When you’re a stay-at-home mom facing divorce, you’ve got a number of challenges on your plate, like finding a new job while making sure that you can still take care of your kids. On top of that, you still have to deal with your spouse. With everything in turmoil, how do you keep your life – and your divorce – on the rails?
First, you need a strategy. Follow these five steps to dealing with your spouse and you’ll be on your way: keep your emotions in check, be willing to compromise, know when to say when, keep your kids out of the middle and approach dating with caution. Here’s how.
With emotions flying, divorces can get messy quickly. If your husband lashes out or belittles your newfound independence, remember that pointless arguments only create drama.
Instead, do your best to remove your emotions from the equation. Try to let hurtful comments roll off your back. Even though emotions may be running high, it’s important not to let them influence your decisions or cloud the path toward your goals.
A good way to stay on track and keep emotions from persuading you to make unsound choices is to create a list of achievable goals, such as finding the right Ohio divorce attorney or searching for an apartment to create your happy space. This will help you stay focused and keep your feelings in check.
Refusing to budge over trivialities, or to even speak to one another, will only end up costing both of you more money and time. However, having a conversation with your spouse about what compromises you can both make to ensure that your divorce is as amicable as possible can help you get begin your new life with your children that much faster.
Be ready to discuss matters such as:
If you can come to an agreement across the board, you may be able to finalize your divorce much faster and less expensively than through a drawn-out, contentious divorce. Sometimes, it’s in both of your best interests to be as compromising as possible and reach a mutual agreement.
The faster you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement, the sooner you can move on.
Sometimes, though, it’s not that easy. If you’re dealing with someone who just won’t discuss or compromise, a better strategy might be just to listen. Doctor of psychology and human studies, Dr. Reena Sommers writes in her book How To End A Marriage that in some cases, the best way to deal with an unreasonable husband is not to deal with him at all.
“No amount of discussion, debate or arguing will change the mind and attitude of a person who is bent on thinking and acting unreasonably,” she writes.
Sommers also advises using your energy wisely. In other words, don’t waste time on someone who is completely unreceptive to logic. If your spouse truly believes you’re out to get him, then no amount of convincing or arguing can change that. To help come to terms with his perception, it’s important to remember that those who do care for you know the truth about your character.
“Unless your spouse’s unreasonableness is interfering with your relationship with your children, your personal relationships or your career then let it go,” she writes. However, if those areas are affected, especially when it comes to your children, it’s best to seek the advice of an Ohio a family law attorney.
Badmouthing your ex only puts your children in a “loyalty bind” and breeds further resentment from your ex. To that end, don’t make your children a go-between or spy. And remember, as tempting as it might be to make a snide remark about the other parent, this will only hurt your kids rather than your ex.
On the flip side, intentionally keeping the ugly details between adults allows you to protect your kids from the drama. A mutual determination to shield your children from negativity can can also give you and your ex a front to form an alliance on.
Even if the divorce is the result of betrayal, such as an affair, your children still don’t need the truth. “It will only confuse the children, may destroy their relationship with the other parent and could have a monumental impact emotionally,” says divorce consultant and educator Deborah Moskovitch.
It’s always best to give your children some time to adjust to their new lives and family dynamics before bringing a new significant person into their lives.
However, if you’re already dating someone, be prepared to clue in your ex about your new relationship. It may be uncomfortable, and even a little scary, but it’s far better than the fallout of him finding out on his own.
Why? Because if your ex hears about your new partner from your children, or just happens to see you in public, it may create feelings of mistrust and betrayal which can make maintaining a mature relationship far more difficult.
Instead, it may be best to have an open conversation with your spouse about your new relationship. This will show your ex that you’re honest and have enough respect to tell them the truth.
If you’re facing a divorce as a single mother and have questions about how to deal with your husband, contact the family law attorneys at Babbitt & Dahlberg. We’ll be with you each step of the way as you begin your new life with your children.
Catch up on part 1 and part 2 to learn more about your finances and finding a job as a stay-at-home mom. And be sure to download our FREE eBook, “How to Survive Your Divorce: A Stay-at-Home Mother’s Guide”.