Divorce can be one of the most stressful things in a person's life. Whether your marriage lasted just a few years or several decades, you need to adjust to a new life without your spouse. Granted, there is nothing you can do to completely forget about the pain, betrayal, disappointment, anger, or confusion you experienced during your divorce, but there are steps you can take to come out with your head held high., without losing an ounce of your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Learn how to overwork your divorce by taking care of yourself and your children, and planning carefully into the future.
Part 1 of 3: Take care of yourself
Step 1. Give yourself time to grieve
Even though the divorce process has taken several years, you may feel a new pain when you finally have it all worked out. Grieving after your divorce is completely normal - after all, this relationship was very important in your life.
- As in other similar situations, everyone grieve in their own way after the divorce. Only you can decide what your grief will look like or how long it will last.
- Grief can take many forms. Usually, people cry, isolate themselves from loved ones, or have a lack of interest in the outside world. Know that this is all normal.
Step 2. Surround yourself with supportive people
The people who support you may seem different from day to day: you might want to reach out to a friend just for fun, or join a support group to bond with others who have. lived this experience.
- Sometimes the best form of support is to distract yourself. At these times, it can help to have a good group of friends, as they will likely be more than happy to find an activity to do if all you need is a distraction.
- Support groups can be a great way to explore feelings of divorce. This is because these group meetings are usually held at a set start and end time, and allow members to manage their feelings during the sessions. If you don't want to discuss the situation with people, participating in support groups can also be a great way to set boundaries. You can kindly let them know that you are already going to a support group.
Step 3. Exercise and eat healthy
During the divorce, you may experience a variety of emotions, but not feeding yourself or being physically active will only make it worse. There are special steps involved in the divorce process as well, which is why you need to be at your best mental condition.
- Many people simply forget to eat when they are stressed or on the contrary, they eat too much to cover up their feelings. Try to remember to eat healthy so that you can focus on what you need to do to stay healthy.
- Eating well is also like avoiding consuming more alcohol or coffee to cover up emotions or not to sleep. Instead, you should tackle the underlying problem rather than taking drugs to cover up the truth.
Step 4. Release your stress
Make sure you have an outlet to relieve all the stress associated with the divorce. There are several ways to effectively manage stress. You can meditate, listen to soothing music, go to the spa for a massage, or play with your pet. If possible, take time every day to do something that relaxes you and relieves your stress.
Resorting to alcohol, drugs, or even overconsumption of caffeine is not a way to manage stress, but to make it worse
Step 5. See a therapist, if necessary
In the midst of a divorce, some people may stop eating, working and feeling helpless and fragile about the future. Depression is a frequent phenomenon during such an ordeal. A marriage or family therapy counselor can help you overcome and express your feelings while providing personalized support without judging yourself.
- The therapist can also clarify some practical details for you, such as how to discuss the situation with your children or when to start dating again.
- Your lawyer can refer you to a very good therapist who is used to working with people going through a divorce.
Part 2 of 3: projecting yourself into the future
Step 1. Decide whether to change jobs or find a job
If you are a stay-at-home mom, try to consider the types of arrangements that will allow you to support your family in the future.
Depending on the divorce contract, moving may or may not be an option. This is important to keep in mind if you are looking for a new job. Indeed, you might have to stay nearby
Step 2. Create a budget to keep track of your expenses
Even if you end up receiving child support, you still need to learn how to handle household expenses on your own.
- Keeping track of your spending will give you a little idea of what you might need to change or remove. Suddenly going from two incomes to one will have an impact on your disposable income.
- Miscalculating when budgeting can have repercussions far beyond the immediate. This is why it is very important to fully understand the process and your rights.
Step 3. Set goals with the SMART method
During a divorce, you need to think fully about the trajectory of your life. Set a few goals for yourself over the next few months and years. For example, you may want to consider buying a house or continuing your education. By following this method, your goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Take a slip of paper and write down the goals that meet these five criteria. Then find concrete steps that will get you there. Review your goals regularly to monitor your progress
Step 4. Find yourself a hobby
After living as a couple for a while, you may feel a bit lost if you suddenly have some free time. Taking up a new hobby is a way to explore a new activity and meet new people without the pressure of dating too soon.
