Before divorce even becomes a thought in the heads of you or your spouse and you find yourself in a consistent pattern of toxicity and resentment in your increasingly dysfunctional dynamic, you have your own thoughts about how things are going. You have had your own experiences that define how you feel and what you are going to do moving forward.
When the process begins, you feel justified in your feelings, because they are defined by the actions, conversations, and experiences that have led you to this moment. The end of your marriage is a product of the sentiments that characterize the dysfunction and resentment of those actions, conversations, and experiences, and you are allowed to honor them.
Your family law attorney will honor your feelings, listening to aspects of your relationship that you feel impact your case. These are important moments, which is why it is important to hire a family law attorney who understands the unique situation that you face.
You are allowed
You are allowed to be angry that you have to stay in the marital home, or else you risk appearing as if you have abandoned the family. You are allowed to be angry about the possibility that you may not spend as much time with your children as you previously did. You are allowed to be angry about the possibility of having an order of protection made against you, in response to a false claim made by your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
You are allowed to feel like no matter what the outcome of the case may be, you are not getting your fair share in the divorce settlement. You are allowed to receive alimony no matter what gender you may be, and you are allowed to revisit aspects of your divorce at a future date.
After the divorce is finalized, you may have a variety of feelings that you have to sort through, and you are entitled to them. They are yours and you have every right to feel them, based on your individual experiences within the confines of your unhappy and dysfunctional marriage, as well as the events of the divorce process.
How you choose to process these feelings and express them is entirely up to you, but there are healthier and more appropriate ways of doing so than others. This does not include any instance of a topical and pertinent discussion in front of your children.
Regardless of what your co-parent and ex-spouse is doing, you should make an effort to be the bigger person and shield your children from any negativity directed at the opposite parent, and this includes sentiments coming from you. Avoid any awkward or serious discussions around the children, and look for private ways of expressing your frustration to your support system.
One of the healthiest ways of unpacking the complex emotional tapestry of the divorce process is through therapy. Therapy offers the nonjudgmental environment that you may need after a divorce. It gives you the chance to discuss what happened in your marriage with an unbiased licensed mental health professional.
It also gives you the opportunity to learn from the experience. By sorting through your actions and feelings with someone who did not experience them, you are better equipped to put things in perspective and move on without repeating those mistakes in future relationships.
Time also plays a factor in honoring the feelings you may have after a divorce. The more that passes, the less intense your feelings may be. Conversely, you may be more hardened in your position, regarding specific issues involved in your divorce or child custody case.
Holding on or letting go
Regardless of which occurs, you are justified in your feelings, but whether you hold onto them or let them go is entirely up to you. You are entitled to your opinion, but just like your feelings, that opinion can be subject to change over time, in order to help adjust to aspects of your new life and move on.
By holding onto the feelings of resentment, you may be giving your ex-spouse power. They can be controlling where you go for the fear of running into them. They can be controlling who you see for the fear of meeting someone similar to them.
Many of these feelings deserve to be let go, but if you are worried that letting go of those feelings dishonors any residual feelings you may have regarding the end of your marriage, you should not. The fact is that letting go of those feelings is one of the final steps in letting go of your unhappy marriage.
You are not dishonoring those feelings by letting them go. Instead, you are choosing to put yourself and your needs over the sentiments left over from a marriage that could not function. You are loving yourself the way that you deserve to be loved, and through that love, you will be able to move forward with your life.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.