Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.2

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AReal Life Divorce Story w/ Brandie Olson

 

 

Introduction: Have you ever heard the phrase some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? While I didn’t create the phrase, it makes perfect sense to me. A divorce doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It’s quite the opposite, in most cases. These “love” stories will focus on the courage, lessons, & perspectives of everyday women (and some celebrities), to help you on your journey. Join me while we get in their business a bit. Listen to the real-life divorce story of Brandie Olson.

Guest: Brandie Olson resides in Minnesota and is focused on being happy and raising well rounded kids. She prides herself on her determination and letting nothing stand in her way. She is currently finishing up her BA in Criminal Justice. She already has a couple of two-year degrees, works full time, and has a side business doing photography. She just bought a home for her kiddos to grow up in and is finally focusing on herself.  She can be found hanging out on Instagram @brandie.nicole1619 

 

Nikki: I like to start these interviews by asking a simple question to help the audience connect with you. What’s your favorite movie?

Brandie: Wow – interesting question. Hmmm… can we come back to that?

Nikki: Of course! Let’s dive right in then. When did you start your divorce process and when did you finish?

Brandie: I’ve had 2 divorces. 

I married my high school sweetheart. We were married for 5 years. Got divorced in 2017. It took about 3 months – no arguing – no attorneys – no fighting in court. 

For the last one I filed with the court in Jan 2020. Originally we agreed on everything. We didn’t have attorneys at first. 

Then he changed his mind. The judge rescheduled our court dates when we couldn’t agree, so I got an attorney and he represented himself. My attorney worked as a mediator so she redrafted our agreement and went back to the court in June 2020. 

I guess 6 months isn’t too bad. It could have been worse, but it was stressful because he was manipulative. My stress levels reduced after my attorney got involved. I knew I needed someone to step in because I carry my heart on my sleeve and can’t always hide my emotions. He cheated on me and there was just a lot going on. 

Nikki: So you felt better having an attorney?

Brandie: Because my attorney was speaking for me, I felt 100% more confident. I knew I could focus on taking care of the kids. 

Nikki: How old are your kids?

Brandie: I have a 4 year old boy and a 1 year old girl.

Nikki: What state were you in when you divorced?

Brandie: Minnesota – Ramsey county. 

Nikki: Did you consider another divorce method?

Brandie: We were planning to go to a mediator but never got around to going to one. It’s important to note that I had a judge that was only with the county for 6 months and disagreed with what had been decided. The judge was pro dad and I’m pro dad too, but I wasn’t prepared for that! 

I was utterly shocked at how he responded, and you don’t realize how dependent you are on the judge you don’t even know to make decisions for you and your kids. I just wasn’t expecting that. One minute he agreed to our terms and then the ex changed everything in court and the judge agreed with him. It’s not like I was a danger to the kids. I think I may have a speeding ticket but that’s about it – so I definitely wasn’t putting them at risk. It was shocking though.

Nikki: What are your thoughts on alimony & child support?

Brandie: I think child support is fair based on how the state calculates it.

 

“Different experiences with both divorces but I’m the one who lost money with both divorces.” 

In the last one, we had only been married for a year.  I was marrying a doctor and last year he was in school and his salary is totally different now. I gave up my entire savings because he was going to be a doctor, so I used my money to buy our house. I saw it as an investment then. 

The judge wouldn’t consider alimony because we weren’t married for a year. Having the time frame should not be there when you’ve spent money like I did. I lost my entire savings putting it in the house. But I was mainly fighting for the kids. 

There was no money there in my first marriage. We just went our separate ways. 

Nikki: So do you think your settlement was fair?

Brandie: Not fair at all. My ex is emotionally draining. I just needed him to go away. My sanity over money was worth it to me. My lawyer was willing to go to bat for me, but because of the length of the marriage and the judge, I would have spent more money with the attorney and it didn’t seem worth it. 

Nikki: Good point. That’s a lot to deal with. What was your biggest learning lesson?

Brandie: Get an attorney for peace of mind. It’s just less stressful. 

I’m currently learning more about self love – get yourself some counseling to love yourself and know what you deserve.

“Women end up in shitty situations because they think less of themselves than what they should… less than what they are.” 

