Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Working on Post-Divorce Happiness

I say often enough to clients that the law in the family law area is simple enough but what makes matters very complicated are the very things the legal system cannot deal with: the emotional and pyschological aftereffects of a relationship gone sour.

Here are some articles on how to deal with these aftereffects.  Given them a good read.

5 steps to post-divorce happiness - More magazine
Here are the top 5 things you need to do so that you can achieve a positive outlook and keep the emotional baggage from undermining you after divorce.

1. Acknowledge that you are grieving and deal with the emotions.
2. Put your children’s best interests first.
3. Learn about your finances - develop a monthly budget, understand your assets and liabilities.
4. Think about how you would like your life to look like after divorce and start doing some of those things now, to help you get there.
5. Prepare for the friend dynamics. It’s not about you, but how friends react to divorce itself.
First, don’t train yourself to hate your ex so you won’t yearn for him or her. Hating your ex causes more problems than it’s worth, and hating them could hurt future relationships. There are a lot of dating websites where you can browse the members in your pajamas. You’ll quickly forget your ex, and find someone new.

People tend to look at a relationship ending as a failure, and beat themselves up over it by self-loathing. Don’t do that. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is why the relationship ended. Sort out your own feelings and enjoy the freedom of self-discovery. Keep your friends close to you. This will help you forget your ex.

Thirdly, stay practical. Don’t go on a spending spree, get drunk, or go on a wild date to make your ex jealous. Keep eating a healthy diet and exercise. Throw away all the reminders of your ex and stay busy. Treat yourself to a makeover, mud facial, or have a massage. Look at it as a fresh start with a better you and brighter tomorrow! Your meant to be will find their way to you soon enough.

I also like these 9 Tips to Guide You from Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas, specifically these:
1. Don't do things to just annoy your spouse. That's not to say you need to agree to everything your spouse wants. What this refers to is choosing not to antagonize your spouse by demanding the picture he or she has always loved, or by saying things you know will embarrass or humiliate your spouse, etc. Everyone knows buttons they can push -- Just Don't Do It! You may get some brief feeling of pleasure, but your spouse most likely will respond similarly, and maybe at a higher level. There's no real benefit to escalating the conflict.

2. Don't respond when your spouse does something just to annoy you. Take the advice that you may have given kids. Just ignore it and s/he will probably quit doing it. Going back and forth fighting with each other is childish and doesn't help you progress toward a final settlement. You may feel that you are entitled to respond in kind, but it really doesn't help you. To avoid the unpleasantness you sometimes (or often) experienced during your marriage, you have to be the adult and break the cycle of conflict.

3. Keep the children out of the middle. No messages sent. No using them as a pawn. Think long term here. The disputes are between two adult parents, not the kids, but the kids can be damaged by the adults' fighting. Do what you can to keep the kids out of the middle and you will have a happier family.
7. Pay attention to your lawyer more than you do your family and friends. Your friends can give you advice for free, but you get what you pay for. They don't really know all the facts of your case and don't know the law as well as your attorney does. They also don't have the working knowledge of the judge, the local court system and the other lawyer that an experienced attorney will have. Your friends may be well intentioned, but they often can really cause problems by providing bad advice and pushing the wrong actions. Attorneys aren't perfect, but they do generally have a better long-term perspective than friends do.

8. Figure out your goals -- what's really important to you -- and what you need to do to accomplish them. And then take action. When your life is in transition, it's a good idea to set a target, your goals, and plan how you can accomplish them. Think about it some and put your goals in writing. They don't have to be perfect -- you can revise them as you work on them. You may try one thing and then decide that something else is more appealing or important. What's important is to have a purpose and a plan, and then take action. Get help from trusted advisers, if you need to, but get started thinking about the future in specific, concrete ways. Stop just reacting to what's thrown at you. Start planning and initiating your own activities.

9. Don't limit yourself to just standardized solutions to problems. Open up your mind and be creative so that your needs can be met. Setting lofty goals is sometimes daunting, but use your imagination and come up with your own creative solutions. Don't limit yourself. Be open to trying out "ridiculous" ideas. Sometimes they work best and they can be fun.

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