Singapore's Support Site For The Divorced
Saturday October 25th 2014

Life After Divorce

Feeling depressed, lost and suicidal because of your failed marriage? If you need to access our free volunteer counselling and legal service, please email me at gilbert@steadymarriages.com or goh_gilbert@yahoo.com. Don't suffer alone - seek help. We are here for you. Thanks for visiting! Gilbert

             rope
 
Can’t we all just get along? (divorces.com)

We all remember the famous words uttered by impaired motorist Rodney King during the infamous LA police beating he endured in the early 90s: “Can’t we all just get along?”  Now, maybe he meant it, maybe he didn’t, but the question is worth asking when it comes to your life after your divorce.  The answer is a resounding yes and there are many reasons why you will want to do so. 

There are two main reasons we can why you would want to get along with your Ex:

First and foremost, your kids are the most important reason. For too often in today’s day and age many people downplay or outright dismiss the obligation to raise children that you brought into this crazy world.  Don’t be like that.  You kids still need and deserve your nurturing.  And let’s face it, the only reason you will be forced to see you Ex is if there are kids involved.  This will last as long as you have kids and so that would seem to indicate a long, long time. So, the message is you need to get along for the sake of your kids;Secondly, it is draining to be angry and bitter all the time.  We think it was Mark Twain who said that each of us has the face we deserve by the time we are 50.  What face do you want to have?  

Do you want to have a wrinkled old face?  Do you want to be that old grizzled guy who lives alone at the end of the street, who only ventures out every so often to tear up a Nerf football that happened to clear his hedges?  You don’t want to be this guy?  You also don’t want to be a reclusive behind the doors battle axe of a women, devoid of compassion, consumed by hate, wallowing the rest of her life away about how “he done me wrong.”

Below are ways to help bury the hatchet with the Ex.  Here’s how to do it.
  • Have a goal in mind
Visualization usually helps here.  Let go of your anger.  Accept that life sometimes doesn’t go the way you planned.  So why not divert your energy to more positive pursuits now and quit emotionally draining yourself over wishing ill will on your Ex or battling over every inch of ground, nickel and material item you probably would have never missed had you not seen it listed on a judgment calling for you to hand it over. 
  •  You do not have to be friends
Look for common ground and only discuss problems you need to resolve and leave it at that. If the kids are the common ground, that’s what you can talk about but don’t feel you have go to church together or shopping and always be in each other’s lives.  Yes it is undeniable that you will on occasion have to deal with your Ex.  As we have stressed before, if you have kids, you owe it to them to make the peace.  Look at it this way, here is a person you thought highly enough of to procreate with.  At some point in time, that meant a lot to each of you.  No matter what has happened recently to end the relationship, those memories will forever be unalterably pleasant.  You can’t recreate history and make them all bad.
We think this is where you will find great common ground to get along.  No matter what happens now, don’t be a revisionist historian and take away the good times.  Those times are not suddenly bad because of unforeseen events which led to the divorce although it may be hard to see this if infidelity was a culprit.  Try to cherish the good times and you will have an easier time making amends. 
  • Find your niche
Undoubtedly you have skills that make you who you are.  A good strategy to keep the peace with the Ex when there are kids involved is to use those strength areas as resources for your kids.  If you have always been the better parent at making sure you kids study for school, continue onward with that trend and assume that role for them.  You don’t have to be partners with your Ex, who may by now even have another mate.  If you read our statistical breakdown installment you will know that chances are more than likely they and you will be involved seriously with someone else in a short span of time.  However, you can maintain a good relationship by doing the things that you always did well with your kids.  After all, your Ex may be horrible at making sure they do their homework and will appreciate you continuing on with this aspect of parenting.  Along with your psyche, the kids will be the chief beneficiary.
  • Compliment your Ex’s good work
We are sure your Ex was good at a least one thing, right?  After all, she did agree to marry you at one point, though in retrospect that might not have been a good idea.  In any case, if you have to maintain interaction with your Ex you invariably will see the effects of his or her parenting on your child.  When the result is pleasing, be sure to pass along a compliment.  Let them know that they did a good job getting the little one ready for recital last week. 
  • Take the high ground
Even if the Ex is still very bitter about the whole break up, be above it and refrain from engaging into battles of one-upmanship.
 Never speak badly of the EX in front of the kids
 
