Photo of Karen Lavin

The holidays are over, and the New Year is here. With it means a chance to turn the page, and start clean. For Illinoisans, going through a divorce is a particularly special opportunity. To make the most of that opportunity, Illinoisans should keep in mind the following advice.

First, Illinoisans should watch what comes out of their mouth. It is all too easy to criticize, condemn and name call. It may seem natural and satisfying to do so, but it will only make things worse, not better. It hurts, rather than helps because it puts the complainer in the role of victim. A victim is not in a position to take action. They are left reacting.

Second, do not take an ex’s actions personally. This can be difficult. Illinoisans may feel like their ex chooses their acts to spite them, but is often short-sighted. In reality, an ex is probably thinking about themselves, thinking about what they want and need, not what will annoy their ex.

Third, avoid assumptions. Assumptions are easy to fall into. After all, Illinoisans spent a lot of time with their ex. They think they know their ex through and through. That familiarity can breed the belief that they know why their ex is doing what they are doing. All too often, those assumptions are negative. Negative assumptions can turn into a downward spiral in which the former partners think worse and worse of each other.

Despite the advice, some divorces refuse to go away the easy way. If it was that easy, less Illinoisans would get divorced. Those Illinoisans may benefit from discussing their case with an experienced divorce attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Don’t Take Your Divorce Personally,” Lisa Arends, Dec. 30, 2013