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Here are 13 of the 'most surprising' things people learned after getting divorced

"The person you married is not the same person you divorce."

divorce, reddit, divorce lessons

A couple is having a hard time in therapy.

Studies show that after the death of a spouse, getting a divorce is the second most stressful life event a person can have. It’s even worse than going to jail or losing one’s job.

Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful because it involves significant changes in nearly every aspect of life. The process can feel overwhelming, from emotional upheaval and legal complexities to financial adjustments and parenting challenges. It often means redefining personal identity and future plans, which requires time, patience and support from loved ones to navigate successfully.

However, there can be many positive sides to getting a divorce, the biggest being able to get away from someone who is causing you grief. It can also be a means of escaping a tough financial situation or distancing yourself from toxic in-laws.


Getting divorced can also open the door for some much-needed personal change.

A Redditor who goes by BondEmilyBond asked divorced people on the AskReddit subforum, “What's the most surprising thing you learned from getting divorced?” Many people were happily surprised by some of the lessons they learned from getting divorced and the positive outcomes they never expected.

While the post could have easily turned dour, many shared that getting a divorce allowed them to grow in ways they never expected. The separation was also an opportunity for many of their spouses to grow as well.

Here are 13 of the “most surprising” things people learned from getting a divorce.

1. "The person you married is not the same person you divorce." — Royal_Arachnid_2295

"Very true! One thing I learned getting divorced fairly young (33) was that we only have one life, you have to make sure you’re happy. Marriage was not the partnership I expected, especially after having kids. I was doing the majority of the household work while also doing the majority of the childcare and working full time. I suddenly realized this couldn’t be the rest of my life. And things are so much better now." — Klopije

2. Sometimes, everyone needs to change

"How I DID need to change certain parts of myself and my life, but I was not the entire problem in our marriage." — Ughfinethisusername

3. "I expected to be heartbroken but mostly just felt relieved." — Oddwithoutend

"What is worst than being alone? Wishing you were alone." — AnnatoniaMac

"When the time came for me to spend my first night in my shi**y apartment, I unlocked the door, walked in, sat down on my couch, turned on my TV and then it hit me: No matter what I did that night, nobody was going to yell at me. And I felt so much relief in that moment, I was free and I didn't even realize that I hadn't been. I came to love that shitty apartment. My daughter and I lived there for three years (she's with me 50% of the time) and those were three of the happiest years of my life." — Spcoalpresense

4. You're never completely rid of your ex

"Not from my experience, but having children with your ex means you're not really rid of them, ever. They will always be around unless the children choose to remove themselves from their lives at some point. That includes the extended family, too, so it's a package deal at every event. It's not like they magically go away after the kids turn 18, though you do get to deal with them a little less." — Magicrowantree

"This is true, but I learned that it's much, much, much easier to be divorced with kids than it is to be unhappily married with kids." — Rusty0123

5. "I felt even more lonely when I was married." — bunbunzinlove

"First husband and I went to see 'The Misfits,' the 1961 Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable movie at the vintage movie house. At the very beginning, she's getting a Nevada divorce, and tells her husband: 'If I'm going to be alone, I want to be by myself.' He doesn't realize it, but that was a turning point in our marriage; that line floored me." — Flahdgal

6. Lawyers are expensive

"Sometimes you have to pay them to be able to communicate with someone you’re not able to communicate with." — Youngest_Syndrome_78

"Your lawyer is as expensive as your relationship was terrible/you or your ex is stubborn." — Youngest_Syndrome_78

7. Being alone is freedom

"How content I could be on my own. Never having to compromise throughout the mundane moments because you are living alone is very freeing." — Independent_Sunshine

"You know what I feel when I walk into my small divorce apartment? Peace! Blessed peace. No one's criticizing me. I'm not responsible for someone else's disappointing life choices. I am not his rage sponge, anymore. Goodbye, McMansion in the suburbs. Don't miss you." — Kit3399

8. The stress can be unbearable

"You can almost die from grief and disappointment." — HeartofGold48

"During one of our last fights, I fainted, fell backward on the concrete floor, and got a concussion and MRI. Apparently, stress can do that. The physical impact of divorce is something I never expected." — Haunting_Cattle2138

9. True love is awesome

"Pretty much how awesome life can be with a caring, kind, supportive spouse. I had no idea how bad I had it until the old one abandoned ship, and I met the true love of my life." — Relax-Enjoy

"This is so true. If you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship for a long time, experiencing real love is just astounding." — InactiveUser247

10. Unhealthy can be normalized

"You know, I remember at one point in my marriage thinking 'I guess this is just how it works.' After being unhappy for so long, it just seemed like the normal. But I've definitely found out that no, it's not how it works! A relationship can be happy and supportive, without you feeling like you have to do all the work!" — Anothercrockett

"Same. I put my emotional and physical needs on a shelf, just chalking it up as 'my lot'. The rest of my life was great (kids, family, friends, house, money, pool)... It wasn't until she dropped the D-word on me at the beginning of the year that I let my feelings of neglect out." — IBSeanB

