No one enters into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but the unfortunate reality is that almost 40% of all marriages do end in divorce. When you’re going through a divorce, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions: sadness, anger, confusion, betrayal, etc. These emotions can be incredibly overwhelming and can take over your life.
But there are things you can do to deal with these emotions and get through this tough time. Read on for tips on coping with the emotional effects of divorce.
How to Cope Emotionally With Divorce
1. Give yourself time to mourn the end of your relationship
I was immediately thrust into single-parenting when I divorced over ten years ago. In my stress, I concentrated only on how to provide for my kids financially.
Years later, when I came out of survival mode, I began to process the emotional toll the divorce took on me.
I would imagine my story is like most. When you first become a single parent, you’re so overwhelmed that processing how the divorce affects you isn’t on your radar.
If you’re in that spot now (or with any breakup), my most significant piece of advice is to give yourself time to grieve. Even if you were the one who wanted the divorce or if you are glad you are divorced…you’ve lost something.
Maybe you lost…
- your dream of a happy family
- help around the house or yard
- being financially provided for
- the security of a two-person home
- seeing your children every day
- peace of mind of another adult in the house at night
- someone to grow old with
I heard recently from a therapist that every change we experience in our lives needs to be grieved to move forward. I couldn’t agree more.
Acknowledging your grief can be a painful and challenging process, but it is also an essential step in moving on from your divorce.
Here are some tips for how to mourn the end of your relationship:
- Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions, even if they are painful. Crying, anger, and sadness are all normal reactions to divorce.
- Talk about your divorce with close friends or family members who will offer support and understanding.
- Write about your divorce in a journal or private blog. This can be an excellent way to process your emotions and track your progress over time.
- Talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you navigate the divorce process.
- Join a divorce support group, which can provide valuable information and support from others going through the same thing.
Giving yourself time to mourn the end of your marriage is an integral part of divorce recovery. By allowing yourself to feel your emotions and seeking out support, you can begin to move on from your divorce and build a new life for yourself.
2. Seek support from friends and family members
One way to cope with the emotions associated with divorce is to seek support from friends and family members. Friends and family can provide a listening ear, offer encouragement, and help shoulder the burden during this challenging time.
Here are some tips for seeking support from friends and family:
- Talk openly about your feelings. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Talking about what you’re going through can help you feel better and may also help your friends and family understand what you’re going through.
- Ask for help when you need it. If you’re struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family. They’ll likely be more than happy to lend a hand.
- Be patient. It may take some time for your friends and family to understand what you’re going through entirely. Give them the time they need, and try to be understanding if they make mistakes along the way.
Seeking support from friends and family is just one way to deal with the emotional effects of divorce. Many other coping strategies may work better for you, so read on.
3. Don’t bottle up your feelings
It’s important to not bottle up your feelings during this time, as they can come out in negative ways later on. Instead, find an outlet for your emotions.
Writing can be therapeutic, allowing you to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Painting or other art forms can also be helpful, as you can channel your emotions into creative expression. Exercise is another excellent way to release pent-up emotions and stress. Taking a brisk walk, going for a run, or even just doing some stretches at home can help you feel better both physically and emotionally.
Whatever outlet you choose, make sure that it’s something that you enjoy and makes you feel good.
4. Don’t make any major decisions in the early stages of the divorce process
Instead, take some time to adjust to your new reality and figure out what you really want before making any big changes.
It’s not uncommon to feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed after a divorce. It’s natural to want to make some changes after a divorce – after all, your life is entirely different now.
However, it’s essential to resist the urge to make any major decisions in the early stages of divorce. Jumping into another relationship or making a major career change can be tempting. Still, it’s usually best to wait until you’ve had some time to heal before making any big decisions.
Making sudden and impulsive changes during this time can be overwhelming and may end up causing more stress in the long run. One example of this is remarrying before you’ve fully recovered from the first marriage. The rate of divorce for second marriages is even higher than the rate for first-time divorces.
Since this is a time when you are likely to be feeling very insecure and vulnerable, it’s easy to make rash decisions that you may later regret. Give yourself time to heal and make decisions when you feel more stable.
5. Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally
Taking care of yourself means eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Additionally, it is important to find supportive friends or family members or join a support group. Finally, talking about your divorce with someone who understands can be very helpful.
After a divorce, taking care of yourself can help you feel better both physically and emotionally. It can also help you deal with the challenges of divorce, such as co-parenting or financial stress.
6. Get help if you’re struggling emotionally
Just because divorce is tough doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. If you’re struggling to cope with the emotional effects of divorce, there’s no shame in getting help from a professional.
A therapist can be a life-saver and offer guidance on dealing with the complex emotions you’re experiencing. If you’re not ready to see a therapist, consider confiding in a trusted friend or family member. Just having someone to talk to can make a world of difference. Whatever route you choose, remember that you don’t have to face the emotional effects of divorce alone.
Divorce is one of the most challenging things a person can go through. It’s hard on both the adults and the children involved. But there are ways to cope with the emotional effects of divorce, both short-term and long-term.