Dealing with Divorce: Taking Care of Yourself
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult and stressful things that can happen to a person. There are so many emotions to process that it just becomes confusing and overwhelming. With a divorce, especially if there are children, you will be dealing with love, hate, anger, and fear, among other things, and often you are dealing with them all at the same time.
The process of dealing with the divorce starts even before the process of the divorce itself.
Break up gracefully
This can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if the reason for the divorce includes any sort of abuse, whether emotional or physical. The direction the divorce takes can be determined by the first conversation. If the breakup starts off with a confrontation, then it will only get worse from there. Try your best to keep the conversations civil. Communicate all your reasons that you want to seek a divorce. If both people understand what the issues are and the divorce is a mutually agreed-upon step, then the chances of resentment and anger are diminished right from the start.
Take joint responsibility
This is a very difficult thing to do. The truth of the matter is that it takes two people for a marriage to succeed and it takes two people from marriage to fail. There are times where one spouse must shoulder most, if not all, of the blame. However, in most cases, responsibility can be placed at some level on both people. If this co-responsibility is realized and admitted even by one person, the process of divorce usually goes a little smoother.
Do not gossip about your spouse
Talking is good. You need your friends and family to be there for support. It is important not to turn the talk into gossip. There are things you learned and know about your spouse through your marriage, even at the end of the marriage, that trust should not be violated (unless of course, the behavior is illegal). Gossip will cause your spouse embarrassment and can lead to severe issues throughout the divorce and even afterward.
Focus on the basics
While you are going through the divorce, you still have your life to live, including taking care of your children, going to work and taking care of yourself. Get a good amount of sleep. Eat a healthy and regular diet. Go to the gym. If you keep yourself healthy, you will be able to deal with the stress much better.
Get support from friends and family
Basically, do not be a martyr. You will need the support of friends and family. They will listen to your problems and be there when you need them. You are not alone.
Get therapy or join a group
While it is vital to have the support of friends and family, they are not, nor should they be, objective. Speaking to a therapist is a great way to maintain perspective. For some people, one on one therapy is not the best thing. There are group sessions where you can listen to others, and share your own experiences, possibly helping others in the group. All of this is moderated by a professional therapist to give the proper guidance and perspective throughout the sessions.
Remember the big picture
You are going through a divorce, whether you initiated it or not, because there were issues with the marriage that you were not able to overcome. The goal of divorce is to put yourself in a better place. You cannot do that if you hold on to anger and resentment. Being a part of couple can be comforting and it is hard to end a long-term relationship. As we said, there are a whole variety of emotions at work. At the end of the process, you want to be in a better place. When you are feeling down or angry, remember that better place and it will be that much easier to get there.