How to Survive a Difficult Divorce


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No one sets out to marry someone with the intention of getting a divorce. The vows you took at the beginning of your marriage were true at the time, but life is unpredictable, and there is no point assigning blame when it comes to the disintegration of a relationship. For the fortunate few, divorce can be simple and relatively easy. However, when two people come to a point where they must untangle their intertwined lives, there is bound to be friction and difficulty. Here’s how you can survive your divorce and look to a brighter future.

Allow Yourself to Process Emotions

You can never accurately anticipate how you will feel when significant life events take place. While your relationship was in the early stages, you most likely never imagined what emotions you might feel during the separation process. Don’t judge yourself for how you feel during this time. You may be angry, heartbroken, relieved, jealous, or any combination of feelings. What matters is letting yourself experience these emotions without forcing them down or expressing them in harmful ways. Acknowledge how you feel, and don’t be ashamed, even if you aren’t sure why you feel a particular way.

Plan for Your Children

If you and your ex-partner have children together, this can complicate a separation much more than divorce between couples without children. While you are managing the emotions of splitting from a partner, your kids will be struggling with the new reality that your divorce brings. Look into California child custody to find out how your children should be cared for going forward. No two divorces are identical and custody depends on a number of factors. The key is to put your kids’ needs first and prepare yourself with the right legal advice.

Find a New Routine That Works for You

Whether your marriage was happy or unhappy for the most part, you will have had a routine with your partner. Now that you are separating, this loss of routine can be one of the biggest and hardest adjustments to make. Settling into a new routine doesn’t happen overnight, and expecting it to can cause more distress. Instead of rushing yourself, set a goal to find a new structure for your routine one day at a time. This might look like finding somewhere you like to exercise or arranging to meet up with friends once a week after work. Carving out time for a deliberate new routine rather than unintentionally falling into one will give you a greater sense of control when other aspects of your life feel uncontrollable.

Focus on Managing Your Own Reactions

Depending on how your ex behaves, you may find yourself in situations where you need to be extra mindful of your reactions. On the occasions when you have you meet with your ex in order to discuss the divorce or other separation details, set the intention to react in a measured, reasonable way. Even if your ex becomes angry or upset, remember to respond in a productive and respectful manner.

Ask for Support from Loved Ones

Any kind of breakup can be a lonely period in a person’s life. If your marriage contributed to you feeling isolated from other people who care about you, now is the time to reach out and reconnect. Even if you remained close to loved ones throughout your marriage, it is still valuable to spend time with friends and family. They will help you take your mind off the separation and provide comfort.

Talk to a Professional Therapist

You may not want to burden your loved ones with all the details of your divorce, which is why going to a professional therapist could be the answer. Some therapists specifically focus on helping people who are in the middle of separation since there are unique emotions to explore and resolve. A therapist can offer a space where you feel safe to discuss everything about your current experience, from your divorce to your plans for healing.

Think Practically

Although most of the difficulty involved in getting divorced comes from the emotional turmoil, there are practical considerations that can get in the way of a smooth separation. You will need to think about where you will live and how to support yourself without any additional income your partner may have provided.

Rise Above Arguments

Not every ex will necessarily feel like starting arguments with you during the divorce, but should you find yourself in a situation where your ex wants to argue, choose to remove yourself until they are ready to talk calmly. There can be a temporary sensation of catharsis while arguing about blame and guilt in a separation, but if you want a productive outcome, then wait until your ex is ready for a civil discussion.

Consider Mediation

Sometimes you will never reach a point where your ex-partner is willing to talk to you calmly or productively. If this is the case, you can arrange for a professional mediator to help you share information without the discussion escalating into an argument. This is an unbiased individual who will make sure that all sides are heard fairly.

Don’t Dwell on the Past

You may be happy to part ways or you may be devastated. Either way, ending a marriage can cause a person to ruminate on the relationship in an unhealthy way. There is a difference between remembering and obsessing. If you find yourself thinking too much about what you could have done differently while you were together or how badly they treated you, interrupt this thought pattern and let it go. Return your attention to the present moment so that you can concentrate on building yourself a better future.

It’s normal to experience ups and downs throughout the process of getting a divorce. Splitting from a partner under any circumstances is unpleasant, even when it’s the right decision. It makes sense that you would need to step back and evaluate the situation you’re in to decide your next path. With the above advice, you will be better able to confidently make decisions that help you heal and live a happier life.

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