Are you coping with an ugly divorce? Is your spouse making things more complicated than you thought possible? Are you wondering how to handle a divorce?
It’s easy to take things personally when your spouse is lashing out. Anger, cruelty, and false accusations can cut you to the quick. Yet your maintaining a positive frame of mind is critical to surviving the ordeal and moving on with a fresh new life.
Here are some of our favourite tips for handling a nasty divorce.
1. Don’t Let it Sink Inside
This one is much easier said than done. You may have poured a great deal of yourself into your work and family, and it can be unbelievably painful to hear someone else criticize your efforts.
Your ex may say emotionally abusive things or fighting for primary custody of your children. They may be calling you irresponsible or mean-spirited.
Your spouse’s main motive could be hurt that their marriage is over. Or they could just be looking for ways to keep their family life normal even though they’re done with your relationship.
Whatever is going on in your former lover’s heart is complicated, but you can’t let the poison spill over into your soul. Remember the number of times you’ve thought unfair things about your spouse just because you’re hurting.
Your spouse’s opinion of you is probably not based on reality at this time. Do whatever you have to in order to keep their words from getting the better of you.
And whatever you do, don’t respond in kind. A positive, mature demeanour even while you’re being defamed will get the attention of everyone involved in your divorce, including lawyers and social workers.
2. Get a Good Support Structure
Your usual support circle may not be who you want to turn to during a complicated time. They may have never experienced divorce before, and their attitude could be judgemental or hurtful.
Instead, surround yourself with people who listen carefully and affirm your feelings. You won’t want always want to mull over your pain, so you’ll also want folks who can make you laugh and see the brighter side of your experience.
If you don’t have anyone you can currently share with, consider joining a local community group or house of worship where you can make new friends. You can also look online for support groups for those going through a divorce. They’re a great place to find people who will say things that give you that “I’m so glad it’s not just me” feeling!
It’s important that the support group you choose, however, is not just a place for people to complain. Choose folks who have emerged victorious from a divorce situation to be your guide. Don’t take advice from those who are still down and out ten years after the split.
3. And Find Some Great Resources
Focusing on the details of your nasty divorce is tempting. You may be tempted to believe that, if you think about your challenges enough, you’ll find the right solution.
It’s important to remember, however, that you’re very far from being alone. In fact, around 40-50% of American marriages end in divorce.
There are wonderful books, podcasts, and talks you can watch on your own time from people who have experienced all of the same feelings. And they can remind you that divorce was far from the end of their lives. In fact, it may have been the catalyst it took for them to begin living their lives the way they wanted to, rather than to please others.
You may find that your new life gives you an opportunity to focus on yourself in ways you weren’t before. Maybe you’ll want to take classes to get you rolling towards a new career or develop a fitness routine.
Your goals for the future can help keep the past from weighing you down. And if you have children, it will provide them with an excellent role model.
4. Learn to Co-Parent
Cooperating with your ex may be the last thing you want to think about right now. Yet focusing on your kids and their unique needs will help you to stay focused and relaxed throughout the experience.
Complicated issues will arise throughout the divorce. You may, for example, be thinking about moving out of state without custody agreement.
In these cases, communication with your spouse is critical. You must learn how to talk about your agreements in a civil way, even if you’re not feeling anything but bitterness right now. Working out your emotions is best when handled by a qualified therapist.
Proper co-parenting can help children feel secure and emotionally healthy. It will also model some real-life problem-solving skills for them.
It’s important not to use your child as a messenger to the other parent and to avoid speaking negatively of your soon-to-be former spouse with them.
You’ll want to communicate in a relaxed, respectful tone and listen carefully to what your spouse is saying. When you’re tempted to let your feelings get in the way, take a deep breath and remember that the well-being of your children is currently your top priority.
Feel free to make requests or suggestions, but don’t demand your way. The best co-parenting situations are negotiated with thought and respect for one another’s feelings.
How to Handle a Divorce
Divorce is never a completely pleasant, peaceful experience. With a little research on how to handle a divorce, however, you’ll come up with some conflict strategies that help you to make the most of your situation. It may even be the time of growth you need to begin a new chapter in your life.
Don’t stop getting smart about health and parenting now. For more great advice, read our blog today.