Everyone is in a constant state of change, whether we pay attention to it or not. This means that no matter how much work you put in, many relationships will start to become strained after a number of years, and end in divorce. As if this wasn’t heavy enough on your nerves, some people choose, for whatever reason, to drag out the proceedings. If you’re going through a high-conflict divorce, here are a few tips to help you survive the whole affair.
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Yes, it may seem like your ex-partner (or soon-to-be ex-partner) is the only party at fault here, but it’s important to accept the role you have in the divorce, and how your choices and actions are affecting what follows. Do you really want or need the things you’re asking for in the legal proceedings, or are you just taking these actions because you’re bitter towards the other person?
Respond, Don’t React
When you respond, you’re assessing the situation logically, and basing your decisions on facts and probabilities. When you react, you’re simply taking an instinctive action, based on whatever emotions you’re feeling at the time. It may be hard, but try to take a step back, think about the way you’re feeling, and stop your emotions getting in the way of smarter decisions.
Accept the Situation
When the hard reality of a divorce hits us, it can be natural to slip into denial and withdraw yourself from the whole situation. However, just because your divorce may be getting ugly, it doesn’t mean that your behavior has to be. The ins and outs of family law can be extremely hard to wrap your head around, and the legal system may not move along as quickly as you’d like. As frustrated as you are, try to be patient, and accept that it’s going to take a while before things get any better.
Divorce proceedings always go smoother if you’re able to be civil with your ex. However, you should still set clear boundaries with them. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll listen to and what you won’t. Don’t let him push your buttons at every opportunity. Be firm with how you’re handling the situation, and tell your ex clearly what you will and will not accept from him. Some exes will still try to cross the boundaries that are set. Don’t give yours too much leeway!
One of the most important parts of keeping a cool head during your divorce is being kind to yourself. Plan some kind of activity that you’ll enjoy for right after your big date in court. This might be a soothing day at the spa, a day out with the kids, a session of your favorite sport or a night out with the girls. Just remember to make the subject of your ex a no-go, both for your friends and for yourself. It may feel like your divorce is hanging over your head everywhere you go and sapping the fun out of life, but you should still make a point to look on the bright side.