Handling a divorce is no easy task. Here are five healthy strategies that could help you with your divorce situation:
It’s true that grieving is typically associated with the idea of death. In reality, grieving is a result of loss. And the loss could be anything, a job, a loved one or a relationship. Hence, it is natural for you to feel denial, sadness and anger and these are common reactions to loss.
Most people tend to feel resentful towards their partner and may fear building new relationships for a long period of time. These responses are absolutely normal and you shouldn’t feel threatened if you are confronted with them.
In short, give yourself the permission to feel the loss of your relationship.
This may sound bizarre, but it could help you deal with the messy situation effectively. It is important to know that the divorce does not define who you are. It would be incorrect to take the entire blame of the relationship failure. The society has conditioned you to think that divorce is a ‘bad thing’. Hence it is natural for you to experience feelings of low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness while going through a divorce. Psychologists suggest that it might be a good idea to avoid the negative thoughts associated with divorce and focus on the positive aspects instead, for example look forward to a fresh start in your own life or look forward to a healthier upbringing for your children.
It is best not to isolate yourself in a divorce situation. Make an effort to connect with your family and close friends whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed. You could also consider meeting a therapist or counselor in order to get help in processing your feelings and emotions. Group therapy is another healthy alternative for emotional healing in divorce.
Therapy, whether personal or group, provides you with a non-judgmental space to share about your thoughts and feelings related to the divorce.
If you have kids with your spouse, then it is important to help them get through the messy situation too. Tell them that it is okay to feel angry and/or sad. Avoid forcing yourself or them to be cheerful all of the time. At the same time, ensure that you express sorrow in a way that is appropriate for the age of your children. Avoid sharing too many intimate things with a younger child; you can be as free as you want with a close friend or therapist.
Any creative activity will help divert your focus from the divorce for a while. There is no point in absorbing yourself in the process. Instead, you can look for a creative escape by taking up some form of art, music or writing. Creative hobbies, like physical exercise, help redirect your negative energy and allow you to experience peace and calm, at least for a while.
By engaging in a creative activity, you will be in a better position to control your frustration or anger, especially in places such as the court and in front of your ex-spouse. If you’re unable to find a suitable channel of creativity, try writing or journaling.