Ever feel like your divorce is driving you crazy? Anyone who has ever gone through a divorce has at one point or another, (probably more than once, maybe ongoing) felt that feeling of madness,frustration, and constant disappointment by the way their ex is acting.
One month, he just decides he’s not paying child support, another month, she won’t answer your texts, emails or phone calls regarding an issue with the kids, and the worst feeling of all, you receive your monthly attorney bill, (that you can’t afford) when your case is no further along than it was 6 months ago.
It’s exhausting. It’s maddeningly frustrating. It wakes you up at 4:30 in the morning, unable to sleep because you are so worried and your options seem to be down to two things: do nothing and remain unhappy, or spend more money on attorneys and remain unhappy.
Here are the five things for “the divorce is driving me crazy,” along with my advice:
It’s very typical of a lot of men and women to stay angry about their divorce for a long time, sometimes forever. So, they decide to act like a third grader and just not speak to you. They don’t return your calls, emails or texts regarding things that have to do with the kids, even something as simple as a scheduling conflict.
They decide they are “burning you” or “sticking it to you” by not responding. Who they are really sticking it to is the kids. There’s really nothing you can do, except tell your attorney, which only means spending more money with no result. (I’m not bashing divorce attorneys, by the way. I’m just stating that the money you spend is more than what you will get as a result of making things a legal issue.)
My advice: You can only control what you can. If your ex doesn’t respond, just do what you think is right, do the best you can, and keep being the best parent you know how to be. Try not to let it bother you because that’s what your ex wants.
2. Nickel and diming.
I am constantly amazed at men and women who make in excess of $200,000 a year, and who still count every single penny when it comes to splitting kids expenses. One of my friends (whose ex husband is extremely wealthy) got an email from him that she owed him 82 cents. I swear I’m not kidding. The nickel and diming is really disgusting to me.
My advice: Just because he/she is nickel and diming, that doesn’t mean you have to do it, too. You will feel so good about yourself if you don’t nickel and dime. Believe me, your ex doesn’t like him/herself for this behavior.
3. Being rude and angry in front of the kids.
This is by far the worst one. Why do adults put themselves and their emotions ahead of their children?? Even more so, why can’t people let their anger and resentment go? Do you hold onto it forever? I just don’t get it. It’s so sad to me and knowing it’s hurting children drives me insane, because they do feel it. The fact that one of their parents hates the other is embedded in their core, and strikes at their hearts, and it is so upsetting to them. Remember that they are grieving, too.
My advice: If YOU are not rude and angry to your ex in front of the kids, you are helping your kids sooooo much. Think about it. One parent acting mean is better than both acting mean, right? Plus, your kids will see it and remember it, and they will remember his/her anger and how YOU acted.
4. Acting like their job is more important than yours
This comes down to just being plain old self-centered, and not having the ability to see that you have a job, too. We are all trying to make money and do our jobs to the best of our abilities. Is one person’s job more important than the other’s because he or she makes more money? Absolutely not.
My advice: IGNORE, ignore, ignore. You know your job is just as important as your ex’s. That’s all that matters.
5. Attorneys fees.
This is still is a raw subject for me, in that there was a time when every month, I would receive a bill, and I look at it and I think, ‘This is money I could be putting away for college.’ Instead, it’s being spent because my ex and I can’t agree on things, and we have to use attorneys to have our conversations.
Again, I am not faulting attorneys. The attorneys are just doing their jobs. But, if people could put their emotions aside, and think of the kids, they would have so much more money.
My advice: Try mediation. Even if you are in a high-conflict divorce, or you feel like you can’t even sit in the same room as your ex, just try. You’d be surprised at how much the mediator will help you put your emotions aside. Think about it. A couple hours a week for a few weeks with him vs. 10K attorney bills every month for two years. Which makes more sense?
In closing, here’s the positive spin on this VERY NEGATIVE article about divorce driving you crazy. Even with all the aggravation, being divorced is still better than being married to the wrong person.
The gifts of being divorced are freedom, peace, less conflict and toxicity, and the opportunity for a better, happier life ahead.
Perhaps the biggest gift of divorce: a better life for the kids, because as much as the two divorced people are at odds, the kids would probably be a lot worse off if the two were still married and living together.