You’ve filed for divorce, and you’re probably asking yourself, “what should I do now?” To be honest, I’ve got to tell you that a difficult period is ahead of you no matter what you choose to do.
However, ignoring your spouse during your separation is probably the best way to deal with it.
I know you’re now asking how to do it and if it’s even possible to ignore someone after many years of marriage. How do you ignore someone who was such a great part of your life for so long?
This will be especially difficult if children are involved. It’ll be impossible to completely ignore your spouse if you have kids together because you’ll have to communicate about them, at least.
However, even that communication should be kept to a minimum. You should only discuss important things related to your kids; everything else should be ignored.
Believe me, even though this technique seems very difficult right now, it will help you get through this process as fast and as painlessly as possible.
Well, I first have to tell you that before you continue reading, you must be completely sure about your decision to get a divorce.
Maybe you can write some kind of “Should I get a divorce?” checklist and let it help you decide.
I hope you’ve really tried to save the marriage and that you’ve visited a marriage counselor before deciding to file for divorce.
Ignoring your spouse during your separation — My own experience
Let me tell you my story. I was in a loving relationship with my partner for three years before we decided to get married.
We were married for three more years. So, I’d spent six years with him, and I suppose that’s enough time to know someone, right?
Well, to be honest, I think that even a lifetime isn’t enough to know someone entirely because I’ve been living with myself for more than thirty years, and I still manage to surprise myself with some of my decisions and actions.
However, I did know him enough to realize when he was lying. I also knew our relationship well enough to tell when something was off between us.
For the first two years of our marriage, we were one of those happily married couples that seem like there is nothing or no person that could ever stand between them or damage/ruin their marriage.
Then we had our baby boy, and just like that, everything changed. I noticed that my husband had changed and that we were growing apart.
I was aware that his feelings had changed, and every time I confronted him about it, he would deny it all.
He didn’t know how to communicate in a healthy way, which is one way men destroy their marriages. I felt like I was living with a roommate or someone I hardly knew for that last year of our marriage.
To cut this long story short, he didn’t want to get a divorce even though he was aware that we no longer loved each other.
Somehow, he managed to convince me that we should go to couples counseling and try to make our marriage work.
I accepted, even though I was aware that we were in a loveless marriage beyond saving. Of course, all of that didn’t help us reconnect again, and to be honest, I didn’t want to get my husband back.
Then, I filed for divorce and decided to ignore him completely during the separation process. And to be honest, that helped us both and made things a lot easier for both of us.
We both knew that divorce would be difficult, but we were aware that sometimes it’s better to do it than stay in an unhappy marriage.
Now that it’s all behind us, we have a really good relationship, and the most important thing is that we both take care of our son, because that’s truly the most important thing.
The dos and don’ts of ignoring your spouse during your separation
Whether you’re ignoring your spouse during your separation because you want it all to end as quickly and painlessly as possible, or it’s just how you cope with your feelings, these dos and don’ts will help you to achieve the goal you want.
If you’re ignoring your spouse because you think it’s the best to make them realize that it’s their loss and somehow get your wife/husband back, these dos and don’ts may help you with that, but I would advise you not to do it.
It’s not worth it. They’re not worthy of you nor your precious time. If someone is so blind and isn’t able to see your worth, there is no point in trying to get them to see it.
DO believe in the power of the no contact rule
I think one of the best techniques to deal with any kind of breakup for both partners is his majesty, the no contact rule.
Because for as long as you stay in touch with someone, you won’t be able to break up with that person for good.
I know it’ll be difficult. You were sure that this person was your soulmate and that you’d stay together forever. You spent so much time with them, and they’re still a huge part of your own life.
You got used to them. You got used to waking up next to them every morning and snuggling with them in bed every night. You got used to seeing them and talking to them every single day.
Now, all of a sudden, all of that must stop. You can’t see them, nor can you call them just to hear their voice. I just want to prepare you; this will be a difficult task.
