Divorce is not easy, despite a deluge of divorce tips and advice floating around.
You will find yourself confused, too sensitive, disappointed, or scared. Be aware that it is completely normal to feel this way. It would be strange if you didn’t.
Focusing on how bad you feel or thinking about what may be wrong with you is not going to lead you anywhere.
Searching for ways to make yourself cope with it efficiently and take control of the chaos around you is the best you can do. Eventually, the work you put in to get through this process will pay off.
A study showed that stress goes down to the level experienced by other married couples, in the 2 years following the divorce.
We have created a list of the best divorce tips to make this tough period a bit more sustainable.
1. Work through the emotions
If you don’t take care of your emotions now, it could leave a scar, and the consequences could show up later on in life when you start dating again or when the kids grow up. Take the divorce tips from people that have been through it and find a way to deal with emotions.
The best advice for divorce always takes into account the uniqueness of everyone’s personality and life journey.
Therefore, have in mind that working through emotions will vary for different people. For some, it would be taking time to talk things through, cry your eyes out, meditate, journal, hike, or scream into a pillow, etc. Whatever it is, you must find your way to work through feelings.
2. Find a good therapist
The ideal solution would be to see a therapist to help you through this process.
They don’t have a formula for getting better, rather their best advice is tailored to you. This means you will have a judge-free environment to explore what you are going through and share without a filter. Venting helps, especially when combined with divorce tips and strategies.
Furthermore, finding a therapist to get some divorce guidance is advised if you are not sure about making a decision to divorce. There are many factors to consider when asking yourself “how to make the decision to divorce” and the most important is the willingness to change. This is best evaluated in a therapist’s office.
3. Confront the worst-case scenario
While at the therapist’s office, there is another important exercise you need to consider. With the professional’s help, investigate what the worst-case scenario would look like for you.
When you can describe it, you can confront it.
Perhaps you discover that you are reacting as if it was happening already. It may be that you are interacting with your ex as if it was true which could be leading to further fights. When elaborated, this can no longer unconsciously control your actions.
4. Stop the blaming game
Stop blaming or criticizing yourself. Take a look at what happened as a result of a long history of unresolved issues or ignored problems. If the change was possible you would have done it. Both of you.
If you knew you would fall, you would have sat down.
Whether you feel you tried hard enough or not, you did what you perceived you could at the moment knowing what you did then.
The best advice for someone going through a divorce is to forgive to move on. Forgive yourself first for not knowing what you know now. This takes time so be kind to yourself while going through this process.
5. Take care of your finances
To start a new life, you need to have financial stability. So, make sure that you make a post-divorce financial plan because, things are changing, there is no one to count on except yourself.
Before the settlement, open a separate account or put some money aside, because there will be a lot of expenses. If you feel you are not sure how to take care of your finances, ask for divorce help and financial divorce advice from people you trust who can help you make better divorce decisions.
6. Find good legal support
It is crucial to be informed about all the legal issues regarding the divorce and to be smart and educated in the financial settlement. How to have a good divorce? Legal advice for divorce is a sensible thing to have to get the best help getting a divorce.
You might be worried about the cost of legal advice, so you might want to look to see if you are eligible for free divorce advice.
Moreover, check for free divorce advice online since this might cast a wider net. Having a good lawyer can help you if you are not sure how to get divorced fast. They know all the tips for getting a divorce. Rely on their help to find an easy way to get a divorce.
Gather all the necessary documents and keep track of all of your income and expenses. This can be helpful and save you time and money, especially if you can’t find free legal divorce advice. If you want to hear more, watch a video of a lawyer sharing divorce tips:
7. Keep a good relationship with your ex
During the settlement, less fighting means more money. If you could talk it out on your own, that would be perfect. But, if that is not an option, try to be as civil as you can and find a way to make a compromise. Hire a mediator, if you feel like you can’t do it on your own. If your ex is insulting you, try not to react, hang up the phone, ignore it.
Besides helping you decide is divorce a good decision, and how to deal with it yourself, having a therapist is wise for another reason.
