Except in rare circumstances, most of the men and fathers in New Jersey I’ve represented in their divorce over the years feel both relief and sadness when their divorce is finalized. The mixed emotions are understandable: One painful chapter of your life is over but there also is an emptiness.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be really happy again,” one dad told me with a sigh the day we concluded his divorce and were walking out of the courthouse together.
Even though he had been awarded co-parenting for his three children and was satisfied with the property settlement, he still felt profoundly sad at marking the end of the previous 10 years of his life that had started with such joy and even giddiness.
I put my hand on his shoulder and assured him he would recover, eventually finding a new happiness: “There may be some bad days once in a while but they will get fewer and fewer.”
How quickly you regain a sense of happiness in your life after a divorce is totally up to you. But there are things that can move the process along at a faster pace – and some things that will slow your recovery. As family law attorneys for men and fathers in New Jersey, we’ve seen what works best and what keeps your past life gnawing at you.
Finding happiness after a divorce is a journey where you have total control over the destination of your adventure. So, here are some key points to keep in mind.
You may not be happy about having to divorce but you’ll generally feel happier overall
As a member of our divorce and custody support group for men and fathers once said at a meeting, “I’m not terribly happy about being divorced but I am delighted that I am divorced from her.” Nearly all men find that as they begin to recover emotionally from the pain of their divorce, they find their world is a much brighter place. By the way, you do not need to be a client of the Micklin Law Group to participate in the support group.
Believe it or not, you’re likely to build a better relationship with your ex
Unless your ex is a total narcissist, don’t be surprised if your ability to communicate with her improves markedly. You are freed from the tensions that made communicating difficult when you were married or going through the divorce process: No power struggles, no fighting over unimportant things, no irritation at seeing each other every day. It won’t be perfect but you will find a way to make it work.
If you reclaim your own happiness, you will end up being a better father
Especially if you have children, chances are they were as unhappy with the situation in the home as you and your former spouse were. Kids really pick up on tension, even if they are unspoken. They might not be happy living with dad but they will be happier when they are with you.
To be happy after a divorce, you must choose happiness over anger, bitterness or sadness
As a divorce lawyer for men, I’ve seen clients recover quickly while others seem to live under a perpetual cloud of despair. Those that bounce back the quickest look for the joy in their life. They don’t negate or ignore sadness or momentary bouts of depression at the end of their marriage and, yes, they have rough patches but overall, they discover new ways to be happy.
Reach out to friends and family members for support
They want you to be happy. Don’t sulk in your home or start working extended hours just to keep busy. Spending time with people you like – and who like you – will make the sailing smoother and speed your recovery. As New Jersey’s divorce lawyer for men and fathers, we want you to be happy, too.
If you or a man or father you know is considering a divorce, feel free to call me or one of our family law attorneys for men and fathers who know the emotional roller coaster you’re likely on at the moment. Believe us: It won’t always be that way and you can regain a sense of fun, joy and happiness in your life. Reach us at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or, in Montclair, at 862.245.4620.