You may remember the “Death and Dignity Act” which was brought to light in the fall of 2014 by the young advocate with terminal brain cancer, Britney Maynard. Britney was a beautiful, well educated, 29 year old, who moved to a different state so that when the time came she could legally decide when to end her life, so that she could leave this world with her dignity intact. Dignity is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a way of appearing or behaving that suggests self-respect and self-control.”
No, divorce is not a death sentence. What is important, however, is divorcing with dignity. A divorce brings out a range of emotions which will seem to take over your life. It is possibly to divorce respectfully, you’ll find a gamut of blogs here regarding divorcing collaboratively, but keeping your dignity intact throughout a divorce, especially with an uncooperative spouse can prove to be difficult. Here are our top three tips for divorcing with dignity:
- Focus on YOU. Especially in a divorce with children involved, YOU may be the last person on your mind. Whether that means you forget to eat, have no energy to cook dinner so you find yourself going through the drive through 5 days a week, or maybe you find yourself turning to alcohol for a stress release; retaining your health will help you to maintain your dignity during your divorce. Even if you’ve never ate healthy or worked out, now is the perfect time to start. Put down that glass of wine or bowl of ice cream, and go for a walk, starting is the hardest part. Give yourself the gift of extra confidence and energy during this difficult time, you will be thankful that you did.
- Work with the hand you’ve been dealt. The old “turn lemons into lemonade” theory. We posted a great quote on our Facebook page a few weeks ago that really resonated with people, “When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.” Stop focusing on what could have/should have happened, and start focusing on what IS happening. Focus on HOW you are handling the situation. Understand that this is new territory for yourself, and don’t be afraid to find a mentor or even a therapist to help guide you through this uncharted territory.
- Remembering your ex is human, and so are you. It’s easy to forget the details along the way that led to your divorce, especially if there was a major “final straw” that ended it. Marriages are hard work, and often times neither party is giving 100%. For you to maintain your dignity, you must accept that you are just as human as the next person, your ex included. Sometimes having to forgive someone who may not deserve forgiveness is vital to maintain your own dignity.