Going through a divorce is rarely an easy time. There is a lot of emotional stress involved, not to mention that it will completely change your life going forward. It’s no wonder that many men struggle when going through a divorce, even if they don’t want to admit it. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of going through a divorce, here are some tips you can use that will hopefully make things a little easier to manage.
Find a Way to Reduce Stress
One of the first things you should try to do is look for a way to reduce stress. Between navigating your former relationship and figuring out your new life, there’s going to be a big strain on your mental health. If you don’t find ways to reduce it, you’ll have a much harder time getting through and may even see some negative impacts on your physical health.
Mental health is important for men as well as women, so don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy. Read a book, exercise, see a movie, or take up a new hobby. Anything that distracts you for a while and provides you with enjoyment is a good thing to try. If you find that you are still dealing with stress throughout the day, consider learning some mindfulness habits that can help you reduce stress.
Don’t Say Anything in Anger
One reason that you want to focus on reducing stress is that it can help prevent you from saying something you regret. Tensions are high during a divorce and it can often lead us to say things we wished we hadn’t. One of your goals for this divorce should be to get through it without making things any more difficult than they need to be. To do this, you’ll want to avoid saying anything in anger, either to your spouse or your children.
If you find yourself in a heated argument, or just in an angry mood, take a moment for some deep breaths to calm yourself down. Another good strategy is to walk away from the other person so that you can’t even be tempted to say that angry thought. Finally, a strategy many people have found helpful is to write down your angry thoughts in a letter to that person, then put the letter away without sending it. After a few days you can go back to the letter with a clear head and be glad you never said those things out loud.
Get Your Financial Situation in Order
Your financial situation will likely be much different after a divorce. You’ll either have to start living on one income as opposed to two, or you’ll be paying alimony. Money problems can lead to significant stress, so you must figure out how your financial situation will work as soon as you can. As this experienced divorce attorney opines, you should also consider how much of your debts and assets would you be giving away to your divorced partner.
Spend a few hours writing down all of your expenses going forward – rent, food, transportation, lawyer fees, alimony, child care, etc. If the total amount is more than you’re bringing in each month, then you’ll clearly need to make some cutbacks, such as finding a smaller place to live or taking the subway to work. Once you have a written plan in place, make sure you stick to it each month so that you don’t find yourself going into debt.
Find a Support Group
Going through a divorce is even more difficult if you have to do it alone. You should look for your own support group that can help you through these times. Family members and friends are great support options, provided they are emotionally available enough to help you. If you don’t have family or friends you can turn to, there are support groups online where you can connect with others going through a similar situation.
Some other members of your support group may include a therapist, a financial advisor, and a lawyer. Get as many reliable people as you need by your side to make this divorce a little more manageable.
Know Your Rights as a Father
Finally, you must know what your rights are as a father. In many cases, the courts will side with the mother’s wishes, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have any rights. You should either consult with a lawyer or see what the laws are in your state. For example, Florida custody laws for fathers are different than those in New Jersey or Texas. You need to know what your rights are so that you don’t get taken advantage of in court.
Going through a divorce is never easy. But if you can take some time for yourself, create some plans of action, and get a solid support system by your side, you can make the entire process a little easier to manage.