You were the person everyone relied on. When they needed a new president for the school committee, you said yes. When your teenager wanted you to drive them to a party, you said yes. Anytime someone needed something, you were the person who stepped up and gave your time. Now that you are going through a divorce, it may be time to start saying no.
Divorce will drain you. There will be more demands on your time, such as hearings or meetings with attorneys. There will be costs to pay, which can add to the financial pressure on you. It will also take an emotional toll as you run over what went wrong or why your spouse made that hurtful comment.
Divorce is a time to put yourself first
Do not be afraid to turn down requests to help others. Don’t shy away from reducing your commitments. As they say in the airplane safety briefing, you need to ensure your health before helping others. Others can take your place on the school committee. Your colleague can cover that after-hours meeting. Someone else’s mom or dad can give the kids a lift home from the party.
There is one final thing you can say no to. You can say no to arguing about your divorce with your spouse. Think about how you feel when you fight — it is draining. Neither of you comes away feeling good. Your kids feel bad when they see you fighting too. You can eradicate the arguments by deciding to mediate your divorce instead of litigating it. Look for a way to agree; instead of saying that you disagree. You look for solutions, not differences. The sooner you settle your divorce, the sooner you will have the time and energy to help others once more.