6 Strategies for Dealing with Divorce

Divorce not only signifies starting a new life for both the individuals but is also accompanied with a constellation of hurdles that are strategically placed once they embark on the journey towards single-hood. At the very bottom of the ladder lies the acceptance of ending a major relationship and fashioning new routines to cope with the new life style. Making matters worse are the legal complications that serve as a reminder, making volatile emotions arouse more often, worsening the pain of the unwelcome freedom.

Recognising the emotional instability

Every marriage comprises of a bond with the spouses that survives on feelings of mutual trust and affection. So filing a divorce can mean battling with feelings of hatred, disappointment and insecurity while simultaneously making way for changes that change your life drastically.

Every person seeks a happier existence when they muster the courage to separate paths. While they are together, both spouses develop an unconscious attachment to each other that becomes integrated in their personality as a habitual behaviour. Hence it is only natural for some of them to crack under the pressure of the emotional and social stress and develop symptoms of depression, aggressiveness or anxiety as a response to their internal turmoil.

Divorce is a package of unsettling emotions that don’t seem to heal long after the process is over. You could be anger over your partner’s insensitivity, betrayal or pride. Guilt over making the relationship take the wrong course because of wrong choices on your part may serve as being equally troubling.

More frequently a wave of grief over losing a major relationship makes the restorative course difficult. These emotions open the windows for psychological chaos such that depression and bitterness that can seem to dominate your personality.

Coping with the emotional instability

But it should always be remembered that painful as these emotions may seem, they are only natural responses to a life-altering situation. Therefore, it is essential to cope with the phase of separation in a gentle fashion. To makes the feelings easier to pass during divorce or relationship breakdown, the following measures may prove to be of assistance:

  1. Grieve: Grief is our body’s natural retaliation to tragedy. It is an instinctual internal course that mounts a multitude of emotions till the point where it eventually becomes irrelevant enough to give way for healing. Fighting grief is generally considered counterproductive. Responses may vary from feeling numbness in denial to outrageous anger, fear or vulnerability. The best way is to allow nature to take its course and let our body grieve till it accepts the loss. But people who find themselves a victim of grief for over a year should consider seeking the help of a professional therapist.
  2. Prioritise: Divorce might seem to immobilise your life momentarily. But it must always be remember that even in the midst of a turmoil of emotions, there will be chores to complete and jobs to be done. So don’t keep your bills pending or delay finding a new apartment just because you are in transition. Make a list of your chores and prioritise your responsibilities to adjust in your new life style. The simple act of checking duties off your list will help you establish self-control at tasks that you previously deemed unmanageable.
  3. Putting things away: Making simple attempts at moving on should be a part of your daily routine. Putting things away that act as painful reminders of your past should be removed from your daily encounters. As soon as you consider it practical, start living life like a single person. Old photographs and mementos may serve as pinching flashbacks and hence should be stacked away at the earliest opportunity. Start performing roles that were previously done by your ex-spouse like paying bills or cleaning the house. Pave a way for an independent future rather than glancing miserably back at your divorce.
  4. Sharing the emotional baggage: Pouring your heart out to trusted confidants has proven to work wonders at lessening your suffering. It is generally preferred if a few helpful friends and family members are taken into confidence before proceeding with the divorce. Support groups are another alternative to vent your anger and hurt. If you believe that you need professional help, a therapist or counsellor can help you deal with your fears and turmoil. Sharing enables you to face your feelings through expression and combat them. Finding someone who can offer comforting advice accelerates the process of healing.
  5. Maintain a journal: Sometimes the process of self-realising can be promoted by self-healing techniques like maintaining a personal diary, which will let you decipher your internal commotion so that your mind can deal with it. It allows an outlet for emotional upset so that you have a grip and perspective over the feelings that you express in writing. Furthermore, recognising how you cope with difficult situations everyday will give you a renewed self-confidence.
  6. Explore latent interests: Most people perceive divorce in a pessimistic light as one door shutting on you. They should infact realise that instead of wasting time adjusting to that closure, divorce opens several other doors that were previously unexplored. Finding your hobbies, indulging in social causes or spending time meeting your friends will help provide a useful distraction and make your life feel constructive. This way you feel like an explorer and decision maker rather than victim of a tragic situation. Developing new interests will also pull you in the present and remove your focus from the past.

Divorce is both a beginning and an ending. You have to recognise that you made a life changing decision to feel happier. Once this realisation sets in, it can be much smoother sailing after that and dealing with divorce becomes much easier.

Are you struggling with dealing with divorce or separation? If so, contact the Centre for Relationship Development to receive support at this difficult time.  We have offices in Sydney, Newtown, Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches and Nowra and Kiama on the NSW South Coast.


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