Along with heartache, stress, sleepless nights, tears, loneliness, anger, relief, joy, and a slew of other emotions, a Michigan divorce is also accompanied by guilt. And guilt will be the reigning feeling for years to come, especially if you have children. Allow us to assuage your regrets about your imploding marriage, first by saying that divorce happens, and sometimes it’s for the best. Second, there are plenty of things to feel guilty about during a divorce, but there are also plenty of things to not feel guilty about.
If you’re experiencing any guilt over the following, let it go. You have a life to live, and now that you’re free of a marriage that wasn’t working, it’s time to go out and truly live it.
Here are seven things you should not feel guilty about in your Michigan divorce:
1. Working more and being home less.
Maybe your kids are used to mom or dad being there to greet them every day when they get home from school. Divorce, however, has made it necessary for you to go out and get a full-time job. And that means not always being able to show up the way you used to. Don’t feel guilty. Find a proxy as often as you can, but if you can’t make it, don’t sweat it. You’re working for the security and solvency of your family, no matter how much you may or may not be receiving in spousal support or child support.
2. Indulging your kids less.
Every parent is guilty of a little indulgence or spoiling their kids from time to time. If your budget has taken a hit, however, it simply won’t be possible for you to buy things or spend the kind of money on your kids like you used to. This might require a serious sit-down conversation. Being forthright is the best move for you to make, especially with tweens and teens. Don’t feel guilty or apologize for not being as generous – consider this change in your financial status a challenge to create memorable experiences for you and your kids, without tangible goods.
3. Being sad.
You just got a divorce or you’re in the middle of one. Your marriage has ended and with it the family life you knew and loved, or at least imagined. Go ahead and be said. You’re allowed, guilt-free.
4. Creating a new social life.
No matter how long your marriage was, your social life will be different now that you’re divorced. If you’re determined to get back out there with friends or by dating, you’ll have to put some effort into going out, making connections, and enjoying yourself. You deserve to recreate your existence. Don’t feel guilty about going out with the girls or guys, attending a happy hour after work, or online dating.
5. Going solo.
Sure, you want your kids to know you have their back during this divorce, but don’t be a barnacle because you feel guilty about getting a divorce. It’s completely acceptable to do things alone, without the kids. When you’re the custodial parent, alone time is even more important than ever before – take it when you can get it (even if it means forcing your kids to spend time with your ex and his or her “yucky” family) and don’t squander those precious moments or feel bad about them.
6. Staying mum.
You have dedicated so many hours, days, weeks, months, even years to thinking about, caring for, or tolerating your ex, the last thing you may want to do is talk about him with anyone, including your children. Don’t feel guilty for shutting down any ex-related conversations that you are not interested in having.
7. Demanding financial support and parenting support.
Support comes in many forms. Monetary support is critical, but so is physical support, actually pulling your weight when it comes to the kids. Your ex may feel that because he or she initiated the divorce or has moved out of the family home, their obligations where their children or former spouse are concerned have dwindled to nothing. Untrue. You have every right to demand that your ex spend time with your kids and provide you with a break, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about this need. An experienced Michigan divorce attorney will aid you in this quest.