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When you started your divorce you probably had no idea how long it would take, how every new challenge was going to come back to you.
Getting divorced starts with a decision, but no one told you about sustaining that decision. About fighting off the doubts, feeling like everyone comes first but you. Don’t lose hope, here are some words of encouragement from other moms who have been where you are.
At this stage of the divorce, when the impact is really being felt, it is easy to freak out. Keep your cool. Monica said:
“There was a point in the divorce when it seemed like he was doing everything he cut to undermine me. My lawyer wanted us to work out a parenting plan which seemed like a joke at the time. My coach helped me see that my kids need their dad as much as they need a mom. I might have blown the whole process up if I didn’t stay focused on their needs as well as mine”.
The way to keep your cool is to remain focused on needs. Ignore what his lawyer says, or his shortcomings.
People say and do stupid things, sometimes even during divorce. If he is purposely triggering the crap out of you in that way that only he knows how- create some boundaries.
“For a while, we only communicate via text and email. It was the only way I could get the distance I needed to keep my head” says Claire.
Setting boundaries is something we do for our own safety, not to change the other person. Claire had no power over her husband’s mouth but she could control the way they communicated and that gave her the space she needed to stay focused.
Studies show that in most families, one person manages the household, and the other the long-term investments. It is rare that both people have the full story on both. Whatever you let him manage, learn about it. Denise said
“I watched our joint finances spiral”
Then went to Savvy Ladies to learn about finances.
No doubt you feel like you come last, like somewhere after the cat or dog. Divorcing moms often give and give until their battery just runs down.
The ending is never good for them or their families when this happens. You know how the airlines tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in the event of an emergency? That’s because they know from experience that you need to be 100% to care for your child.
“Put your self-care on the front burner, before work, before family. When I did that I found I had more focus and energy for both these areas of my life and more.“
Knowing that your kids are suffering is one of the most painful parts of a divorce. It is not unusual to go a little numb to your children’s pain.
It’s either that or suffer the agony of knowing there is not a lot you can do to make it better in the short run. Stephanie had another strategy that worked better:
“In a moment of total frustration, I realized the real dilemma. I wasn’t doing this to the kids, I was doing it for them. The fact is they would suffer far more if I stayed in the marriage”.
Getting that you are really doing this for your children as much as yourself makes it easier. You see that all of your pain today is just like any other injury. It’s part of the healing process.
Living through the pain of divorce and coming out of it stronger requires keeping your eyes on the prize. The prize is a life where you feel free again, where you are teaching by example.
“My kids saw that even though their father and I did not see eye to eye on everything, that I always spoke about him in the best light to them. For me, this divorce is about being true to my values.”
No one does divorce alone. We all need our network of support.
Reach out to friends and family. Reach out to your spiritual community.
Lean into work and be transparent about what you and your family need for you to stay productive. Look for online classes, support groups, mental health professionals.
Keep reaching out until the sense of fear and panic subsides. Until the rage settles down and you feel like yourself again.
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