This time of year has a way of making us think about our lives and our values, and we may ask ourselves, “What the heck am I doing in this marriage?” or, “Why am I living like this?” or we may even think, “I’m just not happy, I can’t do this anymore.” Going through a divorce will change many aspects of your life, including your immediate family, work and friendships. You, your soon to be ex-spouse, and your children will all be impacted in some way. Divorce is a loss of hopes and dreams for everyone in the family- and it feels especially difficult around the holidays and New Year. This may be the last year you, “put on a happy face” and pretend that things are okay.
You Do Not Need to Rush
For some reason, people considering divorce seem to think they need to “hurry up” and make a decision or tell their spouse of their decision to divorce. You do not need to be on anyone’s timeline but your own. Yes, once you have started the court process, there are court deadlines- but remember, you also have the choice about *how* you divorce and whether or not to keep things out of court. This is part of the reason not to rush… take your time to think about how you will go through the process as you have many options.
Use the skill of, “Cope Ahead” when talking about your divorce
Getting through divorce is not easy. The thought of telling your children or other people and having this conversation over and over can be extremely anxiety provoking. One of the skills we like to teach clients at the San Diego Divorce Counseling Center is the skill of, “Cope Ahead.” This skill was developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., and it’s useful in any anticipated stressful situation. The skill is to imagine ahead of time how the conversation may go. Rehearse what your answer will be when you are asked about your divorce. You may want to journal all possible answers and then practice saying them out loud.
You may want to go through the same exercise in imagining how you will tell your children. If possible, have a plan to talk to your children with your coparent. Some parents will work together and come up with a script about how to tell the children about their divorce. The best strategy is to use non-blaming words for explaining why you are divorcing. Some parents even come up with a, “divorce story” they can share with children, friends and family. This allows them to stay on the same page, deliver the same message, and remain non-blaming.
If you would like more information about your choices in the divorce process please attend our Second Saturday Divorce workshop; www.SecondSaturdaySouthBay.com
If you’re going through a divorce and need help re-establishing your sense of self or if you need assistance in preparing for mediation at Family Court Services, please visit our website at www.DivorceCounselingCenter.com or contact us at info@DivorceCounselingCenter.com, or call 619-865-3203 to set up an appointment.