Unfortunately, marriages aren’t always like a fairy tale, and not every couple lives happily ever after. But that doesn’t mean you can’t live happily ever after anyway. There are lots of things you can do after the divorce to ensure that you still live a happy life ahead. But one of the first things you have to do is begin with a peaceful divorce.
A peaceful divorce leads to a peaceful life after divorce
The reason you have to start with a peaceful divorce is because if you’re already deciding to divorce, it’s likely that you and your spouse don’t agree on much. It’s also likely that there’s a lot of damage and a lot of anger in your relationship that stems from years back. If you don’t get along right now, what makes you think you’re going to get along once you divorce? Creating a peaceful divorce will help heal old wounds so that you and your spouse can go on to have a cordial and respectful relationship.
Tips to create a peaceful divorce
1. Conquer demons and baggage from the past
Just because you divorce doesn’t mean that all the hurt and problems over the years magically goes away. You still have to learn how to get past the damage that was done. Read books, talk to friends, or even see a counselor to help you heal from all the old wounds. This will not only help you heal from the old relationship but will ensure that you don’t carry it with you to a new relationship.
2. Don’t do spiteful things
When you’re divorcing it’s easy to think you won’t have to deal with your soon-to-be-ex for much longer. You think you can go ahead and do whatever you want whether they like it or not. The truth is, if you have kids you’ll still be dealing with them weekly or even daily. So don’t do anything that’s going to hurt them just because you’re getting a divorce. It doesn’t help your relationship currently, and it won’t help your relationship in the future, either.
3. Let go of the love
You fell in love with your soon-to-be-ex for a reason. So it’s likely that there are still pieces of him that you still care about. If you want a peaceful divorce, you have to learn to let that love go. You can still care about her, you just can’t love her romantically anymore. If you don’t learn to let it go, then you’ll still be romantically invested in him and overly concerned with what he is doing, who he's dating, etc. Once you divorce, it’s no longer your right to make requests and expect him to do it out of care for you. As soon as you let that love go, you’ll stop behaving in ways that expect him to, you won’t get as hurt or angry when he doesn't honor your request. And you’ll move on sooner, as well.
You’ve spent a number of years with your spouse. You may feel resentful that he let you down after so many years and is now forcing your life to take a turn you didn’t want. You may feel resentful toward her for whatever is causing the divorce (addiction, infidelity, etc.). Whatever the reason, you have to learn to let it go. When you feel angry, it’s easy to let that influence your decisions, interactions, etc. Making decisions based on anger or resentment is a sure way to make bad decisions. It also does you no good to hold on to that anger as you begin your new life and seek out new relationships (this is called baggage.)
5. Learn to forgive
Forgiveness doesn’t mean to absolve your spouse of his wrongdoing which led to divorce. Forgiveness is also not so that your ex can sleep better at night knowing you’re not mad at her. In fact, forgiveness isn’t about your ex at all. It’s about you. Forgiveness means that you choose to not let the old problems affect you anymore. Forgiveness helps you so that you don’t have to continue the same damaging patterns even if your ex does. When you truly forgive for the hurt, pain and years of your life lost, you stop trying to make your ex pay for it. You stop trying to make decisions that will result in her anguish. Instead, you will make decisions based on good, sound principles that help you move on. This will help stop a lot of the bickering, fighting and litigating that often goes along with divorce.
Another important piece of information that’s important for divorcees to know is that you can have a peaceful divorce even if your spouse doesn’t seem to want one. There’s no reason that you have to engage in the hurtful, spiteful and often childish behavior that goes on during a divorce. Even if your spouse insists on litigating over every small detail, you can still make a peaceful divorce for yourself by making good decisions and letting go of past hurt. As long as you’re in a good place within yourself, you can rest assured that you’re making good decisions and you won’t have to worry so much about his litigation or what he's doing. You’ll be able to move on with your life more quickly. After all, moving on with your life is the reason you wanted to get a divorce.
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.