It’s part of the reason I am where I am and I’m only 29. 

Nikki: Would you remarry? Would you ask for someone to sign a prenup?

Brandie: I’m old fashioned when it comes to love. I don’t think I would marry someone if I had to ask them for a prenup. I’m not against marriage because I believe in love. I don’t have a lot of money right now so my idea could change. 

But I guess I never thought about it. I guess it’s something I might do. I struggle with thinking about divorce – looking back, a prenup would have helped me. 

Nikki: Yes a prenup could have helped you get your fair share. How were your kids impacted?

Brandie: My youngest was 6 months when I moved out. 

I made sure in the beginning until we could establish a routine, to use Facetime. When she was away at each other’s houses we were Facetiming every day. Now we may only do it once a week with her. 

For my son, it was harder. It hurt because my second husband became my son’s best friend, and when we separated it became difficult. My son is an emotional kid, and now it’s kind of amplified and he’s acted out a little bit. 

We’ve been separated since last November but my son still asks for him. His biological dad is still in his life though. I asked my ex-husband to sit down with him and talk to him. He told him that my feelings were hurt and mommy was sad, and we aren’t going to be together anymore. Kids are smart. It can be hard when my ex is Facetiming with our daughter and not my son. 

Nikki: Tell me about your new house purchase.

Brandie: I’m a very determined person. I come from a background where I’m used to being disappointed by people I love, but my past and childhood have prepared me for heartache.

When I decided to leave, I was a stay-at-home mom and in school (I quit my job last year to take care of my daughter). When I found out about him cheating, I packed up my stuff and I applied for 80 jobs in one week!

I look at it like this  – what would I tell my daughter to do? If her heart is broken and she wants to leave – I’m going to help her pack and leave. We had to move into my friend’s basement… I didn’t care. 

“Two months after finding out he was having affairs, I found a house near my grandparents, got a new job, and am finishing school” 

2 months after finding out he was having affairs, I found a house near my grandparents, got a new job, and am finishing school. 

Nikki: That’s awesome. What are you majoring in?

Brandie: My first degree is in photography (I actually do photography on the side). I have an associate in Criminal Justice & Crime Analysis and will have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. 

Nikki: That’s pretty amazing! You should be very proud of yourself!

Brandie: It’s hard some days but I keep going forward.

Nikki:  Do you think your ex was in your life for a reason, season or a lifetime? Here’s how I look at it . A celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow would probably say “lifetime”. She will always be friends with her ex and they plan to be present in each other’s lives.

However, Tina Turner might say “reason”. When it’s for a reason it’s usually because you learned meaningful lessons, experienced growth or have bonds that tie you together. The relationship is definitely unforgettable.

Kim Kardasshian might say “season”. Short term relationship with her 1st husband and there’s nothing that ties them together. You probably learned some lessons but you’re really no longer connected.

So based on that where do you think you fall?

Brandie: I would say they were there for a reason.

 

“I wish they were relationships and not marriages, but they were there to toughen me up.”

In my 1st marriage we both came from bad household situations and were together for 11 years. We used each other to comfort and support each other. He was there when I needed him – I was struggling and we leaned on each other. No regrets.

In the last one, he showed me how I deserved to be treated – love letters, gifts, taking care of the kids… if you take away the cheating, he was like a cookie-cutter Lifetime-movie husband. 

I didn’t know that existed and that people were capable of treating you like that.

I needed to see that and be shown that someone can treat me that way if I find that right person.

I wish I would have waited and not gotten married and didn’t get cheated on, though. 

I wrote a poem about my life and I’m hoping it helps women realize that even when we get dealt shitty cards they can make it. It’s kind of long. I’ll read it to you. 

*Brandie reads her poem to me and I love it. Super personal and powerful.* 

I have that movie now – Silver Linings Playbook – I’m obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence. 

Nikki: Cool! Definitely not your traditional romantic movie. 

Brandie: Yes – that’s why I love it!

Nikki: It’s been awesome talking to you and hearing your story. Your poem is so powerful and vulnerable. I’m going to share it with the readers. 

