The divorce rate in America is on the rise again now that the economy and housing market is recovering. With as many as 50% of first marriages ending in divorce, you probably know someone who has gone through a divorce.
Here are five things even your closest friends probably won’t share with you about preparing for life after divorce:
It will be hard not to bad-mouth your spouse to the kids: But you should try really, really hard not to do it. Despite the headache and heartache your spouse has caused you, your kids still love and need both of their parents. Bad-mouthing your spouse may end up alienating your kids from you, and you certainly don’t want that. Make a conscious effort to put up a united front and make sure your kids know it’s ok for them to love you both.
Not seeing your kids every day will be a HUGE adjustment: Getting used to a time-sharing schedule is a huge adjustment for everyone. You, your spouse, and your kids are all used to seeing each other each day and the first time you have to go to bed in an empty house will feel awful but you will get used to it. With time everyone will get used to the “new normal.”
It will get better: When you are in the thick of a divorce, your emotions may be all over the place. You will have anxiety about court proceedings, money, what others will say, how to make your kids happy, and more. You may feel like you just can’t keep going but you can and you will. Healing takes time so be patient and trust that you can get through it.
You may lose friends: It is very difficult for mutual friends to deal with your divorce and some will feel they have to choose a side. You and your spouse may both be surprised to see who aligns with whom. It’s ok. You can’t dwell on it. Focus on keeping people close to you who can support you when you need them, regardless of your divorce.
You will date again. In the beginning you may feel like you will never find anyone else and the thought of meeting someone and going out on a date may be unthinkable. But eventually, you will not feel so weird about dating and you will actually be open to it and you will have fun. When the timing is right, let it happen naturally and don’t force it.
The world of divorce can be a difficult one to navigate, but keeping these five things in mind can certainly make the process easier.