Suddenly, I wasn’t this stable, married guy anymore. The person I trusted the most was now enemy #1, with bad intentions.
I couldn’t anticipate what my STBX would do or say anymore. Meanwhile, there were new situations and challenges that I couldn’t prepare for. I was stressed out, fighting an army of feelings. I had little left to give. My feelings, like real people, were shaped by my past and motivated by my ego. But my ego had taken too many hits. I became this unrecognizable character, a shadow of my former self — WHO FELT LIKE MY NORMAL SELF.
I wasn’t normal, though. I was either oblivious or refused to accept that I wasn’t the same person anymore. Things I said I’d never do — I did. Values I thought I had — I broke. I was losing the game and needed a serious timeout. Many guys ignore their mental state and enter the courtroom broken, desperate, and hoping to win. Along the way, our minds go haywire and we lose it all. In the typhoon of emotions that divorce unleashes, the clearest mind wins. Clearer minds lead to better decisions, better preparation, and easier transitions.
Hey, a CLEAR MIND — sorting out your thoughts, feelings and emotions — is key to beating your STBX in court. Here are SIX ways to get your mind right and prepare for the fight of your life.
1. Deal With Your Feels
2. Don’t Do It Alone
3. Never Look Back
4. Find Someone New . . . For Now
5. Believe That Divorce Doesn’t Favor Women
6. Buy Some Time
Deal With Your Feels
Every white wall of my house watched me. I felt alone, like a failure. My feelings consumed me and I questioned everything.
Hey, take time to reflect and accept your feelings (early and often).
Feeling down is okay. It doesn’t matter if you’re frustrated, sad, angry, or all the above. Whatever you’re feeling is natural, but don’t take it to heart. Don’t make temporary, destructive feelings who you really are. Throw some pity parties, sure, but don’t become the life of them. Bad feelings create distractions. Distractions lead to poor decisions. And poor decisions create mental plaque that makes simple things seem hard. This is “the noise of divorce.”
You have the power to change negative feelings. Feelings are temporary, and you can master how you feel. Redirecting your feelings allows you to quiet “the noise” and create peace. And peace will allow you to focus on winning. Cry it out if you need to, but don’t become your feelings.
You are NOT alone.
You are NOT a failure.
You are NOT weak.
You are NOT a mess.
You are NOT lost.
You are NOT just taking space.
You are NOT just a paycheck.
You are NOT an a**hole.
You are NOT a jerk.
You are NOT a deadbeat.
You won’t be broke forever.
You won’t always be confused.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Your life is NOT over.
You’ll be a better man.
Don’t Do It Alone
Everyone has an opinion on how to get through divorce. Everyone who’s had a bad relationship is an expert. Before the swarm of opinions become confusing, create a good, structured support system. You’ll need two separate teams — a “Comfort Crew” and a “Construction Crew.”
Pick your most trusted family and friends for your Comfort Crew. They’ll give helpful/non-judgmental advice, emotional support, and a consistently soft place to land. This team may include your mom, dad, and best friends. Vent, cry, and get things off your chest with your comfort crew. Use them to consistently get all the negative feelings off your chest and clear your head.
Pick a highly competent and effective set of hired professionals for your Construction Crew. Hire them to protect you and your interests. They’ll help you navigate your divorce, plan for the future, and rebuild you to the best version of yourself, post-divorce. This team may include therapists, counselors, support groups, personal trainers, lawyers, doctors, financial planners, etc.
Hey, your comfort crew supports you today. Your construction crew builds your tomorrow.
Never Look Back
Hey, you must mentally “move on.” From this point forward, your divorce was a valid, conscious decision that’s already happened and final.
1. If you’re familiar with the Bible, quickly read the story of Lot in Genesis 19:1-26. It’ll take a couple minutes.
2. If the Bible isn’t your thing, here’s the moral of the story. The city that was your marriage has been destroyed. If you get your mind right, while your STBX looks back and loses focus, she’ll be the one salty in the end.
Your new mindset should be solid and unwavering. When your mind accepts that you’re already divorced, you’ll define new boundaries. Moving on and never looking back also takes the guessing game out of a variety of prickly situations you’ll face. You’ll be in a more powerful position, as your STBX adjusts to a new life. The more your STBX wavers, the more advantage it becomes for you.
Find Someone New . . . For Now
Let the savagery begin. . . Few people will tell you to do this, so I’ll just share my experience.
What’s the best way to mentally move on? FIND SOMEONE NEW TO SPEND TIME WITH. Date someone verbally, emotionally, or physically (but NOT your STBX). Do whatever you can handle and feel comfortable with. Finding someone new does a couple important things for you: 1) it allows you to transition mentally and emotionally from your STBX, giving you the focus and clarity to protect yourself and prepare, and 2) it gives you someone to ease your mind with and balance the negativity you’re experiencing.
