10 WAYS TO COPE WITH DIVORCE
“If we believe tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today” – Thich Nhat Hanh
It is never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split—and whether you wanted it or not, going through a separation or divorce can be very difficult. But there are things you can do to get through this difficult adjustment.
- Don’t focus on the temporary hardship of change
Divorce, like any life transition, is not easy, but it’s no more stressful than the day-to-day of a dysfunctional marriage. Rear view mirrors come with the warning that objects seem larger than they appear; it’s the same with divorce.
- Believe in the promise of the future
When you commit to another person, you create many hopes, plans and dreams for the future. Once your relationship is over, you realize that you have lost those joint hopes. It is hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.
- Recognize that it’s okay to experience different feelings
It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused—and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Day by day, and little by little, you will start moving on.
- Allow yourself to grieve
Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses: loss of companionship, loss of financial and emotional support, and loss of hopes and plans. Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may seem scary. You may even fear that your emotions will trap you in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to any healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, remember it won’t last forever.
- Give yourself a break
Grant yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. The ending of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings, it is normal if you are not able to work at your maximum capacity. You may not be able to work as productively or care for others exactly the way you did prior to the divorce. No one expects you to be superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.
- Don’t go through a divorce alone
No single strategy will ease the pain and loss that divorce brings. Support from friends and family is critical to healing after an ending of a relationship. You might feel like you want to be left alone, but isolating yourself will only make this time more difficult. Do not try to go through this breakup on your own. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. You may want to think about joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself from others can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.
- Take care of yourself
A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. Treat yourself as if you’re trying to get over the flu: get plenty of rest, minimize the stress in your life, and reduce your workload. Make sure you take time out of each day to nurture yourself. Go for a walk, listen to music, read a good book, or take a hot bath.
- Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope
When you’re dealing with a break up, you might be tempted to do anything to “relieve” your feelings of pain by resorting to alcohol, drugs, or food. But using these as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It is essential to find healthier ways of coping with the grieving process of a divorce.
- Explore new interests
A divorce may be the end of a relationship, but it may be the beginning of your new life, a happier life. Take this opportunity to explore and discover new interests that you never thought you had, or never had the time to partake in. Pursue fun activities and allow yourself to enjoy life, rather than dwelling in the past.
- Redefine yourself
Going through a divorce means no longer being someone’s other half, part of a couple, a reality that can come as a relief or a frightening prospect. For the person who sees him or herself as multifaceted, it is generally a lot easier. But if someone has been nothing but a spouse and saw that as the most important role, it can be pretty crushing. Looking at this time as a period of self-exploration is one way to overcome feelings of isolation and fear. Exploring untapped interests can be both a place to positively let go of the grief brought on by divorce and a way to redefine yourself. Take up new hobbies, activities, interests — expand yourself. Stay busy in a constructive way.
For legal assistance with your divorce or separation, contact us at The Law Offices Of Inna Vernikov, PLLC at (212) 719-3497 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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