How can s/he just move on after everything s/he put me through?
Why does s/he get more time with the kids while I’m here by myself paying more child support?
How can s/he afford to go on vacation when I have to work another five years instead of retiring like I planned?
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If you’ve asked yourself these or similar questions after your divorce, you’re not alone. Many people feel like they have been given an unfair deal after their case ends, especially if they invested a significant amount of time or money trying to obtain a specific outcome. This perceived injustice can make you feel frustrated, angry and very unhappy, which is entirely normal, but when “it’s not fair” becomes your daily mantra, you end up doing yourself an injustice.
“In divorce, so much is unfair,” writes Mark Banschick, a retired expert witness in custody disputes and author of The Intelligent Divorce. “Not everything that happens in life is good, but there is a way forward. You have to grieve your loss to the best of your ability, deal with reality and embrace life.”
If you’re having trouble moving forward after your divorce, try following these suggestions:
Let go of the concept of fairness
Instead of focusing on the things you’ve lost, or the things that you cannot change, direct your thinking to what you can do or achieve. Having less financial freedom may be a difficult new reality to get used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on bettering other things in your life. Decide on a fitness, social or career-oriented goal and start taking steps to achieve it. Remember, negative thoughts delay positive changes from occurring.
Don’t rely on the court to “even the score” for you
Some individuals may be tempted to try and use the family court to get revenge on their ex, either by delaying or prolonging a case, or by appealing an existing court order. We would generally advise against this for several reasons. Not only is this a costly tactic, but it usually fails. It’s not the court’s duty to take sides, rather its objective is to deal with cases justly. There are instances where appealing a decision may be in your best interest, but you should speak with a family lawyer before taking legal action.
Give yourself the attention you deserve
Have you been checking up on your ex through Facebook or Instagram? Do s/he seem impossibly happy with his or her new partner, car or job? That might be the case, but you aren’t seeing the entire picture – only snapshots of what your ex wants others to see. With that in mind, your energy would be better spent doing something that makes you happy instead of stressing over how content s/he is. This is the perfect time to show yourself some love. Be mindful of how you’re feeling physically and mentally, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. You are responsible for your own happiness, so make sure you’re not depriving yourself of what you deserve.
Being happy and taking positive action is a choice, as is being angry and miserable. It Is perfectly normal to feel upset after a divorce, especially when things don’t go as you thought they would, but it’s important not to let these feelings stop you from transitioning and moving on. After all, the future is full of potential!