Coping with Separation and Divorce
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Coping with Separation and Divorce
Regardless of the cause of the ending of your marriage, you are likely experiencing a range of feelings and thoughts, which are often referred to as the “divorce roller-coaster.” One day you may be angry and full of fear; the next day you may feel sad and guilty – and probably everything in between!
How you handle this life challenge, and its emotional roller coaster, is critical to maintaining good mental and physical health. Yes, divorce can steal those things from you – but only if you let it.
Refuse to become the victim and instead take control! This approach will enable you to withstand the “lows” of the ride. You’ll also find it easier to let go of the anger and bitterness as you move on to the healing portion of your journey. Many people, including myself have gone through this journey and felt the same way you do today. But we can promise you that there is light and a new life at the end of the tunnel.
So, how do you weather the storm?
For all those couples that are going through this very painful process, there is hope! Here are a few tips that may be of some help. Try to stay focused on being the best you can be during this challenging time.
Knowledge is important. When we enter relationships, we never expect to end up in “this” situation! Most people don’t know what to do once they have made the decision to end the marriage. It is important to become reasonably educated with regards to all the issues, including but not limited to: your legal rights, your financial situation, and on how to empower yourself and your children. Learning will build your confidence and take away some of the fear, which can be a major roadblock. Remember that most “fears” never manifest.
Find a confidante. Find a friend or relative who you can vent to and confide in. If that person has experienced their own separation and divorce, they will fully understand what you are going through.
Professional help. Counselling is a smart and effective way to deal with your emotions. A counsellor can help you get back on track and make you feel strong and confident about your future. Perhaps you may want to consult with your medical practitioner as well.
Maintain your health. Eating properly and getting enough sleep are very important during this period because your immune system will be under attack from the severe stress that you are experiencing. Remember if you have children, they need you now more than ever. By taking care of yourself, you will be better equipped to support them.
Exercise. Walking, running, going to the gym – any physical activity goes a long way in helping you cope, as well as getting a good night’s sleep. We know that with exercise we release endorphins and this has a positive effect on our state of mind.
The children. Keep them as far as possible from the process you and your spouse are going through. Most importantly, don’t make them feel that they are the reason the relationship has failed. Reassure them that even though mom and dad are not living together, they are still loved. Try to keep structure and routine in their lives.
Sharing with you my personal perspective. I tried to always acknowledge my fears and understand them. By recognizing what I was truly afraid of, I was then able to make a plan to help myself move forward. One step at a time, one minute at a time if that’s all I could do. By owning my fears and helping myself, I gained self-confidence to face whatever obstacles I felt were ahead of me.
New and old coping methods. Support groups and organizations can be a great source of strength and hope. There are also many helpful books and a visit to the bookstore or library always feels good. You can visit our website at FairwayDivorce.com to view Our Recommended Reading.
You deserve happiness! No one was put on this earth to be sad – including you. You deserve happiness and it’s up to you to believe that you will achieve it.
Getting off that “divorce roller coaster” can be a difficult thing to do, but you will succeed with help, perseverance and holding on to hope.
An unknown author once wrote:
When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’