Surprisingly (to me) I have been placed in the position to counsel many a person through/after their divorce. Don't get me wrong... I am no expert here. I have no doctoral degree hanging on my wall. What I do have is a degree of Hard Knocks. I have seen it, lived it, survived it.
Here is the most recent advice I have given... it was weighing on my brain and I needed to get it out... to validate it, I guess.
1. Don't put your children in the middle. Watch your comments. Watch your actions. If it will hurt them in any way when thinking/talking about your ex. Don't. Repeat to yourself, "Don't."
2. Continue to love your ex's family. They did nothing to you. This is not their fight. They will support their child... that is parental instinct. Doesn't mean they care about you any less. You were family to them for many years... that love doesn't stop over night. Don't let yours.
3. Don't forget friendships. Friends will take sides... at least most of them. This is normal. In a fight, that's what happens. If a friendship is worth holding onto, fight for it! Fight for them to stay friends with the both of you if they don't want to take a side... better than to not have a friend at all.
4. No material possession is worth the fight. It might feel like it at the time... but keeping your sanity and being able to walk away with that in tack is much more important than any possession.
5. Don't hold your emotions in... let them out. It is normal to be pissed. It is normal to not be able to look at that other person without such hatred that you never thought you could have... especially towards someone you once loved. But that shows that that person truly meant something to you. Don't deny yourself those feelings. They will subside over time. That hurt won't be quite so strong one day... but only if you let it out.
6. Love those around you. Your children, your friends, your family. They will become a leaning post even when you thought you could stand on your own.... and most importantly when you can't.
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