Getting a divorce is, by far, one of the most challenging life events anyone could ever go through. Your life’s once stable foundation has been rocked by a split that has changed how you look at yourself, your soon-to-be-ex, your family, and the world at large. While everyone’s divorce journey looks different, there are some key things you need to avoid in order to come out the other end on the right foot. Here are things not to do when you divorce.
1. Don’t Hold It All In
The worst possible thing you could do is hold all your emotions inside without having some outlet. Your feelings will come out eventually, but instead of a trickle, you risk an epic apocalyptic-style flood when you least expect it. Take control of how and when you release the pressure of emotions. Not to say you may have a few outbursts in the most inopportune of times, but planning some time to process your divorce is vital.
Meet with a therapist, a friend, a family member to talk through everything you are feeling. Some people process through stressful events by exercising, creating music, or picking up a new hobby. Whatever method you choose, practice it regularly.
2. Don’t Listen to Everyone Else
There are some people you probably should listen to like your attorney, your doctor, or your divorce coach, or your therapist. But when someone is going through a divorce, suddenly everyone in your life will have an opinion on what you should and should not do. Don’t listen to them. Instead, turn your thoughts inward and ask yourself, “What do I want to do?” Just because something was good or bad for one person in their divorce doesn’t mean it will happen to you. Trust your gut. It knows you better than anyone
3. Don’t Answer Right Away
When anyone is in a stressful situation, our brains turn on survival mode. You may feel quick to anger or sadness. You may read into communications with your ex in a way you previously didn’t. When communicating with someone who triggers an emotional response, it is ok to wait to respond. If it is via text, just put the phone down and come back at a later time. If it is a face-to-face discussion, let them know you need some time to answer. You don’t have to have an answer for everything immediately.
4. Don’t Seek Vengeance
There is a lot of hurt that happens in a divorce. This is especially true when infidelity is involved. The worst thing you could do in a divorce is to seek vengeance for the pain you have experienced. Trying to hurt the other person will only end up hurting you as well. Instead, focus on rebuilding your own life, becoming the best new version of yourself. That really is the best revenge.
5. Don’t Do It Alone
Divorces are lonely. Many people lose friendships, family, and personal connections when they are going through a split. You don’t have the do it alone. This is probably one of the most important things not to do when you divorce. There are many divorce communities out there that are supporting each other through one of the toughest times of their lives. In fact, Split.fyi has its own divorce community that shares, connects, and supports others going through the divorce process.