If you're getting a divorce, it may be tempting to take the bait or try to get revenge. Or maybe you're tempted to wait for closure or perfect timing—but I'm here to tell you that's a bad idea.
DON'T TAKE THE BAIT.
When your spouse is trying to get under your skin, it can be tempting to respond in kind. After all, being a jerk back to them might make you feel like a better person, or at least temporarily soothe some of the pain they've inflicted on you through their words and actions. But engaging in a snarky sparring match with your ex will only distract from what's important: winning custody of your children and protecting yourself financially during divorce proceedings. If you keep focused on these goals instead of reacting emotionally, then any anger or sadness that comes up won't get in the way of moving forward toward achieving them.
So if we were friends, let me give you some advice: Don't do any of those things. Just move on with your life.
DON'T TRY TO GET REVENGE.
You might think it's fun to try and get revenge on your spouse during or after divorce, but trust me: you don't want the last image of your marriage to be a bitter one. This is not a time for petty vengeance or spiteful behavior—it's time to move on.
Also, don't expect that other people will make you feel better during this period of your life. Many people will tell you that they've been through something similar and they're fine now, but they aren’t always telling the truth; sometimes we need professional help when dealing with our emotions after divorce (or any other traumatic event).
DON'T WAIT FOR CLOSURE.
If you're divorced, you've probably already learned that your ex is not going to be your friend. If they were, the marriage wouldn't have ended in divorce. So don't count on having a friendship with your former partner. The only thing you can do is take responsibility for your own actions and let go of the idea of closure or being friends after the divorce.
The one thing I found helped me get over my anger at my ex was focusing on what I could control: my own life and emotions—not theirs! When we're angry about something that's happened, we tend to want to lash out at others when in fact it's ourselves we should be angry with because it was our own behavior that got us into this mess in the first place!
DON'T WAIT FOR PERFECT TIMING.
In the same way that you shouldn't wait for the perfect time to start divorce proceedings, you also shouldn't wait for the perfect time to start dating again. And don't be afraid of getting hurt or being rejected; nobody is ever 100% OK all at once. Just like a broken bone, your sense of self will need time to heal before you can fully appreciate its new strength and resilience. So go ahead: let yourself be vulnerable, let yourself feel sad and angry sometimes—but do it with grace, with positivity and hope for your future happiness. Because now is always going to be better than before!
DON'T EXPECT TO BE FRIENDS AFTER THE DIVORCE.
Don't expect to be friends after the divorce.
If you have kids, you will still have to deal with each other and that can be difficult if there are hard feelings.
You may not be able to avoid talking about the divorce for years.
TRYING TO GET REVENGE OR WAIT FOR CLOSURE OR CLOSURE WILL ONLY HOLD YOU BACK
You can get revenge. Or you can wait for closure or closure will only hold you back.
Despite what so many movies, books and songs have told us about revenge, it’s a waste of time and energy. The person who wronged you is likely to feel gratified at your suffering, which means that your efforts will be for naught. On top of this, there are legal consequences for trying to get even with someone through the court system: in most states filing a lawsuit can result in automatic sanctions against your own case as well as potential criminal charges if you make false allegations against your ex-spouse (like claiming they were abusive when they were not).
Rather than going after your ex with vengeance on your mind, focus on moving forward with your life without them—and without the assistance of attorneys or therapists who may want to keep you stuck in the past by encouraging litigation instead of letting go entirely.
Try not to expect too much from yourself when it comes to processing all that’s happened during this ordeal—and don't expect anything more than friendship from an ex whose behavior contributed directly toward ending things between two people who once cared deeply about each other
If there's one thing we hope you'll take away from this article, it's that any attempts at revenge or waiting for closure are futile.
Focusing on getting revenge is like drinking poison -- the only person that suffers is you. Put that energy into something that can bring a positive into your life.
The sooner you can let go of these emotions, the better off you'll be in the long run. It may not be easy to let go of the anger and resentment that builds up during a divorce, but keeping those feelings bottled up inside will only make things worse. Try to focus on yourself and your new life rather than dwelling on what happened in the past—remember: You're free now!
Figuring out your priorities early in the divorce process is like giving yourself a North star. Emotions can run high so if things get off track you have something to ground you. Focus on positives that will benefit you, not a negatives that will eat away at your soul. In divorce, and life beyond.