Divorce isn’t easy for anyone. It is a complicated and emotionally draining process that can take a toll on the whole family. Luckily, there are things that you can do to ease the process and cope with your divorce in a healthy way – making for a better experience during this difficult time. Your marriage may be ending, but you can lay the groundwork for a new beginning.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
The emotional stages of a divorce have often been compared to the five stages of grief. It is okay to grieve the death of your relationship and the loss of the life that you have known. It is also okay to feel anger, resentment, depression or anything else. A divorce is a tumultuous process. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling during this hardship. Rather than keeping your feelings inside, express them to a friend or therapist or write them down in a journal. Talking about your feelings can help you confront and address them.
It may not happen right away, but you should work toward finding acceptance. You cannot focus on your future until you accept the fact that your relationship has ended, and it is time to move on. Pairing the stress of a divorce with denial will only lead to greater anxiety and make the process more painful – and drawn out – than it has to be. Remember, your spouse does not need your permission to get a divorce. If the paperwork has been filed, it is time to let go and accept that this is the right time to end the relationship.
Frame it Differently
It can be easier to accept that your marriage is over if you don’t view the divorce as a failure. Getting divorced does not mean that you did something wrong, could have done something differently or that you failed in some way. It is simply a sign that the relationship is no longer serving you or your spouse. Over the years, getting divorced has become less stigmatized. There is not something wrong with you because you couldn’t make your marriage work. You learned, grew, enjoyed some positive moments in your relationship and are now being given the opportunity for something new.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
The company that you keep during the divorce process can make a difference to your mental health. Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel safe, comfortable and happy. Reach out to friends and loved ones and don’t be afraid to tell them if you’re struggling. It can be extremely helpful to have someone you can talk to and lean on as a confidant during the more difficult moments of the divorce process.
Don’t make your divorce more stressful or painful than it has to be by picking fights with your ex-spouse. Do your best to remain polite and amicable, and to have an open mind during divorce settlement negotiations. If this isn’t possible, hire a divorce attorney to communicate with your ex for you. Keeping a cool head and knowing when to walk away and come back to a conversation later can prevent fights and alleviate further stress on your family.
Explore Your Interests
Getting divorced means having a fresh start. Explore your own interests and find out what makes you happy. This is the perfect opportunity to rediscover yourself, pursue your passions, take up new hobbies and spend time enjoying life. Rather than dwelling on what was, look forward to what will be. At the same time, it is good to balance new things with old routines. Your life is already changing enough; you can feel a little more settled when you stick to your routines. This is especially true if you are going through a divorce with kids.
If you are struggling to cope with your divorce, seek help from a professional. Reach out to a therapist or psychiatrist to help you get through this difficult time.