You never thought you’d be here.
Well, maybe you did. There’s an internet statistic floating around that says 80% knew on our wedding day that we were making a mistake.
Too bad for us now though! So what can you do to make this complicated and scary process go just a bit smoother?
First, make sure you’re safe. If you’re in any kind of abusive or threatening relationship, please seek out police protection and get a protective order in place.
A protective order can:
- grant you permission to stay in the house.
- keep a locksmith from letting him after you’ve changed the locks (put a copy of the order taped to the window by your door!).
- help you breathe easier and sleep soundly at night.
Next, change your passwords. And not just your passwords, but set up an entirely new email address he doesn’t know and begin having mail sent there. The two of you have so much history together and you never know when he may feel desperate or angry and try hacking your personal files.
Sharing custody? Instead of sitting on your couch watching the seconds tick by and listening to every breath and wondering where that random creaking sound is coming from, please promise me you’ll take some time to yourself to recover. As a single parent, your opportunities for me-time shrink way down. So make a list of things you want to do—paint your nails, watch Ali’s season of The Bachelorette when she kicks Justin to the curb as he hobbles away like a big baby, whatever it is—and reference that list when you find yourself alone on the couch, sweating, and worrying about what your ex is up to at this moment with the kids.
Finally, find a support group. I’m not so woo-woo and didn’t feel like talking about my feelings to strangers and admitting my ‘failure’ but I sure as heck wanted to hear about theirs and learn the tips and tricks. I didn’t have anyone close to me going through what I was, and I needed a tribe to lean on. I used DivorceCare, but there are lots of local or online options. Find what works for you.
If you found these tips helpful, check out my book on Amazon, Divorce: Easier Said Than Done, filled with practical tips like these to help you navigate a confusing and emotionally-draining time in your life.
I remember days and days of just saving up my tears for my 25 minute commute to work where I played Sara Evans’ Stronger over and over just to get it all out before I had to go and pretend I had my life together for the next 8 hours.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t always going to feel the way you do right now, and it’s up to you to be an active participant in your life and in this divorce. You get one good shot at it, so make it count. I’m rooting for you.