- Finding a hobby is also a great way to distract yourself if you no longer have full-time care. This allows you to keep busy as you get used to the free time.
- Before you are even ready to commit to a new relationship, you need to take some time for yourself.
Step 5. Pursue your passions
With all of the responsibilities of marriage, chances are you've sacrificed some of your past passions. You may have always wanted to continue your education. Maybe you are passionate about cooking, but quickly lost the motivation to create complex recipes. Maybe you liked to read to sleep or practice a certain religion.
Think about a passion or hobby that you once practiced and consider trying it again. Divorce could be an opportunity for you to rediscover a long lost passion
Step 6. Take all your time before dating someone else
It's very likely that people will give you all kinds of advice on when to start a new relationship, but it's your personal feelings that matter most. Don't start flirting again until you've gotten over your divorce emotionally and mentally and are able to be a true partner in a new relationship. Here are some helpful tips.
- Don't give out a lot of information about yourself too early. Give a few details about yourself until you are sure the relationship will get you somewhere.
- Let go of your expectations and take the pressure off. Instead of looking for a long-term relationship, start off by simply flirting.
- Try to create an online profile. Flirting with someone on the Internet could take some of the nervousness and stress out of new dating relationships. However, be sure to use safe methods and protect yourself if you do decide to go for real dating.
Part 3 of 3: raising your children
Step 1. Tell them the news
Your children will handle the news better if they notice that you and your partner are involved in the decision to divorce, even if they are not. In addition, you will remain their parents, regardless of the outcome of the divorce.
Before you talk to your children, take some time together to decide how you will answer their questions about the reasons for your divorce. You both must have the same opinion and not put the blame on one or the other
Step 2. Encourage your children to ask questions
Children are often afraid of what their life will be like after divorce, so be prepared to answer several practice questions. Allow them to ask you any question, but also understand the fact that you probably won't get all the answers to their questions, and that's okay. They will probably want to know where they will be living in the future or if you are going to remarry. These questions are not easy to answer and you can tell them you don't know yet.
- If they're asking questions about the reasons for your divorce, you don't need to open your heart to them. Your children are by no means your support system, and do not need to know all the details of the situation.
- Even if you don't know where everyone will end up living, reassure them that they will be safe and that they will always have their parents by their side. Part of the reason children fear is safety. If they know you're on the same page, even if one of you moves, it might allay their fear.
- To support children through this process, you should also allow them to freely discuss the situation with you and with others if they need to. The feeling of having to keep this a secret can be very stressful for children. Let them know who else you are talking to so they can know which other adults to turn to when needed.
Step 3. Don't give them false hope
Set clear limits on who will live in the matrimonial home and on access.
- As the children digest the news, they should know what to expect. You need to make it clear to them what will happen after one of you moves and tell them what the future of your family will be. For example, the moving parent should not live in the matrimonial home, as this will send a mixed message.
- Of course, some couples are able to put the pieces back together, but that doesn't always happen. If you are trying to fix the situation, you shouldn't do it in front of the children, in case it doesn't work.
Step 4. Be friendly with your spouse
Yes, your marriage is coming to an end, but the two of you are still adults. Staying courteous with your future ex-spouse will make it easier to share parental responsibilities.
- Your kids may feel like you're stuck in the middle if they see one of you being angry with the other. They should know that they don't have to make a choice to “like” any of you. Also, it is not fair to say negative things to them about your spouse.
- During the transition, there might be times when things go wrong, but they should never get to the point where either of you reacts with anger or violence. From now on, your love affair is a thing of the past, but your spouse will always be the father of your children. Do not forget it.
- Neither you nor your spouse should ask the children to give details about the other's private life, such as whether they are dating another partner or other non-essential details. This information has nothing to do with children and it is none of your business.
Step 5. Attend family therapy
In fact, even after a divorce, you still remain a family because you have children. Knowing how to adapt well to the new dynamic or allow each member of the family to express their feelings is a great benefit of family therapy sessions.
- Your children need to understand that this is not the time to force you to be reconciled, but to move on with the new separation.
- Therapy sessions can be held in the presence of the whole family together or in groups depending on the issues that will be addressed.