How do you ignore and avoid a person who was your other half for such a long time, right? However, the no contact rule only lasts 30 days, and after that, you can stop avoiding your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
I know what you’ll now be saying, “It’ll be 30 days of hell.” Hmm, probably, but just know that this rule is so powerful that it’ll make everything so much easier for you.
Surprisingly, the last few days of the no contact rule month will be awful. The last one will probably be the worst, but you’ll see that everything will be so much clearer and easier for you the next day.
However, if you endure it all and manage not to be in contact with your spouse at all, you’ll make the separation process a whole lot easier, both for you and your spouse.
There are indeed so many benefits of the no contact rule.
DON’T answer their phone calls
I know this sounds like a challenging thing to do, especially if you still have feelings for your spouse. Even if you don’t, you probably still respect them and don’t want to make them suffer.
This is for the best, trust me. If you still keep in contact with your spouse, it will only make things even more complicated.
You’ll remind each other of all the things you went through together, and then it’ll be even harder for you to end things with them for good.
On the other hand, you may also end up discussing some of your unresolved marriage problems and disagreements and make this situation a whole lot worse for both of you.
I’m sure that’s the last thing you need right now.
There will be days when you’ll be thinking, “Oh, god, should I text her/him just to see how they are?” But you have to ignore it all.
Even if your spouse doesn’t reach out and you really want to know how they feel, consider it as you being forbidden to initiate contact.
To cut a long story short, when you hear your phone beeping and you see their name on the screen of your phone, just delete their text message without even looking at what they’ve written.
DO talk with them if it’s an emergency
Let’s be honest. There is no such thing as an easy or painless breakup.
Separating from someone you’ve spent a long period of time with is always difficult, no matter who initiated the breakup or what the reason for it was.
You need to be prepared that the divorce process will be difficult, painful, and emotionally draining for both you and your soon-to-be-ex-husband/wife.
If you were the one who initiated the breakup, your spouse will most surely have a hard time accepting the fact that you’re going your separate ways after so many years of marriage.
They will probably reach out and ask you to talk and work things out. They may even suggest marriage counseling to help you fix your broken marriage.
If you’re completely sure that you’ve made the right decision, even if it hurts to see them suffer, you shouldn’t change your mind.
The truth is that sooner or later, you’ll be divorced. Postponing the divorce won’t make things easier. On the contrary, it may only hurt both of you more.
However, in an emergency, you should answer their calls or reply to their text messages. But you’re ONLY allowed to do that in serious cases of emergency.
This is especially important if you’ve got kids together. Suppose your spouse wants to talk about child support or some other important things regarding your kids.
DON’T do anything that might provoke a reaction from your partner
This is a difficult time in your life. You must think well and hard about every step you take.
Your goal is to end the divorce process as soon as possible, not hurt your spouse’s feelings by provoking them and then ignoring their reaction, right?
Even if you’ve immediately found someone new, and you have every right to do so, you shouldn’t jump into a relationship with that person right away.
That’s something that will definitely provoke a reaction from your spouse. It might piss them off because they may think it’s the reason you wanted to divorce in the first place.
Also, don’t ever flirt with someone else in front of your soon-to-be-ex-husband/wife. It’s really awful, and it’ll definitely make them change their opinion of you or provoke an even worse reaction from their side.
DO hang out with the friends you have in common
If you’re ignoring your spouse during the separation, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hang out with the friends you have in common. It’s not fair to them because they aren’t guilty of your separation.
That way, you may lose some great friends, people who were always there for you and who honestly care for you.
Of course, sometimes they might invite both you and your spouse to a gathering where it’ll be impossible to avoid your partner.
They’ll probably try to avoid it initially, at least until the divorce process concludes because they won’t want to make things more difficult for you.
However, if you find yourself in that situation, you should try to have as little contact with your spouse as possible.
Don’t ignore them if they ask you something in front of all those people, but keep away from them as much as you can.