Don’t get me wrong. I internally battled with this one. A LOT. This section almost didn’t make the book. I’m a moderately religious guy who felt it was morally wrong because I wasn’t truly divorced. It still bothers me from time to time. Let’s face it — separated IS still married. There’s no way around it. So, I justified dating in several ways: 1) I had proof that my STBX was dating (even though she’d later lie about it in court); 2) my STBX and I joked about bringing “replacements” around each other – after we separated; 3) my intentions were to create some mental and emotional separation, not to start a real relationship; and 4) there was no chance in hell that we’d get back together. We had agreed that our marriage was over.
Regardless of whether it was right or wrong, use my experience with discretion and do whatever your lawyer suggests — or whatever you are comfortable with. Looking back, I’d do it again because the positives greatly outweighed any negatives. If you’re thinking about it, here are a few things to consider:
· If your new relationship didn’t begin during your marriage (and wasn’t the cause of the divorce), the court won’t care. More on that later.
· Make sure that you’re ready to date and that it won’t complicate your life.
· Take things slowly.
· Date in the background. Your focus should be on your children and preparation for court.
· Date with discretion. Don’t broadcast your dating life (especially to your children, STBX, or online).
· Inform your lawyer that you’re dating. Your lawyer’s advice outweighs anything in this book.
· If you have a history of cheating, don’t date during your separation.
· If you suspect your STBX will claim infidelity, don’t date during your separation.
· Date casually now to relieve stress. Date seriously after your divorce is final.
Divorce Doesn’t Favor Women
Hey, divorce laws favor the most responsible, informed, and prepared person, not only women.
You’ll lose with a “women always win” mindset. You’re not in an uphill battle against history or a society of women. To WIN, you’ll have to prove that you’re more mature, more responsible, and were an equal partner during the marriage. If you have children, the parent who can provide for “the children’s best interest” usually wins. Let’s take a first look at your chances.
Are you more mature and responsible than your STBX?
Do you have evidence?
Were you an equal partner during your marriage?
Do you have evidence?
Are you more physically and mentally healthy than your STBX?
Do you have evidence?
Are you (or were you) your children’s primary caregiver (more than 50% of the time)?
Do you have evidence?
Are you a more consistent parent than your STBX?
Do you have evidence?
Are you a better provider for your children’s financial, emotional and physical needs?
Do you have evidence?
Do you (or can you) provide your children a better, immediately safe environment at home?
Do you have the evidence?
If you didn’t notice, YOU’LL NEED EVIDENCE. Few judges will naturally believe you’re better than your STBX on many of these questions, which means that you’ll have to prove them wrong and gather the evidence. And yes, it will take some time and a lot of work.
Road Work Ahead
Do you care enough to put in some work? Not caring means you’ll get duped. Not caring means you accept the court’s (and society’s) generalized perception of you and other guys. Not caring means you’ll lose in court and be forced to take whatever is given. You’re not that type of guy. Neither am I. That’s why I fought. That’s why you’ll fight. The road ahead won’t be smooth and we won’t be nice. We won’t give a fucking inch. We’ll wage war and fight furiously with the biggest guns we can find.
Buy Some Time
Hey, a slow, strategic, and calculated battle is your best chance to WIN.
THE biggest guns you’ll find are PREPARATION and TIME. Nothing is more critical to beating your STBX in court than being well prepared and always ten steps ahead. This book’s most central theme is that divorce favors the most responsible, informed, and PREPARED person, not just women.
My book prepares you for a Floyd Mayweather 12-round fight that you can WIN — instead of the quick Mike Tyson knockout cases that women typically win. Anyone, including your STBX, can win a quick knockout divorce. But you won’t play that game. You’ll beat your STBX by waging a long-term, strategic, deliberate cage match. The only way to fight this type of war is through intense preparation.
Over the course of this book, you’ll prepare your mind, you’ll prepare an action plan, you’ll prepare a custody strategy, and you’ll prepare the documents and evidence that you need TO WIN. All this preparation requires time.
As guys, we like to quickly wash our hands of situations and people, especially when there’s a chance we’ll get hurt or embarrassed. If you’re anything like me, you want to quickly sign something and magically be divorced. You don’t want to waste any more time. But to truly WIN, you must fight this urge. Winning preparation is a surgery-like process that you need to handle slowly. Here are some practical ways to buy time to prepare for court.
1. Take as long as possible to file for divorce OR let your STBX file first. Many people say that it is best to file first, but I waited with a lot of success. I was able to prepare, prolong retaining a lawyer (when the real cost begins), and see what my STBX was claiming in court. Play a little defense here.
2. Soften your correspondences with your STBX. However you normally act, be slightly nicer. You’ll need to lower your STBX’s guard, but not appear out of character.
3. Occasionally give the impression that you’re not over your STBX. Don’t say anything serious that’ll make your STBX want to reconsider. The goal is to give the impression that you’re confused while you prepare behind the scenes.
4. Wait until the final day to respond to divorce requests (getting served, discovery, etc.).
5. Take advantage of all waiting periods that your state offers. Follow your lawyers lead on this one.
6. If necessary, request medical or travel leaves to delay scheduled hearings.