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Separation and divorce are very challenging times for anyone, and inevitably, when you are not functioning at your best, you will make mistakes. Here is a list of 8 mistakes to avoid during this difficult time:
- Failing to recognize the trauma that separation and divorce can cause you or your children.
When you go through a divorce, you have suffered a loss. A loss of a partner, a loss of a family unit, and a loss of how you thought your life was going to turn out. Like any loss you suffer, you will need to grieve and mourn. This is normal and healthy. Accept your feelings of sadness, and work through them, with a therapist, if necessary. The same goes for your children.
- Making a drastic change to symbolize your new life.
Cutting your hair, changing your hair colour, switching jobs or moving to another city might be decisions that are better to postpone for awhile. There are enough changes happening in your life during this time, that adding more drastic ones may lead to regret and overwhelm you.
- Jumping into a new relationship too quickly.
Getting out of a bad relationship can be very freeing and sometimes it is exciting to get out there in the dating world again. There is nothing wrong with meeting new people, but jumping into a relationship too quickly without allowing yourself time to heal from the divorce can be a mistake and lead to a repeat of old patterns. It can also be difficult for your children to make this adjustment.
- Being disrespectful and unfriendly to your ex-spouse in front of your children
No one gains when you treat your ex rudely in front of you children or if you bad mouth your ex to your children. This can be very challenging at times, and you may have a slip or too, but it will only hurt your children and YOUR relationship with them if you engage in this behaviour, however tempting it may be.
- Self medicating with food or alcohol
When you are going through the stress and often loneliness of separation and divorce, it can be easy to turn to food or alcohol to make you feel better. Neither will help you in the long run, and you could be setting yourself up for further problems down the road. Find healthy ways to manage your stress and loneliness such as exercise, therapy, and talking with friends.
- Isolating yourself
If you are feeling depressed or sad, it can be easy to want to hide away from the world and isolate yourself. Human connection is so important for our well being, so stay connected and reach out no matter how low you are feeling.
- Spending $10k to gain $1K
Fighting over little things with your ex-spouse may end up costing you far more than it was worth, and the only winner may be the lawyers. Always do your best to keep the big picture in mind.
- Talking about your divorce nonstop
It can be easy to become obsessed with your divorce and talk about it all the time with friends and family. Not only do your loved ones need a break from hearing about it, you need a break too so that you can remember that there are still good things in your life to feel gratitude towards.
Mistakes will happen, but If you are aware of the potential for falling into these behaviours, there is a greater likelihood you can avoid them.