Psychologists long ago determined that divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Attitudes towards divorce have changed significantly over the years, and many couples have fairly amicable divorces that don’t involve battles in court before a judge.
However, divorce is still a cause of chronic stress, which is stress that’s ongoing for some time. One of the sources of chronic stress is fear of the unknown. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with “what if?” scenarios in our own heads.
Divorce stress is often caused by a combination of grief over the end of the marriage, concern about how your children are doing and what your relationship with them will be going forward, worries about your financial future and the overwhelming sens of a loss of control.
Let’s look at that last one. Divorce can be particularly difficult for people who feel the need to be in control. In divorce, however, you are going to lose some of the control you once had over your spouse, your children, your finances and other parts of your life. You can’t completely control the divorce process.
If this loss of control is becoming highly stressful for you, focus on what you can control. You can choose your battles. That doesn’t mean you should give in to your spouse at every turn. Decide what’s important for you to get out of the divorce and focus your energy there. If you let your spouse “win” some of the things they want, they’ll be more likely to reciprocate on some of the things you want.
One thing we can always control is our attitude. If you go in to the process realizing that you won’t get everything you want and that you’ll need to compromise, the process is likely to go more quickly and smoothly.
Understanding the divorce process and everything that needs to be done as you go through it can help you regain your sense of control. Sometimes that’s as easy as having a list of items that you can check off as they’re completed.
Having an attorney that you can trust to help you work toward what is best for you and your children can go a long way toward feeling (and being) in control. Discuss your goals with your attorney so that they can work with you to help you obtain them.