Friday, January 30, 2009

Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Welcomes the Fabulous Barbara Mountjoy!

A published writer since the age of 18, Barbara Mountjoy studied at the Honors College at Kent State before sidetracking through motherhood and law school. Currently on her third family, this one with three special needs children, and her 14th novel manuscript, she has a regular writing gig as the Technology Reporter at while holding down a part-time family law practice.

Her first book, 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, was published by Impact Publishers in 1999. She contributed a story called "Under the Big Top" in the book A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, published by Adams Media in December 2008, and has another story in the volume A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, due out in June 2009.
It isn't easy to catch up with a woman with seven children and 12 computers, but you can try. Find out more at

Is Romance Really What You're Looking For?

People always seem to be hunting for romance, whether the “sweet” kind, where the boy next door turns out to be the answer to all our questions, or the ‘bodice-ripper’ kind, where adventure and passion overwhelm common sense and fulfill our every dream.

Women in particular are almost programmed to expect Prince Charming will eventually be waiting for them, in the form of a harmonious soulmate. Even if we don’t read the novels of Holt, Devereaux and Meier, or watch Pretty Woman or Sleepless in Seattle, we want that click of a good match, someone who fits our needs.

Humans, however, are an impatient race. Sometimes the one true soulmate isn’t in the picture when you’re ready for a partner. (I know this from experience.) So do we hold out for the exact one we’re seeking? Not usually. Far too many throw over the idea of Mr. Right for Mr. Right Now. This isn’t necessarily the end of your life, of course. If you’re truly drawn to someone, he or she has value for you. You just need to be wise about your choice, and what you allow to occur.

In my 22 years as a divorce attorney, I’ve seen many men and women who just need someone. This happens for various reasons. Some men are brought up to believe theirs is the role of financial provider, so they must have a partner to keep the house and raise the children. They may choose someone without examining that partner’s needs and expectations, and find the partner grows bored and restless in a subservient role. Persons of both sexes may believe they need to ‘fix’ someone they love, without realizing that some people choose not to be fixed and resent the effort to do so, causing both pain.

When we settle for the partner who might be in reach instead of waiting for the one who is right, we expose ourselves. If you meet your intended on the Internet, there is a good chance what he or she might have told you is not true. Unlike someone in your hometown, where you can ask questions and do some checking, there isn’t much chance for investigation when you’re 1000 miles away. Yet I’ve had clients who invited a stranger to live in their home—or abandoned their family to join the stranger elsewhere, just to meet that need to have someone. They are almost always disappointed in the long run. Divorce will set them free once again to find…what they need. Though it’s hard for many to believe, what they really seek they will find within themselves.

In A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, 50 writers offer encouragement to women taking that step again, examining ways women can thrive during their rebuilding time. I often encourage clients to do the same. Don’t rush. Take care of yourself. Let the healing come. Do what you love—art, music, writing. Especially writing. Even when the pain is so great that you can’t express it aloud to someone else, letting your words spill out onto paper gives a release.

Those of us who are professional writers use those releases in the characters we create, letting feelings of loss, love or triumph flesh themselves out for new people on the page. You may find it difficult to write about what you’ve never felt; but if you’ve been there, and you let that through into your own work, people will relate.

So whatever you seek, whatever you find, whether love, passion, failure, loneliness, or joy, experience the emotions to fullness and take what lessons they teach to move forward, either in your work or in your daily life.

Thanks for those great words, Barb. Now readers, please comment below for a chance to win Barb's Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women. Contest closes at midnight tonight and the winner will be posted tomorrow. Happy commenting!


Sandy Elzie said...

What a great post! I was lucky enough to get Mr. Right, without all the hassles, but I know a lot who didn't. I know a lot of women who settled for Mr. Right Now and either got the divorce or have hung in there and aren't happy.

Your insight made for a very interesting read and I thank you for giving up your valuable time to share with us.


Cyrano said...

Thanks so much for blogging today.
Like Sandy, I too was lucky enough to find Mr. Right. (He was my strength coach in college) We just celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary on December 27.
I agree with you about internet dating. I'd find it a little scary myself, but I actually have three friends who found true love online. One of those couples have been married for 5 years and they're very happy together. My own sister's sister-in-law also found her husband on line. They've been married for three years.
Scarry for me, a tad unconventional, but for some, it's the bee's knees!
Thanks again for your inciteful post.
Have a fabulous weekend,

Linsey Lanier said...


A very thought-provoking post. You're so right about not settling for Mr. Right Now. I hope young people will heed your words of wisdom.

I have a good friend who found her husband via an online dating service after a failed marriage, but she's definitely not the type to settle, especially after her first experience. If you can stay objective, evidently it works for some people, but you're right - caution is advised.

Thanks again for blogging with us.


Tammy Schubert said...

Thank you for blogging for us today. I really enjoyed your post.

I'm one of those people who settled for Mr. Right now the first time around. It was easy to fall into the trap of thinking he was Mr. Right forever. We were both in the military overseas, homesick and in a foreign environment. We thought what we had was the real thing. Unfortunately, all the other "stuff" masked the truth. He was a great guy, but not my great guy and vice versa. It was a sad part of my life.

I'm lucky though. I didn't spend 15 or more years with the guy before we realized what had happened to our relationship. Some people aren't that fortunate and end up spinning their wheels in the wrong relationship for a good part of their adult life.

Now I'm happy to say that I found Mr. Right. It took me so many years and lots of dates with the wrong people, but I found him.

Your advice about taking your time and healing after divorce is right on. I wish more people would follow your suggestion.


Ana Aragón said...

Hi, Barb,

I lucked out and didn't marry Mr. Right Now...but did get Mr. Right, and we'll be celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary next week!

I sit in meetings all the time with parents of special needs children...many of them divorced. Unless you have a stable, secure relationship, even minor things can tear you apart--not to mention major issues like finances or problems with children.

Thanks for your insight!


Tami Brothers said...

Thank you, Barbara. This post was exactly what many people needed to see. I am one of the lucky ones (17 years!!! with Mr. Right), but I have a sister who has been married and divorced 3 times. With three growing boys, it's hard for her to do everything on her own (or so she says to justify the man hopping).

She is in the process of her third divorce and already living with someone else. I wish she was strong enough to take that time for herself and heal. But, because I haven't been there, there is nothing I can say that hits home. Maybe reading posts like this will jar that thought process and keep her from making another bad decision just to beat the loneliness...

Tami Brothers

Kelly L Stone said...

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your post. I agree with everything you said. It's very inspiring!