Once you have realized that you are in fact heading for a divorce, knowing what to do next can usually end up jumbled somewhere between trying to be practical or trying to get even. Being practical is definitely the way to go, but many do not even know where to begin with surviving a divorce for men. A simple do’s and don’ts guide can help you navigate your way through such a stressful time, and may make you the better person for it through the process.
Do make sure that all of your important documents and finances are organized. When a couple divorces, their financial documents will need to be updated. You may find that you will be required to pay child support or alimony, and you are now down to one income. Sit down and go over what is now your sole responsibility for your finances, and make copies for your attorney should it come up during your divorce proceedings.
Do make time for your children should you have any.
Divorce is a very confusing time for children of any age, so ensuring that you have time carved out just for them can help them through some of the tough times ahead. It can also help you being surrounded by those most important to you.
Try to forgive your ex-spouse.
This is the most important step in moving forward in life after a divorce. It can also be one of the hardest things to accomplish. Forgiveness allows a great weight to be lifted off your shoulders, and it does not always mean you have to be friends with them. If children are involved, a friendship is ideal so that you can co-parent. If this is not possible, learn to be civil, and make forgiveness a priority.
Find a good support system.
Having people around you who love you, or have been through a similar circumstance can make all the difference when you are feeling down. Making time to have dinner out once a week with friends and family is often just enough to feel the love and support they offer you, and it will still give you the space you need to process all that is going on.
Do not jump into a new relationship right away.
If you have been in a marriage for a lengthy period, you may find that being alone can be intimidating. Men and women alike tend to gravitate to a new relationship as soon as that panic sets in. Therapists suggest that anybody right out of a divorce give himself at least a year before getting back into the dating game. This allows the divorce process to take place, the grieving period to happen, and time to get to know yourself again.
Do not choose to be bitter.
Being bitter can lead to you being hateful towards your ex-spouse, and while in the heat of the moment this seems like the best route, it can lead to a lengthy divorce process, more court dates, fighting, and you ending up more hurt than before. Once the initial shock has set in, and you have been able to process everything, try to let go of your resentment, and work toward being happy again.
Do not make excuses to have to see your ex again.
This can lead to trouble, and no matter how much either of you may miss the other, you are divorcing for a reason. Many people decide this isn’t exactly what they wanted, and if this is your case, involve a therapist or your attorney, so that the issues can be resolved in a healthy manner. Only choose to see your ex when you are picking up or dropping off your children, family functions that require you both attend, and any court dates that are needed during the divorce process.
Do not play the victim.
This is an easy role to fall into, and it can have disastrous results. Sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself is depressing, and will often lead to other depressing actions, such as drinking too much, becoming clinically depressed, or hurting those you love most, like your children. Take time to grieve the loss of your relationship, but do not forget to dust yourself off and get back into a routine that is all your own before you lose yourself in the process.
Surviving a divorce for men in each divorce is different, and some of the advice you receive may not work for you. Taking these do’s and don’ts, and any well-meaning advice from your friends and family, and making it your own, can help determine what is the best route to take during your divorce. Once you have learned to properly navigate your life without your spouse, the process will not be as difficult, and you may be able to help somebody else through his or her own difficult divorce.