Make sure you’ve done everything you can to make things work. Before you dismantle your marriage, ask yourself if you’ve done your best to try to save it — and be honest! You don’t want to look back years from now and wish you’d gone to couples therapy or dealt with your personal demons before filing for divorce. While ending a marriage is rarely easy, it will go a lot smoother if you feel a sense of closure on this chapter of your life.
Commit 100% to moving forward. You know you tried everything you could to make your marriage work, and now you know that divorce is the best option for peacefully moving forward. Once you have made up your mind, go about the legal steps involved in the divorce process with as businesslike an attitude as possible. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel sadness, stress, grief, or anger. But if you let these emotions hijack reason as you navigate the legal steps of getting a divorce, you could waffle and end up making long-term decisions that will hurt you and your children and/or antagonize an already hostile ex.
Accept that there will be bad days. Growth comes from learning to tolerate feelings that seem intolerable. Attempting to anesthetize yourself with food, alcohol, non-prescription drugs, or sex with the wrong person will make you feel worse, slow down your divorce, hinder your parenting ability, and possibly threaten your custody plan! Accept the inescapable fact that suffering is part of being alive and do what needs to be done.
Compartmentalize. Ruminating about your divorce 24/7 will not make it go any faster but it will make you – and your friends — miserable! Implement a “No Divorce Zone.” Set limits on times that you correspond with your spouse and attorney; for instance, no communication after 8 pm. Try to give yourself uninterrupted blocks of time to focus on your kids, friends, and your own self-care. Giving yourself regular divorce breaks will rejuvenate you so you are able to live in the present and make sound legal decisions.
Practice self-care. Start taking care of yourself NOW, before the legal process gets underway. Get your physical, eat right, exercise, work on your coping skills by seeing a therapist, and clear your mind with meditation, or your spiritual practice of choice. If you can’t eat, sleep, and breathe properly, you’re not likely to make good decisions, so do whatever you need to do to feel better.
Have questions about divorce? Wherever you are in the process, even if you are just considering the possibility and want to learn more, we can help. Please contact us today to schedule your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices.