Divorce is a sensitive topic, to the point where it can be tough to think about as a subject even in a strong and dedicated relationship. However, like most tough topics, it’s better addressed than left to ferment in a negative fashion. While divorce is often a difficult process, perhaps one of the worst consequences of it, even outside of the splitting of two people, is that the participants often become their worst selves during that process. It’s not hard to see why. From the emotional difficulty to the feelings of distrust and even betrayal, to even fighting via lawyers for property ownership or custody, it’s not hard to understand why people aren’t their most rational, optimistic selves during this time. Films such as Marriage Story and Blue Valentine, while hard to watch, signature these emotions and challenges perfectly. But, and this is a big but, is it possible to make the best out of divorce? While the process itself is difficult, it can be a great pressuring weight that helps us become better people. Or, maybe if we believe that, it will become truth? With the following insights, we’ll explore this topic together:
Try To Avoid Toxicity
It sounds like a big ask, and it’s not always possible, but try to avoid toxicity. First, we must understand what toxicity is. It’s the need to give insults, or to belittle your ex-partner, or to try and feel some kind of self-satisfaction by making this process as difficult for them as possible. If you refrain from doing that, you can avoid the spiral of harm that often comes in the social breakdown of a relationship. Additionally, toxicity can come from hiding your true feelings, because often this translates to bottling them up, and the subsequent explosion we can all expect. For instance, you may wish to remain on good terms, but you shouldn’t feel forced to remain friends in order to upkeep a mutual illusion of happiness. This falseness can sometimes be its own form of toxicity – best to avoid it. To the extent that you can, treat this as a professional endeavor. Don’t seek to score points or win the game. The more affable, honest, open and reliable you can be during this process, the better for them, but also, overwhelmingly, the better for you. Additionally, if your ex partner is not playing by those rules, making sure you follow them can help you keep your integrity and self-respect throughout. That’s always worth something. Furthermore, sometimes avoiding toxicity means blaming the other person or yourself for everything you have gone through. You might ask ‘how could they do this to me,’ or ‘how could I be so stupid?’ In reality, relationships are complex, and there are many hidden and obvious signs of difficulty that you aren’t always responsible for, and maybe your partner isn’t either. Obsessively analysing it can be hard on you, and you’ll come to your own conclusions in time. With that in mind, you’re sure to retain your composure.
Keep Your Children Out Of It
This point can seem quite naive, and we certainly understand that. Children are affected by divorce no matter how carefully you go about things. However, we can limit the extent to how damaging this experience is for them. There’s no justification for arguing in front of your children, or in trying to turn them against your partner to get back at them. Responsible parents understand the impact this can have on their children, and so while being suitably honest with them is important, we mustn’t put them in the firing line. Additionally, it’s important for them to gain as much contact time as possible with both parents, so if you can arrange that in your personal situation, it’s best to make this a priority. Again, we do not judge you for struggling with perfection at this time. Everyone would. But if you make this one of your most important goals, you’ll at least make some progress in that direction.
Measure Your Costs
Divorce can be costly. For that reason, it’s best not to be naive about how to manage your money, or handle your finances during this time. Furthermore, it’s important to try your best to rationally defend your hold on the estate or to correctly divide it without difficulty. Consulting with a lawyer is important at this point in time, because informal agreements can get messy. This doesn’t mean you need to involve yourself in a protracted legal battle, but you can approximate a worthwhile result should you prepare in advance. It’s best to be upfront and honest about the lifestyle you lead, research the costs involved as per our linked guide, and to carefully handle your current income. Save as much as you can, and be prepared for hidden costs to come and introduce themselves. This way, we needn’t have to burden the terrible difficulty of managing our money matters alongside unnecessary stress.
Develop empathy for yourself. This is a tough time. It’s okay to admit it. It’s also okay to admit you have had your heart broken. It’s alright to feel frustrated about this life obstacle that prevents your forward progress. It’s okay to feel like you just want to sleep in all day. Don’t be afraid of these feelings, they are purely natural. In fact, the more you can empathize with yourself (note, this is not self-pity), the better you can process these emotions, which can be the work of several years. The more you develop empathy in this way, the better a person you will become. In other words, you will temper yourself so you can grow into a newer, better you. See things in that light, and you have a positive pursuit to take care of.
Express Your Negativity
Of course, if you simply think everything will be positive, you’re ignoring the true difficulty of the situation you might be facing. It’s not about avoiding bad feelings, but knowing how to healthily express them. For instance, instead of sitting in and eating ice cream all day, perhaps you would find it enjoyable to start running. This gives your mind something to focus on, a routine to uphold, and you will leave each session with your stressors at the door and your mind completely refreshed. You’ll find that people get involved with new hobbies and activities after suffering from harmful issues they have encountered in the past. For instance, it’s not uncommon for addicts to begin painting and achieve beautiful sobriety through that. As you’ve been through an emotional roller coaster, it could be worthwhile to have something to guide you as an anchor. Even if this is just writing your thoughts in a journal, or heading for a coffee with your friend, or learning to program in your spare time. The more you can make the best of your time now, the better you can progress and feel as though something is positive in your life. This helps you stay optimistic, and use this process as a turning point. In time, you’re even liable to look back and see how different you are as a person. Most importantly – this can help you heal. When you have something to follow and a life skill to care for, you will ultimately feel ready to open up and even love again. This can seem a ways off right now, but never feel, you won’t heal in one day. Taking slow, steady, loving steps forward and having self-belief will help you achieve more than you had ever thought possible.