We should do all we can to remain civil following divorce.
I processed through my divorce while I was getting the divorce. It was a time for growing, understanding and accepting what was happening to me and my family. You must be able to view your situation from a positive perspective. I kept trying to find the silver lining. Set out on a path to healing and growth and don’t get stuck in the negative things of the past. The divorce is over, and the battle is done. Here are some tips that can help move away from being adversaries.
1. Neither of You Were Perfect:
Stop over thinking what was done wrong during the marriage. The end of the marriage wasn’t due to the lack of perfection on either spouse’s part. Push all thoughts of what was done wrong out of your head and replace these with positive thoughts. You’ll learn tolerance for yourself and your ex. You may not understand or agree with their actions but as long as they are not abusive, your ex has earned your tolerance. You are doing this to help yourself.
When bad thoughts creep into my mind, first I take a deep breath, exhale slowly and say to myself, “No one is perfect,” and I try to let it go. If that doesn’t work I pray. I am usually fine after that.
Stop looking in your past at things you cannot change. When you keep doing this you’re hurting yourself and delaying your healing. You are the one preventing yourself from living in the present.
2. Really Be Nice:
This can be really hard to do at times. If your ex is like mine, they know how to push all your buttons and how you usually react when the buttons are pushed. When this happens, tell yourself to take the high road. They may be pushing your buttons just to get a certain reaction. You are in control—do not give them the reaction they are seeking.
Set clear boundaries and communicate them. How can your ex respect your boundaries if they do not know what they are? In the event your ex chooses to not respect your boundaries, remove yourself. As you leave, take a long deep breathe with a smile and say a prayer. I’ve learned from experience that if you respond to a situation with a smile you’ll sense positive feelings.
3. Manners and Respect:
As much as you dislike your ex-spouse, they probably dislike you that much or more. S/he is going to behave badly toward you at times; that is just part of a divorce. If you have children, your ex will be in your life for the rest of your life. I truly believe we must have manners and treat each other with a certain amount of respect. It can be almost impossible, but you need to view your ex-spouse’s bad behavior as something they are doing—it does not mean you have to participate. Don’t get caught up in negative feelings or uncivil responses.
4. Accept the Things You Can’t Change:
Divorce brings up many negative feelings: fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger, confusion, disappointment, depression; the list goes on. This was a life-altering time. In many ways, it was a change that needed to happen. The divorce is final and the battle should be, as well. It is the time to begin your new life. Be yourself and do the things that make you happy. Accept, the things you can’t change. Change the things you can.
Photo by jumpinjimmyjava.
This article originally appeared at Divorced and Scared No More.