Divorce is hard. It is emotional, stressful and thoroughly exhausting. Sometimes it might feel as if you are barely moving at all, other times the process is careening off-course at a scary speed. Many couples going through a divorce share a feeling of being overwhelmed and “along for the ride” – as if they have no control over what happens next.
Does that sound like you or someone you know? If so, I want you to know that there are three things you can do right now to get your divorce process back on track.
Take a short break from negotiations.
Have you or your spouse hit the point where you are arguing and disagreeing out of sheer exhaustion? Do you feel like you would sign anything just to make it stop? Negotiation fatigue is real – and it can derail the best efforts to find common ground. The best way to deal with it is to take a break. Some people find it helpful to physically step out of the negotiations room for a breath of fresh air. Take a few minutes, hours, or even days to think through the consequences of decisions. Give yourself an opportunity for quiet reflection, especially if the negotiations are emotionally charged and you are experiencing anger, frustration or extreme fatigue. Taking a break can do wonders for reviving your ability to be a creative problem-solver.
Revisit your list of priorities.
Do you find yourself in heated arguments over things that don’t matter all that much? In that case, take some time to revisit and clarify your priorities. Every divorce is different, and every couple presents a unique set of issues that are important to them. However, honest reflection will reveal that there is only a handful of points that make or break the deal. Be clear on what your goals and priorities are, stand by what matters and train yourself to let go of the rest.
Get some help.
Even the smartest people can get stuck in the divorce process – mostly because they are not divorce professionals. My advice is to find a team of professionals that you trust. Technical issues of property division, taxes, health insurance and children’s expenses can get complex. Emotional arguments can use the guidance of a divorce coach. Your attorney can serve as your advocate, reminding you to stay focused on what matters.
If you find yourself overcome with fear, anger or hurt, you may also choose to work with a therapist. Uncontrolled emotions have the potential to derail negotiations, undermine goodwill, waste time and cause stalemates. In the end, unresolved issues can cost you far more than a few sessions with a good therapist. Divorce is hard, and double so if you are trying to do it all yourself.
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