Whether you decided to get a divorce or your spouse made the first move, it’s only natural to experience many emotions about the end of your marriage. This is true even if things between you and your spouse were pretty rough for an extended period of time. When you lose that type of intimate relationship–even one that was flawed beyond the point of repair–it’s almost like a type of death. Just as you would grieve the loss of a loved one, you may find yourself experiencing a measure of grief over your divorce.
Although you cannot stop yourself from experiencing emotions such as anger, sadness and emptiness after your split, you can work through these emotions and get to a place where you are emotionally ready to move into your post-divorce life. If you find yourself in the grasp of divorce “grief,” here are five ways to get yourself through it.
Give Yourself Some Breaks
A divorce can easily consume your entire life if you let it. There are attorney meetings, court meetings, paperwork to gather, paperwork to file, and many other small and large tasks to handle during the divorce process. Even if you are not doing something directly related to the divorce, you may find yourself thinking about it.
Allow yourself a break from the divorce from time to time so you can relax for a moment. Do enjoyable things that have nothing to do with your divorce to take your mind off things. If you don’t know what to do for your breaks, think outside of your normal routine. Now is the time to try whatever hobby or activity it is that you have always wanted to try, for example.
Be Honest and Open About Your Feelings and Your Needs
It can be tempting to clam up and shoulder your divorce in silence, but this often does more harm than good. Lean on your family and friends for support, and be honest about what you need from them and what you are feeling right now.
Keep Track of What You Are Feeling
This may sound odd, but it can be easier to manage emotions once you’ve identified them. Keep a journal and describe what you are experiencing. Even the action of putting your feelings into words can have a calming effect.
Get Professional Help
You may want to work with a therapist or counselor during this time to help you process your feelings. An impartial third party can also be helpful if you find you are struggling to share things with family members and friends. In addition, a professional can assist you with processing those emotions in healthy ways.
Start Your Post-Divorce Life
Even if you are not divorced yet, you can begin to work on your new life that you will have after your divorce. Don’t be afraid to try some new things and shift your focus to whatever makes you truly happy. In the past, your energy may have been focused on making you and your spouse happy, but now you are in the driver’s seat.
It’s very likely you never planned on going through a divorce when you got married, but life sometimes has other plans. You can’t fully control what happens in your divorce or the feelings you are having as a result, but you do have some control over your own reactions to these things. While experiencing a measure of grief is never fun, a healthy grieving process during your divorce can help you heal and move on with your life.