by: Marcia Mavrides
As the musician Eric Idle put it best in song...
"Always look on the bright side of life...
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
And always look on the bright side of life…"
When one thinks of divorce, whether you are the one seeking the divorce or on the receiving end, there is a glaring reality: Significant life changes for you and your family are inevitably coming. Although your individual ability to control these changes is limited, you can take actions to guide some outcomes for the foreseeable future. The most important “gift” you can give to yourself is the reminder that there will be light at the end of this tunnel; that there will be changes and you and your children, if any, will adapt well IF you keep a positive outlook and be proactive in designing your future. To do this, you must keep yourself healthy, both mentally and physically. Although you cannot control how your spouse behaves and reacts, you can control how you behave and react. When you recognize that you have this control, then you can keep unfolding issues in a clearer perspective. Those around you will see this as a positive and healthy aspect of your personality/life perception.
Many philosophers pontificate on the human condition and its profound limitations. And yes, we all live with limitations in life: the amount of money made and spent; parenting of children and the ability to plan for our future. However, it is also necessary to keep these perceived limitations in perspective and understand that “to live” is an action verb; not a passive noun. Often the financial limitations are the most glaring since there are now two households that must be supported on the same income that previously supported one household. Use these financial limitations to inspire creative solutions in your post-divorce life; ones that previously were not considered because the financial limitations could be avoided or ignored. Once you stop denial or use of the “can’t” word and face these financial limitations “head-on,” solutions will become more evident. If you find yourself in reactive mode, which can be mentally and physically exhausting, then the divorce process will feel and look much darker and more miserable than it could otherwise be. And, you may feel isolated and alone.
Sometimes, we need someone to help us out of this darkness. It can be a friend, a mentor or an individual therapist. Clarifying your concerns and coming to an understanding with solutions is the best way to power through those limitations, so you are empowered to start the healing process. In all of this, it is essential to keep your sense of humor. The healing power of humor is well documented. The power of laughter takes us out of the blackness of stress and negativity. Find and keep the joy of your child’s childhood. Find the joy in taking a walk, looking at the stars, having coffee with a friend. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have or what cannot be done. Focus on what you can do and try to find humor to add levity to yourself and your parenting of your children. In this way, everyone will feel better, and the divorce process will, at a minimum, seem to resolve quicker. Then you can enjoy the first day of the rest of your life!
For over 34 years, Marcia Mavrides has been a recognized leader in the divorce and family law community throughout Boston and Massachusetts. To speak with a lawyer about divorce, paternity, or child custody matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Wellesley, MA. To schedule an in-depth initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org
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