How NOT to Be an April Fool When It Comes to Divorce
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Move on from divorce with these three simple tips
Besides bad hair days due to excessive rain and humidity, April is one of my favorite months of the year. Warm days start to outnumber cold days, walks outside on beautiful trails are enjoyable again, restaurants’ outdoor patios start to open, and all these gorgeous men begin to come out of the woodwork, finally able to break away from watching ESPN on their couches.
April also includes April Fools’ Day, which I’d like to honor by giving you three tips on how not to be a fool when it comes to your divorce:
1. Don’t let your ex get to you. Your ex isn’t going to change, so whatever he or she says should not affect you in a negative way. Remember, you are not married to your ex anymore, and there is a reason for that. Try to let what he or she says or does roll off of you. Your ex can’t hurt you unless you let him or her.
2. Don’t do anything stupid. Newly separated people often do stupid things (myself included—big time) because they aren’t thinking clearly. Examples of stupid behavior: excessive drinking, drugs, drinking and driving, contacting your ex while you are intoxicated, unprotected sex, and airing your dirty laundry in your community. Better coping mechanisms include faith, exercise, leaning on family and friends, and talk therapy.
3. Laugh and enjoy. Just because you are getting divorced doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to be happy, have some good times, and laugh heartily. In fact, these things are the key to your survival! I know you are hurting. That’s going to stick around for a while, unfortunately. But a good life is about finding enjoyment in each and every day. You deserve that, especially now.
Remember, a fool isn’t someone who got divorced, but someone who stayed in an unhealthy marriage, perhaps because of fear or complacency. You, on the other hand are a blossoming April hydrangea, with your new, better, and happier life well within reach!
Jackie Pilossoph, ESME’s Divorce Resource Guide, is the creator of Divorced Girl Smiling, a website that helps men and women facing divorce. She is also a weekly Huffington Post divorce blogger; the writer of a weekly column, “Love Essentially,” for the Chicago Tribune’s Pioneer Press; and a freelance corporate and business content writer. Pilossoph holds a master’s degree in journalism. She lives in Chicago with her two children. Oh, and she’s divorced.