Let’s face it: perhaps your Ex will still drive you nuts long after the divorce.  After all, you disliked their presence enough to go through with the divorce and maybe they were even the one responsible for it in the first place. You may curse under your breath about all the things your Ex is doing and decisions they are making.  After all, it might be frustrating seeing a new boyfriend or girlfriend move into your old house, which you helped pay for at one time.  However, save the venting for your close adult friends.  You kids want and deserve some normalcy in their lives.  If you are swearing about your Ex in the car, this will greatly bother them.  It may get back to your Ex and you may end up feeling like you’re always “getting divorced” versus “getting on with your life.” 
The only solid and lasting peace between a man and his wife is, doubtless, a separation.
- Lord Chesterfield 
 
  • Don’t get bent out of shape about your Ex’s new other
Like we said, chances are either you or they will find themselves involved in a new relationship within five years.  Maybe you still are hung up on why you got divorced.  Maybe suddenly it appears that your Ex is looking every bit better and being more attentive to her new mate, then they ever had with you.  So what?  It shouldn’t bother you.  Chances are, they, like you, learned something about relationships during the one they had with you.  Maybe they learned from their mistakes?  Perhaps you should too?
Conversely, maybe they didn’t.  Or, maybe you feel they are dating a bum now and you don’t want this bum involved in the lives of your kids.  This kind of situation will be more difficult to remedy, but it surely won’t help if you let tempers flare.  One good tip is to be respectful and let it play out.  Your kids will realize in time what a loser the new person is and hopefully your Ex will wise up and find someone better. 
  • Learn to ask for your Ex’s opinion
Here’s an idea that perhaps you never thought about while you were married.  Who knows, maybe it is the reason you are married now.  Ask your Ex for an opinion about something that they might be more knowledgeable about than you.  Say your Ex husband was a car mechanic and you car is making this goofy sound.  Ask him if he might have any idea what might be causing it.  If your Ex wife was a computer consultant and you are having problems with your servers, ask her for some advice. On some level they will feel that you appreciate his or her skill or knowledge in this area.  You are saying they still have value on some level.  This will make for smoother sailing as the year’s go on. 
 Don’t fuel the fire
 
Whatever you do, don’t meddle in the affairs of your Ex.  Don’t stir things up with opinions about what they are doing now or who they are with.  Keep opinions to yourself, unless you are asked for an opinion about something (who knows, maybe they read this article too?).  The idea is to let the new dynamics of family take their natural course.  See what makes the kids comfortable and be there for them.  Show the Ex that you are capable of maintaining an amicable relationship and that as people everyone still has value.  The ill will will slowly fade into the past as time inevitably marches on.

Click here for Part 8

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Reader Feedback

18 Responses to “Life After Divorce”

  1. [...] Click Here to view the entire Article [...]

  2. holgie says:

    It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it’s always possible to find something new. :)

  3. silentpr says:

    I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?

  4. iRENE says:

    Hi all,

    I have been divorced for nearly a year already. However, the recovery process seems to take forever. It’s like you thought that you are able to move on n your life already and then some court matters surface, and you are back to a wreck again…. and have to go thru the whole emotional stages again…grief, denial, acceptance etc. Its really a horrible experience. Anyone out there has gone to any support group? I am keen to join one to know that i am not alone in this journey. I need to maintain my sanity for the sake of my 6 yr old daughter. My ex is still staying at my matrimonial home that I am paying for for the last 7 years and he still refused to move out. The court is taking forever in the ancillary matters. But thank God it is finally coming to an end. I pray that the ancillary matters can be settled finally in late july during the court hearing and I can finally sell off my property and settle some of his debts that he left me with.I am staying with my mum. I am currently unemployed and facing anxiety everyday. And school holidays has made things worse as my daughter stick to me so much. Anyone out there in the same boat ?

