Cope with Divorce
A divorce can be one of the most devastating and unexpected events in a person's life. Aside from the obvious emotional pain that comes from the end of the relationship, many other factors will affect both parties involved. Dividing property, negotiating child custody and rebuilding daily routines are just a few of the life altering changes that come hand-in-hand with divorce.
Each person deals with the difficulties of divorce differently and for different periods of time. Each person enters a grieving process when a divorce occurs, both grieving the loss of the relationship and the future possibilities it held, and that process holds many possible risks. If a divorce hits someone particularly hard, they may fall into self-destructive patterns and routines and find themselves unable to move on with their life.
Successfully moving through and past a divorce involves self-exploration, patience, and a true dedication to getting better. There are innumerable resources available for every topic involved in divorce; taking advantage of them is key. By understanding the process and finding information on how to cope with it, someone struggling through a divorce can move on to find new happiness.
Changes and Challenges
A divorce will cause stress and emotional pain in your life for many different reasons and with different levels of impact. A major relationship is ending in your life, something you have become accustomed to for years. Not only is the relationship dissipating, but so are any future plans you may have had together. It's a harsh reality to experience in itself, but the loss of the partner and the relationship are not the only challenges. Your daily routines that have become so casual and comfortable will be turned upside-down and you will be forced to create new ones. The legal issues involved in the divorce will also be adding stress to the situation. Covering all of these problems is a blanket of volatile emotions that seem to make each one harder to deal with.
Feelings of anxiety, anger, guilt, frustration, and depression are just a few of the many emotions that can filter through your mind as you deal with a divorce. While it may seem unnerving at first, the emotional path you take through the divorce will lead you to the ability to move on. It's important to leave yourself open to the emotions and thoughts that naturally come to you. If you try to repress or ignore these feelings, you will struggle to move on over time in order to find your own happiness.
One of the most imperative forms of therapy when dealing with divorce is communication. Discussing your thoughts, emotions, and the divorce process itself is an important mechanism in moving forward and coping with the pain. First, think about the good friends and family members you have in your life. Think about which of them listens to you the best and seems to have a nurturing personality. Chances are, if you have a close relationship with that person, they will be more than willing to listen and discuss your problems. They will also have a personal interest and investment in your happiness.
Keeping up healthy and productive daily routines will significantly help you cope with the pain of your loss, whether you actually notice the help or not. When a devastating life event such as this occurs, humans tend to ignore their basic needs such as eating and sleeping. Maintain a healthy regimen of sleep, purchase groceries and cook yourself healthy foods, and be sure to make time for exercise. The benefits of these healthy choices may not be completely apparent, but they will help you to maintain a sense of happiness you would otherwise lose.
Prioritize your tasks so you do not feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Many chores will need to be taken care of, especially if you are used to splitting them with a partner. The process of divorce will also bring along time-consuming tasks that will need to be taken care of by specific dates. Instead of sitting around and thinking about your bad situation and all of the work you need to do, take an active approach. Compose a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. Organize the list by measure of importance and immediately begin working on the most important task you wrote down. If you can't work on that one, move to the next. This will help keep you busy, active, and help you avoid negative thoughts.
You can also focus on exploring new interests in order to distract yourself and keep yourself busy. This will not only give you a way to spend your time without thinking too much, but it can also give you a way to meet new people and foster new relationships. Again, maintaining healthy routines will pacify the depressing and often desperate thoughts that arise. Starting and maintaining new interests can have a therapeutic effect and may be just the distraction that some people need to make it through a divorce.
There are also emotional and mental ways of coping with a divorce. Distancing yourself from your ex-spouse will definitely help you deal with the process in a healthy way. It will help you learn how to live life without that partner and will also aid in developing new and independent daily routines.
A focus on the future and where things will go is much healthier than focusing on the past and what is has brought. While it's important to remember the past and the mistakes we have made, thoughts of the future are much more helpful when coping with the pain of a divorce. Consider the new routines you will adopt. Think about the new friends you will make. Instead of focusing on the door that has closed in your life, focus on the many doors that have opened. Although you might have been happy within your relationship, you now have no choice but to embrace what is coming. Use your newly found time and explore the endless activities and interests life has to offer you.
