Divorce is complex and time-consuming. It can drain you physically and mentally even in the best of circumstances. You have so much in your head—your current and future finances, co-parenting, where you are going to live, etc. Sometimes, you don’t stop to think about just how much your mental state could start to deteriorate over the course of your divorce if you aren’t careful. Set yourself up to come out of this more optimistic than you’ve ever been and seek guidance when coping with divorce.
You’re Going to Feel All the Feelings
You are going to be feeling a lot during this time, and don’t be surprised if those feelings are conflicting. It’s normal to have a wide range of feelings including grief, anxiousness, anger, happiness, confusion, and more. Sometimes, you will have what feels like all of these emotions at the same time. It can certainly feel overwhelming. Accept that these feelings will happen and realize that they will start to diminish over time.
Be Kind to You
This can often seem difficult for a lot of people to do because they might feel at blame for the divorce, or they might feel that they aren’t worthy of being loved. However, you have to learn to be kind to yourself and love yourself. Take time out of the day to remind yourself of the good person you are and the good things you’ve done.
Too many people berate themselves in a divorce regardless of whether they feel they were in the right or wrong. They get down on themselves and this can cause stress, insomnia, and other issues. Before you can move on, you need to learn how to be nice to yourself.
You Need a Break
Sometimes, you just need a break. The divorce takes a lot out of you because it’s added stress to your already busy life. Add the changes to your life that divorce brings, along with the paperwork, court dates, etc., and it’s even worse.
Make sure you are taking at least a little bit of time each day to give yourself something of a break. It could be relaxing with some tea while listening to music or watching a video you like, reading a book, enjoying a hobby, taking a walk, exercising, etc. Just find things that you like and that can help to act as a de-stressor and a mental pick-me-up, while making coping with divorce less intimidating.
Don’t Look at Divorce as a Failure
Yes, you wanted your marriage to last. Everyone who gets married does. However, we live in the real world where divorce happens quite a lot. The problem is that people often look at divorce as a failure, and they dwell on this. Dwelling is often where the biggest problems arise. Rather than looking at it as a failure, look at it as a lesson.
Yes, things did not work out in your favor this time, but that’s okay. You will still be able to find love in the future, and you could find another partner to marry if that is something that you would like to do.
Try to Keep Things Positive
Divorce has the potential to make you feel negative and nasty to people around you. This is especially true in cases where the divorce is not amicable. However, if you let yourself be pulled into the negative, it will just make things more difficult.
Instead, do your best to try to keep things positive if you can. This is very important if you have children. By keeping a positive attitude for them, it will make the transition easier on the little ones. You will also find that positivity can also help you to see things in a better light.
Don’t aim straight for the conflict and the nastiness in a divorce. Work hard to keep things positive. Mediation, for example, can help with this rather than just going straight to litigation.
Have People to Talk To
You don’t want to be alone if you can help it. Being alone and only talking to yourself about the divorce can be unproductive. You’ll find that it’s often better to have people you can talk with that know and understand how you are feeling. Namely, it’s nice to have a therapist that you can connect with or even a divorce group you can talk to about how you feel.
Additionally, you should have friends and family you can rely on. Although you can talk with them about the divorce sometimes, you don’t want to talk with them only about the divorce. They are friends and family. They should be there for the fun times, and they can help to distract you from your worries for a while, specifically while you’re coping with divorce.
Take the Time You Need
You aren’t in a race. Nothing is waiting for you at the finish line of the great divorce race. There’s no need to rush. It’s likely to take you some time before you get to the point where you want to get back out and date, and that’s perfectly fine. Others might be ready to start dating right away… that’s fine too. You do what’s right for you.
Of course, if you have kids, it may be a good idea to wait a little while before you start dating again, or at least before you introduce the kids to a new partner. The kids are going through their own grief and coping with divorce. The last thing they need right now is someone new in their life to confuse them.
Going through a divorce is different for everyone. This doesn’t just refer to the case and how it proceeds through the system. Every marriage and every person is different. The marriage itself was unique. So, naturally, the way people deal with divorce will vary. Sure, there will be certain similarities since we’re all human, after all.
However, if you don’t fit neatly into a bundle of how “you should feel”, don’t worry. We’re all unique. Take the advice above, though, and find those things that work for you. If none of those work, keep looking and find the solutions that are best for your needs.