Five Common Divorce Mistakes
Huffington Post contributor Allison Pescosolido has outlined five common divorce mistakes that can haunt ex-spouses for years – or possibly, decades.
“Let’s face it, there is no
life experience that affects our emotions more than divorce,”
writes Pescosolido. “Whether you chose to divorce or had that
decision thrust upon you, the split can leave you with pain,
confusion and low self esteem. These feelings are common, yet they
can be overcome.”
To safely navigate the choppy
water of divorce and especially life after divorce, Pescosolido
urges divorcing people to avoid the following pitfalls:
1. Being friends with an ex.
The stresses and strains of
divorce – even an amicable or relatively conflict-free one – can
be unexpectedly overwhelming. And while it’s fine and even
beneficial to become friends with your ex after divorce –
especially if there are children involved, and co-parenting will
be the new norm – there’s nothing immature about hitting the pause
button during the divorce, and letting you and your spouse deal
with the realities you’re each facing without the added pressure
of trying to maintain a friendship; something that Pescosolido
suggests is not just easier said than done, but virtually impossible.
2. Refusing to ask for expert help.
You may pride yourself on
being independent and that asking for help is either unnecessary
or perhaps even a “sign of weakness.” Pescosolido advises that
nothing could be further from the truth. Professional help,
whether it’s legal, financial or emotional, can be invaluable.
3. Not patiently making decisions.
The desire to get the divorce
“behind you” once and for all may be overwhelmingly tempting.
However, you may actually be doing much more harm than good, since
the decisions you make during divorce will influence your life –
and those of your children – for decades to come. While it’s wise
to move forward through the divorce process – you don’t want to
linger aimlessly for months and add to your stress, confusion and
cost – you truly owe it to yourself to take the time to think
through your options, and make informed decisions.
4. Keeping your emotions bottled up inside.
Divorce is emotionally
overwhelming, and second only to the death of a child in terms of
the sheer level of stress it places on an individual. Bottling up
your emotions may seem smart or, at least, practical, but in the
long-run it’s neither. You’ll not only explode sooner or later,
but it may come at a time when you simply can’t afford to “break
down” – such as if you’re heading to court, or are involved in
thorny negotiations with your soon-to-be-ex. Pescosolido suggests
that even screaming into a pillow can be cathartic. Try it – your
pillow won’t mind 🙂
5. Viewing the divorce as an excuse.
While many – or perhaps,
every – aspect of your life will change as a result of your
divorce, you don’t want to wear it around your neck like an
albatross until the end of time. As consequential as divorce is,
it is nevertheless a process that has a beginning and an end. If,
after an appropriate period of time, you find yourself using your
divorce as an excuse not to live up to your full potential, then
it may be necessary to speak with a counselor or therapist who can
help you get back on your feet – and take flight!
For more World Divorce News, visit