11. You're more attractive than you thought

"How many men I knew that wanted to date me lol." — OK_Acanthistta5022

"My current partner also had this realization. The moment her separation became public then certain 'friends' were circling. She was still of the opinion that women can have truly platonic male friends, which they can, but the majority I believe have other motives." — LordBiscuits

12. Couples are great at putting on a facade

"When I got a divorce, it turns out it was the beginning of a spree of divorces in my neighborhood among my friends. In a 2 year period, 5 couples I knew in my neighborhood got divorces. All of them, to a tee, were couples that I thought were very happily married. It sparked a lot of frank and open conversations among me and my newly-divorced friends about marriage, relationships and goings-on that I had never had before. Turns out I was living a really dull and sheltered life. I was astonished at how much infidelity was going on, for example. There were shenanigans going on everywhere. ... So the takeaway for me was, couples can be very good at putting on a fake front of happiness." — framptal_tromwibbler

13. You can still be friends

"You can still be mates. It's not all 'burn your ex to the ground' sh**e. It is perfectly possible to get on with everyone (including in-laws). Sometimes marriages just do not work out." — CarpetGripperRod

"Plus, the new partner can actually be pretty ace! She’s wonderful to my kids and has always treated me with nothing but love and respect. My kids come first and I can’t see any downside to them having more love in their lives." — Substantial-Land-248

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

We get to see the world through Mr. Kitters' eyes.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a cat? To watch the world from less than a foot off the ground, seeing and hearing things humans completely miss, staring out the window for hours while contemplating one of your nine lives?

Well, thanks to one person, we need wonder no more—at least about what-they're-seeing part.

The TikTok channel Mr. Kitters the Cat (@mr.kitters.the.cat) gives us a cat's-eye view of the world with a camera attached to Mr. Kitters' collar. And the result is an utterly delightful POV experience that takes us through the daily adventuring of the frisky feline as he wanders the yard.


In a video titled "Spicy cats," which has more than 74 million views on TikTok, we begin with the cutest cat sneeze ever. Then we hear Mr. Kitters' meow as we walk with him through the grass before the scene switches to a thrilling, yowling cat chase he witnesses across the yard (while tucking himself even more securely under the bush he's in).

The best is seeing his kitty paws as he walks and then digs in the mulch. And there's apparently something very exciting that needs to be pounced on right along a chain link fence.

Watch and enjoy:

@mr.kitters.the.cat

Spicy cats 🌶️ #fyp #cat #meow

The commenters made their delight known.

"I love how he saw the cat fight and was like that's not my business today," wrote one person.

"WHEN HE DIGS WITH HIS LIL PAWS," declared another.

"People: Cats only meow at humans." Mr Kitters -Meows at everything-" wrote another.

And of course, countless people responded simply to the sneeze with "Bless you."

Mr. Kitters has other POV videos as well. This one demonstrates how chatty he is and shows his black cat buddy as well.

@mr.kitters.the.cat

“What do you want?” “Nothing!” #fyp #cat #meow

It really sounds like he says, "Let me in," doesn't it?

And this "extreme sports" video is riveting.

@mr.kitters.the.cat

Extreme sports 💀 #fyp

It's funny how something as simple as putting a camera around the neck of a cat can draw in tens of millions of people. We're all so curious about the lives of the creatures we see every day, and the adorable quirkiness of cat behavior is a big part of why we keep them as companions in the first place. Seeing the world through their point of view is just one more way we can enjoy and learn about our pet friends.


This article originally appeared on 6.15.23

Kelsey Wells at three different weights.

It's super easy for most people to get hung up on the number on their scales and not how they actually look or, most importantly, feel. People often go on diets in hopes of reaching an ideal weight they had when they graduated high school or got married, but they're often disappointed when they can't attain it.

But a set of photos by fitness blogger Kelsey Wells is a great reminder for everyone to put their scales back in storage.

Welles is best known as the voice and body behind My Sweat Life, a blog she started after gaining weight during pregnancy. To lose the weight, she started the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) training program and after 84 weeks she shared three photos on her Instagram account that prove the scale doesn't matter.


The photos showed her at her start weight (144 pounds), the weight she hit two months after giving birth (122 pounds), and current weight (140 pounds). Now she weighs exactly what she did when she started the program but her body is entirely different.

Here's an excerpt from Wells' Instagram post:

SCREW THE SCALE || I figured it was time for a friendly, yet firm reminder. YOU GUYS. PLEASEEEEEE STOP GETTING HUNG UP ON THE NUMBER ON THE STUPID SCALE! PLEASE STOP THINKING YOUR WEIGHT EQUALS YOUR PROGRESS AND FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING PLEASE STOP LETTING YOR WEIGHT HAVE ANY AFFECT WHATSOEVER ON YOUR SELF ESTEEM, like I used to.
To any of you who are where I once was, please listen to me. I am 5' 7" and weigh 140 lbs. When I first started #bbg I was 8 weeks post partum and 145 lbs. I weighed 130 before getting pregnant, so based on nothing besides my own warped perception, I decided my "goal weight" should be 122 and to fit into my skinniest jeans. Well after a few months of BBG and breastfeeding, I HIT IT and I fit into those size 0 jeans. Well guess what? I HAVE GAINED 18 POUNDS SINCE THEN. EIGHT FREAKING TEEN. Also, I have gone up two pant sizes and as a matter of fact I ripped those skinny jeans wide open just the other week trying to pull them up over my knees.?? My point?? According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably.


