Going through a divorce is rough. It doesn’t matter if you know in your heart that divorce is the best option or if you were blindsided by divorce papers. This is a major change in your life, and everything changes going forward. Most people are reticent to change. Divorce changes your landscape and your outlook. It can be difficult to bear, and you might want to consider joining a divorce support group.
What Is a Divorce Support Group?
A divorce support group is simply a gathering of people either online or in-person that provides support for individuals going through the same types of changes in their life. Often, the support groups provide post-divorce help, but most welcome those who are in the middle of a divorce, as well. The divorce process is often when people need the most help and guidance.
The divorce support groups can help their members handle all of the various challenges that come with divorce. This might include co-parenting issues, the process of divorce, handling emotions, and moving on with their life after the final decree.
As with most meetings like this, it can sometimes feel a bit awkward to talk about your personal feelings and experiences. No one in the group pressures others to talk about things that make them feel uncomfortable. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming place where everyone will feel as though they can speak and be heard, and where they can provide advice to others. You’ll find some great benefits that can come from joining a divorce support group.
Benefits of Divorce Groups
The types of benefits you will get can vary from one group to the next and they might differ for individuals. Let’s look at some of the common benefits that you can expect when you find the right divorce support group.
A Sense of Community
Talking with people who have gone through the same sort of troubles that you are going through now can be cathartic. You’ll feel better knowing that they have been there and that they understand. It builds a true sense of community, which helps to create a greater sense of comfort, which leads to the next benefit.
A Safe Place to Talk
Sometimes, just having some people to talk to about your divorce and your feelings is what you need to get through the day without breaking down. When you are part of a divorce support group, you will have a safe place where you can talk about everything that’s happening.
What about your friends and family? Having a close network of friends and family is great, but it’s not always the ideal place to talk about your divorce. This is true for several reasons.
For starters, what would happen if one of your friends is also friends with your ex and tells them what you are saying? You might have just been venting, but it doesn’t look good. Additionally, your friends and family should be people that you get together with to have a good time and to forget about the troubles of your divorce. If you are constantly talking about your divorce, each time you get together will feel like a negative experience. You need positivity in your personal life.
One of the other benefits of working with a divorce support group is access to resources. The people who are in the group have been and are going through situations similar to yours. They have done their research, just as you have, and they may have some resources that you weren’t able to find.
They can provide you with a range of information and resources to help deal with different aspects of your divorce. As simple as it might sound, this is a huge benefit, as it can help to cut down on a lot of the stressful footwork you would have to do on your own otherwise.
Getting Feedback and Advice
Although the group won’t be able to provide you with legal advice—at least they shouldn’t unless they are an attorney—they can provide you with some feedback based on their experiences. They can be a sounding board. For example, if you feel that you want to do something to get back at your ex, they can talk you down and let you know what a bad idea that would be.
They can provide you with both positive and negative feedback based on the situation and what you need to hear at the time. It’s important to listen to the feedback, as these people have a different perspective than you have. They can often help you keep from making mistakes that will end up costing you.
In addition to a divorce group, or instead of a divorce group if you prefer, you should also think about going to therapy. Divorce represents a loss, and you could benefit from talking with a professional about how to handle what’s happening in your life. Therapists could be used while you are going through the divorce and after the divorce until you get yourself settled into your new life.
If you have children, you’ll find that they will often benefit from going to a therapist that treats kids their age. The more you can do to ease your mind and reduce your stress—and that of your kids—the better off you will be.
Reduce Some Divorce Stress by Working with an Attorney
Divorce will always be stressful. There’s no way around it. However, you can often reduce some of the stress by taking a bit of the weight off of your own shoulders. In addition to the support a divorce group can provide, you can also work with an attorney. They can help you to better understand the ins and outs of your case, help with the paperwork, filing, negotiating, and more.
While you can do all or some of the divorce on your own, if you feel like it’s too much, you should consider working with a family law attorney.