So how did I survive divorce? I haven’t yet. I’m divorced, yes. I am still feeling the effects and will probably for the rest of my life. There are ways to make it a LOT easier. Here are five tips to help you through:
- Figure Out What Your Goal Is
My biggest goal was to keep things as normal as possible for my children and never make them the center of it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t slip up and gripe about him. I certainly did, and I really had to watch myself. I kept as much the same as I could; meals, bedtime routines, homework, discipline, etc. I also made sure they had someone to talk with if they needed that. Start to do this right away!
- Try Settling Things Amicably If Possible
Since I didn’t have money to hire an attorney, I met with a mediator who specialized in families going through divorce. 1.0 and I met with her a handful of times to hash out our feelings, arrangements for custody and placement, and finances. She met with us & called us individually to find out facts and feelings, never telling the other what was talked about, so that she could get a good feel for what was going on and offer tips in a non-biased way. We did still have to pay, but it was thousands less than what it would have been, had we gone through an attorney.
- Seek Out Support From a Divorce Group or Counselor
Thankfully, I had another friend who was going through a divorce at the same time, and she invited me to a group at her church. It was called “Divorce Care”. They also had a group for kids that took place at the same time my group did, so my youngest came with me and loved going to his own group. I strongly encourage you to seek out help this way. It was so good for me and helped me to get in a better frame of mind. I was able to hear others’ stories and it wasn’t just a whining session of what our spouses did to us. It was divided into different topics each week, and helped us address the very many and familiar issues that come along with divorce, like finances and forgiveness.
- Connect With Your Church Body
My church, thankfully, is a huge support system. They sent flowers to me on the day of my divorce to let me know they were thinking of and praying for me. That day also happened to be the same day I had to go in for testing after I found a lump on my breast. Why not pack it all in to one day?! My church family checks in on me, has offered financial support that helped me through some tough stuff, and they are there to pray with me and offer as many hugs as I can take.
- Lean Into Your Friends
I have been blessed with many friends. These are friends that I have intentionally built relationships with throughout the years, so I know who my real ones are and aren’t. One rule that I live by is this: in order to have a friend, you have to BE a friend. I have forged great relationships with others and I’m very glad I did, because they have been so strong for me and have picked me up when I was at the end of my rope. They know that I would absolutely do the same for them. I look at others who have walked this journey and I can see that they are not as well off because they don’t have the support of good friends. The number one reason for that is because they shut people out and don’t want to be real about life and their struggles. Swallow that pride and GET REAL with people! That’s the only way they’ll know how to be a friend to you!
I hope this helps and I will add more as time allows. Keep smiling!