Newly Separated from Your Spouse? Do These 5 Things Right Away

Being newly separated and possibly heading for divorce is a scary time. Use these tips to gain some control over the overwhelm. #divorce #separation #marriageproblems

Being recently separated from your spouse isn’t easy. 

 

But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. 

 

In fact, it’s just the beginning. 

 

Sometimes that means a recommitment to a stronger, happier marriage, sometimes it brings a brand new life without your spouse. 

 

Either way, these tips truly will be a great start to either one.  For reals.

 

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional charge to you if you make a purchase using my links. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.

 

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Maybe separating from your spouse was your idea.  Maybe not.

 

Feeling paralyzed?

 

Feeling overwhelmed?

 

Don’t know what to do?

 

Wondering how you will survive a trial separation?

 

You’re not alone.  Breaking up, separating, possibly heading for divorce is scary. 

 

It’s a change, no matter who’s idea it was.

 

Use these tips right away and be on firm footing.  Or at least feel more like it.

 

Being newly separated and possibly heading for divorce is a scary time. Use these tips to gain some control over the overwhelm. #divorce #separation #marriageproblems

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional charge to you if you make a purchase using my links. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.

 

 

1. Consult a divorce lawyer

 

I’m not saying run and file divorce papers.  

 

Just the opposite.  You need time to process.  Making decisions based solely on emotions is not a good idea. This isn’t about decisions. 

 

It’s about knowing all the possible choices so you can move forward armed with all the information you need to make the right decision when you’re ready.

 

By consulting a lawyer and knowing all the options that are available during a separation you will feel more in control.

 

Your lawyer will be able to advise you on what legal actions are available.  Answers that are not only specific to your state but also your personal situation. 

 

No two divorces or separations look alike. 

 

Finances, kids, property and the dynamics of the relationship with your spouse all play a part.

 

How long have you been married?  Is the relationship still amicable or is it a war zone?  Is any abuse or adultery involved?    Are you still under the same roof?   Is there a significant amount of debt? 

 

There are so many factors that only a good lawyer can really help you with.  Google and your friends can only take it so far.

 

Before going to the appointment with your divorce attorney, you should be knowledgeable in your current state of finances in regards to savings, budget, debt, and property. 

 

It will save time and money to bring as much information with you.   

 

Don’t try to wing it.  Written down is better especially if there is a lot to remember.  You may feel upset, confused or overwhelmed once at the attorney’s office, don’t leave it to memory.

 

Once you leave the appointment, even if you don’t move forward with filing divorce you will have a better idea where you stand. 

 

How long it takes to filing court papers,  how much money it will cost to file, and where you stand financially once the divorce is complete will get answers. 

 

Meeting with the attorney may offer options and resources you didn’t know were available to you.  Maybe you qualify for alimony.  Length of the marriage adds changes sometimes.

 

If religion plays a part in avoiding divorce, legal separation from your spouse can be a permanent status in some states.

 

The divorce attorney may suggest getting a separate bank account, learn or improve your credit score, or add to your job skills depending on your situation.

 

Some of the best advice is to understand that if you file for divorce it takes weeks before you have a court date for pretrial and from that point another 6 months before you actually go to divorce court. 

 

This will at least put child support orders in place immediately if that’s a concern and you can still choose not to divorce when you finally go to trial.  You can even postpone another few months if you really think reconciling may still be a possibility.

 

2. Take care of your body and brain.

 

Your mood, your brain and the people around you will thank you. 

 

If you don’t already work out in some way, find something.   Walk, run, bike.  Online workouts, the gym, indoor stay at home workouts.  Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are other forms of physical activity that can enhance your physical and mental strength. 

 

Do what works for you. 

 

Need motivation?  Consider one or all of these….

 

The fact that you’ll look and feel good will be sweet revenge or catch someone new.

 

You will feel amazing.

 

Your kids need you to be at your best mentally and physically to be around for them.

 

Still not motivated?  Find a friend who will encourage you…or force you by any means necessary.  You won’t be sorry.

 

Believe me, I am not a fan of exercise.  I am naturally skinny…don’t hate..  So I don’t want to lose weight, but let’s face it…. Skinny or not, over 40 it all jiggles unless you do some sort of cardio or weights.  So start.   

 

It’s good for your brain, your heart, your bones.  Us old gals gotta do something to stay looking and feeling awesome.  You will sleep better too. 

 

Speaking of sleep that’s next.   Some people get down and sleep too much, some barely sleep.  Try to find a balance.   

 

If you can give yourself those hours where your brain can turn off and rest it will help. 

 

If you’re sleeping too much, try to find another brain-numbing activity to substitute…binge television…funny shows. 

 

Even shows that you can relate to your newly separated relationship status can actually make you feel better. 

