Divorce is always going to be messy, there’s no way around it. It’s not just about the end of a relationship, it’s a huge lifestyle shift for both parties involved, as well as the rest of the family. If you have built your life around another person for years and, all of a sudden, you’re out on your own, it’s tough to adjust.
But even though a divorce is never going to be a walk in the park, that doesn’t mean that it has to be difficult at every step. People make a few big mistakes that make the whole process a lot longer and more painful than it needs to be for everybody involved. If you can avoid making the same mistakes, you can have a much more amicable divorce that causes less pain and leaves everybody in a much better position at the end of it all. These are some of the biggest mistakes that you need to avoid during a divorce.
Bringing The Kids Into It
Your divorce is immediately more complicated if there are kids involved. But one of the biggest mistakes that people make is dragging their kids into the middle of this whole mess. Obviously, there are going to be child custody issues that need to be solved and you will have to explain the situation to them. However, that doesn’t mean that you can use them as a bargaining tool or try to play favourites with them. So many parents end up bad-mouthing each other to the kids or trying to win favour with them by spending money on expensive presents. But all this does is make your children feel confused and torn between two parents.
It’s vital that you explain from the very beginning that, although your relationship is at an end, that doesn’t change the way that either of you sees them. Make sure that you keep your personal opinions about your ex to yourself, and don’t talk badly of them in front of the kids. If you do, it will stick with them for a long time and put some serious strain on family relationships, so leave them out of it.
Keeping The Kids In The Dark
Even though you shouldn’t bring the kids into the middle of it all, that doesn’t mean that you should keep them in the dark either, but a lot of parents make this mistake. Kids are more perceptive than we realize and they will know that something is going on. If you keep telling them that everything is fine, they’ll just worry even more and they’ll also feel hurt that their parents are lying to them. You don’t need to give them every single detail, but it’s much better in the long term to be upfront about what is going on. Sit them down and explain the whole situation to them. It’s a hard conversation to have, but it is for the best.
Putting Mutual Friends In The Middle
It’s not just your kids that can end up feeling like they’re stuck in the middle, it’s your friends as well. If you have mutual friends, things can quickly get very awkward, especially if you put them in tough situations. You have to remember that they are friends with both of you, and if you start bad mouthing your ex all the time, it puts people in a difficult position. Some people also want their friends to pick a side, and that just pushes people away. It’s important that you find ways to share friends with your ex after the divorce. In some cases, relationships will come to an end and that’s something that you will have to deal with. But you and your ex also need to sit down and talk about how you want to move forward. You should also discuss this with your friends and give them some guidance. Should they invite both of you to a social event, for example, or should they alternate? Once you and your ex have decided how you want to handle it, you can communicate this to your friends. It’s always going to be a bit of an adjustment, but it’s important that you don’t use your friends as a weapon against each other.
Arguing Over Petty Things
During the divorce proceedings, it’s common for a lot of point scoring to occur. People want to feel like they’ve won somehow, and they’ll latch onto the pettiest things and argue them into the ground. But if you spend weeks arguing about who gets to keep a set of dinner plates, the process will drag on, you will spend more money, and you will leave with a worse relationship. In the end, these small details don’t really matter, so don’t waste time and money fighting them just so you can try to make yourself feel better because it won’t work. The thing that is going to make you feel better is leaving things on good terms and accepting that, even though things didn’t work out, you don’t have to hate each other’s guts. Naturally, there will be some things that you both want to keep and there will be negotiations, but when it comes to things that you know they care about more than you, just let them have it.
Not Fighting For Yourself
Nobody wants a long drawn out divorce process, but this sometimes leads to people going in the opposite direction and not fighting for anything. They just want it over and done with so they just roll over and agree to whatever terms their ex gives them. Sometimes, the person that left and decided to end the marriage will feel guilty, so they will give the other person whatever they want. But this can leave you in a tough position where you have no house, car, or money to live on. Your goal shouldn’t be to take them for everything that they have, but you also need to make sure that you are looked after once the divorce is over. It’s about finding a middle ground so you aren’t fighting over petty things, but you are still fighting for yourself and making sure that you are in a stable position after the divorce. It’s important that you assess your own position and come up with a plan before the proceedings begin so you are prepared to back yourself.
Failing To Plan For Life After The Divorce
This is a big one because people are often completely unprepared for life on their own. If you were both working or, even worse, if you were financially reliant on them, you’re going to find yourself in a tough position. But people are so focused on the divorce proceedings that they forget to plan for what happens afterwards. It’s important that you are thinking ahead and you start to do things like writing a new budget, putting the house on the market, finding a job if necessary. Failure to plan for these things will leave you in a very difficult financial situation, and that will put more stress on you during an already difficult time. When you are making your plans, it’s important that you recognize that a divorce can last for years and cost a lot of money, and you need to be prepared for that.
Jumping Into A Rebound Relationship
After a divorce, it’s important that you stay social and don’t withdraw from your friends. Going out and having a good time is good for you, and you might even flirt with somebody a little bit, but leave it there. So many people just don’t know how to function on their own after being in a relationship for so long, and they assume that they need to find somebody else right away if they’re going to be happy. But this usually leads to them latching onto the first person that they meet and convincing themselves that they’re the right person for them and they’re going to make everything great again.
A lot of people are motivated by resentment that they have towards their ex and they think that if they get into a rebound relationship first that they are somehow winning. It’s not about the new person at all, it’s just about proving to their ex that they are over them and they’re doing better than them. But in the long run, this isn’t going to make you feel better, it’s just going to make you feel worse when it all eventually comes to an end.
You also have to remember that you’re playing with somebody’s feelings here and the person that you jump into a rebound relationship with might actually really like you. It’s not fair to use them to score points against an ex and then drop them. What you should be doing right now is taking some time for yourself to heal, and then you will be ready for another relationship.
If you make these mistakes during your divorce, you are just going to make the whole process a lot harder than it needs to be.