When I was ready to divorce my mentally abusive husband, I had no idea what to do or where to start. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time, and therefore, I had no job and no money to start my new life. I immediately researched what to do during the divorce process so that I knew the correct steps to take. I took advice from livestrong.com and by doing so I was able to know where to go and what to do.
Stay firm in your decision to leave – For most people this will be the hardest step. It was for me. I left and went back to my ex-husband two times before I finally walked away for good. It was so hard to leave my life behind. My entire life was wrapped up in him. My family was his family, and when I left him, I felt alone. I considered going back several times. It wasn’t because I loved him, it was because the life that I had with him provided security.
Have a social network – Have a plan when you are ready to leave. I moved back in with my parents for couple months until I found a job and had enough money to make it on my own. It’s also critical to stick close to your closest friends. They will help you get through it. I know mine talked me out of going back numerous times. If I didn’t have such amazing parents and friends, I would have probably gone back.
Separate yourself from joint accounts – I changed me Facebook password, my email, got a new checking account, and credit card. I did this so that he couldn’t spy and see what I was doing and when I was doing it. I also removed every one of his family members and all of my our mutual friends from my Facebook so that they couldn’t keep track of what I was doing and report back to him. That step was extremely hard, because I loved all of his family members and most of our mutual friends very much but they all took his side. Therefore, I knew that they would be informants and keep him clued into what I was doing and who I was doing it with.
Contact a divorce lawyer – I was so naive in the beginning. I thought that he would get a lawyer, and all I would have to do it sign and it would be over. That was so not the case! When I received the divorce papers, he was trying to drag me through the dirt and take all the power. He even tried to bribe me into giving him full custody of our daughter. So, as soon as I received the papers, which he assumed I would just sign, I contacted a lawyer and set up an appointment.
Care for your mental health – At the time of our separation, I was seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. I made sure to keep my appointments with them and talk through the feelings I was experiencing during the divorce. I was released from my psychiatrist about two months after the separation, but then about four months later, I experienced post traumatic stress and had to go back to him for treatment. If you don’t have a therapist, I encourage you to seek one out, or join a support group.
For more articles by Kera Shea about abuse, divorce, and relationship visit her profile.