Can you divorce in a better way?
Divorce is never easy, and of course it isn’t going to be fun. Change is hard and no one has learned “how” to divorce. Truthfully, there is not even a lot of talk around it when it does come up.
We have all seen that example where one or both spouses is fighting dirty. Insults are flying, one or both are trashing the other behind their back, and many times they are dragging the children into it too.
Heartbreak can stop you in your tracks, and leave you feeling like you do not know what to do next, or if you even CAN do anything. What I want to tell you, is that you CAN. You can do things differently, and change your thinking around what divorce will be like for you.
Here are some things to think about:
You can still love her. So many of my clients come to me and say “but, I still love her”. You do not have to hate your spouse to divorce. Even when we love someone, we can know the best answer is not to stay in the relationship. You also do not have to hate her. No one can stop you from loving them, except you (and your thoughts). You can be loving towards her, no matter if she is being loving towards you. You can think loving thoughts about her, even if you don’t think she is thinking loving thoughts about you. Loving will always feel better than hating, so do it for you.
It isn’t going to feel good. Even when you know for sure that ending the marriage is the right answer for you, it’s never going to feel good; it’s not supposed to. Even when it’s the right answer, it is hard. This is a loss. A loss of something you once wanted. You will move through the stages of grief like it is a death and there is no right or wrong way. It will not be easy or feel good but it can feel less awful and more peaceful.
You don’t know what’s going to happen. Our minds do not like not knowing the answer. So when we don’t know something, it fills-in the blanks for us. Usually this is with the worst case scenario. Things like “the kids will hate me and never forgive me”, “I will be alone forever”, “what if I am making a huge mistake”, “she is going to try and take everything”, “everyone will think I’m a bad guy”. These are just thoughts. They’re not facts. You do not know what is going to happen. You have no way of knowing what a year from now or even ten years from now looks like, but the good news is that you don’t have to. All you have to know is how to navigate the next step in front of you.
Know what is true for you. Maybe it is something like “I can’t go back to how it was,” or “I want to have a good relationship with the mother of my children.” or “This isn’t what I want.”. Know what is true for you and hold onto that. Let that guide your choices through this. Let that truth guide your actions. There will be days where you will be tested, and on those days, this will keep you going and help remind you that only you truly know what is right for you.
Release the need for ANYONE else to understand your reason for the decision you’ve made for yourself. This one is hard because we like it when we feel like people understand us. Yes, if they happen to understand that is great. If they pretend to understand…that’s great, but it’s not necessary. You are the only one who needs to understand. You are the only one who has to know that this decision is right for you.
Let people be wrong about you. Most of the people around you will have their perspectives and their stories about you. In their own minds, those perspectives are “right” otherwise they wouldn’t believe them. The thing is, this perspective is theirs, and not yours.. All they are doing is showing you their story from their own thoughts and beliefs. Let them have their opinion. Your peace does not depend on their opinion. Remember, no two people have the exact same perspective and this is okay. Let others be completely wrong about you.
Create a daily practice. There is no wrong way to do this, but 15-20 minutes for yourself every day can work miracles. This can be meditation, setting an intention for the day, journaling, walking, or even just being still and breathing. Have a mantra you can use when things get tough. This can change your day. When you take time for yourself every day you can change how you react. How? Every time you make time for you, you make a “deposit” into yourself. The more deposits you make, the more you have to draw from. You can respond from a place of feeling full instead of react from feeling depleted.
Be willing to pave the way. When you pave the way, there is a good chance she will follow your lead, although that’s not guaranteed. If you try to make her the villain of this story and be hateful, she is more likely to be defensive and hateful. If you’re loving and peaceful, she’s at least likely to meet you there. No matter what the reaction is, crying, blaming, stonewalling, yelling, you can show up in a loving way. Shine the light and show another path. You can do it.
Focus on math not drama. Dividing up assets and liabilities is always a touchy subject, but it is essentially a math equation. Getting a clear picture of the total assets and debt…that’s math. You thinking you deserve more because it is your spouse asking for the divorce…that’s drama. You wanting more because your spouse cheated…drama. Fighting over who gets the coffee table, patio furniture, or dining room set…drama. The “things” will not matter to you a year from now, so spend more time focused on math, not drama.
No one taught us how to divorce peacefully, or how to do it better, so most of what we see others doing is both hurtful and hateful. But, your divorce can look and feel very different than other people’s experiences. These things can help make it different. You can be the one to show up differently.
If you want to find out how you can divorce differently and move through this difficult process in the best manner possible, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Exploratory Session with me. Let’s find out how you can show up differently.