9 Ways To Navigate Divorce In A Way That Does The Least Amount Of Damage

How to get through divorce your own way.

Tips for the stages of divorce Pixland | Canva

Are you facing a divorce? Design your strategy for navigating the common stages of divorce.  Are you facing a divorce? Design your strategy for navigating the common stages of divorce. Have you passed through all the stages of love and decided you're ready to end your relationship and surrender to divorce? Do you wonder what you'll go through and what it will all mean?

While every relationship is unique, there are common stages of divorce. Knowing how to navigate them will help you reach a more peaceful resolution. Divorce is one of the most stressful transitions we go through. Fortunately, there is more awareness now than there used to be and people are more willing to talk about their personal experiences. This has made it easier for others to navigate this difficult time. Even celebrity divorces, the most acrimonious and litigious, have begun to shift. 


RELATED: 3 Phases You Must Go Through To Fully Get Over Your Divorce

Here are 9 tips for navigating the common stages of divorce:

1. Stage 1: Surrender

You've done everything in your power to rescue your relationship, and getting a divorce is your intentional choice. Nevertheless, there's that last little bit you're having trouble with surrendering to the reality that your relationship is over. No matter how your divorce began — your choice, his choice, a mutual decision — there is still a part of us that takes it personally, blames the other, or is stuck in denial.

Let go of blame and finger-pointing, whether directed at yourself or your partner. Accept that you have done everything in your power to make your relationship work and you are choosing this option. Embrace yourself, your partner, and the choices you have made. With surrender comes serenity and clarity. When you let go of blame, you’ll find yourself navigating these difficult waters with peace of mind.


2. Stage 2: You are you

While the divorce rate is high, you are you and your divorce is yours. Listening to nightmare divorce stories is not going to help you keep a clear head. Instead, look for divorce success stories and the common trends they reflect. Then decide which of those trends could apply to you, and try them out.

Focus on your situation and your style of thinking. What you focus on grows. So, if you expect trouble navigating the common stages of divorce, you'll find it. Stay grounded. If you're committed to completing your divorce with dignity, clarity, and respect, toward yourself and your partner, you will likely have a much easier time.

3. Stage 3: Set priorities

We might wish there was one fabulous formula for navigating all the common stages of divorce. Of course, there isn't. Each one of us is different and so are our priorities. Don't get stuck in following what someone else has done or what has worked for others. You have your preferences, and your actions reflect who you are. Figure out your priorities and stick to your plan. Once you have identified your priorities and values, design a plan of action that will keep you focused on what’s important to you. That way, you’ll be able to concentrate on who you truly are, even in the face of adversity.

RELATED: 8 Simple Ways To Stop Hating Your Life After Divorce


4. Stage 4: Forget divorce advice from friends and family 

You may have a fabulous circle of friends and a supportive family. Be cautious, nevertheless, about accepting their divorce advice. While it is motivated by your best interests, it is also tainted by their experiences and expectations for you, which may not be realistic. For example, a friend who has had financial trouble may suggest you stay with your partner for the financial benefits. Another, who is strong financially and has supported a partner, may suggest you are better off on your own. Their divorce advice, though genuine, reflects their circumstances, not yours. Get divorce advice from a trained professional. Read books and articles by experts who encourage you to find balance and what’s right for you. Remember, you are you. You must decide, according to your priorities and values, what you want and what’s appropriate for you. 

@simondslaw Empower your journey through divorce with expert guidance from our compassionate Phoenix divorce attorneys. Tailored advice for women navigating this chapter. 🌟 #DivorceAttorney #PhoenixDivorce #WomenEmpowerment ♬ original sound - AZ Divorce Attorney

5. Stage 5: Make it happen

In every divorce, there comes a point at which a person feels stuck. She has a hard time going through the steps to pass that point and feels like she can't do one more thing. Be prepared for this. No one can predict when it may hit you. Stay grounded and clear. Let yourself be human. Even the most agreeable divorce is full of emotion and unpleasantness. You are ending a part of your life, and you must remember, no matter what, to love yourself. Keep in mind that, even though you want to show a strong front, it's worth it to let all your emotions surface. Always be aware of how you are treating yourself.

6. Stage 6: Trust yourself

How often do we doubt ourselves and even double-cross ourselves? When we don’t trust ourselves, we get sidetracked from the important things and hurt only ourselves. Trusting yourself comes from taking all the right steps in sequence. Then you can make the right decisions at the right time. Defining your priorities and values at the beginning of your divorce sets the foundation for the decisions you make at every stage. Do the work, then trust that you have done it with integrity and honor.


RELATED: The 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make Right After Getting Divorced

7. Stage 7: Forget revenge

Come on! Haven't we all thought about doing something out of revenge? Burning the clothes. Kidnapping the cat. Slashing the tires. We all have it in us to be vengeful, and sometimes we think revenge tastes good. Think again! Do you want that type of karma? I didn't think so. Let karma do the dirty work while you stand tall, with your head held high.

8. Stage 8: Who is the new you?

Going through all the common stages of divorce is a transformation in itself. With all the decisions you'll have to make to navigate your divorce, you'll be faced in the end with a person you may not even know. People behave differently as a couple than they do on their own. That's neither good nor bad. Just be prepared to wonder who you have become. Ask yourself what you have discovered about yourself as you’ve navigated the common stages of divorce. Be an objective observer, evaluating yourself without judgment. What would you say? Did you know you were so resilient? Which parts of you could you improve (remember, no judging)? Be honest and neutral. Here’s a good chance to discover who you are.

9. Stage 9: Embrace the new you

Stage 9 is the sum of all the stages, where you discover the new you and the direction you want to take in your life. How can you fully embrace the new you? Whether you want it or not, a new you have surfaced through these stages of divorce, and believe me, you want to rejoice. Say goodbye to the old and surrender to the new! You are you, your individual. You want to find new priorities, assess others' expectations, and design a new plan of action while staying away from revenge. These are magical moments of self-discovery. Invest the time in nurturing yourself and making your new life happen. There is nothing average about you. Trust yourself, respect yourself, and above all fall in love with the new you.

@prettydivorced ❤️ Taking time to reflect and connect with yourself can help you navigate through change with greater ease and clarity.🫶🏼 Remember to be gentle with yourself, take things one step at a time, and trust that you have the strength and resilience to handle whatever comes your way.📕 With each new chapter of your life, you have the opportunity to learn, grow, and discover new parts of yourself. #divorcecoachingforwomen #divorcedmoms #divircedwoman #divorcedlife #changeishardbutworthit #lifeafterdivorceforwomen ♬ original sound - KarleeSteel

RELATED: Knowing This One Thing Helped Me Recover Faster From My Divorce

Monica Magnetti is a Certified Life/Business Coach, and Brand Expert. She is the author of 30 Days to a New You.