When you are going through a divorce—and after the divorce—you may find that having a divorce support group will help to deal with the way you are feeling. Even those who may be thrilled about the idea of getting a divorce and feel that it was a long time coming are still going to feel loss when the marriage dissolves. Having some help dealing with any emotions that come up along the way is beneficial, so here are some tips for choosing a divorce support group that works best for you.
These groups offer plenty of benefits. Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to find the one that works well for your specific needs and wants. Below, we’ll go over the benefits, as well as how you can find a great divorce support group.
Why Should You Consider a Divorce Support Group?
Support groups are good ways to deal with the feeling of loss and the pain that so often accompanies a divorce. When you are part of one of these groups, you’ll find that it’s nice to be around other people who know how you feel.
They have been going through the same sorts of things that you have been. They know the feelings of isolation, loss, and anger. Dealing with it together can help make things somewhat easier to bear.
These groups help to normalize the process of divorce and you can learn positive means of dealing with the negative emotions you might be feeling. You can often find support with other members that you can’t always get with friends and family members who haven’t experienced a divorce.
What Should Your Support Group Offer?
There are different types of divorce groups available, which is a good thing. After all, not everyone is going to have the same needs from a divorce group. You need to find the one that will work for you. Let’s look at some of the things you will need to consider.
Type of Meetings
First, you should think about the type of experience you will want to have. Are you looking for a group that provides you with more of a clinical or classroom experience? Do you need a group like this that can provide you with various tools to help recover?
Perhaps you are instead looking for a group that has more of a personal touch, so you can talk with other members and get their emotional support. This tends to be what most people think about when they hear the words divorce support group.
Meeting Schedule and Duration
How long will each of the meetings last? The duration of meetings can vary, but you will find that most tend to be about an hour long. The groups may meet once a week or several times per week.
You will want to know whether there are attendance requirements when you join a group. Do you have to sign up ahead of time or can you just show up? You will find that most groups are going to want to have members that can commit to showing up, as it can provide more emotional support and safety for all of the members.
You should also get a sense of how the group works. What types of topics are covered and what is the expectation of attendees? Can you simply listen for a while, or are you expected to talk and participate right away? Is it more freeform or it is structured? These are two questions you need to answer before choosing a divorce support group.
Location of Meetings
Consider the location of the meetings, as well. After all, as much as you want to attend a divorce group meeting to get the benefits, you don’t want to have to drive an hour or more out of your way one or two times a week. Try to find a group that meets in an area that is convenient to you.
Of course, if you can’t find an in-person group, don’t forget about the online options. You can find groups that meet online through places like Skype, for example. This can be a good alternative if you don’t have any groups that meet in your area, or if you don’t feel comfortable meeting up in person.
The Size of the Group
This is more important than you might realize. How large is the group size? If you don’t like the thought of talking about your divorce in front of a lot of people, you will want to find a smaller group. However, if you prefer to have less attention focused on you, then being in a larger group could be better. It may also mean that you have to talk less.
Is There a Cost Involved?
Although a lot of groups are free to join, they may take donations to help keep the group going. They may need to pay for the facility they use for the meetings, for snacks, handouts, etc. A small fee to join or a monthly fee or donation is not unheard of, and it does help to keep the group together when everyone chips in.
However, you also need to make sure you aren’t overpaying for something that does nothing for you. If there is a fee, know how much it is and how much you will get for that fee.
Is It a Religious Group?
Quite a few divorce support groups are hosted in churches, as it’s an easy way to get a space for a group gathering. However, it doesn’t always mean that the group itself is faith-based and focused. Ask the organizer of the group ahead of time whether it requires prayer or if the teachings come from a religious point of view.
You can then determine whether it’s the right option for you. Some people may like a faith-based group. Others will not.
Take your time when choosing a divorce support group that can help you get over the divorce and back on a happy path in life. If you don’t have success with the first group you find, try again. There is one out there for you.