Ending a years-long relationship is never an easy process. Add in the extra stress caused by divorce proceedings and it can be easy to begin wondering how you will ever cope. Take a break and read these tips for coping with divorce. It is our hope that you will begin to feel more able to deal with all of the complications divorce can bring.
Tips for Your Divorce
- Avoid arguments and power struggles. During a divorce, things are usually tense between you and your spouse. Avoid confrontations, arguments, and power struggles regarding the divorce proceedings, children, or assets. Suggest returning to the issue when both of you can discuss it calmly.
- Trust your attorney. Your attorney is there to work for you, so trust him or her to do so. Try to avoid obsessing about every detail regarding the divorce, especially during times when it is not productive, such as late at night when you cannot do anything.
Tips for Your Emotional Health
- Take a break. Take a break from worrying about divorce proceedings especially, but also attempt to take a break from other forms of stress in your life. Accept that you may not be performing at optimum levels for a while, and that is okay.
- Do not go it alone. You may be ending your marriage, but others in your life want to help you cope in any way they can. Share your feelings with others, whether they are friends and family or a divorce support group. Therapists are well versed in the stresses that come with divorce and can be a great outlet for your emotions.
- Emotions are normal. It is completely normal to experience a rush of thoughts and feelings related to your divorce. Anger, sadness, exhaustion, frustration, and even happiness that the marriage has ended are all normal feelings for people in the midst of divorce. Your feelings may change over time, and that is normal too. Eventually, things will even out and you will feel like you are back to normal.
Tips for Your Physical Health
- Address your physical health. During trying times, it can be too easy to forgo a regular exercise routine or a healthy diet in favor of what is easier. It is important to give yourself a break, as mentioned, but eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are two factors that can drastically improve your quality of life.
- Avoid vices. When you are stressed, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can become a means of escape. Their effects may feel good now, but you are only adding to your problems down the road.
Tips for Your Family
- Do not involve children in the divorce. As much as possible, keep your children away from the details of the divorce, including arguing with your spouse or talking about your spouse in a negative manner. Do not force them to choose sides or relay messages.
- Maintain stability. If your children are alternating between two separate homes, ensure that you and your spouse are providing consistent bedtime, meal and other routines. In addition, maintain consistent discipline.
- Talk to your kids. Allow your children to tell you their feelings regarding the divorce or anything else of concern. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault, and that your feelings about them have not changed. This is not a time to release your own frustrations about the divorce, rather to let your children know they can continue to rely on you.
If you or your children find yourselves continuing to struggle, support groups made specifically for divorcing adults and children of divorce can be a great outlet. Others may find speaking with a professional therapist is the best way to discuss all the emotions that come with divorce. In general, know that you are not alone – things will get better.