If you see that things have become awkward, you should go back home. I’m sure your friends will understand and won’t be mad at you because you’ve left.
DON’T talk to them about your partner or your marriage
Even if you’re on a trial separation with your spouse or started the divorce process, you shouldn’t talk about your spouse or your separation in front of your friends.
Don’t put your best friends in an uncomfortable position. It’s not fair to make them choose sides because it’s something they aren’t okay with.
I’m sure you’ll be able to hang out with them together again after the divorce. Time will pass, and you’ll both move on, and it’ll be a lot easier for both of you to hang out together with your friends.
If your friends initiate the conversation or advise you to try to make your marriage work before you end it forever, you should politely ask them to stay out of it.
Your marriage and your divorce is a private matter, and only you and your spouse have the right to make such important decisions about your marriage.
Others have the right to comment on it and talk about it, but no one has the right to interfere in it.
I’m sure your friends only want what’s best for you and your partner and they can offer their sincere advice, but you two are the only ones who can make the final decision.
DO seek comfort from another person
You’ve been in a loving relationship with someone who was your main supporter in life. Now, when you’re going through such a difficult period in life, you need support and comfort more than ever.
Unfortunately, now you can’t get it from your spouse. That’s why you should find it outside of your marriage.
You’re sad, confused, stressed, and maybe even hurt, and you need someone who’ll give you that emotional support you desperately need right now.
No matter whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re a human being. You are weak, just as we all are.
It’s okay to cry because I know how much this hurts. I also know that it gets easier with time and when you find someone with whom you can share your sorrows.
You need to find a shoulder to cry on. Your feelings are overwhelming right now, and bottling them up is the worst thing you can do.
Your feelings will come to the surface sooner or later. I know that it’s hard to accept that things have drastically changed in the last year.
But, you don’t have to go through it alone. Find someone who’ll want more than anything to be there for you in these difficult days.
DON’T involve your friends or family members in this
You should open up to your best friend or a family member. You should share your feelings with them, but you shouldn’t drag them into your marriage problems.
You’ll put them in a difficult position, especially if they had a good relationship with your spouse. They won’t know how to react and what to do.
You can and should hang out with them but only to keep yourself busy and divert your thoughts away from your problems. If you talk with them about your separation, too, you’ll never be able to heal from it.
Another thing I want to advise you on is to respect your in-laws even after your marriage ends. These people were also a part of your life, and they deserve respect. Of course, it has to be mutual.
DO focus on yourself now
You should use this quiet time to dedicate to yourself more. I’m assuming that you were focused on your spouse before, but now it’s time to shift that focus back onto yourself.
Talk honestly with yourself. How are you feeling? Do you think you made the right decision? Is it too difficult for you to ignore your spouse?
If you feel that all of this is negatively affecting your mental health, you should talk with a professional and ask them for help.
If you had to move out of the house you shared with your spouse, you should be looking for a new house now.
It’s time to think about your own life now and prioritize yourself above everyone and everything else.
DON’T neglect self-care
You’re closing the door to your previous life and starting another life for yourself. Make self-care one of the resolutions for that new life.
I know this is a very stressful time for you, leaving some consequences on you, your body, and your skin.
That’s why now more than ever, you need to take care of your looks, your skin, and your body in general.
Also, looking good will give you confidence, and you need it now to help you fight everything that’s coming.
You deserve to pamper and spoil yourself. Use shopping as your comfort. Oh, it’ll also help occupy yourself from thinking about your soon-to-be-ex-husband/wife and your separation.
I’m not saying that you should delete or block them on your social media accounts, but you should behave like they’re on your block list.
If they haven’t still come to terms with the separation, they’ll probably try to reach out to you through social media too. Once again, you need to ignore these texts also.
If they see that you’re ignoring them, they’ll probably try to get to you by posting some sad songs or some romantic ‘thinking of you’ messages, but try to ignore it.
They may also send you some photos of the two of you together, trying to remind you how happy you were before, and it’ll probably be difficult for you to ignore that.
