Coping with Your Divorce Tips

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Your divorce is the end of your relationship. It’s a messy, complicated legal process that drags out your breakup process over weeks or months. It’s normal to have mixed feelings during and after your divorce. No matter whose ‘fault’ things were, you and your spouse were invested in building a future with each other. Your divorce forces both of you to abandon those dreams and go on in search of a new path through life. These tips will help you cope with the emotional turmoil that your divorce brings.

Take Care of Yourself

There are two things you should focus on doing to stabilize yourself emotionally. First, you should make sure that you’re taken care of. When you were with your spouse, you had a person living with you to help make sure that you were happy and well cared for. You’re no longer married to that person. Try to make time for *you* every day. Spend time doing things you enjoy. Take a few moments each day to make sure you’re happy with your environment. Prioritize your health, safety and happiness.

Don’t make big decisions (like moves or career changes) during or shortly after your divorce. It’ll probably take a few weeks before you’re ready to move on. Stay strong, stick to a routine and avoid drugs and alcohol while you wait. Assess your emotional state regularly to see how you’re coping. If you don’t notice any change after several weeks, consider seeing a therapist — you may be depressed.

Build A Network

Make sure that you have a network of friends and family that can help support you. It’s important that you don’t go through your divorce alone. It can be tempting to cloister yourself in and steer clear of social interaction. Don’t fall into this trap! If you’re uncomfortable talking with your old friends, you can reach out to your family or explore other social avenues and try to build a social network independent of your spouse. 

While it’s important that you talk to someone about what you’re going through, you don’t have to share everything with all of your friends. Consider seeing a counselor or therapist if you’re uncomfortable talking with friends or family. Talking about what you’re going through out loud will help you sort through the issues you’re facing and move on with your life.

Accept Your Emotions

Many people feel confused, frustrated, sad and happy about their divorce — often all at the same time. Don’t worry about your feelings. It’s normal to feel sad even after a terrible marriage. Your natural reaction is to grieve for the death of your relationship. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come naturally. Trying to deny your feelings or suppress them will only result in further emotional turmoil.

Move On At Your Own Pace

Your recovery process is about you, not your ex. Start dating again when you feel you’re ready, not when you think it’ll make your ex jealous. Schedule your time with the kids when it’s convenient for you, not when it’ll interfere with your ex’s schedule. By thinking positively and looking out for yourself, you can avoid falling into this trap and start living independently rather than letting your ex’s shadow govern your life from afar.

Updated: August 2, 2014 — 12:58 am
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