 

The Netflix series Grace & Frankie about two friends recently divorced is a good one.  

 

In fact, anything funny is great.   

 

 

Follow your funniest Instagram peeps.   I would scroll just for the purpose of laughter and smiles.  Pet accounts are great.  Who doesn’t smile at dogs?

 

Hey here’s our now!

 

pardon me my crown slipped

 

 

 

I  also unfollowed any accounts that made me sad or bad in any way.  It wasn’t anything against the accounts, it’s just for whatever reasons their posts were painful to me.  I can always follow them again later.

 

I added more that made me laugh, feel encouraged or inspired. 

 

Like @divorced_girl_smiling or the website www. divorcedgirlsmiling.com which has fabulous resources for surviving divorce.  In addition to the blog, there is a book and podcast.

 

If you aren’t getting enough sleep.  Force yourself…no really…to go to bed early.  If falling asleep is difficult, you can try a diffuser, a white noise app, music or a weighted blanket like this one that helps with anxiety.  

 

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Using meditation as part of your physical and mental well being is another great way to calm your mind, focus on yourself and feel more in control when you feel like things are nothing but out of control. 

 

Stop, Breathe, Think is a great meditation app.   It’s available for both iPhone and Android users.   It’s free  The check-in helps decide which lesson is best that day or there is a list to choose from.

 

For more brain food…read, read read.

 

Nevermind marriage books right now.  Nevermind how to win your ex back.  Right now it’s how to get you back.

 

Find books that focus on you.   

 

 

Here are some of the ones I read.

 

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreRising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadRising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadRising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeWarrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to BeWarrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to BeWarrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to BeYou Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want (A No F*cks Given Guide)You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want (A No F*cks Given Guide)You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want (A No F*cks Given Guide)

 

 

 

 

 

This isn’t implying your marriage going south is your fault.   

 

It’s about finding all about who you are and where you want to go with your life.   In seven short years, I will most likely have an empty nest.  Whether I’m single or with someone then is irrelevant.  What do I want my life to look like?

 

 

Maybe you know just who you are.  But I’m willing to bet while being married you lost something along the way.   

 

Chances are the longer you’ve been married and the older your children are the more you may have lost.

 

The last time I was single I was 17!  And I don’t mean just a few years ago, I’m talking 30 freaking years ago!

 

As in before #metoo.  Before internet match sites or the internet even, ahem.    Before naked selfies. Yikes!

 

I don’t want to date…yet.   

 

But I figure I should know myself more. 

 

 

What do I really want in the age of #givenofucks?

 

I know this.

 

I am tired of compromise at the sake of myself. (something I did to myself like many other moms)

 

I am tired of being tired. (what is that all about anyway?)

 

I am tired of expecting someone else to do for me what I can do for myself. (Light that fire!)

 

I am tired of saying yes when I really mean no. (Stop that shit!)

 

I will be 50 in just 26 months….eek!

 

So I have some goals to set and a focus.

 

 

Going along with these is good food. 

 

I don’t always mean healthy.  I know, I know.  But hear me out.

 

Right now the most important thing is consistent meals. 

 

Eat what makes you feel good… within reason.  

 

 

 

Don’t overeat until you feel sick and don’t skip meals until you feel sick.  

 

You can balance it out later just keep it real for now.  

 

 

3.  Find a therapist

 

Having someone to talk to that you don’t know can do wonders.  Their job isn’t to judge, just listen and guide.  Don’t be afraid to try a few different therapists to find one that aligns with your personality.  Whether forward or passive, a man or a woman we all relate to different people.

 

Does therapy always work and do you have to continue for a long time?  No.  Sometimes just going a handful of times to talk uninterrupted and dump it all is good enough. 

 

For me, after going 5 times, I found that for now, I had nothing else to say, I was just going round and round the same conversations. 

 

What I had really needed was to just talk out loud to someone who didn’t know me or my family.  She would never see me socially so it didn’t matter what she thought of any of us and her opinion was just another one to add to others to help me shape what I wanted to do.

 

For other people, they really need someone to talk to for a longer time.  Someone to help them sort feelings, handle the baggage, new and old and have someone hand hold them throughout the entire process.  That’s okay too!  You have to do what works for you.

 

For people with depression, anxiety, abuse, issues relating to their past and a variety of other reasons some people will need more intensive therapy or possibly medication.   

 

What anyone else would need or says you need doesn’t matter.  It’s about what YOU need. 

 

On that note…don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel.  Every situation is unique because the person experiencing it makes it unique regardless of the similarities.

 

This goes for kids too.  They may not show obvious signs of being bothered by your separation.   Gender and age differences show signs in different ways.  Changes in mood, behavior, grades, appetite, and sleep are the most obvious.   

