Going through a divorce is tough. Whether your soon to be ex-spouse initiated the split or you did, you will experience profound pain. And while you may not believe it now, there is life after divorce. You will survive your divorce. That’s a promise. There are ways to help you begin your new life under the most favorable circumstances possible.
Acknowledge Your Loss
In many ways, divorce is like a death. You must acknowledge the loss of your marriage. This includes giving yourself the space to mourn. Well meaning friends may push you to “get back out there,” and begin socializing and even dating. However, it’s unlikely that you will truly be ready for an active social life, much less a new romance, right away.
If your ex-spouse left the marriage to be with another person, or begins dating soon after your split, you may feel personally rejected. You may even be tempted to start your own romance to try and get “even”. Try to resist this temptation. Failure to acknowledge the loss that you feel now will likely only prolong the pain. It’s also not fair to your new partner, who may genuinely be seeking a significant relationship, rather than playing a role in your revenge.
Don’t Go It Alone
Although jumping right into the dating and social scene isn’t necessarily advisable, it is also unwise to isolate yourself while you are going through your divorce. Join a support group of others going through divorces. Seek out professional therapy or counseling, especially if you feel overwhelmed by your grief. It’s also OK to reach out to your friends and loved ones for support. Check that, it’s essential to reach out to your friends and loved ones. Of course, you don’t want to be a burden, but asking for support is not too much to ask. Chances are, your loved ones will be eager to provide a sounding board or a shoulder to lean on.
Reassure the Children (If You Have Them)
Young children need not be told every hair-raising detail about your divorce. It is enough to explain that Mommy or Daddy won’t be living with them anymore, but that he or she will love them all the same. You should also make it clear that the divorce is in NO WAY their fault. Even if you despise your spouse, he or she is entitled to be in your children’s lives, barring extreme cases such as severe domestic or sexual abuse.
You can tell older children honestly that you and your soon to be ex-spouse are ending your marriage. They probably figured out the end was imminent long ago anyway. You don’t have to sugarcoat your feelings for your soon to be ex-spouse, but you should not attempt to alienate your children from the other parent or prevent him or her from spending time with them.
Leave the Legalities to Professionals
If you and your spouse are truly leaving the marriage on good terms, it may be possible to work out details such as dividing the marital property and child support through a mediator or arbitrator. If so, you and your soon to be ex-spouse can save significant time and emotional wear and tear, not to mention money.
However, if your spouse is playing hardball, if you have reason to suspect that he or she is hiding assets, or if the split is simply antagonistic, it’s best to conduct communications through disinterested parties. That’s legalese for someone who is not emotionally wrapped up in the hurt and misdeeds that may have precipitated your divorce, but who is invested in ensuring that you achieve the most favorable terms possible. In other words, a skilled, professional attorney who specializes in divorce law.