They can provide divorce advice for couples thus helping you maintain a civil relationship with your ex. They might even be able to offer counsel to children and help them handle this experience.
8. Ex partners, never ex parents
If you are trying to put your children first, then you must maintain a good relationship even after the divorce. Your partner is going to be a part of your kids’ lives forever. Put aside your differences and stop bad-mouthing each other.
A study showed that the impact of divorce stress on children is not one of a single event, rather a compilation of adaptive challenges children needed to respond to over a longer period.
Therefore, they need help to process the change in family structure and functioning over a lengthier interval.
9. Surround yourself with social support
Make sure to allow the people who care about you to help you, especially if you have children. When you are drained, permit others to be there for your children so you have time to heal yourself.
It is okay to get help, at least for a while. Don’t try to convince everyone that you are fine if you don’t feel like it. You will be, eventually, but to get there, you need support.
10. Have various prepared answers
A lot of people will ask you about the reason for your divorce, about how you are handling it, or about your current relationship with your ex. It can put you in a bad mood, or catch you off guard. Sometimes, it will feel like a perfect opportunity to vent and babble everything to a stranger.
The best way to deal with it is to have prepared various answers for different potential audiences and use them when you feel like avoiding the conversation.
11. Filter the advice
Out of the need to help you, everyone will give you different advice and divorce tips. These might make you feel overwhelmed especially if their option sharing is not timed well or shared without you asking for it.
Therefore, be careful to listen only to the people you trust. Filter the information they share with you by looking at the source of the information and always giving yourself time to sleep on a decision. Additionally, prepare a strong statement demonstrating clear boundaries stopping divorce advice you deem unwanted.
12. Prepare for confusion
Not all couples who get a divorce feel like it is a failure. Sometimes it is a mutual decision because they feel it will be better for both of them if they separated. However, society is not necessarily approving of divorce. At times this might make you feel lonely and ashamed.
People might impose onto you their insecurities and push your advice on you, only confusing you further. You might hear them say “Make them pay”, or, “Get full custody”. Not surprisingly, some of those friends won’t be so close to you by the end of this process. Choose to surround yourself with people who make you feel heard and understood.
13. Expect your ex to surprise you
The person you married is not the same person you are divorcing. They have changed over time, and you can’t expect them to be predictable. Especially in the situation of a divorce.
Expect them to surprise you with behavior that you could deem hurtful or insensitive. This will help you protect yourself better. This doesn’t mean you should do a preemptive strike, rather think about what you would do if they put themselves first and how to be protected.
14. Start dating only when you are ready
How long can you drag out a divorce?
In short, a while. This might mean you will operate as a single person for a while before the divorce papers are signed. Don’t put yourself under the pressure of dating as soon as possible. Give yourself time to become ready.
If you start this process too early, you will only hurt yourself.
The results of premature dating can lead you to think you are never going to find a person like your ex or you are never finding love again. However, you probably aren’t ready to find them. Therefore, start dating only when you become comfortable with being single.
15. Treat divorce as a business transaction
You don’t bring emotions into your business, right? At least, you don’t do it when trying to make a good business deal. This is not easy, but trying to treat divorce as a business deal will give a perspective in which you are focusing on making the best arrangement possible.
Feeling hurt or betrayed by your partner, has nothing to do with how they are as a parent and how often you want them to see children. When faced with a decision, ask yourself, if this was a professional agreement, how would I act. This will help you engage mental capacities (almost) free from pent up emotions.
16. Aim for the peaceful option
Whenever possible, look for a way to make a settlement that is not going to drag out in court, increase the financial burden, or expose your children to further damage. Opt for mediation, if possible.
Moreover, finding peace with divorce means being at peace with the marriage. When you decided to get married you were acting on the information you had back then. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not knowing how it was going to play out. Remember, to have a peaceful divorce, you must be at peace with the marriage.
17. Adopt a marathon mindset
We get upset by our definition of a situation, not the situation itself. Therefore, what can be a helpful divorce tip is to focus on adopting the right mindset.
