood.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I grew up in Reno, Nevada with two brothers. My dad worked for the county and my mom was a stay-at-home mom until I started middle school. By the time I was in college, she had found her true calling with a nonprofit that helped find job placements for intellectually disabled clients.
As a middle child with two brothers, I was very much a tomboy. My childhood consisted of digging in the dirt, building blanket forts, playing with ninja turtles, and video games. My mom jokes that she lost her little girl when I turned seven and refused to let her touch my hair or wear dresses.
My parents instilled the practice of giving back to the community in my brothers and me. I have fond memories of volunteering every year with my dad to wrap Christmas gifts for charity. My mom was always involved in some organization and firmly believed if you weren’t working you should be donating your time. As a retiree, she currently volunteers at a golden retriever rescue center. These lessons of compassion have stuck with me throughout my life and have driven me towards a desire to help others.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Becoming a parent for the first time and the vast amount of information out there was extremely overwhelming. I remember feeling so lost throughout my pregnancy with all the decisions that needed to be made. So many questions went through my mind. Which stroller should we get? What car seat? Should we have a bassinet? Should we cosleep? How does any of this work?
After navigating through my first year as a parent I decided I wanted to create a resource where other parents could find researched and useful information when making choices for their children.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
My son was born with colic. As a new parent, I had no idea how to navigate this and had a really hard time bonding with my son in the beginning. Experiencing a newborn stage that none of your friends or family had ever dealt with was extremely isolating.
About six months after my son’s colic had ended, I decided to write about my experience. I shared this on my social media outlets not knowing how it would be perceived. I was flooded with comments and private messages from other moms who were dealing with colic. Some moms thanked me for sharing my story and left comments about their own experiences. Other moms reached out for support and asked questions.
It was such a powerful moment for me to be able to provide some comfort and support for these moms. Feeling that connection and facilitating a safe space for discussion with moms that were struggling through the same thing I had gone through was amazing.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m not sure this is funny, but when I was first starting out, I didn’t have a focused direction of where I wanted to take our business. I was writing about multiple topics and posting lots of random things on social media accounts. Basically, I was throwing out a lot of darts and hoping one would stick.
I took a step back and decided to enroll in an SEO course. The light bulb went off. I was able to niche down our website and create a path moving forward that aligned with our goals and aspirations. Since then I’ve seen a lot of positive growth.
This lesson taught me the importance of continuing education. Things can change so quickly and it’s important to continue to learn and grow within your industry. Part of this is being able to acknowledge when you need to learn a new skillset or brush up on an existing one.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis.
I have found this well-known quote to be very true in both my personal and professional lives. Many of us can get wrapped up in the past and find ourselves trapped in a mental space of dwelling over what has been done. I think it is so important to find the lessons in our mistakes and see them as growing opportunities. This mindset has allowed me to use these failed situations as learning experiences and move on from them. While we may not have control over the past, we do have control over our future by the choices we make.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, I am currently working on a podcast that I am really excited about. The podcast will discuss pregnancy, parenting, and all things kids. My goal is to provide interviews with experts from different fields and personal stories. I want to create a space where parents can learn some tips and tricks or just have a good laugh at the everyday adventures of parenting.
Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell us a bit about your experience going through a divorce, or helping someone who was going through a divorce? What did you learn about yourself during and after the experience? Do you feel comfortable sharing a story?
I didn’t come from a family of divorce. Both sets of my grandparents and my parents are happily married. When I got married, divorce was never an option in my mind. As my marriage started to fall apart, I really struggled with that concept. Divorce has such a negative context and I fed into that idea. I didn’t want to be a statistic and I was deathly afraid about being judged.
In an effort to save my marriage I tried everything. I dragged my ex to marriage counseling. I went to counseling myself. I made an effort to fix and alter my behavior based on any grievance he had. After months of this, I began to realize I was the only one putting in the effort. My ex had some anger issues he was refusing to deal with and he didn’t take our marriage counseling sessions seriously. As time went on it became clear to me that our marriage would never last if both parties weren’t fully committed.
As hard as this realization was for me, it was also a major turning point. The minute I admitted to myself our marriage couldn’t be saved was a defining moment for me. It was in that moment that I decided to choose myself and my happiness.
In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that?
I think the most common mistake people make after a divorce is jumping right into a new relationship. When a marriage is failing, both parties develop bad relationship habits. If you start dating right away you can bring these habits and baggage into your new relationship. I think it is extremely important to spend some time by yourself to reflect and grow from your past relationship. There will be a need to mourn your failed marriage, a need to look inward on how you can improve, and some space to relearn who you are again as an individual.
People generally label “divorce” as being “negative”. And yes, while there are downsides, there can also be a lot of positive that comes out of it as well. What would you say that they are? Can you share an example or share a story?
