Are you sharing your life with a divorced spouse? Don’t panic. You can still make it work, and be civil to one another. Here are 5 hacks for divorced couples, to help you make this experience as smooth as possible.
1. Share Groceries or cook together
If kids are involved, it can be really good for them to see both parents working together and not against each other. Get your act together and cook one big meal per week (to feed everyone), or buy groceries together. You can even alternate who cooks each week, so only one of you has to clean up!
2. Figure out childcare before the week begins
Who is picking up/dropping off the kids on what days? If there are no kids involved, choose which house they will be at on which nights. For example, if your child spends Monday night through Thursday nights (for example) at your house, it is best to not be out of town during those days. That way you don’t have to make plans with the ex-spouse every time you go on a trip.
3. Plan date night together
If kids are involved, this can be one of the most difficult parts of divorce. How can you leave your child with your ex-spouse for even a few hours? The answer is, you need to do it. If dates nights are not possible (such as when kids are in the picture), alternate who gets time with the kids each week. This way, neither parent feels left out or jealous of the other.
4. Take turns picking up kids from school
If your child is involved, you should alternate days off so that one parent does not feel like they are working all the time. This also ensures your ex-spouse does not resent you for “always” taking off to be with the kids (and vice versa).
5. Be flexible
Divorce is a time of transition for you and your ex-spouse, as well as the kids involved. Try to be flexible with your schedule and life in general. This means both parents may have to change some plans from time to time, but that is completely ok.
Just remember that this is YOUR new reality and you need to adjust accordingly. The more flexible you are with your ex-spouse, the easier this transition will be.
Lastly, it is not uncommon for divorce to take 6 months or longer before you adjust to life after divorce. You may find yourself really happy during that time, or really sad – either way, just keep in mind that it takes time to adjust to this new life.
Remember that a divorce is a failure in a marriage, not a failure of you as an individual. You can be happy with your life and also have divorced parents.