The wreck of a relationship is heartbreaking. The person you thought you loved and trusted is transformed into your enemy. Nothing feels the same. If you’re married and contemplating divorce, the feeling is even worse.
Ending your marriage should be the last option. Vows made at the altar are intended to last forever. When they don’t, someone usually feels as though they have done something wrong.
Dissolving a marriage is very difficult. Before you decide to pull the trigger and file for divorce, here are a few things you things do.
People will say and do anything in the heat of passion. That doesn’t mean that their behavior is justified, but it does mean that you might not be thinking clearly when you’re upset. If you want to divorce your spouse, think long and hard about the decision. Even if they do something that’s grounds for an instant breakup in your mind, you should still take time to reflect on your decision.
- Figure out your finances
Untangling your finances after a long partnership is anxiety-inducing, especially if one of the partners brought in significantly more money. You could end up in a situation where you need to enforce an order of spousal support. Obviously, you can’t prevent your ex from being nasty or trying to sabotage you, but you might be able to save a lot of headaches by figuring out your financial strategy before you divorce.
At this point, communication between you and your spouse may have broken down completely. However, if you are still speaking, try to discuss your options as much as you can. Solid communication does wonders. It’s possible that your issues can even be resolved. If you need help discussing your feelings, consider going to therapy.
- Trial separation
Before pulling the trigger on your marriage, you can try a trial separation. See what it feels like to live without your partner. Is it harder to go about your day? Do you crave their presence? Or do you feel as though a giant weight has been lifted from your shoulders? You should give your separation at least a few months before you make a decision about your feelings.
- Be civil
No matter how hurt you are, you need to rise above the urge to hurt your spouse. Verbal lashings make you feel better in the moment but they’re ruinous in the long-term. Your ex can even use your words against in the divorce proceedings. Remember, once you decide to leave someone, you’ve also given yourself a reason to move on mentally. You don’t have to rage at your ex over fights you’re admitting will never be resolved.
- Speak to a lawyer
As matters progress, it’s time to speak to a lawyer. Divorce is often messy. If you and your spouse share kids or assets, some kind of agreement has to be made. A lawyer will agree to work for you and defend your rights. Unfortunately, the lawyer isn’t free. You’ll have to spend money upfront to save money later on. You and your ex both need your own lawyers, even if you share one income.
- Don’t gossip
Don’t trash your ex. You can vent with your friends, but don’t go out of your way to stir up drama. Why? It will affect you as well. You’re still going to see these people after your divorce. Do you want them to know all of your dirty secrets? Also, if you speak harshly about someone you once loved, it reflects poorly on you. After all, what kind of person are to date someone who’s as awful as you’re describing?
Reinvent yourself. Change your hair color, wear new clothes, start going to the gym. Your relationship is ending so it’s time to invest in yourself. You may want to start dating again eventually. That’ll be easier if you feel good about yourself. You have to remember who you are as an individual.
- Hang out with friends
Hang out with your friends. If you don’t have any, make some new ones online or by attending public meetups. You can’t think about your divorce all of the time. It will make you go crazy. You need some sort of distraction.
When you decide to file for divorce, you need to be prepared for the emotional whirlwind that will follow. It won’t be easy. However, you’re working toward a better future.