Divorce, amicable or not, is stressful and a period of crisis in life. The term crisis can be viewed from two different perspectives: 1)a time of suffering, personal loss, and negative feelings or a 2)an opportunity. One’s perspective will determine how divorce or any of life’s stressful situations will be handled. It’s important to keep in mind that even during difficult periods, we always have choices to make. If we choose to view a divorce as essentially a time of personal suffering and allow our negative feelings to consume us, our behavior will most likely be affected. However, if we adopt the second perspective and see a potential opportunity, our behavior and outlook may very well be healthier. Of course, that is not to say, that viewing divorce as an opportunity wipes out the fact of suffering, personal loss, and those negative feelings. Not at all, however, the person who glimpses the possibilities may be able to look at the suffering and negative feelings as an opportunity to change certain attitudes and behaviors. A good counselor, even a wise friend may be able to help with this.
Keeping this in mind, there are definitely some things that should be avoided at all costs during a divorce. Here are a few of them:
1)Don’t lash out at your soon to be ex-spouse- as tempting as it may be, even perhaps justified, it doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it just creates more stress and tension. It may feel good momentarily but you may end up regretting some of the things you chose to say or do.
2)Keep your personal life (divorce) off Facebook and social media-in an age when no one seems to be able to avoid publicizing their every thought, this may be difficult for some. However, during a divorce proceeding, what you say or post on Facebook may come back to bite you. Be prudent and keep your divorce off the public sites.
3)Don’t put your children or family in the middle-it’s never a good idea to air the dirty laundry concerning your spouse to your children or family members. It will confuse the children and possibly make them feel as if they have to choose sides.
4)Don’t make any life changing decisions-while in the midst of a crisis is not a good time to make a life altering change. Emotions are running high and most likely decision making is not at its best.
5)Don’t lie to your lawyer, your family, or your friends-they are there to help you and can only do so if you’re honest. Lies diminish trust and erode relationships.
A divorce is a difficult experience for everyone. It can reveal the depths of relationships with others and your own character. If you remember that the decisions you make will have consequences, you make think twice before acting rashly or impulsively. A good rule of thumb-don’t do anything that you may regret in the future. That I believe is good advice even for those who aren’t going through a divorce!