How to divorce with dignity

Posted: Wednesday March 11 2020

By: Vanessa Fox

When a relationship runs its course, it is often hard to pinpoint the point of no return which will be different in every case. For some, the end is a note saying that the other partner has gone, for others it is a sudden moment of truth such as receiving a text message meant for someone else. Sadly it can also be a shocking, life changing event such as violent behaviour to a child or a partner. Happily there are circumstances where couples can candidly tell each other that it’s over – and they part amicably. At such a difficult period, maintaining your self-respect and sense of self is crucial – not only for you but for any children involved. Here are some salient ‘What NOT to do’ tips from my personal experience and the experience of my clients:

How to divorce with dignity

Don’t text your ex

Having made the decision to go your separate ways, avoid texting your former spouse or partner when you feel particularly vulnerable – or, worse still, have had a couple of drinks after a tough week. Be minimal and sensible about emailing and texting. If in doubt, don’t send them unless they are about purely practical matters. Texting or emailing your ex when you feel emotional can be detrimental to your future relationship and child arrangements.

Don’t hold grudges

Ditch the grudges you have nursed through your time together. A wise comment is: “Bearing a grudge is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.” You are only damaging your own soul by hanging onto grudges and will be happier without these weights around your neck.

Be assertive – not vengeful

I’m not advocating that you close your eyes to your ex-partner’s faults or allow them to take advantage of you. The key is to be assertive but not vengeful towards your ex – and try to avoid blame and negative comments. Tell them what works – and doesn’t work for you – as you both try to plan your lives post separation.

How to divorce with dignity – Don’t use children as a weapon

This is the worst possible scenario for the future wellbeing of any children involved. When letting your offspring know their parents are splitting up, jointly share the news with them. Remind them how much they are loved and valued by both of you – and how you will both be working together to ensure your offspring’s best interests come first.

Undergoing divorce can be traumatic, extremely challenging and emotionally exhausting – and staying true to yourself and your values is vital. Although things may be difficult for a while you will come out the other end and move forward with your life.

# Divorce with Dignity