Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our 10 Best Tips for Surviving a Divorce


1. Find a counselor, professional coach or support group. Often local churches provide free support groups. Develop a network of encouraging people to surround yourself with- friends, family, church members, coworkers, etc. Listen to positive music and inspirational speakers.

2. Take time to create an individual identity. You are no longer Mrs. ______ or ______ husband. It's important to take time and create an individual identity. One of the best ways to do this is by taking up a new hobby or reclaim an old one. Revisit old friends and/or take a long awaited vacation. Women might also consider getting a new haircut as this tends to signify a change in their life. 

3. Take time for yourself to de-stress and disconnect from the divorce process. Read a good book (no divorce plots), schedule quiet bubble bath time, enjoy quiet time on a porch with coffee or wine, etc.

4. Exercise regularly and keep yourself healthy. I know everyone hates this one, but focus on finding an exercise you enjoy, not just for weight loss. Most divorce clients lose an average of 30 lbs. Remember to eat, take vitamins and keep your regular schedule.  

5. Don't sit by the phone or computer expecting constant communication from your attorney. You'll drive yourself crazy. You hired an attorney to handle the process of your divorce. They'll contact you when they have something new or need information.

6. Spend time with your kids, family members and/or friends making new memories. Keep it positive. Encourage them and don't involve them in the dirty details of the divorce. Do something nice for someone else as well.

7. Allow yourself to grieve. Psychologists claim the grieving process for a divorce and the death of a loved one are similar in pain/stress level. Give yourself some extra room and don't beat yourself up for a few public/private crying sessions.

8. Don't beat yourself up over the failed marriage. Instead, seek how to forgive yourself and others through books, research and spiritual guidance.

9. Try to avoid the "Guilty by Association."  While in the process of a divorce, it's easy to resent the people you see hanging out with your ex. Keep in mind that they are probably in a sticky situation and would prefer not to take sides. Even if they do, their opinion of you is obviously going to be one-sided. They are just a byproduct of the storm, not the storm itself.

10. Disregard your ex's hype regarding the divorce. It's common for ex's to try and intimidate you into believing you won't get anything, you're going to spend the rest of your life alone, you'll lose the kids, etc. etc. Most of the time, they are just blowing smoke. Run it by your attorney and learn to not be overtaken with fear/anxiety. The courts make the decisions, not your ex and believe it or not... ex's LIE.