How to Divorce Happy and Keep Your Sanity During a Split

How to Divorce Happy and Keep Your Sanity During a Split

By Kimberlee Leonard, Mom.me


IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Separating things emotionally
  • A space to heal
  • Your kids and co-parenting

If you are unhappy in your marriage, you might think that a divorce is an automatic solution to finding joy again. That isn’t true. Being happy divorced often requires a plan and work to make sure you are healing and moving on in a healthy way. Keep in mind that a happy divorce doesn’t mean there isn’t conflict; it means that you are a happier person with more fulfillment in your life getting out of the marriage.

If you want to divorce happy, you need to reduce the stress that occurs in the divorce process and with co-parenting that happens until the kids are on their own. The good news is that even with the most contentious divorces, you can divorce happy and keep your sanity during a split — I did.

Here are 6 tips for you to divorce happy:

Separating things emotionally

How to Divorce Happy and Keep Your Sanity During a Split
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1.

Keep co-parent issues separate from ex-spouse issues.

The faster you compartmentalize your ex and his actions as a spouse and lover from those of a parent, the happier you will be. This means that you can’t conflate your ex not being able to throw a good birthday party for your daughter because he always forgot your anniversary. These are two entirely different things. Focus on the birthday party and stay on task to get that done for your daughter rather than fight about a marriage issue.



2.

Find trusted friends to talk to.

Trust me, when you get a divorce, you’ll need those you can trust to talk to. But don’t vent and blab every detail of the divorce to anyone who will listen. Relationship expert Katie Campion told Mom.com that personal relationships get weird in divorce, too. “Keep your conversation about your ex restricted to a trusted few, understanding that when you get a divorce people will react in different ways," she advised. "Previous best friends may ghost you, and near-strangers might step up.”

You don’t want the wrong story or extra information getting back to your ex. This not only can lead to more fighting but can also cause more conflict in court cases, dragging the divorce on and costing you more money and emotional strength.



A space to heal

How to Divorce Happy and Keep Your Sanity During a Split
iStock



3.

Join a divorce support group.

Even if you have a few good friends to vent to, you may find yourself feeling like a burden on them if you are always talking about the divorce. This is especially true if your friends are not divorced and may not understand everything you are going through. Being a part of a divorce support group gives you a safe place to vent and find others who feel the same way you do. It’s this exact reason that Single Mommy Tribe was started; I wanted other moms to have an outlet to let their emotions explode and get sound advice from others who have been there.



4.

Give yourself space and time to grieve.

Giving yourself space and time to grieve really has to do with setting the right expectations about getting over your marriage and through your divorce. Remember that divorcing happy doesn’t mean you’re singing songs of joy all day long. It means you are getting yourself into a happy and healthy place. Not every moment through a divorce is fun and happy — there are a lot of bad moments. As my son would say when training for his mud runs, “Embrace the suck.” That’s where you get stronger.
How to Divorce Happy and Keep Your Sanity During a Split
iStock



5.

Be considerate of your kids’ needs.

Every child will react to the divorce differently based on their personality, age, and understanding of the situation. Never complain about your ex to your children — easier said than done but so important. Even if you are mad at your ex for something he did or didn’t do for your children, let your kids formulate their own opinions. Instead, be cognizant of how your kids are feeling about the divorce and supportive of their struggles, too.

Very young children aren’t likely to remember mom and dad together after some time. They’ll adapt to the situation. But older children may regress or develop behavior issues because they don’t know how to process the change in the household. You make this process easier for them by supporting their relationship with their dad.



6.

Accept that you have no control over your ex.

You may have some very strong feelings about how your ex’s parenting decisions and chances are they aren’t good feelings. But unless there is something very specifically outlined in the custody order, realize you can’t control how your ex parents. What happens at dad's pretty much stays at dad’s unless it is harmful or endangering. Lisa Adams has two children and was concerned about her young kids going hunting with her ex. “I didn’t want them to go," she told Mom.com. "I even tried to get that outlined in the custody order, but when that didn’t happen I had to accept that he would take them.”

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