Being divorced puts people in a unique social situation . . . which your non-divorced friends and relatives sometimes just can’t comprehend.
Having guided many people through the divorce experience, we know that everything from parenting to your love life changes. Here are 4 things that only divorcees understand:
1. That your divorce was the only way forward for you
Though hopefully some people in your life will understand, you’ve likely already encountered those who think you’re making the wrong decision, or that you just haven’t tried hard enough.
What such naysayers don’t get is that you don’t have a choice at this point—unless staying in an unhealthy, even toxic, environment is somehow a viable option (it’s not). As the Huffington Post reminds these backseat judges, “No one goes into a marriage intending for it to end in divorce.”
Getting a divorce could be one of your most responsible decisions as well as one of the hardest.
2. Divorce isn’t the end of the journey
Every formerly married couple carries this shift in circumstances with them throughout life. This is especially true if you have kids.
This is not to say that you aren’t moving on, but it is important that your friends and family respect that the changes that occur after your divorce.
Your future is affected, even if the evidence is just a little tick on a government form about your relationship history. You may still have financial ties, and you will likely have social ones.
What’s important to remember is that by changing an unhealthy situation, you are making progress in the right direction (even if others don’t see it immediately).
3. How hard co-parenting is when you’re divorced
As the Huffington Post points out, co-parenting with your ex is tough. They may not have to take on all the responsibilities of being a parent anymore. If you have custody, there is a chance your child will resent your rules after spending a weekend with your ex.
Not to mention the anguish of missing important moments — you can’t give them a goodnight kiss. What’s worse is when your non-divorced friends express envy that you get the weekend to yourself.
4. Having to watch what you say around your kids
Now that you’re divorced, everything you say about your ex-spouse could get back to them through your innocent child.
You may be incredibly angry at your child’s other parent, but you have to regularly restrain yourself from talking about it. Firstly, because you can’t afford your ex knowing what you said. And secondly, because you don’t want to ruin your child’s chance at a positive relationship with both of you by badmouthing your former spouse.
Being a good influence requires a lot of self-control.
You’ve made it this far
Give yourself credit for what you’re going through. Also consider expanding your social network if you don’t have friends or family who have experienced divorce. It might be helpful to have someone to share stories with. Remember: you’re not alone.
If you’re looking for legal assistance surrounding your Ontario divorce, we can help.
Galbraith Family Law is a certified Collaborative Practice, and has been named the top firm in Barrie multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.
Click here to contact us, or to schedule a consultation.