Valentine’s Day can be one of the toughest days of the year for those going through a divorce. However, it can also be a day to focus on ways to make the end of your relationship easier for you and your soon-to-be ex. A divorce does not have to be a bitter, combative affair. Consider these tips to try to keep things more peaceful:
- Focus on what is fair instead of trying to punish your former partner. Punative actions, in the end, wind up making the divorce process more acrimonious.
- Leave the kids out of it. While you should, of course, talk to your children about the changes they can expect, do not complain to your children about your ex. It puts enormous stress on kids when you put them in the middle, and can lead to a higher strain on everyone involved.
- If relations have become strained, choose neutral locations when you have to meet. If you need to sign papers, exchange possessions or drop off the kids, meet in a park or restaurant instead of either of your homes. This way, no one has a home turf advantage and you are each more comfortable.
- Don’t bad mouth your ex to mutual friends. At best, it can make your friends feel awkward, and like they are being asked to take sides. At worst, your words can get back to your former spouse and cause further discord between you.
- Take care of yourself. It’s hard to be pleasant and reasonable when you are not feeling your best. Try to get enough rest. Engage in anti-stress activities such as yoga or meditation. Although it can be hard to find emotional equilibrium during this tough time, the better you treat your mental, emotional and physical health, the better you will be able to handle the divorce in a civil manner.