Marriage is an emotional, physical, and financial commitment that we make to a person that is supposed to last forever.  The dissolution of a marriage, divorce, is like a death.  It is as emotionally devastating as the death of a parent. It is the death of your relationship. In coping with divorce, you should treat the divorce emotionally the same way you would grieve for someone who died.

  • Consider counseling if you feel you need help with the emotional aspects of divorce and the changes it will bring to your life;
  • Consider a support group for yourself and your children if you are the parent who has custody;
  • Be careful about making major decisions immediately after the divorce or separation;
  • Take care of yourself, do little things to pamper yourself;
  • Do not be afraid to feel badly.  Some depression is normal—but be careful not to share your negative feelings with your children.  You should seek professional help if you feel it is getting out of control;
  • Avoid over indulging in drugs, alcohol, or food;
  • Take the time to accept your part in what caused your relationship to fail.  It is rare for one person to be solely at fault in a divorce.  Forgive yourself and work on forgiving your spouse.  Trying to take some of the anger out of the situation will help you deal with details that have to be taken care of in finalizing a divorce.

Although coping with divorce is devastating, not all aspects of a divorce have to be negative.  Consider the divorce as an opportunity to rediscover yourself.  Take time to do things that you may have enjoyed doing but stopped doing because your spouse did not enjoy them.  Reconnect with friends you have not seen or heard from in a while because your spouse did not like them.  Find new friendships.  Divorce is not just an ending it is a beginning.  Accept mistakes you made learn from them and then move on.

As trite as it sounds, all things do get better with time.  It is hard to believe when you are going through the anger and disappointment of divorce.  It is difficult getting used to being alone again or being afraid that you will always be alone.  One day when you are doing some routine task, you will realize that you are happier now then you were when you were living in a dying relationship.  No one wants a divorce, but it is better than an unhappy marriage.


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