No one wants their marriage to fail, but 48 percent of couples divorce before their 20th anniversary. The divorce rate for people in their second, third, and fourth marriages is even higher.
Coping with divorce or separation is difficult. When your life is in turmoil it’s hard to get through each day.
It’s important to find ways to deal with changing emotions. The transition from married to divorced is easier if you acknowledge your feelings.
Divorce is tough on the whole family. You must consider children’s emotions, too. Keep reading for five important tips on adjusting to life after a divorce.
1. Honor Your Feelings
Expect to have lots of different emotions during a divorce. Most people are sad, angry, confused, and frustrated. Exhaustion and dread are common.
Everyone leaving a marriage worries about the unknown future. You should expect a range of emotions. These feelings will lessen or subside as time passes.
A divorce is the death of a marriage. It’s important to grieve in the aftermath of a separation or divorce. Don’t pretend you aren’t sad, mad, or resentful. When you ignore your feelings, you prolong the grieving process.
Try to avoid arguments and power struggles with your former spouse. If a conversation gets ugly put it on hold and talk later when you’re both calm.
Give yourself time and space to recover. It’s okay if you’re not as productive as usual and to avoid social events for a while. Everyone needs time to process life changes.
There are various stages of grief, but not everyone goes through each one. Pay attention to your progress.
2. Get Support for You and Your Kids
Don’t isolate yourself. Too much alone time may intensify your emotions. Reaching out to others can reduce stress and speed-up your recovery.
You don’t have to go through a divorce alone. Talk to your family and friends. Share your feelings with your kids, and encourage them to talk to you, but make sure you don’t speak ill of your former partner. You don’t want to damage their relationship with their father or mother.
If it’s hard for you to speak about the divorce, consider a support group. Groups offer a way to talk to people in the same situation. Plus, in-person contact relieves stress.
Talk to someone who survived a divorce. They understand your situation, can tell you what to expect, and help you see hope for the future.
Support for Children
Do the same for your children. Make sure your children know the divorce is not their fault.
Discuss your child’s fears and feelings with them. Be compassionate but honest. Connect them with other kids whose parents split.
Provide children with stability and a positive attitude, maintain your routines, and never make promises you can’t keep.
Coordinate with your ex-spouse on bedtimes, curfews, and decisions. Don’t put kids in the middle of a conflict by asking them to spy or relay messages.
Never make a child choose one parent over the other. It’s good to talk to your kids, but don’t confide in them too much.
If you or your children need more help than your peers can provide, get professional help. A counselor can help you make good decisions.
3. Self Care is Vital for Coping with Divorce
It’s easy to neglect yourself in the middle of a separation or divorce, but you shouldn’t. Taking care of yourself helps reduce stress.
Make time to exercise, eat, and sleep. Be kind to yourself and your body. You’ll make better decisions if you’re rested and relaxed.
Avoid making big decisions right away. Don’t move across the country or quit your job. Wait until the emotional and physical strain of your divorce calms down.
If you can, maintain your regular routines and activities. Don’t use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes to cope. Stay as healthy as possible.
Make time for nurturing activities. Go outside for a walk, take a yoga class, read a book, or listen to music.
Don’t let the divorce blow up the rest of your life. If your social network is in disarray, cultivate new friendships. Join a group, take a class or volunteer for a favorite organization.
Stay positive by taking part in things you like. Try to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.
4. Learn the Lessons
An emotional crisis is an opportunity to grow and learn. As sad as it is, a divorce is a chance to reexamine your life.
You must accept the marriage is over to move on. Then, you can examine your part in the breakup. If you understand how your choices affected the marriage you can learn from mistakes.
Ask yourself the tough questions:
- How did you contribute to problems in the marriage?
- Do you repeat relationship mistakes?
- How do you deal with conflict? Can you be more constructive?
- Are you in control of your feelings?
Be honest with yourself and don’t make excuses for bad behaviors. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes.
The goal is to figure out what went wrong so you make better choices next time.
5. Make Plans to Move Forward
The best plan is to focus on moving forward. It’s good to express emotions so you can get past them, but don’t get stuck.
Over-analyzing the negative aspects of a broken marriage leads to anger and resentment. Save your energy for healing and moving on.
Take time to grieve the loss of your marriage. Remember the good times and let go of the bad ones. Then, embrace your hopes for the future.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer for Help
If you need help coping with divorce meet with a family law attorney.
Always consult with a lawyer to avoid making mistakes when filing for a divorce. A divorce lawyer assists with everything from child custody to division of property.
Contact us today for help with mediation and settlement terms. You don’t have to go through a divorce on your own.