For most people, divorce can be a nightmare. It takes a compound business and logistical endeavor and forces someone who is in the depths of despair and anger and hurt into making complex business decisions. Read why it really is as difficult as we think it is, and learn how to approach it in a manner that could decrease the confusion and panic.
The central problem with divorce is that when we go into it, we do not go in with a strategy. As a result, right from the get-go we are in the weeds, without a clear vision in sight. Confused about what I mean? Take as a second and Google “Divorce Help” or “Divorce Advice” and look at the results. If our search engines are similar, you probably saw similar things that I did:
“Online Divorce for $149”
“Help Your Child Through Divorce”
“Top 11 Divorce Tips to Remember”
“Five Reasons the Divorce is Your Fault”
Greeeeeeaaaaat. So, this means that when we’re in despair, grieving, confused, and completely lost because we’re reeling from one of the most stressful events that a person goes through, that we’re supposed to absorb and study all these tidbits of information, somehow make sense of them, and apply them to our own unique divorce situation? Is it just me, or is this absolutely insane and unhelpful to anyone else?
That’s why divorce is such a struggle. And it’s not just the internet that is to blame on this one. For years, handling divorce in this country has scattered and confusing, and it’s like doing a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle in the dark. We are expected to handle multiple issues being thrown at us, putting out several fires at once. There you are, facing major trauma—the death of your marriage and the loss of a life that you thought you knew, and all of a sudden, you’re bombarded with a thousand business decisions that even a person not going through emotional hell would be overwhelmed by.
How are you supposed to figure out new living arrangements, if your spouse has taken all the money in the accounts, how are you going to find a lawyer and therapist and how you’re going to pay for them? And the frustrating part is trying to cobble together all those extraneous and contradictory bits of advice online and somehow make them work for you and your own unique situation. How is this fair? How does this help anyone move on?
This is insane. No wonder divorce is a living hell–emotionally, financially, and legally. The status quo is making the divorce process a hot mess because it forces us to fight from the bottom and juggle separate things all at once. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What if you could take your divorce and frame it in a way that empowers you, gives your confidence back, and lets you heal and get on with your life?
It is possible. And I want to show you how you can begin to reframe the way you go through divorce in a way that will give you the comfort and clarity that will empower you and heal you. As you already know, no single checklist is a miracle cure for all the things going on with your divorce. But you can think of the struggles you experience during divorce from a more top-down approach by starting with these initial questions:
1. What am I feeling right now?
2. Of these feelings, which ones are clouding my judgement? What steps can I take so that I can neutralize them and still proceed with the logistics of this divorce?
3. What is it that I want with this divorce, exactly? Are these wants realistic?
4. What is that I need? What are the immediate needs? What are the more long-term ones? Remember to be realistic on your needs during the divorce.
5. What is it that I might have to compromise on during the divorce?
6. How will I handle something if it does not go my way?
7. Where do I want to be with this divorce in 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?
8. What can I do right now, that will help me get to where I want to be?
You may not have the answers to all these questions right now. When you’re grieving and panic-stricken and desperately searching for answers to what went wrong, it’s hard to take a step back and take the long view. But in order to survive this turmoil and come out a stronger, healed person, it is necessary.
This framework may not be the be-all end-all cure-all for how to approach your divorce, but it is start. What this approach will teach you to do is to start framing all the things required of you in a way that is not overwhelming, confusing, or patronizing.