When a marriage of longstanding breaks down, some people just want to get out – right now. They are not interested in living even one minute longer with their spouse. Based on this sort of emotional state, Janet (name has been changed), after discovering her husband had betrayed her, left the house and marital assets in care of her husband. She said she didn’t care about anything but getting out. After papers had been signed and she had time and support to think rationally about the betrayal, she realized too late she had given up much of her marital property, without a fight.
Acting Out of Anger and Being Mean
She acted out of hurt. And it cost her. It also costs when you act out of anger. You probably have really good reasons to be angry. Except that acting that anger out in the divorce process is going to cost you. And it will make it harder to put the marriage and all that it represented behind you.
When you start feeling like you need to take action to do something right now to fight your spouse, or to fight for your rights, or to counter-act something that he or she said, realize you are acting out of emotion, and probably desperation.
Rather than taking action right then, do something completely different. If you have the opportunity to do something that you love right then and there, do it. Give yourself something to feed your spirit in the moments of anger and need to be mean.
Take Good Care of Yourself When You Find Yourself Wanting to Lash Out
During the divorce process, consider taking extra good care of yourself. What does that look like for you? Does it mean extra hours at the gym? Hiring that personal trainer? Getting a massage? Going to a spa? Tucking into a good book? Seeing funny movies? Finding a counselor who you can trust you’re your feelings? Seeking out friends who will understand? Planning a vacation with the kids? Develop some goals for taking care of yourself, so you can shift gears quickly when you really want to “get” your spouse.
You might consider meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other practices that can help calm the mind.
When you feel like you want to call your spouse and zap her or when you want to call your lawyer and complain about your spouse, or you find yourself unable to control your upset when you see the partner, it’s time to seek extra resources such as a support group, a spiritual leader who will listen to you, and/or a therapist who can help you navigate through this difficult and painful transition.
The cost of a counselor will be far less costly – and more beneficial – than the cost of venting your anger with your attorney. As well, as you resolve more of your conflicted and upset emotions around the loss of your marriage and dream, you will be able to think clearer about how to chart a solid path into the next phase of your life.
Being mean doesn’t only cost you money as attorneys play surrogate in your battle against one another. Being mean and playing dirty, especially when it comes to a child custody conflict, can mean that you will be in and out of court for years to come regarding petty slights and infringements of the custody agreement. Your spouse drove you crazy one way or another while you were married. Don’t let him or her drive you crazy after the divorce. That defeats the whole point of your divorce, to let go and move on.
While most of us are not yet in this financial league, it’s interesting to note that Madonna’s divorce to Guy Ritchie in 2008 reportedly had her paying him a $75 million settlement. Mel Gibson allegedly paid out $425 million to Robyn Moore Gibson in 2011. However, Rupert Murdoch’s $1.7 billion settlement is probably one of the highest settlements in history – so far.
Most of us don’t have that kind of money with which to settle our differences and put the past behind us. One thing is certain, being mean does cost money. When you make decisions out of anger, the compulsion for revenge, or upset, that decision may come back to bite you where it hurts. Additionally, you might regret some of the things you have said in anger, but you will never be able to take them back.
Remind yourself that you have more to lose by being mean than you do by taking care of yourself and taking action to resolve the situation. It’s also important to recognize that your life will get batter. Things will get better. Right now it may feel terrible, and like you will never get over it. But you will figure it out, and you will get over it, and letting go of the mean will help you do so more quickly.
Having a knowledgeable attorney who will keep you on track is also a really useful strategy.
Divorce Questions? Skilled Jenkintown Child Support and Family Law Attorney
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Keeping you focused on the big picture and the issues that matter most… Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates. We serve clients throughout Montgomery, Bucks, Philadelphia counties, and the surrounding areas in matters involving Social Services, Child Protection, child custody, support, divorce, and other family law matters.