Divorce is often an adversarial process taking a considerable amount of time. In many cases, divorce can cause psychological distress. The mental fatigue and distress faced by many divorcing couples can cause challenges in other areas of their life. Many people facing a divorce focus on the technical aspects of the divorce including the division of marital property, child support calculations, and child visitation schedules. All of these decisions, coupled with grief, disappointment, or anger that accompany a divorce can lead to mental fatigue. Learn how to handle the very real consequence of mental fatigue during your divorce.
Understanding Mental Fatigue During Divorce
Mental fatigue during divorce can impact all areas of a person’s life. Some of the areas that can be affected during a divorce can include the following:
● Inability to remember information
● Diminished or inhibited mental performance
● Inability to concentrate (cloudy thinking)
● Inability to perform at work
● Inability to complete daily tasks or maintain a schedule
Every person may have a different mental response to divorce, but when facing mental fatigue, many divorcing spouses suffer in all areas and aspects of their life. This can impact their families, relationships, ability to work, and overall health.
How Mental Fatigue Appears During Divorce
Mental fatigue during divorce is extremely common. In the middle of one of the most stressful events in life, divorcing spouses are required to still perform at work and remain responsible with family members and in their life overall. Bills still need to be paid, work needs to be done, and children need to go to school and receive help with homework. Time marches forward, and the divorcing spouse can become fatigued mentally attempting to adjust to their new life while still upholding all of their responsibilities in their daily life. Some of the ways that mental fatigue appears during divorce include the following:
● Trying to determine their new role in life apart from being a spouse
● Trying to understand how to handle the aspects of their life typically previously handled by their spouse
● Trying to navigate the traumatic experience they are experiencing during the divorce process
● Attempting to resolve psychological trauma, pain, hurt, disappointment, and grief that accompanies a divorce all while having to maintain normal daily responsibilities.
● Trying to determine how not to have a divorce experience again in the future
● Trying to navigate secondary emotional trauma from faith-based friendships or communities that distance themselves from a divorced person as a result of the divorce
● Re-learning how to establish independence as a single person in the world and relate to work, friendships, family with a newly established identity
Mental fatigue can appear in many ways for different people as they go through the divorce process, however, it is important to recognize that all of these challenges are normal and typical of many spouses that go through a divorce.
Three Steps For Managing Mental Fatigue During Divorce
There are three steps that a person going through a divorce can take in order to better manage their overall mental health and mental fatigue during a divorce. Leslie Sherlin, Ph.D. provides excellent insight into understanding the mental impact a divorce has on a person, and how best to address it in order to better understand and heal during and following a divorce.
Step 1 – Acknowledgment of the Mental Fatigue
Divorce is a stressful circumstance that is unplanned and un-normal. Divorce is not something that any person ever expects or hopes will happen to them. Therefore, the first piece of managing mental fatigue is simply understanding and acknowledging that the entire process of divorce is inherently tumultuous and mentally exhausting. Taking the time and effort to address this fact internally can take a great deal of shame and guilt out of the divorce process, and remove this area of mental fatigue and exhaustion. Understanding that divorce is stressful allows a person to not worry as much about what others will think of them as they going through the divorce from the beginning.
Attempting to take the time to acknowledge the fact that divorce is not a normal or expected process in life can help a spouse preparing for divorce to begin to think about things in a structured way. This process of simply acknowledging that divorce is not pleasant or wanted can help a person understand their body’s natural reaction and get more comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable as the process continues.
Taking the time to simply realize that it will take more time to do normal daily activities, or more mental energy to handle tasks or relationships can help manage mental fatigue. Simply acknowledging that the divorce process is difficult and just start with the basic understanding that people should forgive themselves for not handling everything “perfectly” can help them manage mental fatigue.
Step 2 – Take Time To Plan To Avoid Mental Fatigue
Divorce upends many of the normal and typical processes of daily life. A person’s work life, home life, and family relationships may all look different during and after a divorce. As a result, the entire process can prove emotionally exhausting. Instead of feeling overwhelmed that a person needs to answer every possible question and scenario, a person should simply start with the basics in a systematic way, such as:
● Where will I live after a divorce?
● What will my finances look like?
● What will my relationships and roles going forward look like? (What do I want them to look like?)
Step 3 – Find a Support System to Avoid Mental Fatigue
Finding a strong and solid support system during your divorce can help you avoid mental fatigue. Finding a community to which you are connected can help you feel better about the entire process of divorce and help give you encouragement and support when you need it the most. Unfortunately, many people judge others as they go through a divorce, and having a strong support system can ensure that you have a group of people that perceive you in a positive way and allow you to achieve your full potential. A support system can include those that have similar hobbies, similar life experiences, or a similar faith. Having a support system provides an environment of safety in order to help someone see all the possible outcomes of certain decisions and help them simply work through the process. In many cases, a person going through a divorce will also seek out a therapist in order to help manage mental fatigue.
Consider Your Legal Options For Managing Mental Fatigue
In many cases, acknowledging your situation, planning for your future, and developing a strong support system can help ensure you manage mental fatigue. Additionally, knowing that you have solid legal advice with respect to your legal rights regarding your finances and your children can also help manage mental fatigue. The experienced divorce attorneys at Modern Law welcome the opportunity to visit with you and help relieve some of your mental fatigue by partnering with you and ensuring your legal rights remain protected during your divorce. Contact a divorce attorney at My Modern Law today at (480) 462-7958 today.