How to divorce: advice and tips to save your sanity in 4 steps
When you're thinking about getting a divorce, you'll really need good advice. This isn't only for dealing with the legal aspects, but also to ensure you survive the emotional roller-coaster ride of the process itself.
When you're facing a divorce, you may feel that your partner is pulling all the strings. This might leave you feeling out of control and frightened. Perhaps you feel you've been abandoned in some kind of no-man's land, just waiting for the next onslaught of bad news. Coping with divorce can seem nothing but a nightmare.
I'm here to help you survive this difficult time.
My top divorce tips (or really: professional advice on relationships and how to divorce) have come from years of experience. I'm a couple counsellor and specialise in marriage and relationship guidance.
In this article, I present my tips in 4 steps with essential information on how to make the whole divorce process as manageable as possible. Each step is like a subject you and I might have discussed had you come to see me for counselling - briefly or at length.
You may also want to have a look at my articles Divorce advice for men.
Step 1: Prepare yourself
You might already have chewed this over endlessly, and suffered many sleepless nights because of it. However, just in case... I wouldn't be doing my job in guiding you if I didn't discuss this with you. (I'll accept the risk of being considered patronising!)
So, here goes...
The following divorce advice is for you to consider before you and/or your partner decide that your marriage has reached the end of the road.
Once you've done all that, I'll be here to help you with advice on how to divorce and what it entails for you and your family. I can't give you legal advice, but I can help you with divorce tips to lessen the pain of the process.
Step 2: Divorce advice - how to deal with your emotions
You may well feel like screaming or hiding under the duvet. But I'd love to introduce you to something I think could really help much more than that...
Self-hypnosis! All you need to do is put your headphones on, and listen to some hypnosis downloads. You'll feel tons better by allowing yourself to be soothed by one of these, rather than either crying yourself to sleep or lying awake for hours.
As well as some really good stress management downloads, there are some excellent ones specifically for divorce. For further information, hop over to my article: Hypnosis Download FAQ.
Divorce counselling - consider connecting with a professional counsellor - online
Separation and/or divorce can unfortunately be a lengthy process. But I can't tell you how important it is to keep the channels of communication open.
The right divorce advice from appropriate professionals can save your sanity and will ensure that you're coping with your divorce the best you can.
Communicating effectively when you're both emotional can seem at times impossible. However, remaining at the very least polite and co-operative is vital if you have children.
You may be splitting up, but you are going to be parents for the rest of your lives.
Step 3: How to get divorced and not 'divorce' everyone else!
Based on my experience with couples, I have some divorce tips and advice for dealing with friends and family. The process of separation and divorce - with all its losses - will be much more manageable with the help and support of loved ones. Therefore take heed of the following...
There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child."
Frank A. Clark
I recommend that you try to anticipate and plan for every possible reaction from your children, your family and friends - and those of your partner. This will help you to prepare for any expression of feelings and behaviours which might have otherwise surprised you.
My divorce tips are:
- Be careful what you say about your spouse to your friends and family (including his or her family), however difficult this is and however badly you perceive your partner to have behaved.
- Keep in mind the above possibilities.
- However much you might be provoked, always act honourably.
Step 4: Telling other people
One of my tips on how to get divorced is to tell the friends and family members you're most often in touch with sooner rather than later that you're thinking of separation or divorce. At least that way you have some control over how they find out. Your partner may want to tell their own family, but don't count on it - and don't assume that it'll be done in the manner you'd hoped for.
Here are my tips for telling loved ones...
Lastly, family and friends who are on your Christmas card list but that you seldom see also need to be told - ideally. Consider simply sending them a card announcing the end of your marriage or long-term relationship. That may well prevent embarrassment later down the line.
Give people time to adjust
Remember that the more emotional we are as human beings, the more unpredictable our reactions become. Actually, the more emotional we are, the more stupid we become!
One of my best tips is to really leave time for others to calm down - whilst you're there, after having delivered the message, and in the weeks to come. People will need time to process what you've told them. You too need time - right now it wouldn't be helpful to make a permanent decision about whether or not you want to see them again.
How long it takes before you begin to feel better
There's no doubt that the whole process of separation and divorce is hugely challenging. There'll be decisions to be made, tears, stress, chores and children. You can't afford to become a nervous wreck. The stronger you are, the better you'll be able to cope and the calmer the waters will be.
My last bit of advice, therefore, is that you take time to invest in yourself. Do your own thing at least for some of the time. Steal that time if you have to.
Learn to relax and meditate - the benefits are immeasurable. Re-engage with friends and family for much needed support, distraction, fun, love and laughter. Stay away from negative people though!
For sadness and stress, also stay away from your doctor - antidepressants aren't going to help. But natural remedies can relieve sadness and tearfulness, so explore those options if you want to.
Ideally you need to allow sufficient time, care and consideration to end your marriage well.
A good ending will help you to begin a new relationship more successfully - when you're ready of course. That new relationship stands a better chance of flourishing when bitterness, hurt, anger and pain have subsided and children have settled.
With the right divorce advice, there's every chance that you both (and your children) will recover sooner and better.
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