Dealing with Divorce

Dealing with DivorceDivorce

Few things in life affect us like a divorce. Especially when you have children. When you get married, there is a blending of lives, two become one. Add in children, and those two become three or more. Divorce literally tears that apart.

There are divorces that are like surgery, where there is a clean scalpel used and the wounds heal nicely with very little scar tissue, but I find that to be the exception vs the rule. Most are like mine; ragged, savage things that come from everyone pulling apart and trying to get as much as they can. More like a raptor attack than surgery. It even feels like the attorneys are the vultures watching from above knowing they will be the ones that truly win.

The naturally human thing to do is blame the “opponent” for all your woes, but as I have seen in my experience, we are equally (and sometimes more) to blame for this fiasco. What we need to do is take responsibility for our part and realize that everyone is hurting. No matter how horrible the other person is, they are suffering in their own way. And as much as there is a certain feeling of “justice” that they are getting what they deserve, know that you are still connected and pain dealt to them also hurts you in some form or another.

Children and visitation: How do I figure out a visitation schedule?

I have been divorced twice, the first time I was young and just went with what the lawyer said was “normal”. Every other weekend, two weeks a summer, alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving. Done. It broke my heart, but I just went with what the attorney said.

The second time I was a bit older (mid-30’s) and took time to really figure out what was best for myself and my daughter. And ended up with a better arrangement. Every other weekend, plus an evening a week, half the summer, a rotation for longer school vacations, birthdays, and major holidays. In essence a more thought out plan than the “Normal”.

I would suggest that anyone going through this traumatic time, find a way to really think it through.

  • What is in the best interest of your children?
    • This is a deceptively simple question. It has been my experience that it is VERY difficult to separate our feelings from objectively what is best for them. Do your best.
  • Get in touch with those, like myself, that have been through it, and can help you know what works.
    • A word of warning: Be very careful with the advice from those who are still angry or bitter. I had a friend that encouraged me to make it as difficult as possible for my soon to be ex. That was NOT the right answer and caused even more trauma.
  • Take a look at your life, and how your life will balance out in the future, not just now. You have to try to look ahead when life will be calmer and less tumultuous. This time is not forever.

Remember this is a difficult process by nature of what is happening. Essentially tearing your soul into pieces and shipping it off to live elsewhere. It DOES get better and easier, give it time.

Prepare for Life after divorce

There is life after divorce. Divorce is traumatic, painful, costly, and emotionally devastating. It also passes. The wounds will heal, the bills will stop (eventually), and our lives will continue. This is a time for reinvention.

After my second divorce, I totally reinvented my life. I realized the mistakes I had made that put me in that place to begin with. For those of you that don’t know my story, I was working so much my life was out of balance. My Faustian bargain had hurt my health, my spiritual life, and my family.

My divorce, and the ensuing chaos, left me with a clean slate to rebuild my life. I have since created a system for life balance and success called the Life Triad, I started speaking professionally, written a few books, and now share my experiences with the world.

My advice to you is to take some time to consciously design your life. Do not let the same patterns control you. Decide what is important to you and go after it! This is an opportunity for YOU to design your life.

There IS life after divorce. Make it glorious!

Life Balance Moment: Cats in the Cradle

There is a song that every time i hear it, it brings tears to my eyes. That song is “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. It is a song about something that happens too often in our society today. Our families, and especially our children are attention deprived while we work harder and harder.

My mission is that the song Cats in the Cradle never becomes a reality for any father. In this video, I sing the main verses and break down the song and also explain my journey through it. (Post continues after the video)

The reality is, this does not have to be the way it is. We can incorporate our children into our work (see LinkedIn article). We can have family athletic activities like Karate for our exercise. We just need to make sure that we are conscious of our choices. There is always something else that needs to be done. Work will always be there. Your children will be grown and gone before you know it. I know this from personal experience. I feel I looked up from my computer and my daughters were suddenly young women, no longer the image of the little girls in my mind. My sons are half way to adults already.

So please, step away from the desk. Put down the phone. Turn off the clamor of unimportant things for your attention.

Say hello to your family. Let them know how much you love them with what they really need. Your attention!