Whether you are in the middle of a divorce process or at the beginning, I can't emphasize enough how useful it can be for you to share your personal experience with other people who have gone through a divorce or are currently going through a divorce. When you connect with someone who has been in the same situation as you, it can make you feel not as alone and help to put things into perspective. If you don't have a friend already who has had the experience of going through a divorce, you can look for a suitable community for support. Try using the word "divorce" in a search on Meetup.com and most likely you will be able to find several groups that regularly meet in person in your local area where you will be able to develop new friendships with people who are going through the same thing that you are. Or if you would prefer online interactions, DivorceForce has a thriving community that shares experiences and gives advice.
However, I don't want you to need to look too far while searching for advice. That is why I have contacted our community along with a network of experts - and all of them are going through or have been through a divorce - and asked them to share the very best divorce advice that they have ever received or given.
I received so much good information.
After working through her divorce process for almost three years, on May 21, 2017, Kiedra Tyson's divorce was finalized. Looking back on the experience, Kiedra shared the following:
The best advice that I received during my divorce was that although it hurts right now, things will get better. Everybody is not intended to be together. Don't give up, you will be able to find love once again.
Vikki Ziegler is a true force of nature. Looking back on her own divorce, the following is the best advice that Vikki says she ever received:
Stop worrying. Everything will unfold and be over soon. You cannot get the time back that you waste on worrying about things that you cannot control. Keep in mind that divorce can actually be a chance of rebirth, so begin to reinvent yourself so that in your next relationship you can be the best you.
And she advises, as a person who has experienced divorce herself, for people starting on the divorce process:
Prepare yourself. Conduct research and have interviews with several attorneys through referrals to find the one that you feel the most comfortable with. Find a life coach or therapist, start doing yoga, and be sure your accountant is available to assist you. Then allow your attorney to work for you and keep your interests protected. On the weekends and at night, turn the divorce process off and instead focus on things that you are grateful for and make you happy.
Before her divorce process started, Keenya Kelly has been married for a year. She was left homeless, living in a hotel room rented by her friends, with just a couple hundred dollars, a car without any heat, and a job where she earned $22,500 per year. Although today she manages a successful company, at the time she felt like she had hit rock bottom. She learned an important lesson through her experience of going through a very difficult divorce process:
Don't post about it on social media. When I was going through my divorce, I felt tempted to defend my name against all of the assumptions that people were making when they saw what was happening to my ex-husband. I stayed quiet instead. I knew my name would eventually be vindicated, and during my divorce process, I didn't want to look crazy by talking on social media about all my dirty laundry.
Seven years ago, Tom O'Keefe's divorce became finalized. He brought up an important but difficult point: the purpose of the court is not for placing blame. Its purpose is to process a divorce judgment that for both parties is financially equitable. He says:
Do you know the thing you thought was so shocking? That line that was crossed by your spouse? That particular act of betrayal you and everybody else is appalled and shocked by? Keep in mind that the court does not care. It doesn't matter to them unless it is provable acts of addiction or abuse. Ultimately, the reason why the court is there is to divide the property up and not to hand out vengeance. You will not have a Perry Mason moment where your ex admits to being a douchebag up on the stand. The court is just looking to figure out where the children will be going on Christmas and who is going to get the couch.
Kate Campion has gone through two divorces, and the man she is married to now has also gone through a divorce. Kate's parents are also divorced. Her divorce helped her to grow, and she shares the following takeaways:
She says that her best advice is to immediately talk to an attorney - even if believe you are going to have an amicable divorce. At some point, there is a good chance that things might get nasty. You need to protect what rightfully belongs to you. Kate also says that she has known several individuals who have just walked away from their entitlements and marriage because they simply wanted to get out of it. They soon found out that was a huge mistake. Divorce has a huge impact on your finances, and you don't want these decisions to affect the rest of your whole life or a relationship that you might have in the future.
She says she would also recommend that you don't fight to remain in the family house. Although right now you might feel attached to it, your home actually represents a time in your life that has come to an end. It can be more difficult to live with those memories than you might think. Also, when you meet a new person, they might not be interested in living in a house that comes from your past marriage.
Finally here is some wise advice from MarDestinee Perez. She unexpectedly went through a divorce three years ago. She did not see it coming and there wasn't anything she could do to stop it from occurring. She and her former spouse did not have any children or own property, so it was a straightforward process. However, she says that her divorce was the most emotionally difficult experience she has ever gone through in her life. She said she didn't want to face her friends and family or leave her house. She felt dead inside, unloveable, and broken. Many people can relate to this.
Based on her personal experience, MarDestinee recommends three things that can help you quickly bounce back, feel good about yourself, and be able to love once again after your divorce:
1. Find a supportive community. Not a self-help group. Instead, find one or two friends with who you will be able to discuss your feelings, and who will check up on you. Don't speak with people who are married. They will not understand what you are currently going through and make you feel even worse, although it will be unintentional. Avoid judgemental people as well. During this time, say says her best supporters were formerly divorced friends.
2. Get a good therapist. Not only to be able to ven but to you help you work through your feelings and behaviors that might have contributed to your divorce. You don't want your unhealthy relationship patterns, trauma, and negative feelings to be brought into your future. She says her therapist helped her understand her role in her divorce how she could move forward in ways that were healthy.
3. Actively participate in activities that will help to improve your self-esteem and bring joy. She said that in months during and after her divorce, she went dancing once a month at least, backpacked, took a wilderness basics course, traveled, and ran her first half marathon. She did those things even when she didn't want to. With time, she slowly regained her self-love, self-respect, and confidence.