Despite many years of trying to make our marriage work, my wife and I finally separated in December 1999. My ensuing seven year divorce did not go well, and to date it represents some of the darkest and saddest days in my life.
The maxim “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” was my daily credo. As the challenges unfolded and I faced ever new and ever awful tests, I grew stronger and more resilient.
The original moping and pathetic “why me?” behaviour was eventually replaced with a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, and an ever growing catalogue of tactics and strategies that any man facing a divorce should know.
Here are seven of my favourite tips:
#1 – Journal Everything: Become a committed to recording facts, figures and events. If you call to speak to your kids – log it. Record the date, the time, the duration and the basic theme of the conversation. Record any thoughts and observations that you had after the call. Better still…
#2 – Record Your Calls: This little gem was a real life saver. Get yourself a small digital recorder and plug it into your main phone. When you get or make a call of any importance, press record and capture the whole thing. You might think this is a little spy-versus-spy, but believe me, it saved my rear when my ex-wife said one thing and then claimed openly something completely different. The audio recording didn’t lie…
#3 – Keep Yourself Healthy: Eat as well as you can, get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. It sounds goofy, but if you are slightly dehydrated, or even a bit tired, you are not as smart as you usually are. Divorce is often times about conflict, and a good ‘attack’ will leave you reeling. If you are healthy and well rested, you stand a better chance of weathering the assault.
#4 – Remember It Does End…Eventually: Your situation is unique so I can’t tell you how long this will last, but I can tell you that it does end. It’s basic physics…
#5 – Don’t Make ‘Guilt’ Based Promises: I don’t know about you, but I felt badly when my marriage failed. Sure it takes two to make it work or fail, and I get that. But I’m human (although my Ex would likely disagree…) and it hurt. When we are in pain – especially emotional pain – we tend to make ‘silly’ promises to make ourselves feel better. Don’t do it! If you have a lawyer on your payroll, they’ll tell you basically the same thing. Emotions are expensive and can cost you more than the moment it took to make that promise.
#6 – Assume Your Ex-Wife Is Smarter Than You: This is one piece of advice that took me a while to swallow. But if you take this to heart, you’ll avoid a lot if issues. You see these tips I just shared with you… assume she knows them all and has ten more of her own and five ‘friends’ tipping her daily. Remember, the system is structured to support the women; it was built this way because historically it needed to. Today there are many men who get a raw deal because of some men’s past behaviours – remember this.
#7 – Keep Your Sense of Humour: They can take the house, they can take the car, they can take the kids and the dog…but they cannot take away your sense of humour. Remember, love is grand…divorce is a hundred grand.
Thank you, thank you very much… I’ll be here all week, try the veal.
James is a popular keynote speaker, published author, and management consultant. Specialties include social media, seo search, and internet marketing automation strategies for business. View profile