• ktidwell

Knowing What You Can Control Post Divorce

One of the things people don’t tell us is that when we go through a divorce everything suddenly feels out of control…our finances, our friend group, our living situation, even ourselves. Do you feel that way? I know I did.

All of a sudden, your financial status changes as you are forced to now do everything on your own. You may have lost your marital home that you worked so hard on and may have even raised your kids in. You may have lost friends through the divorce or have even lost a piece of yourself. You may have lost your family pet, your boat, your vacation home - and with all the losses and changes, your life may seem out of control.

How do you regain control? This is something I had to work on as well. The first step is realizing and accepting that the only thing we can control is our own actions. The divorce may not have been your decision, but unfortunately you have little control if your spouse is determined enough. The economy is another good example. We do not have control over what is happening with the economy, especially right now during this pandemic.

But, the good news is, you do have control over so much more than you think. And once you let go of the things you cannot control and focus on those that you can, you will realize that you are in the driver seat and you will begin to heal and feel more free.

Controlling Your Thoughts

With all the uncertainty in the world right now this seems like an all but impossible task. Take a break, a break from social media and the news. Your heart, mind and soul are in a vulnerable state and they need time to heal, not have a multitude of the world's burdens and judgement piled on top.

It's not selfish to take a little time to recuperate and even seek counsel from a good therapist. You are going to have a mixture of emotions and may need help discerning what the root cause of each new feeling is. Even if you feel relief that the marriage is over, there are issues bubbling just below the surface that it would be best to sort out sooner rather than later. Those stuffed down feelings WILL insist on be addressed at some point. Getting help now allows you to control when it happens.

Controlling Your Space

One of the things that you do have full control over is your space. Look around, is it messy? Cluttered? Empty? How does your space make you feel?

Even if you had to completely downsize and move to a smaller space than what you are used to, you have control over how it feels. Or, maybe you’re still in your marital home and you feel overwhelmed by the memories that live in the space.

Regardless of where you are living now, even if it’s temporary, it is important to take control of that space and how it makes you feel. Start by decluttering and getting rid of the things that no longer serve you (especially if you are living in your marital home and are surrounded by items that remind you of the past).

You may want to pick one project or room at a time, so you don’t get more overwhelmed. Choose one area in your home and clean it, purge it, and redo it to make it feel completely yours. It’s time to release items that no longer serve you and only keep the things that bring you joy. As you release items that once meant something to you, you will feel more in control of your surroundings and what you now allow into your space — physically and mentally.

Controlling Your Finances

It is just as important to take control of your space and your mental wellbeing as it is to take control of your finances. One of the biggest stressors in life is money. If you are overwhelmed by this, it is ok. That’s what we are here for. A CDFA can organize and complete your financial documents, evaluate potential settlements and help you map out a plan for your financial future.

Remember, let go of the things you cannot control, focus on those that you can, and seek help when you need it.