6 Tips to Survive Emotionally in Divorce
6 Tips to Survive Emotionally in Divorce
Believe it or not, some divorces end amicably. Some couples accept that the relationship was flawed and do their best to move forward with a semblance of peace and understanding. Unfortunately, not all divorces are the same. Emotionally in divorce, tensions can run high, things can get nasty, and it can take a major toll on not just your bank account, but your psyche as well.
The physical divorce, even the most amicable ones, will carry an emotional toll. There are different portions of the process that can carry more emotional weight than others. And while there is no way to truly prepare for what’s to come emotionally in divorce, there are things that can be done to help navigate the course.
Long, vicious, nasty divorces can be avoided even if both spouses seemingly hate one another. Emotional attachments, particularly in a marriage, can be very powerful. A marriage is supposed to be about a deep spiritual connection and often means the fostering of dependence.
Couples become attached to one another of the course of the marriage. These attachments are normal, but the deeper seeded they are, the more damage they can do when the divorce happens. There are things that can be done to ease the process, making it easier to emotionally handle the breakup.
Asking Yourself the Right Questions to Survive Emotionally in Divorce
Before you can move forward with your divorce, there are a few things that you should ask yourself. These questions will not only give you a better understanding of the divorce and why it must happen but will help you better understand yourself and your emotions as well.
There are four crucial questions to ask yourself when it comes to getting a divorce:
- What might be preventing me from divorcing emotionally?
- What emotional attachments might there still be when it comes to my ex?
- Are there any emotions that my ex may trigger within me?
- If any, what things will I miss the most about the connection I shared with my ex?
The goal long-term emotionally in divorce is to eventually foster a sense of detachment. That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about that person. It certainly doesn’t mean simply forgetting everything that has ever happened between the two of you.
All it means is that you are neutral and can respond without becoming emotionally overwhelmed with negativity. Negativity in a divorce can be the most damaging thing of all, dragging down both you and your ex.
It is normal to feel a litany of emotions in divorce, but the interactions that you have with your ex may not seem so volatile or potent. By detaching, you are showing that you accept what is to come as well as the reality of the divorce. Those are two essentials when it comes to moving on emotionally in a divorce.
Steps to Take for Surviving Emotionally in a Divorce
No matter how detached you may feel, the divorce will take a toll on you emotionally. That is okay and is completely normal. But succumbing to those emotions, getting lost in negative thoughts and feelings, can leave a person struggling immensely even when the divorce has been finalized.
Understanding a few important keys can help you move toward detachment and help you survive emotionally in divorce. When you come out of the tunnel of divorce, you will then be better prepared to move on with your life.
Those trapped in an emotional state that is brought on by divorce require extra time to come out of it. Harboring negative thoughts and emotions, hanging onto them for years, means that you cannot truly begin the process of moving forward.
And if you hope to have a successful, happy life in the wake of divorce – with personal and relationship success – then you need to have moved forward emotionally. Here are six tips that you can use to move towards detachment in your divorce.
#1 Focus on the Present
The thing about divorce is that it can have time-travel properties, at least emotionally and mentally. Both parties tend to put an increased focus on the past in particular. What could have been done differently? Where did it all go wrong? How did I end up in this position.
These are all common questions that divorcees ask. And they are also the kinds of questions that lead to dwelling on a relationship that has been over for some time. That is why it is so important to bring yourself back into the present.
The present is where you are, like it or not. Thinking about the past, dwelling on it and wonder what could have been done differently means failing to move forward. It means failing to grow emotionally and mentally. It means getting stuck in place.
By focusing on the here and now, you put perspective on the things that you want to be going forward, not what you might have been back then. It is certainly healthy to want to recognize the mistakes of the past and learn from them, but there is a fine line between that and living in the past.
Consider your situation currently. Try to glean the lessons that the present offers, taking them with you into new relationships in the future.
#2 To Survive Emotionally in Divorce, Don’t Engage in Old Dynamics
One of the most common pitfalls that divorcing couples experience is falling into old interactions and dynamics. What we know best can be comforting, but it can also be majorly detrimental. What might feel like muscle memory can actually drag you down and keep you from detachment and moving on with your life.
In a particularly nasty divorce, couples respond to one another when emotions run high. When emotions run high, things get said that should not have, feelings get hurt, and the result is digging in heels deeper and deeper.
While it might feel like you are saying something that needs to be said, take a moment and stop. Think about the consequences of what you have to say. If it doesn’t have a positive impact, hold it right there.
Stop, collect yourself, and revisit the conversation later when heads are clearer. Perhaps the information or opinion that you had in the heat of the moment has taken on a drastically different shape in the time it took to cool down.
Divorce tends to bring out the worst emotionally in people. Falling into those similar pitfalls and situations with your ex may seem like the obvious answer. But taking the time, exercising patience, and responding with a clear head can make divorcing far less of a vicious fight than it has to be.
Everything can wait. It all has a time and place. Battling it out in the heat of the moment is rarely a good idea and, in most cases, will simply prolong an already expensive and emotional process.
#3 To Survive Emotionally in Divorce, Don’t Fall Prey to Triggers
When you are married to someone, they are in the unique position of being able to make you happier than anyone else can. On the other side of that coin, they can also upset you like no other person out there possibly could.
