Going through a divorce can often feel like walking through a minefield. There seems to be potential trouble at every turn, and it can sometimes feel as though anything you do could backfire. That’s only partially true. It’s not everything…just a lot of things. You need to know how to think about and navigate the divorce and the aftermath to reduce the risk of problems. Below, we’ll be looking at some of the worst things you could do after you are divorced.
Taking Spiteful Actions Against Your Ex
Maybe your ex cheated on you. Maybe they stole from you. It hurt and you want to get them back for what they did. Perhaps you want to put their private information out on the Internet for all to see, or maybe you want to trash their pickup truck like you are the protagonist in a country music song.
However, taking any actions against your ex like this is a terrible idea. Not only is it immature, but it’s likely to be illegal. You will end up in more trouble than you realize. If you have kids, it could be grounds for you to have less parenting time with them.
Telling the Kids to Take Sides
For those who have kids, one of the worst things you can do is tell those kids that they have to pick a side in the divorce. They are already going through a lot trying to process the divorce. The last thing they need is to have their parents telling them to pick who they love the most. They don’t need to hear about all of the terrible things their mom or dad did. They are kids. Putting them in that position is unconscionable.
Start Dating Right Away
Although you might feel that you are in a position where you want to put yourself back out there and start dating, it is generally a good idea to wait a little while after the divorce. This isn’t because it would “look bad” if you start dating right away. It’s because you need to have some time where you can be by yourself and reconnect with yourself before you start dating.
Spending Too Much to Feel Better
When you are feeling down after a divorce, does the idea of a shopping spree sound good? Those purchases will only provide you with fleeting moments of happiness. However, they will give you some very real debt that you are going to have to pay off.
Now that you have just one income in the household, you can’t spend on frivolous things. Sure, you can still buy yourself something nice, but you have to stick to a budget.
Allowing Yourself to Remain Sad
Sadness and feeling like a victim can become a way of life for some people. They get so mired in the depression that it consumes them, and they don’t bother to ever try to get out of that state. Although it’s important to allow time for grieving after a divorce, it’s just as important to get past all of those negative feelings, so you can move on with your life. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut and just can’t get happy, it’s time to start looking for new hobbies and things to enjoy in your life. You can and should put the divorce behind you.
Turning Friends and Family Against the Ex
A dastardly thing about divorce is that it often means splitting the friend pool. Some friends end up going with your spouse and others with you. Yet, there may be some who try their best to remain on friendly terms with both spouses. This can work as long as everyone agrees not to talk about the divorce and the ex with those friends.
One of the worst things you could do is to try to get those friends or family members to turn against the ex. You wouldn’t feel very happy if they were being turned against you. Let people make up their own minds.
Eating Through the Pain
Divorce causes stress, emotional pain, and anxiety. For a lot of people, these are triggers to eating unhealthy food in the guise of comfort food. While treating yourself from time to time is a good thing, a lot of people end up treating themselves a lot, and often with food, which causes them to put on a lot of weight. Overeating and gaining weight will end up causing health problems for you down the road.
Following What Your Ex Is Doing
Although everyone is probably a little curious about what their ex is up to after the divorce, it’s not a good idea to try to get too involved. You don’t want to stalk their social media, visit places they used to go, etc. just to see what they are up to. It is creepy and could be considered stalking. The two of you are divorced and regardless of whose idea it was, the marriage is over. You have to let it go. Otherwise, you are not going to be able to move on.
Keeping Your Feelings Hidden
Maybe you feel like you should be stoic and silent when it comes to your divorce. You feel that keeping all of your feelings to yourself and pushing them down is the best way to get through it all. However, we all know this isn’t true. You can’t ignore or hide the feelings and the sadness or anger that you have. You have to confront them, and one of the best ways to do that is by working with a therapist. They can help you through things you might not have yet realized were bothering you.
Are these the only things that you should be avoiding after your divorce? Not by a long shot, but it’s a strong list of issues where a lot of people have problems. Be honest with yourself about whether you fall into any of the above situations. If you do, it’s time to reexamine how you are handling the aftermath of your divorce.