Moving house, losing a loved one, getting fired and getting divorced. These are the most stressful times in a person’s life. And other than the death of a loved one, divorce is by far the worst. It tears apart lives, damages relationships and affects everyone in the family. But as horrible as divorce is there are some things you can do to make the process a little bit healthier. In this post I am going to give you some tips on how to get divorced and how to reclaim your happiness after the event.
Just to be clear, this post will be broken in to two main sections:
- How to have a healthy divorce; and
- How to reclaim your happiness after the divorce.
Why is divorce so damn hard?
If you talk to someone who has been divorced they will tell you that it is the worst thing you can go through. It is especially hard if you do not want to get divorced and it is your partner that is initiating the process. But why does this hurt so much?
I believe that the reason divorce is so hard is because of habit. After many years of loving and caring about a person you finally have to say goodbye. And when you say goodbye to the person you also have to say goodbye to the little habits that every marriage has. A kiss on the cheek before work, a cuddle in the middle of the night, a glass of wine while watching TV before bed. There are hundreds of little things that the two of you do everyday that you are not going to do any more. And that is hard to accept.
Breaking these habits hurts so much because we are attached to them. We are attached to our way of life and we don’t like change. When it comes to our partner every single one of us has a lot of attachment.
But divorce is made harder by many things. If you have children then it is very hard. You don’t want the children to get hurt but at the same time you don’t want to lose custody of them. And divorce is made even harder if it is happening because your partner cheated. When this is the case it seems that the pervading emotion is anger, not sadness.
How to have a healthy divorce
So you have made the decision to try to have a healthier divorce. You have made the decision to try and make the process less stressful, less harmful and more productive. Good for you! Here are some tips that you can try to apply to have a healthier divorce.
1. Speak honestly
It is extremely important in a divorce to say what you feel. Speak the truth. Many people hold back their true feelings because they think there is some small chance that the marriage flame might rekindle and you will get back together and as such you don’t want to say anything confrontational. This attitude does not help anyone and often you will come out of the divorce worse off than your partner. Make sure you speak honestly about how you are feeling and about how you want the divorce to run. Only with honesty will the right outcome emerge.
2. Don’t be angry – be clear
If you are going through a messy divorce then chances are you are angry. You are angry that years of marriage and love has come to this and you want revenge. Fair enough. But you need to stop for a second and consider whether anger is really the best option. Will anger get you what you want? Or, will your anger just make your partner angry and create a situation ten times worse than it was before?
I think it is important to set anger aside during the divorce and just be clear. Be clear about your assets and your legal requirements. Be clear about what the kids need during the process. And be clear about what you need in the process. Anger will not make things any easier. If you need to be angry then save it for when the divorce is over and you start grieving. But during the divorce you need to be clear, not angry.
3. Get some good support
During this time you are going to need support. Don’t try to do it alone. You need to be able to open up to someone about what you are feeling. If you don’t have a close friend you can turn to then go and see a counselor at least once a week to get some advice.
The reason this is so important is because it allows you to get things off your chest that might otherwise manifest as anger and hatred and cause you to blow up in your partners face. And every time you do that to your partner they are going to do the same thing to you. Make sure you get some good divorce. And don’t seek support from your children. They already have enough going on.
4. Be an adult
When I watched my parents getting divorced I would often listen to my mom or my dad having a whinge about how hard done by they were and think to myself, “Are your serious? What are you like 12 years old? Grow up!” [Read more…] about Healthy Divorce: Tips and Help for Getting Divorced and Reclaiming Your Happiness