What to Avoid
The constant emotional tornado that stems from the process of divorce can cause many people to make rash and unwise decisions. One major pitfall to avoid when involved in the divorce process is using drugs and/or alcohol to pacify the problem. Utilizing addictive substances to get through a tough time will only jumble your thoughts and hinder you in successfully moving on from the divorce. Aside from the obvious ways these substances damage your body, they will not truly help you deal with your problems. The only outcome of abusing drugs and/or alcohol is ignoring your problems and having to deal with them later on.
Try to avoid jumping right into any new romantic relationships. You should spend time on your own or with family and friends in order to analyze what happened and where you will be going from there. A divorce is a time for self-analysis and exploration in order to ensure success in your future relationships. By jumping into a new relationship, you will cloud the thoughts and emotions you have from your divorce. Although distractions are good, you do not want to avoid what you are feeling from your divorce.
Emotions can run wild during the divorce process, so make a conscious attempt to avoid acting on impulse or making large, important decisions. Many people find themselves imagining the ways to get revenge on their spouse or to make sure they feel the same pain, but that will only prolong the process. Avoid interacting with your ex-spouse unless it is necessary; this will help you to create a distance between the two of you that you will both need to get used to. Avoid making large decisions since your judgment may be clouded by anger or other emotions.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Once you have become more acquainted with the idea of the divorce and being single again, begin to ask yourself some probing questions that can help you grow and become a better person. By doing some self-exploration, you will be able to help yourself and the future relationships you will foster. Start by asking yourself how you might have added to the problems in your marriage. It is rare that someone is 100% responsible for a divorce; on the contrary, most divorces are a product of the actions and reactions of both spouses involved. Although you might not want to believe it, you were probably responsible for many of the problems in your marriage. At this point, however, do not think of these negative actions as problems. Instead, think of them as guidelines for the future. If you realize that you generally overreacted to stressful situations in your marriage, you will be able to focus on that. This way, you will have a greater chance of growing and avoiding the same mistakes in future relationships. This process will also keep your mind away from the past and on the future.
Next, ask yourself if you do a good job of accepting people for who they are instead of having expectations of who they should be. It is easy, especially when involved in a relationship, to have unrealistic expectations of the other person. No matter the reason, we often put unnecessary pressure on our partners to live up to some expectation. When we become comfortable with someone over time, we feel even more willing to express our expectations and criticisms. For your future relationships, practice being more accepting of people you don't necessarily like. Make attempts to find the positive traits of the people around you and be aware of the fact that nobody is perfect. Consider yourself and your own flaws. Even if you don't talk about them out loud, you know they are there. Everybody has these flaws, whether they are obvious or not, and everyone tries their best to correct them. By acknowledging that everyone has flaws of some kind, you will be more willing to accept the reality of a relationship instead of commenting on what your expectations of it are.
Examine the negative feelings you are having and ask yourself if you are in control of them or if they are in control of you. When going through a divorce, it seems easy to get lost in a storm of negative thoughts and emotions that can take over your reality. Simple tasks seem impossible when you are constantly thinking over the details of your divorce and the pain it's bringing you. If you notice yourself having little control over the thoughts entering your mind, take action. Think of positive, new aspects of your life that can offer new perspectives and adventures. Again, instead of focusing on past problems, concentrate on the new challenges ahead.
The process of divorce is not an easy road, but one that is often necessary for the eventual happiness of two people. Although initially it may seem like a dark and endless path, you can find light through the proper actions and steps. By taking a healthy, logical, and clear approach to the divorce process, you can actually become a better person in the end. Through disaster, we grow.
Keep in mind how many thousands upon thousands of people are dealing with the same situation you are and be active in making your situation better. Find love and support in the people around you and do not be scared to speak openly about your emotions and opinions. If you truly utilize the resources available to you and have patience with the process, you can successfully make it through the divorce process.
Cope with Divorce