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It Just Didn’t Work—How to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself and Move On

By Thacker Sleight

Divorce can you feel like a failure. It can be easy to blame yourself when your marriage didn’t work. However, being hard on yourself won’t help you resolve your marriage. It could make it harder for you to settle your case and lead to even more litigation difficulties and expenses. Instead, try to focus on a few emotionally healthy ways to move on with your life.

It’s Going to Take Time
Your divorce won’t be resolved overnight. Even in low-conflict cases, there are documents to be prepared, hearings to be held, and issues to be determined. Acknowledge that your divorce will take time and prepare your coping tools now to carry you through. Develop routines – like journaling, yoga, or exercise – that will help you release the stress you feel as the process continues.

Allow Yourself to Grieve a Marriage Lost
It is appropriate to be sad, angry, frustrated and discouraged in the face of divorce. You are losing an important relationship. Your life will change after the divorce is final. Even when the other person is “at fault,” you may miss the good parts of your relationship. You could also feel guilty because your choice to end the marriage means that it will put your children through a divorce and the effect of co-parenting on them. That’s alright. Please don’t bury your feelings or force yourself to act like everything is fine when it’s not. Permit yourself to experience healthy grief.

Get Support from Friends, Fellow Divorcees, or a
Divorce Therapist
Some people facing divorce feel like they need to get through it alone. Others feel cut off from friends and family who they believe would side with their spouse. Forcing yourself to “go it alone” can make it harder to move on. Talking to friends, a divorce support group, or even a divorce therapist, can help you process your feelings and get perspective on what is happening. Divorce isn’t easy. Reach out and get support from others who have been where you are.

Don’t Make a Divorce Trial the Punishment for a Failed Marriage.
Sometimes your choices can turn the divorce process itself into a punishment for you or your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. You might feel like divorce needs to be hard because you deserve the stress of leaving. You may want the person who hurt you to suffer, or they might try to use a costly divorce against you. This kind of emotional game-playing will only hurt everyone in the end – even you. Instead, focus on how you can resolve your marriage with as little emotional damage as possible.

Focus Forward on Life After Divorce
One of the best ways to move on from your divorce is to plan for your future. Divorce litigation tends to focus on what went wrong in the past. But emotionally, you should also be looking forward. Where will you live? How will your budget look? How will you celebrate your new single status? What will you do, eat, or visit now that you don’t have to worry about your spouse’s preferences? In big ways and small, focusing on the future can help you move on after your divorce and be kind to yourself while the process plays out.

At Thacker Sleight, we understand the personal and emotional concerns that come with ending a marriage. Our experienced and empathetic divorce attorneys are dedicated to providing our clients exclusive, highly professional service that is also personal and unique to their situation. If you need help with a family law matter, contact us at 616.888.3810 to schedule a consultation. We will be there with and for you every step of the way.

Thacker Sleight

grand rapids office  •  616 888 3810
445 cherry street se
grand rapids michigan 49503

grand haven office  •  616 888 3810

saugatuck office  •  269 857 9120

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