So you don’t end up driving a car through your ex-partners’ condo or gain (lose) so much weight you’re unrecognizable to your children.
Divorce is something that is now a part of our world. It’s great to go into marriage thinking and believing it will never happen to you, but it’s also wise to be prepared.
In The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he opens chapter one with a story about an encounter he had on a plane with a fellow passenger. They exchanged pleasantries and the topic of work came up. Gary explained he was a marriage counselor and the gentleman asks him:
“What happens to the love after you get married?”
Great question right?
When you get married you’re most likely head over heals for each other. You have big plans. You can’t imagine ending up like your parents or that miserable couple at the restaurant who never seem to have anything to say to each other.
BUT here you are, divorce papers in hand on the verge of being single again. What now?
Divorce is a loss. It is a death of a relationship, a friendship. It’s common to feel depression, anger, bitterness, jealousy, sadness, and believe it or not relief and joy.
Here are 101 tips from around the web that can help you move through a divorce in a self-compassionate way.
Tips 1 – 36
You Will NOT Like The “Other” Woman (Man)
The word Divorce conjures up images of middle-aged men dumping their homemaker wives for their 20-something secretaries. It also brings to mind angry women out for revenge or who just get tired of the whole wife and mother routine and walk out.
No matter what image you have of divorce, your divorce will be a grieving and learning experience. You can choose to get through it with self-compassion or with anger.
Read More on Huffingtonpost 36 things I wish someone told me about divorce by Michele Zipp
I especially identify with number 22:
#22 When he gets serious with another woman, dealing with that woman being around your children is going to be harder than you could ever imagine.
Tips 37 – 51
You will lose friends and gain friends.
You will see people for who they really are. Even people who were originally ‘YOUR’ friends pre-marriage might abandon you.
Read More: 15 Tips for Getting Through A Divorce by Aunt Becky on The Stir
2) Mutual friends will take sides during a divorce, so be prepared to lose people you’d always thought you could count on. It’s going to hurt. Don’t let anyone tell you different
I can relate to this tip from Pflip in the comments:
I can honestly say that the loss of our “friendship” is the hardest part. by Pflip
Tips 52 – 61
Being divorced doesn’t mean you’re a failure, less competent or less desirable.
It might not seem like it at first but you are NOT a failure. Divorce is something outside of you, it is NOT you.
Read More: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got A Divorce by Natasha Burton for Woman’s Day
Tips 62 – 69
Dare to be alone
I’ve seen many friends go through divorce only to make the mistake of marrying and divorcing all over again. Give yourself some time to just be alone. Yes, it will be uncomfortable but it is in this discomfort that you truly grow.
Read More: After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself by Gina Shaw on WebMD
Tips 70 – 76
Ten minutes a day can make a difference
Things are frantic for you, what will all the meetings, the calls, the paperwork, the settlements – no wonder you’re stressed. Take some time each day to just breathe. Sit. Meditate or simply go for a walk. Clear your mind and don’t even think about the divorce. Listen to a rock song that always puts you in a good mood to block out the ruminating thoughts.
Read More: Seven Ways to Thrive After A Divorce by Mark Banschick M.D. for Psychology Today
Tips 77 – 83
Face The Truth Of What Was Missing In Your Marriage
We all like to place blame on others for bad things and Yes, your partner may actually be the “cause” of the divorce, but take some time to reflect.
Marriages happen when two people fall in love and agree to share a life together. Divorces happen when those same two people fall out of love or choose not to live together.
Nothing happens without a reason. Little things led up to your marriage, so too, little things led up to your divorce.
Own your part in the breakup, forgive yourself, and move on. You might even try forgiving your partner too.
Read More: 7 Things You Must Do Before Moving On After Your Divorce by Brenda Clevenger of Midlife Mona Lisa
Tips 84 – 87
It’s official you are now divorced.
Don’t go hiding under the blankets or crash your car into your partner’s new condo. Agree to gather for a Divorce Party. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but it can help you (and your friends) transition from ‘married couple’ to ‘single people’. Here are some fun ideas:
- PJ party
- Boozy brunch
- Roaring 20’s
- Red and black high class
Read More: 4 Ways to Throw an Epically Rockstar Divorce Party by Joelle Caputa for Your Tango
Tips 87 – 95
Your Trust in Yourself and Others is Severed
You will question your ability to make decisions. You will mistrust people, maybe even yourself. Be prepared for this and talk to someone about it.
There is an old tale about true love. It is the tale of the red ball of yarn. At one end is your partner and at the other end is you. You are lucky if the two come together and you find one another. Some people call this type of love “soul-mates”.
Divorce cuts this string. You’ll feel the pain and need time to heal.
Where’s the ‘silver lining’?
You can add additional yarn with a russian join. Through a process of weaving in and out, the yarn is secured with the new “partner” and a secure join is made.
You will trust again. You will get through this and Yes, you may even find another ball of yarn to ‘join’.
#2 What no one tells you, said “Eve31,” is “what it’s really going to cost you to be divorced… your youth, your sanity, your faith, your trust, your ability to wake in the morning with hope.” You now second-guess all your decisions: “Your ex destroys your trust but also your ability to sometimes trust yourself,” she said.
Read More: 8 Things No One Ever Tells You About Divorce (#3 Will Surprise You) by Divorce360 staff
Tips 96 – 101
Just Like Marriage Isn’t 50/50, Divorce Isn’t 50/50
We all like to believe everything is split evenly down the middle, it is not. It wasn’t in your marriage and more than likely won’t be during your divorce.
You’re going to be filled with emotions. You’ll be tired and stressed even worried about your future. Don’t assume this will go away if you don’t think about it.
Protect yourself and your children (if you have them). Think about your financial future. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate.
Read More: 6 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Do-It-Yourself-Divorce by Christ Pastore for Meditate.com