When you decide to divorce, it's almost as if you've entered a club with a super-secret handshake...only no one is quite certain how to do it. So we asked the divorce360.com community what they wished they had known before they decided to file for divorce. From the emotional breakup of their marriage to the financial one, here are some of the best tips from people who have through the real life turmoil of uncoupling.1. If You Are Parents, You Have a Relationship with your Ex Forever....But It's very Different
First, you and your spouse go from being best friends to enemies almost overnight, said community members "Banshee1
," a 30-something dad who is getting divorced. The difference is: "He doesn't have to listen anymore. He doesn't have to work out problems," said "Paula1
," a single mom who was married for four years to a man who cheated.
To make matters worse, "Your ex will not cooperate...they want to stick it to your for whatever they think you did. They will not be fair at all or logical...," wrote Georgia resident "Rebec311
He or she will "always be lingering in the background waiting for you to slip up so they can pounce on you again through the legal system because now they have a new life and no longer want to be responsible for their first life," wrote "Eve31
," a single mother whose spouse has refused to mediate their divorce.
What's tough is "how the little questions from the kids like, 'Why do we have two houses?' will drive you...nuts..." she said. If you're angry with your former spouse for driving those questions, your children can sense it: "Don't even think bad thoughts about their dad when they are within five miles of you," community member "timless
The best advice, said Maryland salesman "wave
" whose wife left him after 30 years is "Keep your children first, always." Join the divorce360 Community to ask questions, share answers, or just vent!
2. Divorce Starts after You've Signed the Papers.
You can got to Las Vegas and get married in 30 minutes, according to "Eve31
," but getting a divorce takes a lot longer. "Purebredinip
," a California woman whose husband told her he "wasn't happy", said: "They should make divorcing easier, but getting married difficult."
What no one tells you, said "Eve31
," is "what it's really going to cost you to be divorced... your youth, your sanity, your faith, your trust, your ability to wake in the morning with hope." You now second-guess all your decisions: "Your ex destroys your trust but also your ability to sometimes trust yourself," she said.
The real pain starts after you sign the divorce decree, "Paula1
" said: "Every fight can now lead to court, which costs you money. Every disagreement now leads to heated arguments where nobody wins. Every new life stage (dating spouses, remarriages, kids asking more questions, kids suffering with divorce) equals more pain." 3. If You're the Custodial Parent, Every Other Weekend is a Blessing.
Essentially, you are raising your children alone -- even if your former spouse has them for a few days a week or every other weekend. If you have young children, it will be a long time before you can take a shower that's longer than three minutes. "You'll fight it during the divorce proceedings, but will count down the hours for his weekend after," "Paula1
And if you're ex has found a new partner, "...You spend all your time raising the kids, through sickness, surgeries and through all the heartache and picking up all the broken pieces that the divorce has caused," said community member "Paris299
Work becomes a refuge. "Taking care of kids all weekend without any help is hard and exhausting. Monday mornings now become something you look forward to," "Paula1
" wrote. 4. You Lose a Lot of Friends and Family in Divorce.
" said her husband filed for divorce after having an affair. His family sided with him: "I was with him for 22 years. It is like I didn't exist. It's as if I was the one who had the affair. I ...truly cared for my father in law and stepmother-in-law. I miss them the most."
The reaction from friends can also be tough: "Some people will treat you like divorce is catching...like leprosy," said "Tracy74
" of Michigan, whose husband fell in love with another woman. "Your married friends will fear you being around their husbands/wives," said community member "kdb
," a 50-something mother of three whose husband told her he wasn't "in love" anymore.
Community member "Banshee1
," felt a sense of being "completely alone" and "misunderstood by my married friends" who took sides during the breakup. "You will lose a lot of friends/people that you like a lot because of your soon-to-be ex," said "Rebec311
." agreed. "The friends you keep will either...love you more and be there more or have no clue how to talk to you."
What's more, "You think they are all a bunch of whiny children, since you're doing it all alone now, and they have husbands to help," said "Paula1