After your divorce is finalized, you have the opportunity to look ahead, and while there is a great opportunity ahead to focus on the future, the nitty gritty of the present forces you to take a step back and assess the damage caused by the end of your marriage.
This can be discouraging for many, who are interested in looking ahead to new opportunities in their life. Whether those are romantic or simply looking to be the father that you could not while in an unhappy and dysfunctional relationship, it is understandable to wish to look ahead.
However, taking a step back and understanding the ins and outs of your newly single circumstances will give you greater clarity of the reality of your situation.
One of the first things you are going to want to do is assess your financial circumstances. As much as you may wish to celebrate your newly single status with a lavish night out or an expensive party, you may not be able to afford to do so, and you cannot spend money the same way that you did when you were married.
Adjusting to only having one income coming in and out of the household is something that some struggle with. They become so set in their ways that even after going through such a drastic change like a divorce, they still feel as though they are entitled to spend.
However, with alimony and child support payments being a likely reality for you and many other men and fathers alike, it is not wise to jeopardize your financial stability with unwise spending habits.
For those looking to make positive changes to their financial circumstances who feel that there are aspects of their divorce decree that need to be adjusted, it is best to contact a family law attorney, who can represent their needs in a family court system that can often feel unsympathetic to the plight of men and fathers.
With legal help, you will be in a better position moving forward. Given your new circumstances, it is imperative that you assess how much you can afford to spend on aspects of your life, such as housing, food, clothing, gas, etc. Sitting down and creating a monthly budget will offer the full scope of how much you can spend, as well as how much you can save.
Aside from the financial aspects, you also have to deal with the emotional ones. Marriage is an act that you may have hoped would last forever, and in cases where it does not, it can be devastating.
It is important that you do not judge yourself for having the courage to move on from an unhappy and dysfunctional relationship. You have every right to move on with your life and be the best man and father you can be outside of a marriage that did not work. However, that does not mean there are not consequences for those actions.
The emotional consequences of getting a divorce do not limit themselves to the finalization of the divorce decree. They can last for months and years afterward, which is why it is vital to seek mental and emotional support through the aid of a mental health professional before these problems manifest into physical ones.
Physical symptoms of the stresses of the divorce process can surface. Exposure to this process can make you 20 percent more likely to have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or another chronic condition in your lifetime, according to WebMD.
From a mental and emotional perspective, it is vital that you be proactive and seek the help of a mental health professional, especially if you are dealing with symptoms of anxiety or depression. These types of serious diseases can spiral into something much worse, if left unaddressed.
According to a study from the University of California, Riverside, divorced men and women are at a higher risk of suicide than married men and women. Divorced and separated persons were over twice as likely, in comparison to married persons. Furthermore, the risk of suicide among divorced men was over twice as likely as that of married men, whereas in women, there was no statistical difference in married and divorced women.
As challenging as it may be for you to ask for help, it is too important to your overall recovery to sit idly by and allow your mental and emotional health to deteriorate. You need to be proactive in your divorce recovery and foster an environment that promotes health, wellness, and your own empowerment.
Understand your situation
In your assessment of your state after your divorce is finalized, you need to know the ground that your feet are landing onto, after the feeling of free-fall subsides. That means, creating the necessary support system around you and navigating the ins and outs of who you can rely on and who you cannot.
That may be difficult, but if you have a supportive group of family and friends able to navigate you through the highs and lows of the emotions, you already have a leg up on the experience.
Life after the divorce process may not always be the easiest, but it is a life full of potential. No matter what you may be feeling or what your financial circumstances may look like, you have the potential to make something better for yourself after a divorce. You have the potential to enter into new, more fulfilling relationships and live a better life for yourself and for your children, if you have them.
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.