Divorce is different for men and women, but what’s imperative after men’s divorce is that you get on with life once the process is complete. It’s not easy to do, but it can be done — and you can be healthier for it.
Here are some things you can do to make life easier after men’s divorce.
Give it some time and space
Chances are, if you’ve just come through the divorce, emotions are high for both you and your ex-spouse. Don’t try to communicate too much with each other in the first weeks or months after the divorce. Even if you share custody, be polite and cordial with each other in the presence of the children, but spend as little time actually being together as you can.
Don’t bring the kids into it
Men’s divorce can be particularly difficult because oftentimes, dads become “weekend parents,” where they see the children every weekend or every other weekend, and the mother becomes the main custodial parent for day-to-day life. Regardless of your situation, DON’T bring the children into it. You’re still their father, and they want you to be there for them just as you always have been. Even if you think your ex-spouse has sprouted horns and has become an incarnate she devil, never speak badly of their mother in front of them.
Make any payments you need to make on time
If you’ve got an arrangement whereby you provide child support and/or spousal support, make sure you make payments on time so that there’s no reason for conflict. With men’s divorce, it can become an extremely contentious issue if you’re the one responsible for these payments and you don’t make them on a regular basis. Remove this as a potential issue that could become a major conflict, and simply make your payments on time.
Get out and start rebuilding your life
With men’s divorce especially, it can be a common occurrence that they simply withdraw after everything that’s happened and keep to themselves. (Women are much more likely to connect with friends and receive social support when they are going through difficult times like divorce.)
You’re going to have to start rebuilding your life in a whole new way. True, you’ll see your kids assuming you are a parent, and you’ll see your spouse at least as it relates to shared custody, etc., but your life is no longer going to revolve just around “your family,” unless you become a single parent. Get out, make new friends, take up a new activity or a sport you like, etc. Think back to the days when you were single; what did you like to do? It’s not that you should be a “swinging single” again, necessarily, but you can begin to rebuild a life as a single person (or single parent) that’s just as enjoyable as the one you had when you were married.
But don’t bring romance into it just yet
It’s tempting to start dating right after your divorce is final (or maybe you’ve even begun dating before that), but be careful. With men’s divorce especially, it’s tempting to jump right into another relationship, but this can cause problems. For one, it can cause major difficulties if you do it before your divorce is final, but it can also cause problems even if you do it immediately once you’re divorce is complete. You’re probably still smarting from the divorce, and you’ll want to reestablish yourself as a single person; get grounded and clear your head, get comfortable with your new life, and then start dating if you want to, but not before you’ve let some time pass.
[box]The attorneys of Cordell & Cordell help men maximize their role in their children’s lives, which includes protecting men’s financial means to do so.[/box]
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