There is some kind of conflict in any divorce, but if you experienced an unusually high level of conflict in your marriage, there is a good chance that it will follow you into your post-divorce life, especially if you have children. So it’s a good idea to have a strategy on how you can manage any divorce-related conflict or stress that may arise; here are some tips:
Respect your ex.
Before you married him or her, you found reasons to like and respect your spouse. Return to those reasons and try to see the good in your ex.
Abide by your agreement
. Hopefully, you and your ex were able to come to a workable divorce agreement and now you need to abide by it. Your final decree is in actuality a court order, which means you are bound by law to follow it. Even if you have some resentful feelings over your divorce agreement, realize that your ex probably does, too — make peace with the fact that both of you had to compromise.
Let go of the past
. Don’t let hurt feelings from the past cause conflict between you and your former spouse. It will serve you best to leave those feelings where they belong — in the past — and move on to living in the present.
. Even though it may be difficult, try viewing stressful situations that crop up from your ex’s perspective. You may have to be more flexible than you’d like to be in some situations, but unless something your former spouse is doing is harmful to your children, it’s best to let the little things slide.
Put your children’s needs first
. Your anger cannot be more important than your children, who love both of you and want you to get along. It hurts them terribly when you and your ex fight, so make it a point to keep their needs first. This can go a long way to reducing any negative effects of your divorce on your children, which was probably one of your biggest worries when you decided to divorce. The power to make things better for your children rests with you.
Practice good self-care.
Taking good care of yourself physically will make you feel better mentally. There is nothing magical about it: eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Make an effort to reshape your lifestyle into one that will encourage feelings of self-worth and esteem -- spend time doing things you like to do with people who bring positivity to your life.
Change your expectations.
Divorce can make you feel out of control and worried about the future, which can lead to depression. Realize that there are some things beyond your control -- like your ex’s behavior -- and let go of those things. Focus on what you can control, and get professional help if you need it -- from your attorney for legal issues, from a professional financial consultant for finance issues, and from a therapist for emotional issues.
Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. Being prepared emotionally and physically for this endurance race not only gets you to the finish line but also helps you move on after your divorce in a more productive and hopeful way.