It can make a bad situation worse, or just maybe it can make it better. Can you imagine wanting to get divorced, but not being able to because you simply can’t afford it? This was the topic discussed during my appearance on WKYC Channel 3’s Good Company show last week. Between the cost of attorney fees, obtaining a new residence, the move, and the likelihood that you won’t make any money from the sale of your house, getting divorce could bankrupt you! So what to do? Below is a list of strategies to maintain your sanity and, in some cases, your safety:
- If you are in an abusive situation, regardless of the financial strain, you need to seek safety. Most cities have organizations to help battered spouses and children. In Cleveland, The Domestic Violence Center and Women Safe are two such organizations. They have a 24/7 help hotline.
- If safety isn’t a concern, work to minimize conflicts while under the same roof with your mate by identify each other’s hot buttons and avoiding them. For example, if your mate is not a morning person, avoid approaching him or her at that time of day. Assess when are the optimum times to interact.
- Learn to let go of things that in the big scheme of things are not worth arguing about. For example, if your mate is neat and you’re not, you may need to let go of every thing being in its place.
- If you have children, for the sake of their peace and sanity, keep your schedules as consistent as possible. It’s tough, but it will go a long way in reducing stress for everyone. Make your main goal to be civil to one another. Take the high road as often as possible.
- If you are unemployed, this living situation will be a major motivator to find work. Keep up with your networking and resume building.
This situation is not forever, so show up as a grown up while you’re under the same roof. Through it all, you just might realize divorce may not need to be an option after all.