Simple tips for coping with separation and divorce.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I work with many parents experiencing break up, separation and divorce and here is a really helpful article from HelpGuide.org that offers many simple and straight forward ideas and strategies for healing from this very challenging and frightening time that I personally found helpful when I was going through my divorce.
I always tell my clients that divorce is a process not an event and that it is OK to feel that you are wading through treacle some days and feeling more empowered and hopeful in others.
It often feels like you take three steps forward and then one step back as getting used to the change of lifestyle is challenging as you experience loss, grief, anger, loneliness and eventually acceptance.
It’s never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split—and whether you wanted it or not—the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are plenty of things you can do to get through this difficult time and move on. You can even learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.
A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments. Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.
A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.
Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.
Here are some helpful suggestions for coping with separation and divorce.
- Recognise that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused—and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.
- Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive at your job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.
- Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.
If you would like to work with me creating your own personal and unique One Page Profile that is my very simple but empowering process towards supporting you through this major change just call me on 01342 833355 or email me at Sue@TheSueAtkins.com or please feel free to pass on my details to people you know who would find it helpful as we can look at what’s working and not working for you at the moment and help you feel more balanced, centred and hopeful.