Getting Back on Your Feet after a Divorce.
After being married, dealing with “us” becoming “me” can be difficult. Even if your former spouse wasn’t the greatest support system in the world, you likely still took comfort in knowing that you had someone else to help you cope with life’s problems. When you have to start dealing with things alone, it can wear you out mentally and emotionally. The tasks that lie ahead may seem daunting, but you have to remember to take a deep breath and deal with one thing at a time. Believe it or not, ending a bad marriage can actually help you focus more on your own priorities and help you realize that you’re capable of far more than you might believe.
Child Custody And Divorce
Whatever bad feelings exist between you and your ex shouldn’t affect your judgment when it comes to determining fair child custody rights. Simply put, if your former spouse is a good, responsible parent, then he or she shouldn’t be penalized because your relationship didn’t work out. On the other hand, if he or she has serious issues like alcoholism or a drug problem that could put your child in jeopardy, then you have to do what is best for your child’s welfare. It’s a tough decision to make, but as a parent it is what you have to do.
Try to separate your own feelings from what is best for your child or children. Distance yourself from your own emotional whiplash and think about what is best for your children. Remember that your kids are dealing with their own feelings of loss and try to keep that aspect of your divorce as amiable as possible. On the other hand, if you feel that spending time with your ex will put your children in bad situations, then you have to muster up your courage and make sure they are legally protected from that.
Money Management In Divorce
Even if you already dealt with most of the financial aspects of your marriage on your own, it can still be tough to realize that you may be your only means of financial support. It is even more difficult to deal with if your ex ruined your credit or ran up a lot of bills in your name. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel, but explore all your options before you make a drastic decision like filing for bankruptcy. It may seem like an easy way out, but for most people, the consequences outweigh the benefits. Talk to a reputable financial professional before making any drastic decisions.
You are better off to negotiate with your creditors on your own, consult with a debt consolidation professional, or try to balance your budget better so that you can pay off the debts without ruining your credit. In some cases, particularly if you had joint accounts, you may even be able to split those debts with your former spouse. If you’re the one left “holding the bag” because of your ex-husband or ex-wife’s financial irresponsibility, there’s no shame in seeking out professionals that can help you get things back under control.
Use Support Systems Carefully
Many people inadvertently distance themselves from other people following their divorce because they feel they need to adjust to being on their own. Cutting off your family and friends and isolating yourself is a big mistake. Ending a marriage, even a particularly bad marriage, is emotionally draining. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your nearest and dearest for emotional support. Not everyone will offer the greatest advice in the world, but having people around you will make dealing with your own pain easier.
Remember that people sometimes go overboard trying to help. While it might relieve some stress if you sit around with your friends and bash you ex for a while, too much dwelling in the past isn’t going to help you re-center yourself emotionally. Vent when you need to, but don’t let lose yourself in negativity. Remember you had strength and willpower before you were married and you still have it afterwards. Ask your friends for help when you need a boost, but don’t spend too much time reliving the past.
The Blame Game
You’ve likely heard the expression that hindsight is always 20/20. That may be true, but it’s no reason to beat yourself up over things that are done and over with. No one goes into a marriage expecting bad things to happen, so don’t allow yourself to dwell on what you should or shouldn’t have done. If we all made perfect decisions then it would be a perfect world and life rarely works that way. Learn from your past, but don’t let it become something that drags you down. What you did then isn’t as important as what you do going forward.
Aside from the emotional aspects of blaming yourself for not ending your marriage sooner or allowing your former spouse to keep making bad decisions that affected you, don’t beat yourself up over the financial mistakes you may have made, or that you watched your former spouse make. It’s far better to let go of your guilt and concentrate on what you can do now to fix those previous mistakes. No matter how bad your situation was, you can always recover and move on with your life.
Divorce is often emotionally and financially devastating, but it can also be empowering. You have the opportunity to get control of your life again and not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. While dealing with the fallout isn’t always easy, most people find that they have more strength and willpower than they ever realized. While you may resent some of the things that your ex did, the important thing to remember is that he or she is no longer part of the equation. Adjusting to doing everything on your own is scary, but it also gives you a new start to finally do things the way you have always wanted to.
About the Author: Tony Standin is a personal finance specialist who knows what it is like to have to bounce back after a difficult divorce. With a little bit of planning, you can definitely live a strong, stable life – financially and otherwise. Divorce doesn’t me destruction.