Second guessing divorce isn’t unusual, especially at the beginning of a separation. But add in Coronavirus and I think it second guessing divorce is almost common these days. The insecurity, uncertainty and fear of COVID-19 has many people wondering if they did the right thing divorcing. Here’s what one DGS Facebook group member wrote:
My ex and I share custody 50/50. Sometimes, especially now in these crazy times, I get so, so sad when the kids aren’t home with me. Then I start overthinking everything and get dangerously close to believing I should have stayed in a broken relationship for the kids so that we would all be under one roof. Will second guessing divorce ever stop?
Shared custody is hard on everyone, and one of the biggest hurdles in divorce. Missing the kids when your ex has them, silence filling the home, no pitter-patter of little feet running around. I get it. The silence causes you to question yourself & your decisions allowing self-doubt to seep in.
My suggestion for you is not to play the “what-if” game. What if I stayed? Was it really that bad? Maybe divorce was the wrong idea? STOP IT! Once you’ve made your decision, don’t rethink it. Something pushed you to leave. There was some breaking point. There were thoughts that your life would be better if you two were not together. Focus on the life ahead, and not the one left behind. Rethinking & playing the “what-if” game will cause you AND your children mental anguish.
Staying for the sake of the kids or so that you are all under one roof, in my opinion, is a big mistake, but you know your kids and situation best. Would they fare better in a home where mom & dad are unhappy or where mom & dad are in separate homes and happier not together?
As a mother, know that your children are watching and learning parenting & relationship skills. Based on you two living together, were you modeling a healthy relationship? Would you be OK if your daughter stayed with a man like your ex? Would you be OK if your son emulated what his father was doing before the breakup? As parents, we don’t want our children repeating our mistakes and passing unhealthy decisions to future generations.
I believe co-parenting can work. When the kids are with you, make the moments magical. Have mommy and me times that are super special and that you can reflect on when they’re not with you. Can you call the children while they are with your ex to say good night? Take crazy photos on your cell that you can look at while they are gone. Create a countdown until they are with you again.
This quarantine mandate has everyone on edge. Give yourself a little grace, and the kids too. Everyone is creating a new normal right now. Take this time to create your new normal and stand firm in it.
The second-guessing will stop when you understand there is no definitive right or wrong way to divorce with children. Second guessing is a form of insecurity in your decision. When you know you’ve done the right thing for YOUR situation, then the second-guessing will stop. Until then, write out the pros & cons of staying vs. leaving and review the list in moments of doubt. Going back and forth mentally is tiring. Stop it & stand in your decision.
Debbie LeSean is a divorce expert and life coach to high achieving women executives navigating the divorce funnel. She is an author, public speaker & founder of the nonprofit, 2LIVE Daily, which helps families navigate the mental health maze. Debbie helps women remove the executive mask to gain clarity on their goals and purpose, and achieve a breakthrough. A graduate of V.C.U. and Liberty University, Debbie uses her degrees in Counseling & Executive Leadership to shift mindsets, eliminate limiting belief and release the emotional heaviness that often accompanies divorce. Debbie is a two-time divorcee who took the time to heal WHOLE before stepping into the “best relationship ever.” To connect with Debbie, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at debbielesean.com.
Like this article? Check out, “20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self”