    • admin says:

      Hi Irene,

      Do check out the divorce meetup site on the left of my blog – its a support site where divorced people meet and find solace together.

      Let me know if you need further assistance. I am allocating you a volunteer counsellor soon.

      Take care and never give up.

      Gilbert

  5. Gerry says:

    Divorce in SG is a long and lonely process…my divorce took a long time to settle (about 4 years) thanks to an ex who decided that going MIA when he wanted to was best. Thankfully, that has been settled and I have full custody and control of my child.

    However, it’s been hard starting a new relationship…have been in and just got out of a relationship not too long ago…somehow, i met someone who in the end said that his parents will never accept a divorcee. Even my parents seem to ‘look down’ on divorcees…as if we’re ‘spoilt’ goods or something.

    Is there such support on this site? And do most divorcees in sg feel that they are rejected by the older generation?

    • admin says:

      Hi Gerry,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your predicament.

      Its true that Singaporeans still view divorcees with a tinge of scepticism but its becoming more acceptable in our society.

      One in three marriages will end in a divorce and less than 40% of them will remarry.

      If you need to see a volunteer counsellor, please let me know and I can arrange one for you.

      Let me know what suggestions you have to support our fellow divorcees. I am ready to implement them if they are viable.

      Take care and stay strong.

      Gilbert Goh
      Administrator

  6. Reluctantlyseparated says:

    Hi everyone,

    Any interests to form a support group for the newly-divorced, newly-separated as well as the not-so-recent ones?

    My thoughts are simple. We are all thrown into the same sea of misery, but when we hold up together, we stand a better chance of getting help and surviving. The more experienced and steady ones can be the bigger bros and sis.

    I am also wondering if Gilbert or the volunteer counsellors will be our facilitators along this painful, seemingly endless, journey.

    Just throw out a line to see what this will bring in. I need company and help too… too hard to swim against the tides by myself for way too long.

    My heartiest wish to all out there… you are not alone.
    RS

    • Min says:

      Hi RS

      I’m really glad I came across your post. How are you doing? I’m going through separation as well and hope to get some support and advice from some others who are in a similar situation. If you don’t mind, how can I contact you?

      Min

  7. Teddy says:

    Life is hard. How can we stop the pain? There is no life after divorce.

  8. Nik says:

    Going through divorce now and really glad I found this site. I’m looking for a support group for deal with the pain, get some support and advice.

    Nik

  9. It’s laborious to seek out educated folks on this subject, but you sound like you recognize what you’re talking about! Thanks

  10. Charmer says:

    I believe younger local men prefer to start a relationship with a partner with no kids. It sound’s selfish but this is the reality. This could also be the reason for local divorcees ending up with Caucasions who have less reservations.

  11. steven says:

    my brother passed away before he and his wife attend court for the divorce hearing after sepration of 3 years. however, they have actually signed for all the documents related to the divorce which indiated the amount of money to be given to the wife after they sold their house, the amount of money he suppose to pay her as maintenance etc. Is the wife still consider the next of kin which entitles her to all the estate sharing? Or its consider that they have already planned to get a divorce 3 years back and we can use this as a reason to stop her from the estate sharing?

  12. mothersuperior says:

    I agree with Gerry that the society opines divorcees as someone who is difficult to get along with and therefore a big failure. I have been divorced for 2 years plus. People at the counters always give me a queer look whenever I tick at the box-divorced. Do we look really broken to the society? The trouble is, it is the virus of perfectionism !

    I am glad to have stumbled upon this SG site -many thanks to Gilbert.

  13. Dark angel says:

    Hi guys I am going trough this wonderful thing called divorce its very simple my friends what’s gone is gone why think and be sad about it just pick yourself up and walk again that’s not end of life . One very important thing is learn from it and use it to make things better not put yourself down and waste your beautiful life .
    As I believe god has a plan for me and I will follow it as I have been a good husband , father, son in law I don’t even have funny ideas of having fun with some one els . Just because in laws brainwashed the ex and that’s was end of my happy family .
    So what ,life still goes on friends when you fall you get injured and after a few days you will be good as before its the same way folks . The only enemy is your own brain clear it and move far ward my friends .

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