I am writing this material on the birthday of my daughter, who is nine years old. She and I live in Barcelona, and her Spanish dad lives in the USA, in the city of Seattle. Today we phoned and congratulated each other on the holiday, remembered how happy we were when we were waiting for Lucia to appear, how we were in love with her and with each other, when she was born, when she got her first tooth, when she ran along the promenade of Marbella, when she first said: “I’m from Madrid!” We are dear to each other and support each other’s decisions. We worry when one of us has a difficult moment. But four years ago, our communication was filled with bitterness, rage, lust, disappointment and poisonous fire.
The divorce initiative was his. However, he found it difficult to justify this decision for himself and expected Italian scandals from my temperament. I loved my husband, but I clearly understood that if the child is healthy, I am healthy, and we have our own means, then I simply have no right to kill myself. Therefore, with all my might, I held on and did not sort things out, did not blame and did not hide in any way, did not stop the process and did not limit communication with the child. Within six months, the text of our divorce agreement was ready and submitted for consideration.
It was more difficult when, two years later, he came again to ask for my hand in marriage and did it in front of a child, but I refused. After that episode, the balance was shaken for months. It is very difficult to cope with the emotions of a child who wants mom and dad to be together.
All troubles are over. Now the former spouse is grateful to me for our peaceful relationship.
Easy is rare. Coping with divorce is difficult. Both the initiator and the one who dissolves the marriage against their will will have to cross a long burning bridge. Running is dangerous, and losing your composure is unacceptable.
There are things that do not depend on you, and even with the most correct behavior, they will be outside your sphere of control. In my experience, here are the main points that will help you survive this event with the least loss for both parties.
12 Tips On Coping With Divorce
1. If you have children, try to save the marriage.
You will likely regret if you do not try everything you can to save the family.
Disperse anyway? Stick to the letter of the law and remember that you and your ex-spouse will have to communicate as parents for many years. If you have children and you are coping with divorce, your children should give you more motivation to behave in a civilized manner.
2. Don’t be greedy, but also don’t adjust.
Protect your interests calmly and fairly. Do not be guided by resentment and revenge. Remember, life is long. This is the person you have chosen and loved. Some people never have a great love or a wedding in their life, but you still threw a bouquet and cut a white cake with one knife with this “insane monster” or as you now call it in conversations with third parties.
3. Do not discuss the divorce with everyone.
Some people will constantly try to have a conversation with you about what’s going on, about your partner, about other divorced couples. Someone will do it without malice, sincerely believing that you need it in order to speak out and cry.
But you don’t need that. You don’t want to stew in this broth from morning to night. The incessant speculation will devour you and weaken you. Live for today. Close the door more tightly and don’t poke your nose into this closet anymore.
4. Maintain your dignity.
Do not think that after quarrels, showdowns, and scandals you have nothing to lose. There’s always something to lose, especially when it comes to dignity. No matter how damp it may be at the bottom of this terrible pit, no matter how strong the smell of a cemetery may be, and no matter how disgusting the thoughts of continuing life, do not try to dig the ground and eat worms.
5. Do not indulge in a binge, spree, or gag.
Do not start smoking, debauchery, and squandering. If you do, an emotional and physical collapse will certainly happen. Just imagine that you have already done all this and now you can move on.
6. Chat with the opposite sex, but take your time in a new relationship.
Only by fully healing and accepting your new path in life will you be ready for a new story. Your self-esteem should not depend on whether you are alone or in a new relationship.
7. If possible, travel.
Travel is great therapy. You can pour a few tears into your suitcase, but then go to a new place and soak up the new environment. You are a writer of your own new history.
8. Write down your feelings and thoughts.
Get yourself into a notebook and write down your thoughts. Set yourself a measurable task: write two pages, ten minutes each, as you wish. This exercise is sure to bring relief and return a sense of order.
Today the whole picture is black, and the shadows are ominous. The ex-wife is a witch, the husband is a werewolf, youth cannot be returned, the future is disgustingly vague. But just trust me: in 12 months it will look different.
To everyone who goes through a divorce, I wish wisdom and foresight. And a beautiful new life, of course.