Divorce is often a painful process. Untangling your lives, separating your assets and moving forward takes time and patience.
Some days might be easy, other days may feel hard, and you’ll probably experience a lot of ups and downs.
If you’re currently going through a divorce or preparing for this process, you’ve probably received plenty of advice and insight from others who have been in the same position.
The following are some aspects of divorce that you probably won’t learn from your friends and family:
1) Mourning is part of moving forward
Many of us know what it’s like to mourn the loss of a loved one or a pet. Mourning the loss of a relationship can be every bit as painful and challenging, and it might take longer than you expect to regain your confidence and stability.
When you separate from your partner you are making a fundamental life change. It’s healthy to acknowledge this and to give yourself time to recover.
2) Don’t feel ashamed
As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20: it’s common to look at decisions you’ve made and to wonder if you ignored obvious red flags or disregarded sound advice from friends or family.
For many people this leads to debilitating feelings of shame and regret. Going through a divorce doesn’t make you a failure, and it shouldn’t prevent you from seeking out a happy and healthy relationship in the future.
3) You’ll feel all kinds of emotions during the divorce process
Fear, anger, regret, hope, rage, peace, happiness, despair, loneliness … divorce creates an incredibly wide spectrum of emotions, and chances are that you’ll face many strong feelings as you work through the process.
Even if you can see the advantages of leaving a fractured marriage, you’ll probably have to work through moments of pain and uncertainty.
4) It’s not uncommon to doubt yourself
For many people, it hurts to see a former partner with someone new or to realise that your children might not grow up in a two-parent household.
From the moment you initiate divorce proceedings to the day that they’re done, you’ll face doubts about your decision.
You might wonder about how things would have turned out if you’d done things differently. This is a natural part of the process, and many divorcees find peace in remembering that divorce provides an opportunity to start fresh.
5) It’s going to take time
Divorce typically isn’t straightforward. There are so many emotions involved from the beginning, and those feelings intensify as discussions begin about children, pets, assets and logistics.
It may take you weeks or months to reach a resolution with your former partner on these complicated topics, and you may not always be 100 percent satisfied with the outcome. It’s key to remain patient and to take care of yourself while going through a divorce.
6) Your “team” isn’t just you and your lawyer
Splitting assets is a major part of divorce proceedings for many couples. Hiring a financial advisor to prepare for the financial changes wrought by divorce is a wise idea.
A financial advisor can help you work through some of the trickier aspects of asset splitting and can give you insight into how your finances may look post-divorce. Some people also benefit from hiring a counsellor to help with the emotional challenges of divorce.
Your team can be as big or small as you’d like; what matters is that your interests are protected and well-represented.
7) Your friends and family might not immediately understand your decision
Divorce often has widespread effects, so it isn’t surprising when family members or close friends have strong feelings about your decisions.
You might have to face naysayers and critics once you break the news about your separation. Conversely, you’ll probably find plenty of support and love among the people close to you.
Divorce is deeply personal and emotional; remember that you know your relationship better than anyone else.
8) Everyone “moves on” differently
You may choose to immediately date after getting divorced or you may want several months or years to recuperate.
There is no right time to jump back into dating or to socialising – we all handle major life changes differently, and it’s up to you to do what feels best in your unique situation.
9) It might take some time to feel like yourself again
Living on your own usually means more time to yourself, more flexibility and more responsibilities.
Transitioning from life with a partner to life without is another time-consuming process that will force you to grow. However, reclaiming your independence is liberating and exciting, and it feels like a positive turning point for many divorcees.
Even if it takes months or years to feel whole again, embrace the process and take things one step at a time.
10) There is always hope
Everyone comes out of divorce as a new person in one way or another–you could simply be a divorcee or you might be figuring out your new identity as a single mother or father.
No matter who you are, remember that there is hope. You can move forward, and you can find happiness with a loving partner who understands and respects you, if you choose to marry again. Remember that divorce isn’t just an ending; it’s a new beginning.
When leaving your marriage is the right decision, it’s simply closing an old chapter in life so you can begin a new, fresh, and hopeful one.
If you are separating, please talk to us about the process you need to take to get the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Call us on 07 3161 2762 or email at [email protected]