How to Have a Good Divorce

by | Jul 2, 2024

Decades ago, divorce was a shameful thing, to be avoided at all costs. People who were divorced often suffered from the stigma, awash in feelings of failure. Thankfully, things have changed so people don’t have to feel compelled to stay in a bad relationship that’s detrimental to them. In fact, when you think about it, divorce doesn’t have to be an ending. It can mean the beginning of freedom to explore positive change and growth.


Once you’ve acknowledged the need for divorce, how can you make it as good an experience as possible? How can you ensure your well-being and create a framework for a better future?

Narriage Counseling, Relationship Therapy, Couples

Kids Come First. If you have children, a better future for you includes your emotionally secure children who grow up to be happy, healthy adults. Here are a few guidelines to help them weather the transition.

  • Keep good, open communications with your spouse. This is to your advantage, too, of course, but especially important for kids. They need to know that both parents are still providing a foundation of love and support. They need to have a clear idea of how their lives will be impacted and what the new arrangements will be. You and your spouse should develop a co-parenting plan, and if the kids are old enough, you may want to involve them in the planning.
  • Help your children navigate the changes. No one likes change and it seems children like it least of all. Let them know how their life will be different and help them process their emotions. They need to be able to express their feelings without any judgement from you. They feel how they feel, and it may not necessarily be how you feel or how you expect them to feel.
  • Obey the cardinal rule—never badmouth your ex in front of your children. You may be dying to let your kids know how badly you’ve been treated, or how awful your former spouse was, but don’t. Just don’t. It’s tough to hold your tongue sometimes but hold it. If you let a negative remark slip in front of your kids, it may haunt you for years to come.


Take Care of Yourself. Your entire family is going through upheaval, and you need to navigate change while grieving the loss of your future as you had hoped it would be. It’s certainly going to be one of the most stressful periods in your life. Here are a few ideas that should help.

  • Make your physical and mental health a priority. You know what you need to do to keep functioning at the top of your game—healthy diet, plenty of sleep, regular exercise. You’ll be super busy, but it’s important to maintain good habits while under such extreme stress. In fact, you may want to add some special self-care, like a massage, for example. Now’s the time to take a little time to pamper yourself.
  • Talk to friends and family. But not all of them. Only the ones on whom you can depend for loving support. Avoid those toxic people who will only make this transition more difficult for you. Talk to those individuals who will help you unburden your thoughts and give you relief. Talk to those who can provide you with practical advice and help. Talk to friends and family who will support you.
  • Forgive your former spouse and yourself. This is the beginning of a new chapter for you. Don’t let your emotional baggage drag you back into the past. Start your new future by releasing those old, hurtful emotions. If may be difficult to forgive your spouse for a while, but it’s a process. Let it unfold. Let your hurt dissolve as time goes on. Let it go. And try to forgive yourself, too.


Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:



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