You must be tough indeed because replying to these texts will only make them think that there is still hope to save the marriage, which would complicate things even more.
It may be best for you to take a social media detox. That way, your spouse won’t be able to reach you, and it would be easier for you to ignore them.
If you don’t want to do that, I would advise you not to be too active on social media. Don’t share things you’re doing and your location because your spouse will probably use that to follow you.
I would especially advise you not to share anything that may provoke a negative reaction from your spouse – for example, a photo of you with someone else or pictures from your nights out.
Also, don’t change your relationship status until the divorce process has concluded. It may also provoke a negative reaction from your spouse.
DO try to relax with your best friends
You should call your best friends and invite them over or ask them to go hang out. They’ll try to cheer you up, and having them around will help deal with your marriage problems.
You can also plan a trip with them or a small weekend getaway. Hanging out with your best friends will divert your thoughts and make ignoring your spouse during the separation process a whole lot easier.
After all, your friends know you best. They’ll know how to help you relax and how to help you not worry about your divorce too much.
If you feel the need to, you can also open up to one of your best friends. This will help take that burden off your soul, and you’ll feel a lot better after that little session with one of your friends.
DON’T send them drunk texts
If you want to go out and have fun with your friends, you should do that but be careful with drinks. If you get drunk, you might end up texting your spouse, which would be a mistake, right?
If you want to get drunk because you think it would relax you and make you forget about your problems, then you should give your phone to your friends and tell them that they shouldn’t give it back to you until you sober up.
Sending a drunk text to your partner would be a huge mistake. It would ruin everything you’ve done up to now. That’s why you should really think about this if you want to go out and have fun with your friends.
DO meet new people
After you’ve firmly decided that you’re done with your married life, you have every right to meet new people.
But, it should only be after you are completely sure that you want to end your marriage.
You don’t have to meet new romantic partners; you can also try to meet someone and hang out as friends first.
Maybe that friendship will grow into something bigger over time, or perhaps they’ll become your best friend.
You never know. It doesn’t matter, in both cases, that new person can help you get through this rough period in your life.
Meeting new people isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it might help you to stop thinking and obsessing over your spouse.
So, go out or register on an online dating app that may help you meet new people.
You don’t have to meet someone and jump into a new relationship immediately, but it’s good to meet new people you can hang out with.
It’ll help divert your thoughts from everything bad that’s going on in your life right now.
Of course, if you think you can work things out with your spouse and if you’re on a trial separation, you should totally ignore this.
You’re allowed to meet someone new only if you’ve decided, and you really must be one hundred percent sure in that decision, that you want to end your marriage.
DON’T jump into a new relationship
I’ve already said that you shouldn’t start a new romantic relationship, but now I want to explain why it’s a bad thing.
In the beginning, you’ll feel like it’s helping you to forget about your marriage problems, but afterward, you’ll understand that it was the worst possible thing you could do, both to your partner and yourself.
Before you start a relationship with someone new, you have to give yourself time to heal and recover from your relationship completely.
Even though you’re completely sure that you don’t have any feelings for your spouse anymore, you need to spend some time alone to clear out your thoughts and feelings.
If you don’t do it, you’ll probably be stuck with some emotional baggage that won’t allow you to fall in love with someone else and fully enjoy a new relationship.
DO be nice when you see them
Ignoring your spouse during your separation doesn’t mean that you should be rude when you see them on the street or when you suddenly run into them.
If you’re both invited to a family gathering or something similar, you should behave nicely and talk to them if they approach you.
Of course, keep a distance because you don’t want to give them hope that you’ve changed your mind.
You’ve got to be especially nice to them if you have kids together. They are and always will be the father/mother of your kids, remember that.
DON’T trash talk them
First of all, you’ve spent some of your life with this person, and talking badly about them would be talking badly about yourself too.
You were in a loving relationship and made some beautiful memories together. There’s no point in saying bad things about someone you used to love.
