Marital Advice from a Divorce Attorney

  • 04 07, 2020
  • Irwin & Irwin
  • General

During these turbulent times….

As we all become adjusted to the new “normal” of quarantines and social distancing, there appears to be another trend out there…being around your spouse or significant other more than normal. This may naturally cause some difficult situations. And tensions may be high in your household due to the very close nature of your family situation.

It is important to remember to help those in emotional turmoil and a reminder to those who are managing this incredibly turbulent time in our Nation’s history.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

This may be easier said than done with bored children at home, anxiety on the rise as to where money is coming from, if you have a job or not, or even where to buy toilet paper. These are situations we did not have to deal with even a few weeks ago.

Making time for yourself is not selfish. It is necessary right now. Blocking out even 30 minutes a day, get up early if you have to, but it is imperative to make your mental health a priority. If you have to hide in your bedroom, for go for a long walk by yourself, do it. The break from other people in your house (or children) will be a soothing balm to calm your nerves. The saying of “put your oxygen mask on before helping others” is especially true right now.

During your alone time, meditate, sit quietly, breath deeply and focus on your breath as you do it. Try to keep out the thoughts of the laundry, that conference call with your boss, or how you are paying next month’s mortgage or rent. Focus on good and healthy thoughts. Look for things to be grateful for in this moment. Even if it is a small thing, your warm coffee in the morning, a hot shower, the smell of the spring flowers coming out, that you have water and electricity, or feeling grateful that your family is healthy right now.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

If you find you have time on your hands, avoid sitting front of the tv or scouring the internet reviewing the news and latest statistics. Instead watch a YouTube tutorial on something you have wanted to learn and never thought you would have the time. Get a non-fiction book from Amazon on an issue or person, or place you have been interested in and may learn more about. Take up knitting, cooking, a hobby, learn a new language, study a time in history you have been interested in. Do something (anything) that challenges your mind a little so to remove focus on the negative, or worse, become stagnant.

STAY POSITIVE

I know, easier said then done, but this is important. We attract that which we think about and focus on. If you are watching the news, reading articles on the internet, or listen to friends/family

complain or worry, it will negatively affect your outlook. Focus on positive thoughts that will guide you through this and make efforts to find your silver lining.

his circles back to the gratitude I mentioned earlier. Take the time each day to write down something you are grateful for or a positive. Writing this down is important. It is not a fleeting moment but a contemplated and important task which will start to change how you see things. If you remain focused on this task, so you have something to write down at the end of the day, it will change gears focusing your outlook towards the positive.

HAVE PATIENCE

This is difficult to do during this time of chaos and the many unknown events happening around us. But it is important to have patience for your spouse or significant other. We are all experiencing some level of anxiety right now. Try to remember patience when tempers are short or you are annoyed by that “special someone.”

People are out of work, business are closed, the news is telling us that we are only at the beginning of this journey. This is why you should “practice” patience right now. Teach yourself how to be a bigger person. Don’t point out the flaws of your significant other, or what they can or should be doing right now. Allow your significant other to be themself with you and you can work on being a better person.

This may also translate to your children, or other family members, your neighbors, or your co- workers who may be working remotely. Practice self control and harness your “monkey mind” thoughts of “what ifs” and “should be’s.” They are destructive to your peace of mind.

We may not be able to control what is going on in our World right now, but every single one of us has absolute control over our minds and how we react to outside influences. Use this time to work on this quality within yourself, self control. It will lead to more patience, I promise.

BE IN THE MOMENT

We all are facing some crazy things in our life, but I bet you are doing things with your family or loved ones that you have not done before, or in a long time. If it is playing family games, movie nights, cooking together, reading together, doing schoolwork with your children, walking more with your family, sleeping in, or best yet, actually talking to each other…these are all good things that you may not have the time for in the future or may not have had it in the past. Take advantage of it now. Get to know your kids on a deeper level. Call, FaceTime or Zoom your friends/family. Reach out to people or friends you have not heard from in a long time. Use this time wisely to appreciate those people around you right now.

Don’t worry about tomorrow, it will happen whether or not we are worrying about it. Don’t stress about the past, we cannot change it at this time. Focus on this moment, today, right this minute. Stay present for this moment right now, it has never happened before, and will never happen again. Take joy that you are experiencing it.

I hope this is helpful. I would rather see happier, less stressed people right now, than think about having someone come to our office for a divorce at the end of this.

Maybe this can be our chance to be better people, and better partners. Stay safe and healthy.

KELLY R.M. IRWIN, ESQ
(Partner at Irwin & Irwin, LLP)