After a divorce, you have to find a new path – especially if you have children. Life will go on, but now your relatives are “ex-relatives” and your partner is no longer a partner in any area except the children you had together. Here are 6 things to help you create a new happy life.
1. Decide What Works For Your Family. This can differ widely. Some divorcees want to cut as many ties as possible; others are able to invite their ex to the children’s birthday parties or even a family Holiday meal. You have to know what works for you. Remember if you include your ex in an event that doesn’t make him your spouse again. Keep your distance and make it clear he is your guest.
2. Your Home Is Your Home. Even if you stay in the home you both lived in, now that home is yours. Make the changes you want. Do the things that make you comfortable. Don’t feel like you have to bound by the past. If the office was his office, it doesn’t even have to be an office anymore. How about a sewing room or a playroom for the kids? Make your home your own.
3. Communicate Nicely. Be brief and to the point. You don’t call to chat. Communications should be for a reason whether it’s to discuss something to do with the children or a legal matter. Email and the phone are best. Keep it brief. If your ex starts to speak to you in an inappropriate way or bring up a past problem, you don’t have to listen. Politely end the conversation. Let your ex know that you only want to communicate in a respectful way and stick to it.
4. Don’t Ask For Help. This one can be hard – especially if the divorce as somewhat amicable. But, he’s not your spouse and that means you shouldn’t ask him to change the filter in the furnace. Don’t lean on him for advice – call a friend.
5. Keep It Impersonal. You’re not married any longer. You don’t need to know who he’s seeing, where he’s going or where he’s been. Staying involved in each other’s personal lives is probably not going to end well. Realize you have your life and concentrate on making it the life you want to live. Let him lead his life. You’re no longer connected.
6. Don’t Be A Wife. If he was the only one who like mince pie, you don’t need to make it part of the Holiday menu – even if he’s been invited. If he asks for advice or sympathy, it’s not your job. You are no longer his wife and it is unlikely that you are even his friend. Make new ground rules and stick to them.
One of the most important things in creating a happy after-divorce is to get through the divorce itself with as little conflict as possible. That means you need an experienced divorce lawyer who can protect your rights in a way that creates a sense of cooperation. You want to leave the divorce knowing you have the things you need to provide a new future so choose an attorney that makes you feel comfortable and confident.