The Divorce Bucket List: 50 Things to Do When Your Marriage Ends

wedding cake split divorce

I recently came across something inspiring: This breakup bucket list. It's a to-do list a blogger named Ali created after she broke up with her long-term boyfriend. It made me remember the divorce bucket list I'd started when I was getting ready to separate from my husband. Since then -- we're coming up on the second anniversary of my saying "I want a divorce" -- I've done so many things and crossed off a lot of items. But I think I need to update it with more fun stuff, and I need to take stock of how far I've come. So here's my very personal divorce bucket list.

  • 1. Buy a really good vibrator. An expensive, rechargeable, waterproof, do everything vibrator -- and use it.


    2. Paint a wall pink. I haven't done this literally, but I've made a few girly decorating changes around my home that my ex-husband would have vetoed.

    3. Write my will. I need to do this! I did sign up for Chanel Reynolds' "Get Your Shit Together"monthly nudge, though.

    4. Have a one-night stand. I got married young and Mormon, so I missed out on this before I got married.

    5. Have drinks with my divorced/separated friends. Mandatory, as much as possible.

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  • 6. Take a trip alone. Not a single-mom vacation with the kids -- ALONE, preferably overseas, in a foreign country, or at a beach.

    woman on vacation

    7. Buy flowers for myself. Because they make me happy and I know exactly the kind I want.

    8. Go out as mutton dressed like lamb. No one will die as a result.

    9. Get in shape. I started with spin class and have now added running. This helps ward off depression, makes you feel energetic and powerful, and okay, maybe helps you look a bit better, too.

    10. Get a grip on my finances. Where is my money coming from, how much do I have, where is it all going? What are my goals?

  • 11. Meditate. I need to get back in the habit, but this practice really carried me through some tough months.

    woman meditating

    12. Get a theme song. I change mine from time to time, but you need something that makes you feel like a superhero.

    13. Flake. I've become an expert.

    14. Do therapy. Can't even imagine doing divorce without this.

    15. Get a massage. (Why stop at one?)

  • 16. Swim in the ocean naked. (Still haven't done this one.)

    woman laying by the ocean

    17. Get my cards read. Getting insight into my life from someone who didn't know me, who wasn't a therapist, either, was so enlightening.

    18. Learn to say no. I needed to set new limits so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed -- or guilty.

    19. Learn to say yes. On the other hand, saying yes to trying new things helped me move forward.

    20. Sleep in ridiculously late while my kid is at his dad's. One benefit of your family now living in two different households.

  • 21. Sleep in my bed diagonally. Because I can.

    happy woman in bed alone

    22. Watch a movie alone. This is so fun, I'd recommend it for married women, too.

    23. Have sex in a restaurant bathroom. Maybe not all the time, and pick your place well, but you should go for it at least once.

    24. Flirt with strangers. They just might flirt back.

    25. Binge-watch Louie and every joke Louis C.K. has ever made about divorce. He'll make you laugh about everything you'd otherwise cry over.

  • 26. Go to a bar alone. (Um, a safe one.)

    single woman at the bar

    27. Go grocery shopping with my sunglasses on. (This is for the first day or two after you separate.)

    28. Spend a day in bed crying. Get up the next day and move on with your life.

    29. Find an inspiring divorced couple. It started out Laurie and Larry David because they still get together for family dinners. I added Etheline and Royal Tenenbaum. Who else?

    30. Smoke a hookah. Not a healthy lifestyle choice, but fun to try once.

  • 31. Take a dance class. Dancing forces you to think one step ahead and stay light on your feet.

    dance class

    32. Start a divorce Pinterest board. Yeah, I'm that big of a dork. I called it "Divorspiration."

    33. Make a list of everything I want in my next boyfriend. Because hope is healthy.

    34. Date outside my type. How'd that type work out last time? Not so great, right? Yup, time to try something new.

    35. Buy and wear something slinky that makes me feel hot. Just so I remember I'm still young and alive.

  • 36. Learn to make myself happy alone. Before I started dating.

    happy woman

    37. Watch Heartburn. This is the best divorce movie ever.

    38. Form a divorce advisory board. You know, the people who've been there and can give you advice.

    39. Pay it forward and talk with a friend who just separated from her husband. I need to do this more often, but it's how I show my gratitude to the friends who helped me.

    40. Find something about my marriage to laugh about. Remember the good times, go easy on us both.

  • 41. Become my own handyman. I now know how to unclog the pipes under my sink! I'm not saying I like doing this, but I like knowing that I can.

    woman building something

    42. Spend a week in Paris. Doing that soon!

    43. Kill a mouse in my house. The first time was horrible. The second time was empowering. The third time made me think it's time to gas the place.

    44. Read journals from before I was married. That helped me remember who I was before and why I got married in the first place.

    45. Eat ice cream for dinner. I did this once and was shocked at how good it made me feel. And then I never did it ever, ever again.

  • 46. Buy myself an "I'm Divorced" ring. As soon as it's finalized, friends.

    woman buying herself ring

    47. Learn how to walk in high heels. Sexy and dignified at the same time -- it's possible. I think?

    48. Stay up all night writing about all the ways I been wronged. Consider publishing a memoir. Decide against it because my child is still living. Maybe it could just be a country song? Move on and think about the role I played in my relationship.

    49. Get my driver's license. Still working on this.

    50. Learn to forgive. That's when you're truly free.

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