Getting Through Divorce

Getting Through Divorce

Those who have gone through trials and tribulations in life understand how stressful those periods can be. Divorce is one such period that people generally find stressful and it’s not just whether or not children and pets are involved to complicate things. It can send even the strongest of individuals into a spiral of sadness and that can impact mental health in ways that you may not have considered.

No one goes into married life imagining that divorce will be at the end of the road. In fact, most people believe that their marriages will be there forever and it’s for this reason it’s so tough to feel like you were wrong. Before you go through a divorce, you might need therapy or additional support in the form of a court ordered evaluation to determine whether you have to physically be there or not. There are ways to ensure that you get through this time in your life in one piece, however, and we’ve got some tips to help you to get through it.

  1. Opt in for self-care. When was the last time you took care of just you? While children and pets generally tend to come first for most people, it’s important that you are looking after yourself, especially when your emotions are heightened. You have to take exceptional care of your health and wellbeing and gentle exercise can help you with that. You need to distract your mind and yoga, meditation and even swimming can help. 
  2. Sign up for professional counseling. Ensuring that you have someone to talk to is an absolute must and that doesn’t just have to be with friends and family if you are worrying about being a burden. In fact, getting a therapist to support you should be a given in any situation in life, but during hardships, it should be exactly what you need. Getting a relationship counselor to talk you through why the relationship broke down and what you can do about it is so important. 
  3. Don’t contact your ex. It’s rule number one of getting through divorce because the worst thing that you can do is to get in touch with your ex – especially if it’s not related to children you share. We should clarify, however, that this refers to when you are feeling emotional – you can and should discuss terms of the divorce or work out how to make sure you and your children all have the right support. If you have become angry or upset, the best thing that you can do is cool off before you contact them and then vent/express your sadness later. 
  4. Be careful about choosing your legal counsel. There are many lawyers out there but you need a dedicated lawyer who understands family and divorce law. You need someone who can fight your corner and ensure that you are given the right support during the terms of your divorce being discussed. If you find that your lawyer doesn’t have the skills to support you or give you the empathy that you need in a time like this, then you should seek help from another person. If you already have a lawyer but they’re not great, don’t feel bad about changing.
  5. Don’t forget the kids. If you do share children with your ex, don’t forget them in this process. They have needs that are as important as yours and while you are going through an impossible time, so are they. Children largely internalize their pain and even if you think that they’re going to be just fine, you can ensure that if they are old enough to understand, they get therapy. Children need support and care and you may not be able to offer it entirely by yourself. You and your ex need to put the kids in a position of being more important than the aggro you have for each other. Your children need to feel loved and supported and as if their life isn’t going to be too different.

Image source: Pexels

  1. Contact a family relationship center. There should be some in your state where you can organize contact with your ex in a neutral place. Not all divorces are easy and not all of them are straightforward in terms of how you treat each other. Gently easing the children into their new life alternating care, you should use a relationship center to give you somewhere to go with the kids until you can feel okay with each other. You will gain professional support, practical advice on co parenting and a place that feels safe for everyone.
  2. Don’t blame your ex out loud. It doesn’t matter whether they were the reason for the relationship breakdown or not, your children do not need to hear how rubbish they were. Your child is 50% your ex, and so every time you make a nod toward your ex being useless, you’re telling your children that they, too, share traits with someone who is useless. Those words will embed themselves into the mind of your child.
  3. Go through the grieving process. You won’t believe it until it happens to you but divorce can feel like grief. In fact, it can feel worse than grief. If you’re feeling frightened or devastated, it’s all part of the process and the best thing that you can do is to work through the states of grief as if a death has occurred. Your partner may not have died, but the expectations of your life will have in the event of a divorce and that can cause significant emotional stress.
  4. Contact the police if violence is involved. If your divorce has come down to the fact that both of you have been physically violent or you are at the receiving end of that violence, then you should think about ensuring that you have the police involved – in case you need a restraining order. Get that underway ASAP so that your looming court date isn’t missing special paperwork that’s necessary. 

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Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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