During the blissful stages of courtship and early marriage, you never expect it to happen…
Yet, somehow things fall apart in over 800,000 American marriages every year.
When your marriage is on the chopping block, the first objective is to try everything you can to fix it. If there is no happy solution, plan B is to deal with the turbulence of divorce as well as you can.
No matter how relieved you are to escape from a troubled union, divorce is going to hit you hard in every aspect of your life. You need all the help you can get.
Here’s some useful advice on how to cope with divorce at work and home.
Before you do anything, know your rights and prepare to fight for them. Even the most amicable divorces end up with a winner and a loser.
Go through your prenuptial agreement and never agree to walk away with less than your share. Read up about your entitlements from a legal perspective too.
You can find more advice online. Firms such as Spofford Law have several divorce-related articles on their website to guide your choices.
It’s going to take more than an internet search to get you through this troubled time. Get a lawyer on your side to make sure you get your fair share out of the situation.
A lawyer will offer much-needed support and reassurance during this difficult time.
How to Cope with Divorce and Children
The odds are not in favor of the more than 1 million US children affected by divorce stress every year either. Children tend to feel responsible for the failure of their parent’s marriage. You must do everything in your power to combat this.
Break the news to your children as quickly and gently as you can. You can’t allow them to draw their own conclusions or (heaven forbid) hear it from someone else.
Avoid arguing or discussing legal matters in front of your children. Reassure them about the future and what their living arrangements will be. If you are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, imagine how much worse it must be for them.
Try to disrupt their routine as little as possible. Call a meeting with their teacher and tell them about the situation.
Ask their teachers to inform you of any behavioral changes that they observe. Many schools offer therapy for troubled children – and it helps.
It is easy for children to assume that if you have stopped loving their other parent, you could also stop loving them. Make it clear that the child-parent bond is an unbreakable one.
Don’t lie to your children. If you don’t know the answer to one of their questions, tell them.
Thank them for bringing it up and assure them that you are working on all the issues involving them. When you have an answer, discuss the matter in plain language.
Accommodate your ex’s right to see their children. It is very common for the father to feel excluded from his children’s lives and withdraw. Avoid this scenario by planning time together well in advance.
In all things remember that you are an example to your child. Your actions will teach them how to deal with conflict in a positive and productive way.
Dealing with the Daily Grind
No matter how close you are with your colleagues, avoid discussing the sordid details of your divorce with them. Treat your workplace as somewhere you can get away from dealing with divorce and focus on other things.
On the other extreme, don’t be a hero. Let your manager know that you are going through this significant life-event. You may need to take time off for court hearings and other divorce-related matters and you’ll need their understanding.
Get in touch with your HR manager as soon as possible to complete the paperwork with regard to your retirement policies and health care.
Although it can be difficult, keep up to date with your work and meet your targets. Don’t let your emotions affect your performance. You are heading for increased expenses as a singleton, so you should be working towards a promotion, not slacking off.
If you are going for gold at the office, be sure to treat yourself like a finely-tuned machine. Focus on improving your lifestyle and staying healthy despite the stress of divorce.
Your Inner Life
It can be difficult to feel good about yourself when your relationship has failed. You may be dealing with anger and resentment from your ex. Feelings of intense loss are sure to arise if the separation was amicable.
Get out and get active. Find a hobby that makes you feel alive again. Anything will do. Reading is a versatile activity, taking a walk once a day is easy, and joining a social sports club will earn you new friends and interests.
It’s important to stay busy when you’re coping with divorce. Moping around will only lead to depression and disaster.
Family and Friends
No doubt you would have made many mutual friends during your marriage. It can be really tricky dealing with these couples and relatives while you are coping with divorce.
It can really sting when friends and relatives take sides. Console yourself with the fact that those who do were never your friends to start with.
Friends and relations will be experiencing their own sense of loss and shock at the breakup. Some friendships may heal over time, other times you’ll need to move on.
By all means, go ahead and make new friends. Move to a new church if people are shifting pews to avoid you at your old one.
Find new restaurants and places to go where people don’t know your family unit. Old haunts can bring back sad memories for both you and your children.
In time, all the paperwork will end, custody issues will settle into a steady rhythm, and your life will get back on track.
Give your new family unit time to heal, embrace this new chapter in your life and push onward. Everyone learns how to cope with divorce and its after-effects in their own time.
For more information about getting back on track, keep reading our blog.