We laugh about it when we see it on TV. We shake our heads in disbelief when our friends tell us about it in their lives. But suddenly, you find yourself in the midst of a divorce and right smack in the middle of a real life reality drama series just like those made for television! Even uncontested divorces seem to evoke our worst emotions. What is it about divorce that brings out the worst in us and how do you survive? Here are some helpful tips to minimizing the drama and keeping your sanity.
Do not take it personally. What? Did she just write that? Yes, I did. What I mean by that is – during a divorce friends and family members talk. They will say hurtful things. They want to protect their loved one. They don’t know all the details inside the marriage but they act as if they do. Your child may say things because he or she is being led to wrong conclusions either by emotions or people. Don’t take it personally. Emotions are high and this too shall pass. If you buy into every comment, you will tear yourself apart.
Do not be a part of the talk. Just because everyone else seems to be trashing your soon to be spouse does not mean you have to do it too. Your child does not need to hear about the bad things his other parent has done. That’s still his mom/dad. If you need to vent, make sure you do it when your child is not anywhere within earshot. This type of talk will always come back to hurt the person doing the talking.
Pick your battles. When you have a true issue during the divorce, give it to your attorney and let her handle it. But, the small things do not matter so let them go. One way to do this is to look one year down the road and ask yourself if that issue will matter. For example, if you are arguing with your spouse about who gets the decorations in the living room – that may or may not matter to you in a year when you are settled in a new place…unless of course those were given to you by a family member and they hold great sentimental value. Be reasonable. Save your energy for the things that matter.
Don’t look for things to fight about. I see this all the time in my practice. During a divorce, there is one who is unhappy about the way things are going and looks for things to argue about. Do not be that one. Whether you brought about this divorce or not, start focusing on your new life. Spend time with your children or other family members. Spend time with your friends.
None of these tips will stop the hurt, frustration or other emotions brought on by divorce. Divorce is an emotional decision and often emotions run very high during the process. And of course, if you are ever subjected to any type of violence or threat of violence, contact the authorities right away and then notify your attorney as well.
If you don’t have an attorney, I offer free phone consultations. You can schedule one by contacting me here online or calling one of our offices.