Going through a divorce is a process that involves a change in virtually all aspects of your life. Coping with Divorce or Separation, a guide published by the federal government, highlights six types of change most individuals experience following a divorce, and it offers a variety of tips for coping with the psychological effects of the upheaval of a divorce.
Coping with Divorce or Separation
The six types of change highlighted in the guide are:
- Change in Identify
- Change in Finances
- Change in Family Structure
- Change in Relationships
- Change in Social Life
- Change in Responsibilities
As you prepare to go through a divorce, or as you begin the process of moving on from your married life, following these tips can help you cope with the various changes involved:
1. Acknowledge that Change Causes Stress
Experiencing stress during and after a divorce is common, and ignoring the symptoms of stress can make it more difficult to take positive steps toward moving on. Understanding that you are likely to experience stress, and knowing what you can to do manage your stress (including seeking professional help if necessary) can be important to your physical and emotional wellbeing.
2. Find Ways to Maintain (or Establish) Stability
“Maintaining stability can provide a sense of security and safety, which is beneficial to healing.” When making decisions during or after your divorce, and when working on structuring your post-divorce life, finding ways to maintain stability (or establish new stability) can assist you greatly with the process. This starts with making informed decisions about issues such as property division and child custody during your divorce and continues with financial, child-related, and other decisions after your marriage is over.
3. Prioritize and Set Realistic Expectations
When you are on your own, there is only so much you can handle at any one time. From preparing meals to planning work trips, “[o]ver-extending yourself may eventually lead to exhaustion and/or resentment. Taking time to think about your priorities and set realistic expectations can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
4. Focus on Constructive Problem Solving
Any time spent worrying about the future is time not spent on formulating an actionable plan. While it is natural to have an emotional response to your divorce, it is important not to let your emotions become paralyzing. Once again, seek professional help if you think you need it (or even if you aren’t sure), and start with small steps toward achieving your larger goals.
5. Seek Help from Friends and Family
From moving or reorganizing your home to avoiding feelings of isolation and loneliness, going through a divorce is a time when your friends and family are there to help. It never hurts to ask; and, while you may feel like you are imposing, the vast majority of the time your loved ones will be more than happy to lend a helping hand or reassuring voice.
6. Keep a Positive Outlook
Without downplaying the potential effects of divorce, it is also important to acknowledge that, in many ways, divorce offers a new lease on life. Although initial struggles are common, you will eventually feel comfortable moving on, and looking forward to a bright future can help you maintain the positivity you need to keep progressing and get through more challenging times.
7. Don’t Focus Solely on Your Divorce
While getting a divorce and dealing with the aftermath of a divorce can be time-consuming, it is important not to let your divorce take over your life. Whether you take a break for an hour or an entire weekend, exploring new interests, rekindling old relationships, and finding other ways to grow personally can provide a much-needed respite so that you feel reenergized in all aspects of your life.
Laubacher & Co. | Cleveland Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
Laubacher & Co. is a Cleveland divorce and family law firm that provides experienced representation for divorcing spouses throughout the Cleveland area. If you have questions or need help and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, you can call us at (440) 336-8687 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.