 

Just because all of these appear to stay the same and they don’t say anything doesn’t mean they aren’t affected.    It’s a dramatic change in their life. 

 

While they may have some relief if the level of tension is down because your spouse is out of the house, they still feel a loss.

 

One of the best things you can do is call your kids’ guidance counselors. 

 

Tell them what’s going on.  Even before you tell the kids.  This can provide a safety net of other people who are watching for any adverse behavior that stands out. 

 

Often school will be where behaviors pop out without you being aware.  Guidance counselors can be on the frontlines as an alert system.  Not to use as therapists but a quick fix if something pops up.  Then if bigger problems begin, therapy could be implemented.

 

An unrelated incident could trigger the dam waiting to .burst

 

With tweens and teens writing back and forth in a notebook you leave on each other’s pillow can be a great way to connect as well as share thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to voice.

 

4. Confide in a friend (or 2).  

 

I wouldn’t run and tell everyone, even if your spouse is a real jerk or you’re sure divorce is around the corner.  

 

Putting yourself out there for the gossip mill isn’t going to help anyone no matter how tempting it may be to make him look like the bad guy.  Those types of actions only reflect on your character. 

 

You may also have kids watching how you handle yourself.  Do you really want to teach your kids revenge, bitterness, or pettiness?

 

Wouldn’t you rather teach your kids resilience, self-respect, kindness, and forgiveness?   Grief or sadness, even anger are okay,  they just don’t need to be played out in a negative way.

 

Being bitter or seeking revenge by humiliating people online or in public only hurts you in the long run.   Not only can it hurt your chances of reconciling but if you do get back together altering others opinions of both of you just makes things more difficult for no reason.

 

Practice a bit of grace and you will actually feel better.  This is one of the hardest steps. 

 

However, snarky is very therapeutic and that’s where your friends come in.

 

Courtesy of @4boysmother via Instagram

 

 

 

One or two close friends.  The longer and closer the friendship the better.  They also have to be totally trustworthy to keep what you say between you.

 

These are the friends that won’t bat an eye when you say the nastiest of your thoughts, they’ll even one up it and make you laugh. 

 

Consorting and being petty with them is a safe haven to let it fly at it’s finest.  The worst and most horrible things you can come up with will not change your friend’s opinion.

 

These are friends that you can scream and cry with who won’t judge you for hating, wanting revenge, giving up the relationship or just as importantly reconciling. 

 

If you’ve held back with these friends before to protect the way you or your spouse is viewed, let it go now and watch that friendship go fathoms deeper.   

 

You may even find out you have way more in common than before.  It really is true that you don’t always know what’s going on behind closed doors and you may quite surprised to find people who are as unhappy as you. 

 

Not that it’s good that so many other people are unhappy, but there is a certain comfort in realizing so many people really are struggling and don’t have all the answers to this adult shit either.

 

 

5.  Do something small for yourself every week (or day if you can)

 

Money has been tight here for years, but I am spending more on myself lately than usual. 

 

Crazy I know.  But listen here’s the thing. 

 

Not taking care of myself was one of the many reasons my marriage has broken down.  Always feeling like I should be last.  Always feeling the panic of scarcity.

 

So back to making now about me, I’m just going for it.    Not going nuts, though if you can…go for it, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the things I’ve done for myself and some are free.

 

Used a gift card I had for myself to get a massage.  Legit had it for nearly a year.  Sigh…I know.

 

Bought rosehip oil to put on the dark spots on my face.  No wrinkles baby, but the giraffe spots need to go.

 

Bought new slippers.

 

Go out to lunch every week with my dad.  His treat….thanks Dad!

 

Call, text, laugh every day with those girlfriends.

 

Candy stash for low moments.

 

When work just isn’t working….forced Netflix binge of non-kid-friendly shows.

 

Planning a mini-makeover for my bedroom.

 

New makeup.

 

Declutter closet and kitchen drawers.

 

If these  5 tips seem like too much.  Try one at a time. 

 

For me, I jumped in with all of them.  And truly, after just a few weeks I really did feel better. 

 

They are not only good distractions, but they also kept me focused on something other than the separation from my husband.

 

Realize that your feelings will change like New England weather.  Fast and often.  But that ‘s normal.   I just keep focusing on one day at a time.

 

I wake up and literally say…okay, what do I need to do today. 

 

And some days I realize that means that I go sit on the couch all day and watch tv.  Not a regular thing for me usually, but I have allowed myself the grace to feel how I feel each day rather than fight it.

 

If a separation is happening to you, which it must be or you wouldn’t be here….🤦‍♀️ much love to you from me… I see you.😘

 

Being newly separated and possibly heading for divorce is a scary time. Use these tips to gain some control over the overwhelm. #divorce #separation #marriageproblems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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