Divorce – Taking the High Road:

man standing alone on a roadIn a time when you may be feeling the powerful negative emotions of jealousy, hurt, anger, fear and financial insecurity “taking the high road” in your divorce process and putting your own best foot forward can be challenging.   Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you are trying to do your best in this time of transition:

    • Openly share information about your children with your spouse and don’t share adult information about the divorce process with your children.  You will be a co-parent with your spouse forever and it is never too soon to work on that being a healthy relationship for you and for your children.  Conversely, work to protect your children from the conflict you are having with your spouse, as their exposure to that conflict will only make their adjustment to the divorce more difficult.

    • Say yes when you can.   If your spouse needs a schedule change or other accommodation, if possible, say yes.  Remember the old maxim, “what goes around comes around” and deposits into the reservoir of good will may help you down the road.

    • Don’t complain about your spouse on social media and be mindful in your communications with relatives and friends.  Amy Vanderbilt, in her book, The Complete Book of Etiquette, published in 1954 advised on the topic of divorce that ”it is not only poor taste but a foolhardy procedure to air one’s domestic troubles in public” (p 541).  That mannerly advice, given over 60 years ago, holds true more than ever in the connected world we live in today.

    • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.  Whether it’s nickel and dime matters in a settlement negotiation, or a nasty comment or dig, let it flow past you if you can.  Consider if the matter is worth spending attorney fees on, or even worth disturbing your own mental well-being.

    • Be honest about the finances.  A suspicion that you are being dishonest with respect to financial matters will add to the financial cost and acrimony in your divorce.  If caught, you will likely lose any advantage you were trying to gain. Even if not caught, you will have lost your integrity.

Will taking the high road lead to a better outcome in your divorce and a smoother process? Perhaps taking the high road will result in healthier children, a better co-parent relationship, and a smooth path to a settled divorce and beyond. Even if the high road does not reap these results, you will be able to look back at this time in your life, without shame or regret, knowing that you moved through this hard transition with grace and dignity.