Divorcing couples (hell, couples in general) have triggers for one another. There are things that they will say and do that set us off like no other. The most frustrating part is that those triggers are typically quite obvious and avoidable, but we consistently fall for them anyway.
This plays into not falling into the same dynamic that you once had with your ex. When they say something that would normally trigger you, try walking away or hanging up the phone. Doing so gives you a chance to take a deep breath. Reconsider the situation without the emotional fuel behind it.
It isn’t always easy to implement this practice. As a matter of fact, it might feel instinctual to simply battle it out and let the chips fall where they may. In the moment, that can even feel cathartic. But it rarely leaves either party feeling emotionally fulfilled when the fight is over.
Take a breath and approach the situation later when your head is clearer. Don’t let the emotions of the moment fog your decision-making. You may really want to say that one nasty thing you’ve been thinking about in the moment, but it could wind up making your divorce all the more emotionally and financially costly.
#4 Find Other Means of Emotional Support Emotionally in Divorce
Moving on emotionally can feel so difficult because of the dependence that you feel for your soon-to-be-ex. Prior to the degradation of the marriage, it was commonplace to turn to them for any of the issues that you experienced.
But when the marriage breaks down and the divorce begins to unfold, that emotional support is gone. It can be all too easy to feel like there is no one that you can talk to, that you can lean on, when you need emotional support.
That is why it is key to find a different method of emotional support. It could be a friend, a family member, or even a professional therapist. It really depends on your situation. Even having close friends and family available, you may not want to discuss the details of the divorce for fear of judgement and embarrassment.
Even if you are not currently in a divorce, finding alternate methods of emotional support is important. The more resources you have in a time of need, the less dependence you will have on any one of those. When you have one source of emotional support, it can almost feel like a power over you.
By breaking away from that habitual emotional dependence, you can begin detaching. It may not be easy to find a source of emotional dependence, but it is key to have that support system. No one goes through the process of divorce successfully by themselves and you won’t be any different.
#5 It Is Important to Learn About Healthy Relationship Dynamics
Just because people get married does not mean that their relationship is a healthy one. People get married for the wrong reasons all the time. Besides that, the divorce rate has been hovering around 50% for decades now, so it is clear that a lot of people aren’t aware of healthy relationship dynamics.
Difficult as it may be, it helps to take a step back and get a wider, broader perspective on the relationship that you and your ex shared. When you are in the thick of divorce, chances are that you are not seeing things as clearly as you could or should.
By stepping back and seeing things on a wider level, you can look at the things in your relationship that both worked and didn’t. You can find the things that maybe weren’t quite as healthy for a quality relationship as you once thought.
This is by no means meant to pick apart and criticize that marriage. It is more of a tool for having future relationships. After all, how can one expect to learn and grow in the future if they cannot see the mistakes of the past?
It may take a lot of searching and a whole lot more being honest with yourself. The last part can be tricky. We rarely want to accept the faults in ourselves and our relationships. We mask those unhealthy aspects and simply pretending that they never existed.
Take a truly honest look at the relationship. You can arm yourself with the necessary information to have more successful relationships in the future.
#6 Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Leap
Make no mistake about it, there is not necessarily a need to burn it all down and start again. There were likely good things in your divorce, otherwise you would have never gotten married to begin with. But those positives were greatly outweighed by the negatives.
It is also far too easy to fall into the routines and familiarities of that relationship. Even with as unhappy as it made the both of you, it was familiar and familiarity can feel comforting regardless of the circumstances that surround it.
While going through a divorce, don’t be afraid to take a leap emotionally. Get involved in things that you may have been avoiding because of the relationship. Try to meet new people and try new things. See if there is something that you can really grasp onto and enjoy.
Even the smallest, most trivial of activities can play a positive emotional impact. Don’t stay the same. Don’t keep all the same activities, hobbies, and friends. You just set your future up to look much the same as the past did.
It can be as big or small a leap as you choose. Change up a haircut or make some changes to your wardrobe. Work out more often. Try to develop new friendships in circles that you may not have ventured before. You can even switch to a career that you have always been dreaming of.
Divorce isn’t meant to be about the past. It is meant to be about the future. Moving forward can be different for everyone. Trying new things can help foster that sense of change and make the drive to move forward more successful.
Fairway Can Help You Survive Emotionally in Divorce
Part of what makes the divorce process so difficult is that it traditionally fosters conflict. Instead of both parties working toward an amicable compromise, divorce lawyers can foster negativity and fighting rather than solution.
Fairway Divorce aims to change that process. Our unique divorce mediation services are here to deliver resolution, not conflict. It is meant to better the process of divorce. Both sides should be able to move on with as much of their sanity and finances left intact as possible.
We work with you to come to a resolution that works for both parties. Traditional divorce often leads to emotion and financial destitution. Surely, there has to be a better way. With Fairway Divorce, there is.
If you are going through the early stages of a divorce, things can feel murky. If you have far more questions than answers, contacting us can be a helpful first step. A consultation can give you a better idea of what lay ahead and how it can impact your future.
Moreover, it is an opportunity to move on with your life in a far more peaceful, productive manner. Don’t get bogged down in the nastiness of traditional divorce. With mediation, you can put an emphasis on moving forward, not looking backward.