How a spouse handles the news that their beloved husband or wife no longer wants to be married to them determines how quickly they’re able to recover emotionally and healthfully from the breakup. If you are at the beginning of a divorce journey, or if you anticipate one to be on the horizon, step back from the possible downward spiral to consider how you’re going to handle this major life event, all the while keeping your best interests at the front of your mind.
We understand that divorce can be a very painful experience, but we also know that with the right tools, spouses can achieve better quality divorces. In order to help you manage your divorce a little (or a lot) easier, here are five ways to have a positive divorce:
1. Keep Your Dignity Intact
If you’ve ever said or done something you later regretted, you’ll get this one. At a time when your self-esteem may be lower than usual, it’s important to keep your dignity intact. Don’t beg your spouse to come back; don’t plaster all your divorce problems on Facebook, and; don’t send your soon-to-be ex-spouse a long love letter explaining how you feel about them. Whatever you do, don’t degrade yourself – it makes you look vulnerable.
Remember, divorce happens to millions of people every year, and will continue happening to others after you. Nobody is perfect; your spouse’s lack of desire to be married to you has nothing to do with your worth as a husband or wife. Begging and pleading to your spouse will not change the fact that he or she wants to call it quits. You deserve someone who is “all in” on your relationship and who is fully committed to you – not someone who is in doubt.
2. Stay Away from Impulsive Behavior
Divorce has an amazing way of making perfectly rational people do irrational things. When dealing with the initial shock of the divorce, you may have a temptation to hurt your spouse, max out the credit cards, or destroy their good name in the community. As these strong feelings build up, they can become so unbearable that you’re tempted to act on your impulses – don’t.
This could include stalking, social media rants, frantic calls, sending your ex a bunch of texts or emails, drinking too much alcohol, partying too hard, or dating before you’re emotionally ready. If you need to, go to the mountains, go surfing, or take that vacation time you have saved up to let the reality of what just happened to sink in. If you take the quiet time you need and process your feelings and resist the urge to act, you’ll find it easier to accept what’s happened and move on.
3. Resist the Urge to Chase Your Ex
Amid a divorce, spouses will go great lengths to try to prove to their ex that they are desirable. From jumping into the dating scene, to going on crash diets, to getting plastic surgery, spouses have a tendency to try and win their ex’s affections back. According to Jill P. Weber Ph. D, “it is empowering to resist this urge and instead reject the rejecter.”
Weber goes on to stress the importance of accepting when someone doesn’t want you. After all, who wants to be married to someone who doubts them? When your spouse has made it clear that they don’t want to be with you, it’s a golden opportunity to start anew. “Reject the rejecter,” says Weber.
4. Use Your Divorce to Inspire Personal Transformation
Life is a classroom and divorce is no different. Breakups and divorces teach us a lot about ourselves and what we really need out of relationships. Every failed relationship helps us refine ourselves and what we’re looking for in lifelong partners. If you think you made some mistakes in your marriage, try to learn and grow from them. Maybe you are partially to blame for the breakup, for example, perhaps you cheated, or you were emotionally distant, or you were overly critical of your spouse.
Instead of blaming your ex for the divorce, reflect on your assets and what you can do differently in the next relationship. What did you struggle with in your marriage? Was it communication, being yourself, being unreliable, too much jealousy, insecurity, or infidelity? Think about areas you’d like to improve on and start from there. Divorce is an excellent opportunity for personal transformation – whatever that means to you.
5. Forgive and Forget
Regardless of what led to your divorce, it’s important to forgive and forget. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. While it’s understandable to feel anger, resentment, jealousy, or grief during a divorce, it’s important that you don’t dwell on the breakup for too long. Roughly half of first marriages end in divorce, so you’re definitely not alone.
Even if you despise your ex, it’s important that you practice the art of forgiveness. By doing so, you’ll be able to manage the breakup easier and you’ll be able to move on to the next chapter of your life sooner. Not only that, but taking a “positive attitude” about the breakup will make you a more attractive partner to future prospects. No one wants to hear all about someone’s awful divorce when they’re considering dating them. Practice the art of forgiveness and see how much easier it is to navigate your divorce.
If you’re looking for a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team!