Just about everybody feels insecure while they’re going through a
divorce, and this makes perfect sense. When we split from our spouse, we’re
literally turning our lives upside-down, and we don’t know what’s
to come of our lives. This major life shift can be unsettling; it can
make us worry about what people are thinking, it can make us unusually
vulnerable, and more susceptible than usual to poor advice. Sometimes,
divorce can make us engage in uncharacteristic comparison – to our
ex and to other divorced spouses.
When our lives are in flux, we can have a tendency to compare our lives
to other people’s. If you’re finding yourself comparing your
split or divorce to your friend’s, your neighbor’s, or your
co-worker’s, be cautious of the urge to compare because it’s
counterproductive and not worth your mental energy or your time.
With divorce, it’s important to focus on our own personal situation
instead of looking at other people’s divorces. Keep focus on your
own divorce, rather than comparing it to your best friend’s or your
neighbor’s. Remember, every relationship is different, every marriage
is different, and every divorce is different; there is no such thing as
two identical divorces. Since this is your marriage that is ending, you
can’t compare it to someone else’s.
Your best friend’s wife burned all of his clothing on the front lawn?
Or, your next-door neighbor’s husband ran off with the nanny? Neither
scenario has anything to do with your divorce, even if you live on the
same block and your children attend the same school. Other people’s
bad divorces have nothing to do with yours.
You Can Have a ‘Good Divorce’
Have you read studies about the ills of divorce? Those studies don’t
necessarily have anything to do with you and your spouse. Generally, most
people are able to maintain a relatively stable well-being throughout
their adult lives, regardless of the curveballs that life throws at them,
including divorce. The best way to defend oneself against the negative
implications of divorce is to remain calm, thoughtful, and positive throughout
the divorce process. When spouses commit to rational, reflective, strategic
behavior during divorce, they are in a better position to handle the inevitable
changes brought on by the split.
By far, most people who get divorced do just fine. Like anything in life,
conducting one’s research (about the divorce process) and maintaining
a positive attitude are critical before, during, and after a divorce.
By focusing on
divorce mediation or a
collaborative divorce, it is possible to divorce with one’s dignity intact. In your divorce,
you want to stay positive and look for solutions instead of focusing on
the negative. Even if the divorce has you down (which is normal), there
is life after divorce and it can be beautiful.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Your Spouse
Does your ex seem to be moving on while you’re at home alone and
miserable? Is he dating a 21-year-old while you’re eating ice cream
alone every night in front of the TV? Is she in Italy with her new rich
boyfriend while you’re hitting the bars on Sunset every Friday and
Saturday night, too depressed to meet anyone new, only to go home alone?
We all move on from a breakup, especially a divorce, at our own pace. Even
when we’re thrilled to split from our spouse, it can still take
time to recover emotionally and even physically sometimes. For example,
your ex-wife may be in Italy with her new boyfriend, but she may be missing
your sense of humor. Or, your ex-husband may be dating a 21-year-old but
he’s missing that real “connection” you two shared.
Remind yourself that your ex’s romantic life should be the furthest
thing from your mind. When you were married, it was your concern, but
so were your ex’s flaws that drove you apart. Now that you’re
in the midst of a divorce or officially divorced, you no longer need to
care – that’s the magic of divorce.
Managing the Emotional Transition of a Breakup
Aside from moving into different homes and dividing the assets and debts,
one of the biggest challenges of a divorce is managing the “emotional
transition” of going from being half of a couple to becoming single
once again. You may find it difficult to think of what your ex might think
of your decisions, what he or she would think of your actions, or whether
or not your ex would approve of you – but that’s common.
What would he think of you talking a walk alone at 10pm? What would she
think of you going to a bar in the middle of the week? What would he think
of you getting plastic surgery? What would she think of you joining a
gym? What would he think of you going to a nightclub on his night with
the kids? If you find yourself asking yourself these types of questions
– it’s 100 percent normal! In fact, it may take you a few
years to stop wondering what your ex would think of your choices, especially
if you were married for a long time.
If you recently split from your spouse, or if you’re recently divorced,
understand that it can seem unnatural to think and act as a single unit,
but you’ll get there. Often, it can feel unnatural to shift our
focus to ourselves, but look at this as a chance to focus on what matters
most to you. If you have children, now is a great time to focus on them
and their well-being.
Whether or not you have children, divorce offers a fresh start; a new beginning.
If you want to go back to school, travel, focus on a new career, or reinvent
yourself – there’s never been a better time to create the
life you deserve.
If you’re looking for a Los Angeles divorce lawyer,
contact Claery & Green, LLP today. We gladly offer free consultations to all prospective clients.