Marathon is not about who can run the fastest, so embrace the pace that works for you. It will be a while before you are fully back on your feet. Allow yourself to work through the emotions and regain your confidence again while rebuilding one by one area of your life.
18. Find time to be off duty and fall apart
With so many responsibilities and feelings overflowing you, you might miss some time to fall apart without worrying if it is going to affect anyone. Find a safe environment and allow yourself to deal with the waves of various emotions that are trying to drown you.
Rely on the people who can trust during this period to take care of your children, and give yourself a weekend to fall apart and put yourself together again.
19. Use a timeout
One of the most important divorce tips is the timeout technique. Use it anytime you feel you are going to say or do something you will regret later on. In the beginning, this might mean using it every 5 minutes.
When your children speak about their parent, your ex, you might need to exit the room to avoid saying things they are not the best audience for. Also, remember this divorce tip when negotiating with your ex about finances. If things flame up, it will be hard to continue in a good intentions mindset.
20. Let go of what you can’t control
Being married meant making most of the decisions together and relying on each other. When separating your ex starts making decisions on their own and many of them you will dislike. The only ones you should care about are the ones affecting your kids or you directly.
Focus on letting go of the urge to advise them or comment on their decisions regardless of how reckless they may seem to you. Among divorce tips, this one is crucial. Using it will save you a lot of mental space you can use to rebuild your own life.
21. Get comfortable being alone
When you are married, you rely on your partner for many things that over time become the new normal. They are there when you need to see the doctor, arrange a pick up of children, make dinner, clean the house, or take care of many other daily errands.
When they are gone, you have to do all of this alone or with the help of your children. Give yourself a break if not everything is in order or done asap.
If you need divorce tips, consider this one first. To avoid feeling like a failure, don’t set the bar too high.
Think if there is a way to delegate some of the responsibilities, and take the rest on yourself one by one to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Being comfortable alone means taking over, step by step, more of the, once joint, responsibilities.
22. Practice activities that bring joy and laughter
Being busy to take care of yourself is like saying you are too busy driving to put the gas in. You probably don’t think of your car as a Perpetuum mobile, so don’t think that of yourself either.
Grant divorce tips a place in your planning routine. Ask yourself what activities need to be in your calendar that bring joy into your day? You need time, not just to heal, but to laugh and enjoy life. Go to a stand-up comedy night, watch a funny movie or laugh with a friend. This will get you through the pain as it shows there is something to look forward to in life.
23. Take “always” and “never” out of your statements
When we speak in terms of “never”, “always”, “for good”, etc. we feel like the situation is insurmountable. What we think influences how we feel.
One of the best divorce tips is to carefully choose the definition we impose on the situation. That, what we will think is true, become true because we might be preventing ourselves from seeing the potential. When you hear yourself using these terms try substituting them with “yet”, “at the moment”, “until now” as they will help you feel hopeful.
Also watch: 7 Most Common Reasons for Divorce
24. Remember your strengths
It can be hard and scary to continue on your own. Looking for divorce tips to feel better and more confident?
Contemplate writing a list of all the strengths, skills, and capacities you think you possess that can be your assets in overcoming divorce.
Start by listing accomplishments when you were single. The success you achieved then is easier to attribute solely to yourself. What have you accomplished during that time and what do those successes say about you? Are you courageous, smart, persistent, empathetic? When you finish this, move on to the period of your marriage and repeat the same.
25. Focus on the future
It may be tough now, but one day, you will have a new, different life. The sooner you focus on what you want your future to look like, the sooner you can take small steps towards it.
Divorce tips from people who have been through this process teach us that what we anticipate our future will be like matters. What you think will happen, is going to happen. You will be activating your brain’s capacity into creating exactly what you predict.
If you think you will never marry again, you will not only feel miserable but also reject any opportunity that proves you wrong. Our brain is set to make us right, not happy. So choose your anticipations about the future carefully. Keep in mind that this is just a chapter of your life, not an end.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.