Divorcing and divorced men were fantastic – both as support and a fountain of knowledge. When I was close to losing it, these great fellows were less emotional, more practical and pointed out what was on track in my divorce.
In the mandated parenting class that our attorneys’ clients attend, these men opened up to share their fears and points of view. We, women, got to laughing about how we could turn a trivial aspect of our divorces into something quite monumental.
Guys, here are a few divorce tips for you.
Ignore the idiots who tell you to “man up.” If You need to vent, then go out with buddies and tell them about your divorce from hell over a pint. You will be surprised to hear even more absurd divorce stories than yours. Guys, check in with a divorce coach if yours is spinning out of control. Forming strategies on how to cope will make you more empowered and be more composed in court. Enrolling in a parenting class or divorce support group will remind you that you are not alone.
There is something to the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Do you really want to argue over a sofa or wedding china? Let her have these and save your energy for going after the big ticket items. It is customary for each spouse to take personal gifts given to them by their family members. If your family gave valuable presents and hers gave trinkets, make sure you leave with what is due to you. My mother had to put in writing the large items that were given to me when there was a dispute over these goods in our divorce.
Women are more emotional and may cry or yell when stressed out during a divorce. Keeping your cool will help us calm down and stick with the divorce agenda. Lashing out (even when justified) may escalate our moodiness, so try to keep a business-like demeanor.
It will be hard for you not to see your kids 24/7. Some fathers work extra and complete projects when the youngsters are with the other parent. This will free up some of your schedule so more time can be spent with doing fun activities with the little ones when you have them. Go out with the guys and get your social needs met when the kids are away. Let your ex know that you are happy to step in and take the kids when she has to travel for work or has last minute emergencies. You will get to see the children more and are viewed as being cooperative. This will make life easier if you want extra time with the kids for a family reunion and so forth.
“Things get better with time” is a cliché but it is absolutely true. The first several months of visitation is an adjustment and difficult when you drop them off each time. You will start to get into a pattern of seeing friends, hitting the gym more and having time for your own pursuits in between shared time. Life does get easier in the future, just hang in there. Post-divorce, some men have joined hiking groups or joined community or work sports teams for fun and camaraderie. Others have taken classes to advance in their careers. This may be the time to step up visiting elderly relatives and help them with minor house repairs. I know of several divorced men who made more frequent journeys to their hometowns to check on parents and reunite with old friends.
Take care of yourself during divorce and consume alcohol in moderation. Get sleep, exercise, and do not fret about trying to emulate chef Jamie Oliver because healthy take-out is fine. You will get through this crazy episode in your life.
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