Playing the victim never ends well!!
The only time I get frustrated with clients during their divorce is when they continually assume the role of the victim. After thirteen years of practicing divorce law, walking clients through this mindset change is one of my biggest passions. You cannot move forward in life if your divorce remains a modern-day tragedy, in which you continuously play the starring role.
Giving in to self-pity
Whether it was you or your spouse that chose to end the marriage, there is only a small window in which I encourage clients to give way to self-pity. It is emotional and hellishly hard, but it is still your life. Your attorney needs you to be active, coherent and thinking about your case in order to effectively represent you. And so do you and everyone else you love and that loves you.
A victim mentality guarantees to hold you back from accomplishing other dreams.
It also stunts your ability to be a passionate, active parent, friend, daughter, and member of society.
Should you be unable to do anything but blame your spouse, you will always be unhappy with the outcome of your situation. Allow yourself to be heartbroken, as you have suffered a loss equitable to death. However, give your time and energy into creating a new, healthier lifestyle for yourself and your children.
Creating a one month, six month and year plan for what you want life to look like during the divorce process helps clients create personal goals.
This simple exercise can be of great help before, during and after the divorce process:
Jot down five things you want to accomplish inside of a month and put the list somewhere you will see it every day. Set a reminder on your phone daily to check in with yourself to determine where you are in reaching those benchmarks. Do not concern yourself with large tasks such as “lose 20 pounds” or “stop hating my ex”. Small steps lead to consistency. And consistency is how to overcome anything.
Simple things such as “go for a walk” and “answer the phone with a smile” are fantastic goals to start at the beginning. You can always expound on your list later on, but getting started is usually the most difficult. Once you have mastered one or two of your goals, add more and go at your own pace.
Counseling and divorce help groups can be a sounding board for your frustrations and concerns.
It is also a fantastic place to discuss your goals and may provide insight for creating new ones. Your experiences may be of help to the others in your group and provide a community for those in similar circumstances.
Proactivity is one of the biggest deterrents of a victim mindset. Knowing what you want and being accountable is helping to create the healthiest version of yourself. And whether it is during or after the divorce process, the world is waiting for the best version of you. Get started!
*No part of this article is to be considered legal advice and does not create or imply an attorney/client relationship between the reader and the author. Please refer to your local bar association in order to secure an attorney or the advice of an attorney.