Two huge positives came from my divorce. The first was learning what it was I truly wanted and did not want in a partner. I came away from my divorce with a better understanding of the characteristics I was looking for and the type of marriage I wanted.
The second positive was being able to reflect on how I could have done better and bringing that knowledge into my second marriage. None of us are perfect and when a relationship heads south it often brings out the worst in us. I had built up a lot of resentment over the years towards my ex and that resentment came out in how I treated him. Looking back over our marriage there were a lot of things I could have handled better. Being able to acknowledge these flaws and improve on them made me a better partner for my second marriage.
Some people are scared to ‘get back out there’ and date again after being with their former spouse for many years and hearing dating horror stories. What would you say to motivate someone to get back out there and start a new beginning?
I’m not going to sugar coat this one. Dating sucks. There is really no way around that. However, there are so many amazing things from getting back out there. You’re going to have a better idea of what you are looking for and it will be easier to weed out the people you know won’t be a good match for you. You will meet some really cool people who have awesome careers and stories about life. You’ll get to experience that rush of connecting with someone again.
If another relationship or marriage is something you ultimately want, then you’re going to have to get back out there. Yes, not everyone you meet will be great. Not everyone will be the perfect match, but at some point, you will meet someone you click with and that will be the greatest feeling.
My advice when you do get back out there. Be honest. Be honest with yourself and who you are dating. I always wanted kids. When I started to date again, I was very upfront about this. If they were unsure or did not want kids, I knew right away it wasn’t worth the time investment. This might sound a little harsh, but the biggest advice my parents gave me about marriage is that you have to have the same future goals. You have to be headed the same direction.
What is the one thing people going through a divorce should be open to changing?
Themselves. When your marriage gets to the point of divorce it is usually after a long period of your relationship not working. A lot of toxic behaviors are developed during this time. As hard as it can be to look inward, being open to changing yourself is only going to benefit you in the end.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are 5 things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?
- You need to spend time alone. I was given a very unique opportunity that I didn’t realize at the time. As my marriage was ending, I was offered a job out of state. I took this as a sign and a chance at a fresh start. I jumped at the offer and immediately moved following my divorce. After I moved, I quickly realized that I did not know anyone in this new town. I couldn’t lean on family. I couldn’t call up childhood friends to go out and distract me. I was forced to truly spend time with myself and do some major reflecting. It gave me a chance to properly grieve and heal from my divorce. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.
- Relearn who you are. You’re going to find yourself with a lot of extra time. Take this time to dive into old interests that you haven’t been able to do for years. Or pick up a new hobby you have been wanting to try. Maybe enroll in an art class or learn a new skill. Figuring out what my interests were as an individual and no longer as a couple was great personal growth for me.
- Pick a small group for support. You’re going to have bad days. Days you want to vent or analyze the entire situation for the hundredth time. Have a small group of trusted friends you can turn to and call up when needed. They’re going to become your rock and help you get through the tough days.
- Refrain from public announcements on social media. We’ve all seen them. The divorce or breakup announcements. The bashing and victim-blaming. Divorce already comes with so many emotions and bringing outsiders into your personal life just adds extra stress. As your lives move on from each other, people will figure it out.
- Go to therapy. With divorce comes a lot of emotions. You might experience grief, anger, pain, excitement, and relief to name a few. Divorce can be quite the rollercoaster ride and having someone to talk to that isn’t directly connected to the situation is so beneficial.
The stress of a divorce can take a toll on both one’s mental and emotional health. In your opinion or experience, what are a few things people going through a divorce can do to alleviate this pain and anguish?
I would advise speaking to a therapist or counselor. They are trained to help you through all the emotions that come with divorce. They are also coming from an outside perspective and aren’t directly involved. I have always been a huge advocate for therapy to maintain mental and emotional health. Life can throw us a lot of curveballs and sometimes you need a little help to navigate through it all.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?
No, I never listened to any podcasts or read any books on divorce.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My mom got pregnant shortly after high school with my older brother. His father didn’t stick around. My mom was a single mom until she remarried to my dad when my brother was six years old. I have always had a huge admiration for single parents. Hearing the struggles she went through and the sacrifices she had to make always stuck with me.
If I could inspire a movement it would be to provide more support to single parents. Parenting with a partner is challenging as is, but as a single parent the lack of resources can be staggering. Providing more support for single parents will benefit the children who come from single-parent households and in turn, benefit society as a whole by giving these children more opportunities.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. If I had to choose one, I would pick Jenna Kutcher. This kind of ties into my favorite life lesson quote. When you look at Jenna’s path in life, she was constantly creating new endings. Each experience propelled her on a new path to where she is now. I love that she is insanely motivated, empowers other women, is a mom, and just someone I can really relate to.
Thank you for these great insights and for the time you spent with this interview. We wish you only continued success!