There’s no telling exactly what kind of a divorce experience you’ll have, but chances are that it’s going to be pretty difficult to bear in the early stages. You need to be in touch with your feelings and come to terms with the intense emotions and mood swings you may through.
If you can get through the first few months of divorce, the rest is much easier.
These five tips will help you survive your first few months of divorce.
1. Keep Yourself Busy
One of the worst things you can do after divorce is wallow. You will likely be upset and wish that the circumstances were different. But the more you shirk responsibility, the harder it will be to actually confront reality. To keep this from happening, you need to be strict with yourself. Make a list of things that you need to get done. This can include daily responsibilities like going to work and preparing meals. It should also include things that you’ve been putting off, such as any home repair projects.
When negative emotions do arise, don’t try to bottle them in or treat them with alcohol. Find creative and healthy ways to express yourself, such as making art. You might have days when you need to close yourself off from the world and regroup. Whatever lets you push through this difficult time without leading to further problems is an acceptable coping mechanism.
2. Work on a Divorce Agreement
Not all marriages end acrimoniously. Many couples are able to dissolve their unions with respect – if not affection – for each other. However, no matter what your feelings are towards your former spouse, you need to discuss the terms of your divorce as soon as possible. Having a prenuptial agreement helps. If you and your ex didn’t sign one, go over your desires with your lawyer and make them known to your ex. You should be relatively flexible as there will need to be some negotiation on both ends. If you have children, you need to work on a custody agreement. Child custody attorneys can help you decide on the best plan for you and your children.
3. Join a Support Group
Despite how common divorce is, it may seem like you’re the only person who’s currently experiencing it. People tend to not broadcast their divorce, but you should know that there are people all around you who are going through the same thing as you. To help you heal, look for a divorce support group. These are accommodating environments for anyone whose marriage has ended. You can listen to others share their stories and share yours if/when you feel comfortable. You’ll hopefully have some revelations about what you’re going through, and you can trust that you’ll be embraced and understood.
4. Find a New Environment
You’re going to encounter all sorts of reminders of your marriage and/or your ex during the first few months of divorce. It could range from eating a certain food you used to enjoy together or hearing a song you have a strong emotional attachment to at the doctor’s office. You can’t run away from your feelings, but a change of scenery can at least give you a chance to occupy your mind with something else. Getting out of your current environment, even for a couple of days, can reinvigorate you.
If you live in a particularly small town or know that you just can’t feel comfortable in your regular setting, you may choose to strike out for a new place to live. Before you decide to move to a new region, understand that you can’t just expect a change of scenery to mend things for you. You need to be truthful with yourself about any habits you need to break and ones you need to adopt in order to be happy.
5. Do What’s Best For You
Your heart may feel broken after a divorce, but you still need to listen to it. When you’re questioning if a decision is right or wrong, don’t rely solely on what others suggest. It’s great to get various viewpoints, but you shouldn’t take what worked for one person as gospel that it’ll work just the same for you. For example, if you’re wondering about dating again, some people might say that you should completely avoid it, while others might say that it’s okay to do on a casual basis. You should never do anything you don’t want to just because you think it’ll make you more accepted. You need to take care of yourself throughout this process by valuing what you want. How your life goes is ultimately up to you.
The first few months of divorce don’t have to greeted with a smile, but you should accept when a chapter of your life has ended. Just because your marriage wasn’t meant to last, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You can create a sterling life for yourself no matter what your marital status is. Make your way gradually through your post-divorce life and keep yourself in your heart.
Paisley Hansen is a single mother, an avid traveler, and an experienced writer. When she is not traveling or writing she enjoys hiking with her two boys.