Good ol’ Trevor Engelson. Down-to-earth, likable, regular guy Trevor Engelson. Production assistant made good, became a producer, and married a beautiful woman in a destination wedding. You may not know his name, but you know his ex-wife’s name: Meghan Markle. That Meghan Markle, the one who married a prince. We are not bringing up either name to rub salt in wounds (When we last checked, Trevor was engaged and Meghan was, you know, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex) but to emphasize the way they went their separate ways. With class, style, dignity and without fanfare.

Ending Your Marriage with Class

You can end a marriage with broken crockery and shoes all over the lawn, or you can end it with a certain amount of taste and decorum. That means separating the emotional pain from the legal and perfunctory process.

Esther Perel at TED writes that you can end a marriage using some of the same tools you used to build it: ritual, ceremony, conscious observations. Consider writing down or discussing the good points of the marriage (the successes, the bright moments, the intimate joys) can help to pave the path forward to being single.

Ending Your Marriage with Style

Too many Virginia couples drag themselves through divorce as if it is a dreaded death march to oblivion. A bit of verve, energy, and panache can help you look past the momentary issues — the property settlement agreement, discovery or depositions, interrogatories — to that moment when you can both move forward in your own direction.

A divorce need not be a defeat. Keep in your heart the same feelings you had for yourself and your wife at the beginning of the marriage:

  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Pride

True, you may have conflicts and incompatibilities that make an end to the marriage the only solution. Avoid discussing those topics of friction (sexual issues, weight gain, long hours at work, even suspicions of affairs).

Writer Katherine Woodward in Conscious Uncoupling offers a five-step road map to “create new, cooperative and life-affirming agreements and structures that set everyone up to win moving forward.”

You cannot move ahead with such a plan without energy and zest to chart a better life for yourself. The French word, “elan,” perfectly encapsulates this concept.

Ending Your Marriage with Dignity

Your marriage may have stripped you of hopes and dreams. You may have turned from an optimistic romantic to a bleary-eyed pessimist, dragging yourself through each miserable married day.

Recover your dignity. Make a dignified divorce a priority. As author Donna Hicks says in Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflicts, “When dignity is violated, the response is likely to involve aggression, even violence, hatred, and vengeance.”

Those are hallmarks of a failing marriage. Their opposites can be hallmarks of a successful divorce. Your self-esteem is intertwined with your marriage, so follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Part of the dignified process of divorce involves meeting with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney so you can get a very clear picture of your options. Will the end of the marriage be uncontested or contested? Are children involved? How will you divide property?

You will have a better understanding of the many facets of a marriage’s end by spending a productive hour with a divorce lawyer.

Ending Your Marriage with Without Fanfare

Though you are the star of your own life story, surprisingly few people will consider your divorce a banner headline. Avoid drama. Proceed without fanfare.

Amy Koko writes in The Huffington Post that you can look beyond yourself to help hold yourself together during the process. Focus on your children. Find a role model for how you behave around your wife (any of the James Bonds are good choices; sophisticated, immaculately groomed, but ready to kick a** at a moment’s notice).

In an era when people seem obsessed with displaying photos of their dinner plates to the world, retain some privacy and modesty. Talk only to your divorce lawyer and counselor (or therapist, religious leader, or support group members). Sure, visit your neighborhood bar to tip a few, but avoid becoming the cartoon cliche guy moaning on the bar stool.

Be your own divorce guru.

  • Work toward forgiveness
  • Control your actions even when you cannot control your emotions
  • Grieve

Avoid repeating self-defeating steps, like blaming yourself (if your wife made the first divorce move) or manipulating your children. Sure, you will make mistakes and try to turn your kids into spies, but learn from each divorce mistake and recover your dignity, squelch the tirades, and embrace the new you.

Nobody can promise a rebound quite like Meghan Markle’s, but many women consider divorced men great catches. Some reasons:

  • You learn from your mistakes
  • You understand commitment
  • You are probably better in bed
  • You know yourself better after divorce

With a call to 757-383-9184 you can reach The Firm For Men and get capable, calm guidance on finding a stress-free path to ending your marriage. Why put yourself through any more misery? Contact us online or stop by our Virginia Beach offices today.