By Veronica Dobson
Divorce can be one of the worst things you experience. You’ll go through a wave of emotions daily and wonder how this could happen to you. Now that it is happening though, you’ll be better off by being ready for what’s ahead. This advice is hard-won, but it’s worth a read for every woman going through a divorce.
Expect that he may start dating quickly – Newly divorced men often start dating a lot quicker than women. With all the apps and websites out there to facilitate meeting people, it’s likely your ex will be back on the dating scene quickly. Don’t be surprised. Even if it hurts, dating new people is inevitable. Instead of being shocked, discuss it early. This will allow you each to approach the situation with less emotion. You can use this time to set clear boundaries around when a new significant other can meet family, including the kids.
Don’t show you’re jealous/angry/upset – Even if you can’t stand your ex, you’re likely to feel betrayed when they start dating a new woman. Unless the new squeeze is coming around your children, there is little you can do about it. If you find yourself jealous or angry, remember that you got divorced for a reason. Even if you feel this way, don’t show your ex you care about their dating life. Keep in mind, all the annoying things about your ex are now, luckily, some other woman’s problem.
Don’t think, “He’ll never do that.” – Divorce brings out the worst in people. This holds true for your ex. The man you knew when you were married is not the same man you’re divorcing. To prepare for the worst, get a lawyer who knows the divorce laws in your state. Preparing for a divorce doesn’t make you confrontational, it makes you smart.
If you’re slinging mud, be ready to get dirty – You may think you have a lot of grievances against your ex, but he will have plenty to say about you too. If it can’t be avoided, just remember to try and be calm when he starts trash talking. Getting angry, yelling, or acting on your emotions will only give him more evidence for his complaints. Take the high road, as hard as it is. It will benefit you in the long run.
Record everything – Any complaints you want to have part of the divorce record will carry more weight if you have documentation. If he’s sending you threatening emails, print them out. If he leaves nasty voicemails, make a copy. Nobody ever leaves a divorce hearing feeling like they had too much evidence. Keep detailed records and don’t leave anything out.
Don’t isolate yourself – When you get divorced, you’re losing one of your go-to hang out buddies. Even if you and your ex weren’t getting along, they were still a constant presence in your life. When they move out, you may feel alone. Don’t further these feelings by choosing to isolate yourself. Call your friends and make coffee and movie dates. Sign up for a class at your recreation center or find a divorce support group. Get out of the house as often as you can. Seeing friends will remind you there is a great world to explore as a single lady.
Divorce can be nasty so it’s important to protect and take care of yourself. By knowing what to expect and how to be ready you can ease some of the stress. Stay vigilant and ahead of the curve to work through this trying time.