Again, this is especially important if you have kids together because that’ll affect them negatively the most. You’re two grown-up, civilized people, and you should behave as such.
DO take things slowly
I know you want to end this as fast as possible, but you should try to take things slowly and go one step at a time.
First, you should go back home and have an honest conversation with your partner. Then you have to be honest with yourself too.
Is this the first time you’ve thought about divorce, or is it something you’ve been thinking about for some time now?
You have to think it through. You need to be sure that there’s no way to make your marriage work and that divorce is your only option.
You should file for divorce only when you’ve tried all options to make things work back home, like marriage counseling, talking with your spouse, etc.
DON’T expect that this will be easy
After you’ve tried to save the marriage and until you’re convinced that divorce is the only option, only then should you file for divorce.
However, you need to be prepared that it won’t be easy. A hell of a journey is right ahead of you, and you need to be prepared to fight everything that comes your way.
There will probably be a lot of phone calls and surprise visits from your spouse, and you need to be prepared to handle it carefully. After all, you don’t want to hurt your spouse, right?
Of course, if you have kids together…
DO talk to them about your kids
When I was divorcing my ex-husband, we had a 1-year old son, and of course, we had to talk about him and agree on things related to our baby boy. The last thing we both wanted was to fight for our child.
We wanted our separation process to go as smoothly as possible, so we had to agree about child support and custody.
This is inevitable. You have to remember that your kids are the most important, and you should try to make all of this easier on them because they will probably have a hard time accepting your divorce.
DON’T involve your children in your mess
If you’ve decided to divorce your spouse, then you must be aware that it’s something between you and them. Don’t involve other people, especially your kids.
They deserve to have a happy family, even if their mommy and daddy aren’t together anymore. And it’s possible, trust me, because I’ve gone through this twice already.
I’m a child of divorced parents, and I divorced a man with whom I have a one-year-old son. I never saw my parents fight, and I never fought with my husband, well, not in front of our kid anyway.
Your children are the most important part of this story.
If the divorce gets ugly at any stage, you need to be sure that your children aren’t in the middle of it and that they don’t know what’s happening between you two.
Don’t bring your quarrels and issues back home to your kids. Trust me, it could leave some irreparable consequences on their mental health.
DO spend time with the kids
You have to leave your kids out of your divorce as much as possible. Don’t fight about them and try to reach an agreement on child support and visitation issues.
You’re their parent, and even if you don’t get custody, no one will forbid you from seeing and hanging out with your kids.
Even if your partner has a hard time accepting your separation, they shouldn’t forbid you from coming back home to see your kids.
I never fought with my husband about it, and I really think it helped us stay on such good terms. Last week we even went on a small family vacation together.
I only want what’s best for my son, and I suppose it’s something we all want for our kids.
DON’T spend time with your kids at your partner’s home
You should spend time with your kids, but doing it at your partner’s home would be a bad thing. If you do, then you won’t be able to ignore your partner.
The first time you talk to your partner about visiting your kids, emphasize that you want them outside or to be with them at your place.
It would be for the best. That way, you’ll get to spend time with your kids in peace, without having to pay attention to the possible tension between you and your soon-to-be-ex-husband/wife.
I know it’s difficult to accept that things have changed so much since last year when you were a happily married couple and couldn’t even imagine that one day it’d come to this.
Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, even if we still have feelings for our spouse, we’re aware that divorce is the best option for both of you.
However, if divorce is something you’ve been thinking about since last week, you should take some time to think about it some more.
You should start with marriage counseling or something else that you think would help save the marriage.
Married life isn’t easy; I know that. But, when you’re with the right person, together, you can overcome all obstacles that come your way.
When and if you decide to get a divorce, ignoring your spouse during the separation will help ease the process for both of you.
Of course, sometimes it’ll be almost impossible, but with these tips, you’ll manage to deal with it in the most painless way, if we can say it that way.
I’ll end this with one more tip for you: arm yourself with patience because you’ll definitely need it, maybe now more than ever.