by: Julia Rodgers
2020 - it’s officially a new decade! With all of the excitement that a fresh year ushers in, everyone seems to have their own resolutions - whether those involve hitting the gym more often, meditating daily, or budgeting better, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of everyone else’s goals. If you are going through a divorce or have been through one recently, your goal may simply be to feel better and heal overall. After all, it’s undeniable that divorces are extremely stressful, so it’s likely that you’ve been undergoing mental and/or physical exhaustion over emotions, finances, child related issues, or other triggers. No matter the circumstances surrounding it, divorce is never easy, and unfortunately, it can be easy to let the past get your down. So, take this new year as a fresh opportunity for you to focus on yourself, and your outlook towards the future.
Focus On You
We may have celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow and social media platforms like Instagram to thank for the recent trend towards self care, though there is indeed something to be said for focusing on oneself. Now that you won’t be as distracted by the needs of your partner and the demands of a marital relationship (especially a rocky one), you may find that you have a bit more time to yourself. While it may be easy to let your emotions get the better of you during this extra downtime, it is also a great opportunity to do something for yourself. You may even find that it takes some time to rediscover the things that make your heart sing - and that’s an indicator that you may have been lacking in the self care department for a while now! Whether it’s making plans to travel more, meeting up with old friends, working out, trying a new (or old) hobby, or even just booking a spa day - use this time to your advantage, and to bring more peace and calm into your life. Finding a good therapist may also be on your self-care to-do list, and the opportunity to learn to work through complex feelings can help you better communicate with your ex-spouse after a divorce
Learn to Adapt
Like so many other things in life, divorce, at the end of the day, is an adjustment, and that means there will undoubtedly be learning curves. While day-to-day lifestyle changes will surely take some getting used to, if you have kids, adjusting to co-parenting may be a whole new ball game. It’s normal to face feelings of resentment towards your ex-spouse following a divorce, which can assuredly make co-parenting difficult. However, keeping things as peaceful as possible is undoubtedly the best option, as opposed to letting negative emotions rule your relationship with your ex-spouse. Most likely, you both simply want what is best for your child(ren), so maintaining stability and a healthy relationship is essential, especially when your kids are also going through the extreme changes that come with a divorce.
One of the most common factors that creeps up during co-parenting is competition between parents. If your ex seems to be bribing your kids with later bedtimes or junk food, or even more gifts, it is best not to feed into it. Instead, have a conversation with your ex to address the issue, and remind them about the importance of consistency in your kids' lives. While you cannot control the actions and behaviors of your ex, you can indeed control how you choose to respond, and that will be the key to finding peace in co-parenting.
However, don’t forget - parenting is difficult and messy and incredibly rewarding, all at the same time. But the fact of the matter is, parents mess up. It’s simply a fact of life. While it’s a no brainer that you should always try your best and work hard towards giving your kids a better life, remember not to be too hard on yourself when you feel like you’ve had a little parenting blip. Parenting is hard enough, and adjusting to co-parenting is bound to come with some bumps in the road. Rather than beat yourself up about it, learn from it, and vow to improve in the future. Read our related blog about co-parenting here, called
Remember That You’re Not Alone
Divorce, like a lot of tough life changes, can feel isolating, especially if most of the people you spend time with are married or preoccupied by their families, etc. However, it’s important to remember that close to half of all marriages in the United States wind up in divorce. You are not the first person, and you certainly will not be the last, to get divorced. Regardless of what your negative self talk might be telling you, divorce does not make you a failure, or “bad at love”, it simply means that your relationship wasn’t right for the next chapter of your life. If you’re struggling with the adjustment, you may want to consider attending a support group for recent divorcées. Just do a quick online search for groups in your local area. Speaking with others who are going through similar circumstances as you can provide a comforting sense of community, and help expedite your healing process.
In addition to finding a community to heal with, your own personal outlook can severely help or hinder your strides towards a healthy post-divorce future. Many people live by the motto that life is all about perspective, and it is, at the very least, when it comes to personal happiness. Let’s be honest, doding over things that didn’t go well in the past time and time again will only increase your anxiety and negative feelings, and prohibit growth. Instead, remind yourself of all of the lovely things that your post-divorce life will open you up to, and focus instead on these feelings of freedom. There are a myriad of marvelous things that you will accomplish in this coming decade, making it an exciting next chapter in the book of your life!
Julia Rodgers is the business director of Mavrides Law. You can read her full bio here: Julia Rodgers' Bio
To speak with a lawyer about divorce or MA alimony matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston 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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