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What Do You Do Now?

April 10, 2012

Today I want to give you some pointers on what you do now that you are divorced, I may even throw in some “don’t’s”, we’ll see how it goes. And I hope you don’t mind, I’m gonna keep things a bit laid back while I write this blog, the last couple were pretty heavy and I just want to be a bit casual on this one.

Probably the first and most significant thing you can do for yourself is take care of your health. But since this is so important , I am going to write an entire blog dedicated to this topic. For now, I am just going to give you a heads up that if you are facing  divorce, you will need your health. Divorce is one of the most traumatic and life changing events that a person will ever experience, there will be hormonal imbalances, a lack of sleep and an emotional roller coaster ride that will make the amusement park look foolish. Without your health, you are a bad divorce experience waiting to happen. Go for a walk every day, drink water instead of pop and coffee (shouldnt be drinking this stuff anyway, it’s actually toxic to a human) fruits and veggies are a must. My biggest no-no? I ate out ALL the time, if you absolutely must eat out, make the healthier choice (that’s the harder choice btw…) Even just these few suggestions will definitely help you to not only go through your divorce, but to help you make better overall decisions in every part of your life.

Get yourself (and your kids) to counselling as soon as possible. You are fighting a double-edged sword here, lots of divorced parents do not have any faith in counselling and the reason for that is this, society, in its infinite wisdom has decided that counselling is bad. Sorry, I don’t have a better word for it, bad is as scientific as it gets today.  But seriously, society has become so egoic that most people you talk to have a negative misconception about counselling. I have spoken with lots of people who would rather be shot than go for counselling. Do not believe this, it is a mind virus that has no merit. As you go through your divorce, and as your kids go through your divorce, everyone will need an outlet to express anger, fear, anxiety and a host of other emotions. Do this as soon as possible!! I made the mistake to not have counselling a part of our divorce early on and I am now seeing the effects first hand in my own children. Years later is too late to start making changes, especially if you have an ex that likes to play games. Through my work, I have found that down the road,  that type of ex refuse to consent to counselling (usually need consent of both parents) because they know that when there are professionally trained, unbiased people involved, chances are, the games being played will come to light, and nobody likes being caught when they have done something wrong. So, if you don’t make this a normal part of your divorce you may have to one day go to court just to take the kids to counselling, what a time waster. And, as far as I am concerned, this is the one thing that saved my life, I truly believe that if I had not started going to counselling when I did back in 2009, I would not be here to write this blog. I absolutely know from experience that counselling helps!!

Put a Parenting Plan in place. Yes, another suggestion from my school of hard knocks. There are many agencies that can help you put a Parenting Plan together, if you are in mediation you can do it there or ask where to go. A Parenting Plan is essential because your children need the advice of both Parents, even if the kids live primarily with one or the other. You need to remember that just one parent is not capable of offering everything a child needs, hence the reason that it took TWO parents to create a child, figure out each of your strengths and support each other. You are not a better parent, you just parent differently, remember that. Once your plan is in place, you should have a weekly meeting and check in with each other on how the kids are doing, problems at school, video game or you tube addiction, you get the idea. If there are any problems make sure the punishment is consistent in both homes………oh wait a second, sorry, parents don’t punish kids anymore, just forget I wrote that.

Be aware of how you talk about your ex. OK, nothing like calling the kettle black right? Yes, even I am guilty of this unfortunately. I have to admit that there are occasions when my boys will tell me something that makes no sence and I react by saying something negative. Sure, whatever your ex did is probably crazy,  but your reaction is even worse on the kids. You need to remember that your kids are a part of each of you, and whatever attack thoughts you have towards your ex are actually attack thoughts towards yourself and your kids. So just don’t do it.

Recognize Abuse and do something about it. And it doesn’t matter what sex you are. Set a precedent right from the start so you have healthy boundaries throughout the rest of your relationship. Ladies, it is absolutely unacceptable for a man to abuse you in any way, don’t allow it.  Men, it is absolutely unacceptable for a woman to abuse you in any way, don’t allow it. Yes, this message goes out to everyone, and sorry ladies I am going to spend extra time with the guys today. Right now, in our society, more men than you can even comprehend are the victims of mental abuse and verbal abuse, unfortunately we never hear about it because men do not want to look like “cowards” or “weak”. The big problem of course is that when men finally do something about it they are so mad they simply retaliate towards the abuser and she ends up seriously hurt or dead, this is so not cool. (Think about the ramifications on the kids for a second). For the most part guys, your ex-wife is going to abuse you through email or text, trust me when I say it is easier to just take it for what it’s worth, which is nothing, and move on. However, my suggestion to you (and ladies do this as well if you need to) is to keep copies of all abusive communication so you can prove what has happened in the unfortunate event that you need to contact the police. People need to be held accountable for what they have done or said, even if  it is via electronic transmission, there are laws in place for “cyber bullying” and if you hold your ex accountable right from the start, hopefully you never need to worry about this subject.

That’s it for today, I thought I would give you some specific don’ts as well but I will leave that for another blog. If there is something related to divorce you want me to write about please let me know, I would be happy to help you out in any way I can.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2012 08:28

    As the only (now adult) child of divorced parents, I can’t say this too strongly — do NOT diss your ex-wife, ever!! to your children. They’re already stressed enough by the divorce. They may wish you’d stayed married (because the marriage fell apart is not their issue, but now it is. It was thrown into their laps.) They probably love their mother deeply and know she’s hurting, too.

    Not to mention they may also have to deal with their mother’s new boyfriend(s) and or a new step-father and siblings. It’s very easy for men to step away from a bad marriage and forget all the stresses their kids are facing (which they may not ever verbalize to you.)

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