Divorce is hell. And you’ll both end up labeling the other as the “devil”.
That’s not what divorce is supposed to be, however. The hope is always that things end amicably and each party leaves with a wave and a “wish you the best”. Sadly, that happens very rarely. And when the divorce actually happens, and when the ink is fully dried, well that’s usually when the real crap sometimes hits the propellers in the fan and splatters against your brain and heart.
1. Be Uncommunicative with the Paperwork
No matter what you try to separate, there will be SOMETHING that has to be worked out when you try to go to the DMV, or when she finds a bill in her mail that causes hell because her last name is different. There were at least five things that needed to be sorted out following my divorce and three of them required my ex to “sign off” or “audibly relinquish their party name”.
Trust me, the guy on the Verizon line would rather have chewed his own arm off than listen to our cold words saying “Yes” to his questions. There will be a future for both of you, and it won’t start off on the right foot if you don’t thoroughly go through your documents and possessions to decide how to successfully separate your life. Take the time to do this for yourself, because it will pay off in the end. And you’ll save yourselves a lot of headaches.
2. Date/Sleep with Her Friends
I’ve learned that the best advice is the kind that’s given to those who’ve lived through it firsthand. So here goes. The end of my marriage was brought on by many things including lies, betrayal, disrespect, a lack of actual friendship, and mistrust.
Then I became unsatisfied and I cheated. Yes, it was wrong. And yes I’ll regret it until the day I die (to an extent, but that’s a long story). Hurting someone that way, regardless of how unsatisfied or alone you feel, is NEVER okay.
Luckily, I had a friend who supported me emotionally after the divorce. Then, one day, she blocked me from her life—just like that. They were definitely the worst feelings I’ve experienced; the divorce had NOTHING on this. About two months later it was revealed that (after some heavy sugared words from my ex-husband) she met up with him twice in various hotel rooms for sex and what she assumed was a real relationship.
It lasted less than a month until she realized his words were all a ruse. She apologized; I apologized. Everything came out. Now, you’d think I’d be satisfied and throw my head back in laughter at this revelation. I didn’t. I cried. I threw up. I’d lost a friend, or who I thought was a friend and that friend who was now hurting.
But I knew we could never be friends again. It was an unnecessary tornado of confusion, loss, and pain.
There are plenty of people in the world if you can’t find one that isn’t friends with your ex, and you’re not pretty damn sure that your ex’s friend might be the one—unlikely, but possible–then you may have ulterior motives that you need to discuss in therapy. And yes, my friend and I are both beautiful and intelligent women that now wish each other the best and my ex-husband is still swinging from woman to woman like a monkey on branches in a jungle.
3. Contact Her Parents
This is something I learned from the female perspective. My inability to have an adult conversation (on both of our ends—I’ve got a mouth on me) with my ex resulted in me feeling that contacting his mother was the better option. Oh. Dear. God, how it wasn’t.
Learn from my mistakes sweet babes. See, with mothers/sons and dad/daughters, they tend to see their child as perfect and unable to do any wrong (that’s probably something you found out in marriage as well).
So when your snide comments or blunt speech makes them feel you’re downplaying their child you’ll find your conversation more heated with them than with your ex.
And you’ll get nowhere in the conversation, regardless of how mature and objective you try to be. You are not their family anymore, and whatever connection you think you may still have, their child will always come first to them and, unfortunately, they will always see their child as the ‘right’ party.
The best option is to deal with a mediator during divorce, or with a trusted, objective friend following after if there is anything left to discuss. Or just stick to dating and marrying orphans. I’m taken, but I have some friends who aren’t, and they are awesome and orphan as f***.
Be prepared. Marriage is a BIG thing, whether you eloped in a cornfield or planned it for months, there will be irreparable damage to your soul that will pop up in random hurt when the marital cord is severed.
I don’t care if you’re in a well-balanced relationship with an emotionally supportive professional with a body to die for, or happily screwing a sexually advanced G-list celebrity with the perfect spray tan. You WILL miss your ex.
Maybe it’s the way she laughed, or maybe you hear a new song that you know she’d love. Maybe you’ll contact her and maybe it will feel like old times. And maybe you’ll wonder what in the hell you were both thinking when you ended things.
And when that happens you will both have to make the adult decision and realize that all it is, really, is nostalgia.
Say it with me “Nostalgia”. Take a deep breath and realize that your sanity and your new lives are not worth losing over temporary facades of pleasure. You got divorced for a reason. And recanting that decision too soon will not bring anything but more pain. What’s the best that happens?
You get back together for maybe a few months and then you realize why you got divorced in the first place? Yay, now you get to start all over, bandaging the pain and embarrassment. Save yourselves time and gray hairs by being cordial and nothing more.
You may not really care about or miss the spray tan girl, but if you’re in that adult, emotionally supportive relationship you’ll end up losing perhaps the most real thing you’ve ever had. You thought you missed your ex for a weekend? Try missing the woman who accepted and loved you in spite of all of your flaws. That’s worth holding onto. Or at the very least, worth respecting.
Now, lying is a waste of time in any sense. It’s especially a waste of time following a divorce. The goal of a divorce is to either never have to speak to your ex again or maintain a semblance of a friendship.
If you find yourself lying to your ex in your friendship, you instead have two other possible goals, because there are only two reasons to lie to your ex after a divorce.
The first: You’re still in love with her and don’t want her to look at you poorly, in case something happens in the future.
Or, the second: you’re just, simply and unapologetically, a piece of shit. Number one will come back to bite you in the ass and number two is just, well, kind of sad–much like you. Good luck with that
So there you go. Not too painful, huh? I know these things are easier said than done. You may be thinking, “but you don’t know my particular situation”. You’re right, no one knows. But, as Shannon Alder says “Betrayal is an ironic thing. He or she betrays you then you betray yourself. You think you’re showing strength with your anger, but in reality, you’re showing how much you still care.”
The small stem beneath all of these buds is the pain and embarrassment that’s felt after divorce. No one grows up saying “Oh, one day I’ll meet the girl or guy of my dreams and get divorced.” We want our ex to pay reverence to what we were, or we want them to just call it even, the damage is done.
Either way, we want to feel and be better and the only way to do that is to admit that emotions are going to be silent motivations under our actions for a while. Just limit their damage by following the advice in this article.