D-I-V-O-R-C-E. there used to be a time when the word had a massive stigma attached to it. If you are old enough, you probably can remember that time. But for better or worse, divorce has become more common.
While this might be the cost of the age we live in, it doesn’t make it easier to live through a contested divorce from your spouse. With that in mind, here is the Mom’s guide to surviving divorce.
Face Your Fear
While some moms can feel a sense of liberation during and after a divorce, the reality is that most of us are trying to deal with a sense of betrayal and the feeling of becoming overwhelmed by the changes that are coming our way.
Don’t worry. This is normal, and it does not mean that you can’t tackle the adversity and come out on top. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Being strong or putting on a brave face doesn’t mean that you don’t live with fear. Instead, it means that you can channel that fear into a powerful force that will help you as you move forward.
Find Your Tribe
When you are married, you tend to become both the chief and shaman of your own tribe: husband, kids, school, sports, home management, and career growth. Your loved ones and your daily activities become your world, and with these come a sense of routine and responsibility.
Divorce changes that. Maybe you need to now compensate for the lost income, or maybe you feel uneasy when you are with mutual friends. Whatever changes occur, they are very real. Finding your tribe, your support system, can assist you in adapting to these changes. Sure, this ‘tribe’ may include your kids. But you will also need to surround yourself with friends who can provide support as you go through this change. Doing so means that you won’t be alone, and experiencing a sense of community will give you the strength you need to push on.
Handle Your Money
This is one of the most difficult areas for anyone handle when they are in the throes of a divorce, but getting a handle on your finances will help to ensure that you come out of the entire ordeal with two feet to stand on.
Now if your marital property is worth tens of millions of dollars, then you are likely to end up in a good position. However, most of us live average lives, which means balancing the mortgage payment with the grocery bill. It’s not an easy undertaking, especially if you weren’t working before the divorce. But it is something that you need to come to grips with early in the process. Don’t use financial difficulty as the reason to remain in a toxic marriage. Learn how to handle your money effectively on your own.
Interact With Your Ex
Explicative(s) deleted, you did spend many years of your life with your ex, and you may even have kids with him. As such, it becomes almost impossible not to have to interact with them post-divorce.
While there are several ways to handle your interactions with an ex post-divorce, you need to find the one that will support your efforts in achieving a sense of closure. I know this is often easier said than done, but focus on what you need and what is best for your children when deciding how to interact with your ex-spouse. Build your own life and find a way to compartmentalize your ex, interacting with them civilly only when needed (at least in the beginning). Doing so will allow you to keep your sanity while showing your children how to overcome adversity with style and grace.
Become an Optimist
While there is more to talk about in regards to the details of dating again, finding a job and getting your life back, there is one last essential thing to master if you want to survive a divorce: optimism. In fact, you need to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. This might sound corny, but it is true. Don’t focus so much on the bad things. Instead see your divorce as an opportunity to build a new life. In this way, you can adapt, overcome and become the best version of yourself.