If you are looking for an uplifting post full of positive tips on how to handle your divorce, this isn't it. There's no advice to, "Do yoga. Take time for yourself. Meditate."
If that's the advice you are looking for then go someplace else because this is not one of those nicey nice posts. I'm not going to tell you what your Sunday school teacher thinks you should do. I'm going to give you the advice that your best friend would give you (if she were totally cool and after she'd had a few glasses of wine).
I'm gonna get real.
1. Don't listen to your attorney.
That's right, don't listen to ALL of your attorney's advice. How long has your attorney known you? Does he know your spouse? Exactly. You know your situation better than anyone. Listen to yourself.
Yes, they are legal professionals and you should follow their advice some of the time, but in the end, you have to do what you think is right. You alone know what is best for you and your children.
If they are a decent attorney, they will ultimately listen to you. If you feel pressured or bullied, don't cave. This is your life. You are paying them lots of cash to do what YOU know is right.
2. Don't ask everyone for their advice.
I made this mistake when I was newly separated. I called family and friends and begged for advice. I'd ask five different people what I should do next.
Where should I go? Should I move out right away?
I got lots of advice from everyone. And when I say that I asked everyone for their opinion, I mean everyone. I didn't ask the gardener or the exterminator, but I did ask my plumber, who'd recently divorced, what I should do. (Yes, I asked my plumber for advice on my divorce while he was unclogging our kitchen sink. Not good.)
All that advice just added to the chaos that was already pinging around my head. STOP. You don't need anyone's opinion.
You are stalling. You already know what you want. And you are a smart woman. You can figure out what you need to do. So go do it.
3. Don't talk to your ex.
Don't do it. Yes, you need to communicate with your former spouse about co-parenting and scheduling but don't you DARE answer the phone if he calls. You are fragile, you are angry. Communicate through emails or texts but don't let him get you on the phone. He could berate you, undermine you, talk to you in ways that could set you back. Or you could lose it and start the yelling and screaming, which only adds more fuel to the firestorm already blazing.
Everyone behaves better when there's a record of their communication to keep them civil. If you have something to say, put it in writing.
4. Feel sorry for yourself.
Wallow in this time. This is painful. Don't for a second think that you aren't allowed to feel all this pain and chaos. You deserve to enjoy the full weight of this pain.
5. Do something that guys do.
Sometimes, I think that men are so much better at surviving sad times than we are. They don't turn their anger inward and become depressed. They go out and do something physical and aggressive. They scream at a sports team, hit other guys with hockey sticks. They get it out. You need to do the same thing.
A friend took me to a firing range and I shot the crap out of a target with a .357 magnum. I went to a really loud concert and did some headbanging. (Crazy!)
You probably have a lot of pent up anger. Give it an outlet and you'll feel better. This isn't the time for crocheting, this is the time for crushing it!
Do you have contrary ways to make your divorce suck less?
What did you do to get through it?