End of Interview

If you want to be featured in our Reason, Season or Lifetime series click on the link HERE to share a little bit about yourself. We want to share different types of love stories to help as many women as possible. We want to share your real-life love / divorce story. 

 

 

 

Brandie’s Poem

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

Born 6 weeks early,

Dad, 19, mom 17,

didn’t last long, they were only kids.

Love you dad, see you on the weekend,

Mom and I are on a whirlwind.

Now I have a stepdad, 

yeah I care about him.

He gave me a brother and sister,

but I’m still a little bitter around him.

Smash, crack, pop, things are breaking,

holes in the wall, legs are shaking.

Glass on floor,

take my brother and sister, 

shut the bathroom door.

We all know I can’t sing, 

but they didn’t care. 

Sitting on the bathroom floor,

living on a prayer.

It’s morning, 

everything’s fine.

Mom says don’t worry kid, 

go to school and shine.

At the bus stop, 

no kids in sight.

He’s coming closer, 

asked me where I live,

I’m too little to fight.

The bus comes around,

and now he is on the run.

Grandpa finds out, 

grabs a shotgun, 

puts it in the car.

We drive in circles,

can’t find him,

 but he left a scar.

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

In the 4th grade, 

got a call,

Mom caught on fire and isn’t doing well at all.

3rd degree burns, 

living with grandma and grandpa.

10 years later found out she did it to herself, 

God mom, 

the pain you must have felt.

Let’s run away to a new town,

only for the problems to come back around.

Me, my brother and sister building a snowman, 

I hear the bang,

tell them to stay,

I knew nothing had changed.

Walked in, hands around her neck,

Screaming, 

ran to the neighbors,

called 911, 

thought I was dreaming.

Mom said, 

it’s your fault he is not here on Christmas,

man, I don’t miss this.

Grandparents are a blessing, 

no more stressing

Fast forward, 

in Jr. High. 

We loved each other,

both lost, no eye for another.

He is a drunk, 

he will get better,

I believe in you, 

let’s grow together.

Graduated, 

started college,

he’s falling behind.

I bought a house at 20, 

working on my second degree,

didn’t realize what was going on right in front of me.

I’m doing everything, 

stressing, 

but still progressing.

In a marriage all alone, 

scared of the unknown.

March 22nd, 2015, 11pm, 

house is burning down.

He keeps running back in,

here I am saving him again.

Sitting in the ambulance asking for hug,

but he doesn’t even budge.

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

4 weeks later, 

found out I was pregnant.

I always wanted kids, 

but not like this.

January 3rd, 2016, 

you are the most amazing thing I ever seen.

I have a new outlook on life,

for you have restored my drive.

Love you kid, 

let’s thrive.

God grandpa, 

You’re stronger than this.

You’re my person,

had too much to drink,

in a coma for weeks, 

and now you’re weak. 

Still drinking, 

lots n lots grandpa,

but I can’t deal with this. 

Now I’m ready,

here’s to changes.

Sorry kid, 

your dad and I are separated. 

But two happy homes are better than one,

that’s hated. 

Here’s to new beginnings,

to a smile that’s real and all mine. 

You and me kid, 

we are going to shine. 

Yes, 

I’m a big dreamer, 

but I’m also a goal hitter. 

It took all of this for me to turn out this way,

for that I wouldn’t change,

I would keep it all the same. 

Don’t worry kid, 

I will always be your gateway.

He came in,

swept me off my feet,

Hallmark moments I didn’t think existed.

Is this too fast? 

Will you marry me? 

I said yes.

Butterflies in my stomach,

so happy.

Had a baby, 

got married, 

stay at home momma and loving it. 

What is respect, honesty and trust? 

In a marriage, 

it’s a must. 

Not this one. 

No! 

Cheating on me the whole time, 

I should have paid attention to the small signs. 

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

Here I am, 

twice divorced,

with twos kids. 

I feel like a failure,

like I did something wrong.

Children deserve so much more, 

and for that I’m building my wall. 

I’m locking that door, 

until someone deserves that key.

I am doing this for me.

Here’s to my future,

my future with my babies.

Traveling, 

exploring. 

Adventures, 

and no more mourning.

 

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a certified divorce financial analyst, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

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