If you’re one of many Virginia spouses for whom a divorce petition ruined your holiday season, you may have felt blindsided or a sense of betrayal. Maybe you thought you and your spouse would be able to work things out. Perhaps, you knew there were serious problems in your marriage but had hoped to wait until after the holidays to address them. Your main concern was your children and making sure they could enjoy the festive celebrations of the season.
You may never know why your spouse chose to tell you he or she wanted a divorce during the holidays. However, while you may not be able to change another person’s actions, you are in control of your own reactions to the action. There are several things to keep in mind, especially when you have been caught off-guard by a spouse’s request for divorce.
If your spouse has filed a petition
Other Virginia spouses who have gone through similar experiences say there is no reason to beg or plead with a spouse who wants a divorce. No two relationships are exactly the same, and only you can determine what is best in your own situation; however, it may prove more beneficial to concentrate on learning more about state laws and how to protect your rights and your children’s best interests, than to give in to emotional turmoil.
Be confident and make informed decisions
Divorce definitely affects every member in a family. Your children are likely to fare better if they witness you acting with confidence and taking practical steps to plan for your future. Even if you are worried about financial or legal matters, it’s typically best to try to avoid burdening children with such issues.
Instead, you might feel better if you take care of yourself, making sure you eat healthy foods, get enough rest and keep up your personal appearance routines. Looking and feeling your best may come in handy down the line, especially if litigation becomes necessary.
Set goals, develop a plan, know where to seek support
You definitely do not have to figure out a plan for your entire future in a matter of a few months. However, you may find it easier to come to terms with your situation if you stay busy, set goals and think of ways to work toward achieving them. For instance, will you be searching for new employment? Will you and your kids move to a new home?
Coping with divorce and adapting to a new lifestyle is often less stressful when you surround yourself with a strong support network. Confiding in a trusted family member or friend who has gone through a similar experience might help you process your emotions. It’s also critical that you understand your rights and how to protect them in court. The more you know ahead of time, the easier it might be to leave the past behind and move on in life.