This article originally appeared on 10.26.17

There was a time when every other girl was named Ashley. That time has ended.

As we know, baby name trends are constantly changing. One generation’s Barbara is another generation’s Bethany. But it doesn’t make it any less odd when you suddenly realize that your very own name has suddenly made it into the “old and unhip” pile. And for many of us 80s babies…that time is now.

In a now-viral TikTok post, baby name consultant Colleen Slagen went through the top 100 girl names from 1986 to find which ones “did not age well” and were no longer ranked top 1,000 today. Such a descent from popularity would mark them as what she calls “timestamp names.”

Spoiler alert: what might be even more surprising than the names now considered old school are the names that are still going strong.


The first name that Slagen says is “officially out” is Heather. That’s right, not even cult movie fame could help it keep its ranking.

via GIPHY

Other extinct names include Erica, Courtney, Lindsay, Tara, Crystal, Shannon, Brandy and Dana. Tiffany, Brittany and Casey are also heading very much in that direction.

“My name is Brandy. The Gen Z hostess at Olive Garden told me that she’d never heard my name before and it was so unique,” one viewer wrote.

However, Andrea ranks “surprisingly high,” and Jessica, Ashley and Stephanie have survived…so far.

Gobsmacked, one person asked “How is Stephanie still in there? I don’t think I’ve met a Stephanie younger than myself at 34.”

But the biggest holdout still belongs to Jennifer. “She was a top 100 name all the way up until 2008. Round of applause for Jennifer,” Slagen says in the clip.

@namingbebe Sorry Lindsay, Heather, and Courtney. #babynames #nametok #nameconsultant #girlnames #80skid #1986 #nametrend ♬ original sound - Colleen

If your name has found its way into relic of a bygone era status, fret not. Slagen, whose name also ranks out of the top 1000, assures it just means “we are creatures of the 80's.”

Of course, while we still have baby names that become incredibly common for extended periods of time (looking at you, little Liam and Olivia), the real contemporary trend is going for uniqueness. As an article in The Atlantic notes, for most of American history families tended to name their children after a previous family member, with the goal of blending in, rather than standing out. But now, things have changed.

Laura Wattenberg, the founder of Namerology, told the outlet that “Parents are thinking about naming kids more like how companies think about naming products, which is a kind of competitive marketplace where you need to be able to get attention to succeed.”

But again, even with a keen eye on individualism, patterns pop up. “The same thing we see in fashion trend cycles, we see in names,” Jessie Paquette, another professional baby namer, told Vox. “We’re seeing Eleanor, Maude, Edith—cool-girl grandma names.”

So who knows…give it time (or maybe just a pop song) and one of these 80s names could make a comeback.

Pop Culture

She re-created famous fashion ads to make a great point about diversity

"The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too."

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

A classic pose.


From a young age, Deddeh Howard was enthralled by fashion and its role in culture. Unfortunately, she was never really able to see herself in it.

"Something that always bothered me when you see these amazing images [was] that very rarely you ever see a black woman on them," Howard, who grew up in West Africa but now resides in Los Angeles, wrote at her blog, Secret of DD.

"Black girls are almost invisible," she wrote.


So Howard created "Black Mirror," a photo series in which she re-creates famous photos with herself in place of models like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bundchen, and others.

Howard's partner, Raffael Dickreuter, shot the series. As its title suggests, it holds a "black mirror" up to the fashion world. The project's goal is both to make people notice the lack of diversity in the fashion world and to provide inspiration to other non-white models.

Deddeh Howard, Gucci, fashion world, diversity

The shades of Gucci.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

superstar, glasses, education, celebrity, representation

Glasses make you wiser.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

Kendall Jenner, Calvin Klein, underwear models, black models

The original sexy.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

Of the models featured on the fall 2016 runways, 75% were white. There's a major need for a diversity boost.

Sometimes, that lack of diversity can be downright embarrassing. Earlier this year, one fashion show featured models walking to Beyoncé's "Formation," a song Essence described as a "wholly and undeniable a tribute to Blackness — particularly Black girl power." The problem: The show didn't feature a single non-white model.

ethnicity, equality, Guess fashion

Guess who rides motorcycles.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

David Yourman, high fashion, racial inequality

Classy and feminine.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

Louis Vuitton, handbags, upper class,

A bike ride with expensive accessories.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

lingerie, Victoria\u2019s Secret, feminine

The lingerie pose.

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

Dolce & Gabbana, little black dress, stars

Thinking "Breakfast at Tiffanys” maybe?

All photos by Raffael Dickreuter, used with permission.

Diversity, representation, and visibility play key roles in shaping ambition and self-acceptance in the real world.

It's important to be able to see yourself in the world, and it's important to know that someone who looks like you can succeed.

"The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too," Howard wrote on her blog. "For that reason diversity in ad campaigns is in my opinion much more important than you might think."


This article originally appeared on 12.08.16

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.


This article originally appeared on 06.30.22