06/18/2013 12:54 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2013

Divorce 101: How to Win Your Divorce

Divorce shouldn't be treated like a game, but sometimes there are winners and there are losers. And when your marriage just isn't working, it's easy to throw in the towel, and act like a loser. But listen up: you're better than that. Forget the sweatpants. Skip the sob stories and pity parties with all of your friends. Be a bigger person and move on from your divorce with grace. It doesn't sound easy, but if you can keep a few tips in mind, you'll be happier and healthier for it.

First, take a few steps back from your partner. Unfriend him on any social media sites/apps where you two are connected. Don't text him. Don't tweet him. Just give each other some space. You don't need to see his shared photos from a night out at the bars, and you certainly don't need to stalk his Facebook wall to see if he's talking to any women. By polluting your mind with potentially toxic thoughts, you're only hurting yourself. So during this difficult time of separation, use this opportunity to truly separate from him, and focus on yourself. Instead of comparing your post-marital lives, you'll be better off by ignoring him altogether. Create a little mystery and let him wonder how you're keeping yourself busy without him in your life.

After living together, it's natural that you shared furniture, décor, and other important items around the house. But when it comes time to divvy up your property after the divorce, get a mediator. Don't risk creating a hostile environment, especially with such personal matters. Make sure that you preserve those items that are most important to you, items to which your ex has no claim (scrapbooks, favorite household items, electronics you purchased personally), so that he has no chance at taking what's yours. However, when it comes to the big stuff, be gracious. Material goods are not worth the mental anguish you could suffer if the Great Divide goes south. If you want to come out of this ordeal with a happier state of mind, come to terms with the idea that you might lose some of the household stuff you two shared, and move on.

Chances are good that you shared some friends. This can be tricky. Rather than picking teams like a high school dodge ball match, do your best to continue sharing with your ex-husband. Keep events neutral, focus on spending time with your friends, and whatever you do, do not indulge yourself in any badmouthing or complaining about your ex. Of course you're going to need an outlet, someone to cry to when you're feeling particularly upset or worked up. But instead of taking it out on your shared friends, who might spread the gossip or even report back to your ex husband, pick pals outside of your mutual friend circle.

This is an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Join a spin class at the gym, sign up for something interesting at the local community college, go to free art exhibitions and grab that free wine and cheese. Just get out of the house and learn more about yourself! If you can find a new hobby or interest, you'll become a more valuable individual. Your self esteem will sky rocket as you recognize your own self-worth, and you'll start to see the fruits of your efforts.

Divorce is no easy game, but it's not about beating your ex husband... It's about improving yourself! Keep your head held high, don't sink to anything petty, and focus on yourself. You'll come out on top!

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