Even if you are ready for a divorce or you were the one to ultimately decide you wanted a divorce, there is no denying that it is an emotional process. Divorce can be hard to get through — even if you know it is the right step for you. Here at John R. Foley, P.C., our team of family lawyers see this time and again. Our clients approach us with determination and confidence in filing for divorce; while they may not waver in their decision, they all express how difficult it can be emotionally.
Our family lawyers are qualified and experienced in a variety of legal services; however, we are not therapists. In today’s blogs, we have gathered tips and advice from various sources, including our experience as family lawyers over the years. A therapist, however, will be undeniably better than a divorce lawyer will be at helping you through your emotions if you could use some extra support. And if you need a family lawyer to help you through the paperwork and court? Well, John R. Foley, P.C. is here for you. Keep reading to learn more and then contact us today to work with a family lawyer in Dearborn.
Do Not Blame Yourself
Some divorcees are easily able to place the blame on their ex, especially in cases of infidelity. However, there are so many potential reasons out there for a divorce, and it can be easy to blame yourself in the wake of your divorce. It takes two people to make a marriage work. So if you find yourself saying you “could have been a better partner” or “only if I had done this more,” then stop. This negative self-talk can have long-reaching, negative effects that impact your mental health and can even damage future relationships. As best as you can, try to not take any blame and to simply move forward.
Focus on Mental and Physical Health
Whether you speak with a family lawyer, nutritionist, therapist, or your neighbor’s cousin’s mother, most everyone will agree that both your mental and physical health are of importance, especially after a divorce.
- Mental Health: It could be good to start meeting regularly with a therapist. Other ideas include recognizing it will get better, letting yourself grieve, only sharing as much information with others as is necessary, letting go of what you cannot control, and changing your expectations. Simple ways to take care of your mental health can also include reading books, taking baths, and learning to say no.
- Physical Health: Our mental and physical health are often linked, so taking care of our physical health can help with our mental health (though that does not mean it can replace a therapist or medicine necessarily). Keep up a regular exercise routine in order to release stress, anger, and anxiety. Eat healthy, nutritious foods and get plenty of sleep.
Know That Grieving Is a Process
There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Even if you were the one to first meet with a family lawyer and begin the divorce process, that does not mean you are immune to the grieving process. Whether your marriage was two years or 20 years, it was a significant part of your life.
The five stages of grief will vary in length, order, and intensity for everybody. Sometimes, it may take years to reach the acceptance portion of the process. When you first begin filing for divorce and meeting with a family lawyer in Dearborn, simply recognize that grieving is, in fact, a process and that you cannot expect a full “recovery” or to reach acceptance overnight.
Learn Something New
To help you move on and push toward the acceptance part of the process, consider starting a new hobby or learning a new skill! Life after divorce can sometimes feel lonely and dull; by introducing a new activity, you can fill your time in a healthy way and re-learn what it is like to be alone. Our family lawyers have seen clients have great success with this. It could be anything from rock climbing to running, quilting, woodworking, gardening, and so much more! Find a hobby or activity you have always been interested in but never gotten around to — now is your time to see how you like it. This will also be an integral part of nurturing yourself emotionally and physically.
Let Yourself Feel
Especially if you have children, you may be tempted to “shut down” any extreme emotions you have in order to protect them. Even if you do not have children, though, it can be uncomfortable to feel all your emotions so you shut them down! Following a divorce, our family lawyers, along with other professionals, recommend letting yourself feel. Whether it is a positive or a negative emotion, it is normal and it is an important part of the grieving process. Avoid masking those emotions or dealing with your feelings in unhealthy ways, such as drugs and alcohol.
All this said, you should never let your feelings cause you to seek revenge or become abusive. If you feel these emotions coming to the surface, acknowledge them and talk through them with a therapist.
Respect Your Children
From the very beginning, you can respect your children by telling them about your upcoming divorce in a healthy way. Check out 7 Tips for Talking to Children About Divorce and Custody for more information. You can also read 6 Tips for Responsibly Handling Joint Custody for advice from our family lawyers on making the divorce process as smooth as possible for your little ones.
One important way to respect your children after your divorce is to make sure you do not make them the “messenger.” They should not have to be the means of communication between you and your partner. Instead, let your children know they can talk to you about their concerns and model good communication with your ex.
Surround Yourself With Loved Ones
Following a divorce, you will lose a big part of your support system — even if you and your ex were not especially getting along, so to speak. Good friends and loving family members are there for you when you need help, and divorce is certainly one of those times. Do not be afraid to ask for help and to cry to them when needed. Likewise, however, try not to turn every event with friends and family members into a pity party. An important part of moving forward will be creating new memories with them and being together for reasons other than to vent about your ex or the divorce process.
Tip: Use this time to focus on yourself, learn who you are outside of marriage, and to educate yourself on healthy relationship dynamics so that you can move forward with confidence.
Watch Your Finances
Finally, our family lawyers recommend that you watch your finances and are careful with your money. The divorce process can be financially stressful as is (read 8 Financial Tips When Going Through a Divorce for more information), so it is important to begin the time after your divorce in a financially responsible way. You may still be paying family lawyer fees, adjusting to a lower income, or paying for more daycare than you did previously.
On top of all these changes, though, there is also the tendency to want to increase your spending following a divorce to help you overcome the emotions. This is especially true if you have children. Instead of spending more and more money on your children to try and compensate for your divorce, respect them by focusing on their needs and keeping their routines as normal as possible. Adjusting to a one-person income instead of a two-person income is difficult, but it will be even harder if you try to be the “cool parent” and buy them everything they could possibly want.
Work With a Family Lawyer in Dearborn Today
Choosing the right family lawyer is a matter of experience, personality, finances, and more. Here at John R. Foley, P.C., however, we are sure our team of family lawyers can help. Our family lawyers have experience with everything from divorce to child custody, child support, alimony, and more. If you need an experienced, compassionate family lawyer who can help you through the ins and outs of divorce, then you have found them in our family law firm.
Our family law attorneys — John R. Foley, Patrick A. Foley, Jesse R. Stec, and Jennifer D. Larson — can help you through the process of filing for divorce and fighting for custody and more. From the division of assets to securing alimony, we are the family lawyers you have been looking for. We also have experience with mediation. Avoid making your divorce any more stressful than it needs to be. Follow the tips in today’s blog and contact John R. Foley, P.C. today to meet with a family lawyer in Dearborn.