Divorce is painful, no matter the circumstances. How to cope with divorce can be hard to figure out. Many people stay in the marriage and try and make it work despite their differences, whether it’s by making the best of it or beginning marriage counseling. Some wait too long for marriage counseling and divorce is the only resort. Here are some tips on how to cope with divorce and get your life back on track after a divorce.
Know that it is not supposed to be easy to cope with divorce
Dealing with a divorce is tough. You don’t just have to deal with a wide range of emotions like frustration, anger and sadness, but you also have to face the anxiety of stepping into the unknown. Don’t try and brush it aside, or try to distract yourself with something else, face the emotions; feel them. As you allow yourself to feel the pain of the anxiety, anger, and sadness, it will slowly lessen. With time, you will see that these emotions won’t be as strong anymore.
Reach out to your support system
One of the toughest things about a divorce is that you feel like your support system has come crashing down. Your spouse may have been your primary support, your friend, your confidante; now you feel as if you are all alone. Or maybe with your spouse gone it just seems quiet and lonely. Reach out to your closest friends and family members, and build your support system again; with love and communication in your life again, you will begin to feel stronger to cope with divorce.
Of course, not everyone needs the same type of support system or the same supports for communication and friendships. Evaluate how you usually cope with crisis situations to understand whether you need the assistance of loved ones, friends, or even new activities and interests. Beware of the tendency to try to handle things all on your own. Even if you haven’t spoken with your friends in a long time, most will be there for you if you reach for help.
Men, in particular, find it difficult to talk about their feelings after a divorce. Of course, we’re not saying you need to have lengthy emotional talks with your support system. Even something as simple as catching up with your friends for a pizza or poker night, can make you feel better.
Take good care of yourself
Do not allow the pain and struggle of divorce to prevent you from taking care of yourself. Don’t stop treating yourself right. Don’t isolate. Get a routine in place. Perhaps you have a routine built around the life that you were spending with your ex, and you don’t want to get back to your routine because it reminds you of him or her.
Start a new routine and stick to it. Make sure you eat healthy, exercise, and relax every day; do all this moderately without overdoing it. Alcohol, cigarettes or drugs are not effective divorce coping mechanisms—they are just temporary distractions that you will grow heavily dependent on in the long run.
Reconnect with yourself and your individuality. Develop new interests and hobbies, and meet new people. You’ll start seeing that there is more to life, and to yourself. Individual counseling can help. You are more than just someone’s wife or husband, more than a person who is divorced; you are a full and complete individual, capable of thriving.
Novus Relationship Counseling Center has offices that are convenient to most areas of Orange County, including Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Orange, and Fullerton. Locations are easily accessible from South Orange County, North Orange County, and Central Orange County.