Do you want to find out how to have a happy divorce? If so, I have the answer.
Lower your expectations! No, lower. Like waaaaay lower. Nope, even lower.
Seriously though, here’s the deal… I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people IRL or on TV and movies say they want a divorce because they can’t get along with their spouse. Do they think divorce is going to solve that??? Trust me, the chances of you liking your ex MORE after the divorce than you did before the separation is highly unlikely. The ex is no longer motivated (or obligated) to accommodate you. So let’s go into this thing called divorce with eyes wide open. Divorce is hard, I’ve said it a million times. Now that we are rooted in the reality of the hardness, how can we have a “happy” divorce?
Expectation is the father of disappointment. And I really like how Alexander Pope puts it, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed”. The god’s honest truth is that you and ex didn’t see eye to eye when you were married, otherwise you might still be married (am I right?), so don’t expect their views to change regarding what constitutes a healthy meal, or what movies are appropriate, or when is a good bed time for your 7 year old. You have officially lost any control over what happens when he has possession. Oh, I realize you might want to wrestle that control back like you would trying to get a lollipop away from a toddler on a sugar high, But you can’t. So lower your expectations! He won’t feed them the way you want. He won’t restrict their device usage the way you want. He won’t clean them the way you want. Your children will most likely look like a dirtier version of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean (or just Johnny Depp in real life, for that matter). There you have it—the cold hard truth. Now that you know this, you can begin to accept it and prepare for it. Trust me, don’t fight against this truth. Simply take look around. Take a look around at other kids of divorce on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weeks—they look disheveled, have bags under their eyes, they have Cheeto fingers and they’re wearing cowboy boots with soccer shorts. The good news is that no one has ever died from Cheeto fingers and looking like the child version of Nick Nolte’s mugshot. So take a deep breath and let it go. Let it go! Let it go! Let that crap go! You will find yourself to be much happier. Assume the worst, expect the least and you will either be right or you will be pleasantly surprised.
Divorce is hard enough. There is lots and lots of junk and baggage to deal with and unpack. Focus your energy on what you CAN control—and that something is you! Pray the serenity prayer every day… or every 5 seconds (whatever the situation requires). Choose to use your time with your children to live in joy and peace. I mean, a fair amount of time will be spent getting the tangles out of their hair from their time with their dad but the rest of the time can be spent living in joy and peace. Lowering your expectations of your ex will free you to spend more time focusing on your best new life and will lead to a happier divorce… I promise!
If you are struggling post divorce, I would love to meet with you a discuss how divorce life coaching can rock your world.