In most cases, the divorce process is tough both mentally and legally, even though it may be the best decision you can make at a certain period of your life. It requires some willpower to initiate a divorce, and sometimes it takes even more effort to follow through. Signing papers will not close the deal; it is only the beginning of the process.
You may have to deal with things you have never faced before – from finding out how much gold is worth, to getting your collection of antique dolls appraised and wondering if you have to split the custody of your guinea pigs. Of course there are more mundane tasks like researching tax laws in your state and the like. Learning about the harsh realities of divorce does not aim to change your mind but implies that you will be prepared for most unpleasant situations.
Taking the following points into account beforehand and planning a contingency plan will make the process relatively less exhausting.
It applies not only to expenses that always accompany a divorce, like hiring a divorce lawyer or court costs but to your way of life right after you go through a divorce. It is essential to keep in mind what you will get from the settlement and start thinking about independent life as a single person. It also depends on how your finances looked before the divorce – was your partner providing for you? Was there abuse of power that had to do with finances and does it have a chance of continuing after the divorce?
Post-divorce, your expenses might include:
- Car payments (including gas, service and insurance)
- Health iInsurance
- Household expenses
Kids and Feeling of Guilt
Children are always the main reason to postpone your divorce discussion as they are frequently perceived as a glue to your marriage. You may think that getting divorced will mean you failed or let them down. In these never-ending tries to protect them, no matter what, you will inevitably face the feeling of guilt.
People come from different experiences and emotional backgrounds, so you will have your reasons to feel the pressure. You may be the child of divorced parents yourself who promised to never get divorced, or you may have been raised in a conservative family where “always and forever” is the only way possible. To get through this, you will need to remind yourself that you are a completely different person for whom those fundamentals do not work anymore.
The reality is that you will go through a divorce with your children, and they will also feel responsible for such a change in your lives. What you actually can do to minimize the stress for them is to make sure they have both of their parents happy, and if to do so, you will need to get divorced – it cannot be a wrong decision.
After living with your spouse side by side for several years and making plans for the future together, it won’t be easy to start perceiving the world as an individual again. Moreover, your relationship does not necessarily have to be abusive and force any changes as they happen naturally when seeking compromises to come up with a mutual decision.
You will realize how much of “you” were suppressed by “us” and how many decisions were made without considering your interests, from the tableware you’ve bought to friends you’ve made. There is no need to mark them as mistakes and blame yourself for your past actions – you indeed had your reasons, and that should be enough. Coming back to your true self and learning more about your own plans and wishes will be your main priority now.
Recovering from a divorce will require some grieving and mourning as, in reality, splitting with a spouse seldom means you no longer have feelings and hopes for them. It will make you feel lonely, and you will have to learn to cope with the world on your own again. You will start doubting your decisions, self-confidence, and capabilities.
It will be challenging, but it does not mean you cannot overcome it. Ensure you get support from your closest friends and family members, and get to know yourself better! Make the most out of your time alone, and learn to be satisfied with being on your own – it is a skill that will make you less dependent on anybody in the future.
Divorces are harsh, and there is no need to pretend otherwise – it will only make the whole process harder to bear. Being prepared for the worst will eliminate the possibility of being caught by surprise and stuck with the feelings you were not prepared to have.
Sooner or later, all your doubts and inconveniences will haunt you, whether it be a feeling of guilt towards children or thoughts about time spent with your ex-husband or wife. Predicting them allows you to survive this process with minimal losses and set your boundaries for future relationships. If you are struggling with some issues, consider getting professional help from a therapist.
Breathe deep, make a to-do list and press on – it’s going to be hard but you’re going to come out wiser, happier, and ready for new opportunities in the end.