Most people who go through a divorce will openly admit that it wasn’t easy; for some, it was downright hard, even if it was the best decision they could’ve made. When spouses divorce, they can feel like they’re losing their identity, because in a sense they are. They’re going from being half of a couple to a single entity, and the longer the marriage or relationship with their significant other, the harder this transition can be.
For some spouses, nothing pleases them more than moving on with the divorce. This is especially the case when their husband or wife was controlling, manipulative, abusive, or narcissistic. Often, in these situations it’s not the split that’s so difficult to deal with, but it’s the divorce process itself.
Some of the hardest aspects to deal with emotionally in a divorce, include:
- Dividing assets and debts
- Selling the marital residence
- Reentering the workforce (homemakers)
- Finding childcare for little ones
- Confronting the couple’s finances
- Gathering and copying financial documents
- Deciding what to do with beloved pets
- Paying child or spousal support
- Dividing the children’s time between households
If any of the above issues have concerned you, please know that they are for the most part temporary. Once you learn your rights and responsibilities under the law, you can better understand what is required of you, and what types of outcomes are to be expected. Essentially, knowledge is power and that is especially true during the divorce process.
It’s understandable why divorce can be so unsettling, especially because spouses are basically uprooting their lives and going through major changes – and most people don’t do well with such dramatic changes. However, once all of the above are fully addressed (where applicable), the spouses will settle into their new routines; they’ll establish a new norm and they’ll regain their overall sense of wellbeing.
Soul-Searching: A Vital Step in the Divorce Process
Regardless of “why” your marriage ended, you’re inevitably going to go through a soul-searching phase. It may last a few months, or it may last a year or two. It all depends on your personality, your circumstances, and your individual needs and desires. Here are some common issues contemplated during the soul-searching phase:
- Will I stay in my current job?
- Will I go back to school?
- Will I go back to work?
- Will I move back home?
- Should I move to another county or state?
- Am I ready to jump back into the dating game?
- Should I change careers?
- Do I need to increase my income?
- Should I pursue my passion?
- What is best for my children?
- Should I forgive my ex?
- Should I be nice to my ex’s new partner?
Everyone goes through the soul-searching process at their own pace. As they figure out what’s most important in their life, they eventually reach a moment where they feel enlightened. For most, this moment occurs after the divorce is finalized and once it happens, they’re ready to move on to bigger and better things.
They’re able to ditch the toxicity of the divorce and re-learn how to live life happily as an independent individual. Often, what follows is a process of reinvention, which may include getting in shape, buying a new wardrobe, getting a new job, travelling, finding new hobbies, and meeting new people. They find peace in their divorce and begin building new relationships.
Getting Over the Awkwardness With Your Ex
If you have children with your ex, or if you live in the same community, you will probably have to deal with your ex for years to come. Whether you’re sitting across from him or her during a parent-teacher conference, dropping off your children at their house, or running into them at the local Starbucks, you don’t want to be uncomfortable or shoot daggers at each other.
Instead of enduring awkward silences, try to offer a polite “hello.” Avoid contentious topics, and treat your former husband or wife with respect, just as you would with any stranger. The more you force yourself to act like an adult around him or her, eventually it will feel natural (if it doesn’t already). Of course, there’s no need to be overly friendly, but good manners will get you far. Even if your ex is impolite to you, you were the bigger person and anyone who was watching will see that you were calm and collected.
Helping Your Friends and Family Accept the Divorce
Surely, you had a support system while you were going through your divorce. Whether it was your mother, your best friend, your neighbor, or your co-workers, there were probably a few key people who gave you an ear and a shoulder to lean on. Some of them were probably right by your side when the papers were filed, and they’re probably your biggest supporters.
Once you’re able to move on, it’s important to ask your friends and family to move on too. While you can’t go back and change what you said during the early days of your divorce when you were the most vulnerable, you can ask your friends and family to share your positive attitude about moving forward. Going from grief and anger to making peace with the divorce may confuse your close friends and family, but it’s a sign that you’re healing emotionally.
When you give them permission to do the same, you’re breaking free from the emotional chains of divorce. For example, if your best friend has a chance encounter with your ex, it’s okay for your friend to be polite and say hello, instead of snarling at your ex and making everyone feel uncomfortable. Send a text, write an email, or throw yourself a divorce party. Just let your loved ones know you’ve moved on and now it’s their turn to do the same.
If you’re looking for divorce representation in Los Angeles, contact our firm to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a caring and experienced member of our legal team.