(NO -- it doesn't have to be, even with all the messy emotions. We need to maintain our integrity and self-respect during this time. Learn some ways to hold on to your values and keep the emotions down a notch.)
The myth that divorce is always nasty isn’t true nor does it have to be true for you. A few things to consider .
1. The ‘nastiness’ of divorce often comes when one partner wants to get revenge on the other in repayment for the pain and suffering that they have felt. However gratifying this may seem in the short-term, in the long term this will not help you as you try to move forward.
This feeling keeps you — if you are the revenge seeker — stuck in the victim mode and can complicate the divorce process and delay your own healing. Acknowledge the feelings, the pain, the suffering, and work to find a way to move forward.
2. Keep your kids out of the divorce.
They are experiencing their own feelings about the changes and this needs to be honored — without their parents trying to involve them in their process. Work towards finding a way to communicate with your soon to be ex that maintains respect for you both and allows you to keep your integrity.— and keeps the kids out of it. Remember — your goal is to emerge from this a stronger, better person, intent to create a new life for yourself and your family.. Do it with dignity, as hard as it seems at the time. Visit KidsFirst for great guidance on this.
3. Three people to talk to: your best friend, your running buddy, your therapist. And that’s it. Don’t vent to your other friends, to your family, and above all, never, ever on social media. You may be full of feelings — many of them negative — but learn where to share these and when to keep quiet. What is said may come back to hurt your children, or to hurt you. Find a good outlet with a trusted ally or two, and try to remain respectful about your spouse with others. Again, this will will help your divorce process by creating a feeling of civility, and most importantly, it will help you keep your integrity.
4. A new paradigm: Divorce without Drama.
There is a new thinking about navigating divorce that embraces less anger and much less drama. Therapists and attorneys alike are encouraging people to re-think this process and see that the old story we know — two people, hysterical and vengeful, working with battling attorneys to ‘win’ a divorce — is very outdated. The new paradigm suggests that two people who are transitioning their relationship, have the opportunity and the right to do it in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
Imagine the difference this will make in your own process. You may be feeling a range of strong emotions, and you think that you have to move forward in this state. Professionals advise that by taking a ‘divorce break’ — a time to take care of yourself and your feelings and to focus on the positives in your present and future lives — you can create a feeling of more calm for yourself (and your family) that will allow you to negotiate in a clearer way. This is not to say, of course, that you will have to give up everything just because you are feeling less anxious or angry. It means that you will have the chance to be more clear on what you want and how to get it.