Anyone who has ever gone through a divorce or breakup from a long-lasting relationship knows how difficult it can be. From money and emotional stress to children and adapting to the single lifestyle, it’s a time that’s full of big changes. How can you make it easier?
Marlow and Chris Felton are authors of Couples Money, and have counseled hundreds of couples through their differences with money and everything else. Their 9 tips to keep the peace and move on post-breakup:
- Take a breath. It may be difficult when you are extremely stressed and exhausted but think of it as a new beginning. Accept where you are at and how you got there. If you continue with negative thinking you will only regress further into the dumps. Keep it positive but experience your emotions fully to learn and move on.
- Do what is best for the family. If you have children together, breakups can be quite messy. Understand that the children are the only ones who “lose” in this situation. If they are older, take them to a counselor to work through their anxieties about the situation. Don’t speak badly about the other parent, and remember that you would not have your kids without your ex.
- Divide and conquer. Try your best to work as a team and divide up your possessions. If teamwork is too much to ask, try and be as fair as possible. Be open to negotiations when properties, belongings and time are in question. Using the golden rule may sound cheesy, but it is a good principle that applies during these times. Accounts will need to be split as well. If it is a divorce, your legal team can assist you there. If not, you must both come to an amicable and agreed upon solution.
- Get some help. Professional help is a great form of support to seek during and after a breakup. They are an outside source that can present you with a nonjudgmental perspective of the situation. It is a healing tool to let go of your mistakes and regrets with a trained counselor. See if your ex is willing to go with you. Even if you don’t plan on getting back together, it is healthy to end on good terms.
- Have a support system. A part of breaking up is losing a once best friend. You need people with which to work through the experience. Take this opportunity to strengthen bonds with your friends and family, or even make a new friend. Having someone to talk to that has been through it before can be a great resource.
- Make a new budget for yourself. Living and spending with another individual changes the way we view finances. Going from a two-income household to one can be quite the plunge. Have a sit down with yourself and get serious about your fiscal responsibilities. It works best to track your payments and purchases for a month or two to get an idea of what obligations you have and where your money goes.
- Find an outlet. Breaking up is a stressful experience and you were probably stressed before you called it quits. With all the changes happening, use this time to set a new routine. Attempt an activity you have always wanted to try, but have never given yourself the opportunity to do. This is your chance to start anew.
- Get your mind off it. It is challenging to cope with the end of a relationship. Get back out there and play the field, even though that might be the last thing you feel like doing. It feels unappealing until you meet someone and form a connection, even if it’s just platonic. Don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the world. That social human connection is what feeds the soul.
- Learn from your mistakes. Know what you would fix next time. When things don’t work out, it can feel rough, but try looking at it in a positive mindset. If you look back reflectively and admit your own faults, the situation can be viewed as a lesson learned. Knowing where you went wrong, and which red flags you ignored, can save you in the future.