19 Divorce Tips For Men Going Through Separation or Divorce
Since many divorce articles are written for a female audience, we at Men’s Divorce Experts want to level the playing field. Read on for top 19 divorce tips for men.
- Check your anger. Emotions during divorce run high. It’s normal to feel anger, but acting on it will fuel conflict. Unleash your frustration during exercise and get support from friends instead.
- Treat your ex like a business partner. You no longer have a romantic or domestic partnership. If you have kids, you are responsible for facilitating an effective co-parenting relationship. You and your ex are now co-CEO’s of a company called “Our Children.” Focus on your children’s interests and treat your ex with respect.
- Learn, and do, the stuff your ex did. Whether your then-spouse did things you don’t like to do, or you were simply following an agreed upon division of labor, you now need to shoulder the load yourself. It may feel overwhelming at first, but you’ll get used to your new responsibilities in time.
- Pay child support on time. Whatever your feelings about child support – too much, unfair, your ex isn’t spending it correctly – you’re court-ordered to pay. Don’t seek revenge by withholding it. That will hurt your children and will likely get you in front of a judge.
- Treat your ex with respect. You don’t have to like someone to be respectful. Acting out of anger or contempt will inflame conflict, undermine your co-parenting relationship, and spill over onto the kids.
- Don’t gloat about your new partner. Especially don’t gloat about your new partner on social media! Initially amicable divorces have been known to go south when one person trots out the new love interest for all the world to see. So be discreet about your dating life until the divorce is final.
- Wait before introducing your new partner to your kids. Your kids have enough to adjust to without meeting someone they may interpret as a replacement for their other parent. Wait until they’ve had time to settle into their post-divorce life before meeting your significant other.
- Don’t interrogate your kids about what goes on at Mom’s house. Don’t put your kids in the position of having to snitch on their other parent. Part of divorce is accepting that you don’t know exactly what goes on at your ex’s house, and you can’t control it anyway.
- Take responsibility for your own behavior. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your STBX (soon-to-be-ex), take your personal inventory. Are you being un-communicative? Acting out of anger? Not setting boundaries because you’re afraid to make waves? Figure out what you can do differently to improve the way you’re handling the divorce and your co-parenting relationship.
- Be a diplomatic communicator. Electronic correspondence makes it easy to unleash anger, contempt, and unwanted advice on your partner without having to face them. Want to keep conflict to a minimum? When you write or speak with your STBX, make it concise, informative, and calm.
- Facilitate your child’s relationship with your ex. You don’t have to like your ex to support his or her relationship with your child. You can do this by following visitation orders, refraining from bad-mouthing, and respecting your STBX’s right to set their own house rules.
- Don’t go for revenge. Revenge won’t turn back the clock. Making your ex suffer will not bring you happiness. It certainly won’t bring your children happiness! More likely, it will create financial and psychological turmoil. Accept that your married life didn’t turn out as you planned, and move on.
- Stop obsessing about the money. Dividing assets, paying support, and wracking up legal fees can make you scared, angry, and bitter. All the more reason to try to resolve your differences out of court. When you catch yourself fuming over money you’ve lost, focus on your plan for your future.
- Lean into your vulnerability. Even in the 21st century, men still get the message that showing emotion equals weakness. It doesn’t. Trying to white-knuckle your way through divorce won’t win you any medals. Be sure to seek support from friends and family.
- Get therapy if you need it. Divorce is one of the most stressful life events anyone can experience. If you find that you’re having trouble sleeping, eating, and managing your emotions, consult with a therapist who specializes in divorce.
- Ask for 50-50 custody if you want it. Many men are under the misconception that judges favor mothers in custody matters. While that may have been true in the past, it’s not the case in 2019. Courts want children to have equal time with both parents, so if you want 50-50 custody, ask for it.
- Follow the court order. Life isn’t fair. Frequently, court orders aren’t either, but you still need to follow them. Violating the terms of your judgment because you don’t agree with them, or you’re mad at your ex, will increase conflict, legal fees, and court appearances.
- Don’t let your feelings about your ex contaminate your new relationship. You exited a relationship that was no longer working, so make sure your new one does. If you’re preoccupied with blaming your ex, you won’t be emotionally available for your new partner.
- Teach your kids how to be a good person – they’re watching. Your kids only have one childhood. Don’t waste it fighting with their other parent. Teach them relationship and life skills by modeling resilience and maturity.
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