Coping with Divorce for Positive Outcomes
Divorce itself is not bad! How we interpret it and how it plays out in our lives is what makes it worse. It is important to start by coping with divorce itself. When we hear the word “divorce” we tend to have visions of tears, heartache, fighting, financial loss and children suffering.
Decades ago, only a small percentage of the population was getting divorced and we had no problem compartmentalizing them into a small unlikely group of parents and kids. Them vs. us! “What goes on behind closed doors is not our problem” was a common belief. We were quick to label this unfortunate group and their children in derogatory ways. We even went as far as to blame bad behaviour on “the broken home.”
Thank goodness we are avoiding many of these clichés today, but we still have a long way to go. Let’s start by changing how we “cope with divorce” to “how we can embrace the lessons of divorce.”
Let’s start here. Instead of letting divorce define you, use the lessons you learn to make you stronger and more resilient. Use the time during the divorce to reflect on changes you would like to make in yourself and your own life.
Then, understand that divorce is neutral, not bad. It was likely due to an incompatibility rather than things that should define you. By changing your perspective, you can focus on understanding the breakdown and making changes that might be needed for building future, healthy relationships.
Lastly, instead of treating divorce as a lifetime legacy, understand that it is only one experience in your life. You have many other positive experiences in your life. So don’t let your divorce overshadow all of the things that have and will continue to go right.
Tips for Coping with Divorce
There are more than a few ways that you can help with the process of coping with divorce. It is important that you know these methods as divorce can be one of the most trying situations that anyone will go through.
Though these tips are by no means a guarantee, they have helped more than a few people get through. Here are some of the most helpful tips for coping with divorce.
Taking Care of Yourself is Important for Coping with Divorce
It can be all too easy to forget about yourself when going through divorce. When children are involved, it can feel like they are the only ones that matter. While it is important to give them the love and affection that they need, it is also important to care for yourself.
Give yourself a break. You are allowed to function and feel less than 100% during this time. Sometimes, you may not be as productive as you want to be. No one is superhuman. You need time to re-energize and regroup.
Give yourself physical and emotional care. Far too often, someone going through divorce will neglect their own needs. They eat poorly, sleep even worse, and fall into a pit of bad decisions. Those decisions leave them feeling worn physically and emotionally.
Avoid things like drugs and alcohol. Try to eat healthy when time and energy permit. Try to avoid changes in your life or making any major decisions, if possible. Most importantly, give yourself time to relax and gather yourself.
Don’t Go It Alone
When a marriage ends, it can feel like the world is crumbling around you. That feeling is all too common but it is important to not succumb to those feelings. Having your friends and family there to support you and to hear you when you need them, is crucial.
When isolation creeps in, it can reduce concentration, raise stress levels, and impact every aspect of your life. If need be, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. It is a dark time in life and all too easy to fall into a dark place mentally.
Where possible, it is also important to avoid power struggles. Remember, this is a hard time not only for you, but your former spouse as well. With kids involved, a relationship is going to be there whether you like it or not.
While it is important to fight for the things important to you, going to war will only harm you both. If things turn ugly, calmly suggest talking later or just walk away.
Coping With Divorce is Unique to Us All
By changing how you think about it, coping with divorce can be easier on you and your family. That’s not to say it will be easy, but it will at least be manageable. Then you can focus on what the future holds and how to best move on with your life.
More importantly, you can put a focus on your kids (if applicable) and how to ensure that their lives are impacted as little as possible.