Divorce is always complicated — not only is the process complicated, but chances are, the emotions you are feeling are equally as complicated. Regardless of what the circumstances are, it is common for those who are going through the process of divorce to be forced to deal with a range of emotions. Anger, sadness, confusion, worry are all normal feelings, and you may be feeling other emotions too, which you may not understand.
While you are naturally concerned about your children, your own emotional well-being is also a factor which must be considered during this stressful time. You are not the only person who has ever had to fight back against the mixed feelings you have — regardless of how rocky or stable you believed your marriage was, divorce is a closing of one chapter of your life and a movement into an unknown chapter. There are some ways which could help you deal with your own emotional well-being which may help you see the broader picture and help you move into the future with the confidence you need to succeed.
Accept Your Emotions as Normal
The first step in dealing with your emotional well-being is understanding the wide range of emotions you are experiencing are perfectly normal. No matter how challenging a relationship is, the ending of that relationship is also tied to several emotions. Divorce is no different. Be kind to yourself, your emotions will settle down over time. Until they do, pay attention to each emotion and work your way through them to help your emotional well-being.
Find a Trusted Sounding Board
There is probably one or two people in your life who you feel are quietly berating you and that can complicate your emotions as well as your relationships with others. Find a trusted confidant: It may be a friend, sibling, or parent who allows you to talk about your feelings, and the range of emotions you are going through. If there is no such person in your life you trust enough to listen without judging, you may wish to consider seeking a professional who can help you work through the often-competing emotions you are trying to deal with.
Make Use of a Support Team
Your legal team, your medical team, trusted friends, and family — each of these groups will have a role to play in helping you through the complicated divorce process. It is important to remember your life going forward is going to change — you may lose some friends in the aftermath of a divorce, your financial picture will be different, and you may be living someplace else. Do not be afraid to reach out to members of your support team when you are feeling frustrated, angry, or attempting to deal with what feels like constant roadblocks. That is what they are there for.
Create and Allow Yourself “ME” Time
Many times, when a person is going through a divorce, they bury themselves in their children’s activities, work, or other distractions. While this may be effective for a short period of time, you need to make some time you can call your own. Find some activity which helps you relax and refresh yourself — whether it is exercising, shopping, a hobby, or time out with your friends — create that period of time on a regular basis so you can find your own footing. You need this time for yourself because you want to make sure you are able to move on with your life without feeling resentment over your circumstances. One way to do this is to make sure you have carved out that time for yourself regularly.
Do Not Be Afraid of Self-Reflection
Some people will tell you that your best option is to walk away from your former spouse and move forward — that you will get over the situation faster if you simply do not think about it. This is not the best advice you will ever receive — you should take time to reflect on your relationship with your spouse and allow yourself to work through the emotions which are involved in that relationship.
You may find you feel sad because of what has been lost — couples have high hopes for the future when they are first married, and it is common to feel a sense of loss when your divorce is in the process or finished. Other people feel excitement, fondness, anger, hurt, resentment — all perfectly normal emotions. Work through them, try to understand why you are feeling the way you are and, above all else, allow yourself to feel them — these emotions are all part of the healing process and ignoring them will not make them go away.
Think About Preparing for Your Future
As challenging as your emotions might be at the moment, there is one way to motivate yourself and that is to create a plan for your future — yes, it is going to be different than what you may have thought a year ago, but that does not mean you should not be excited about what is to come. Whether you have children or not, you may have to consider whether you need to move, whether this is a good time to consider a career change, or whether you just need to create a path to move forward. There are few things which can improve your outlook than creating a positive path forward and taking a look into a bright future — which although different than what you may have planned, does not have to be bleak.
Divorces are never easy — they are difficult on the adults involved, regardless of how many challenges they have faced in their relationship, and they are difficult for your children as well. Maintaining a healthy outlook can feel like it is an overwhelming task, but if you take the time to cope with the emotions you are dealing with as you face this new reality, things will gradually improve over time, and you can look to your future with more enthusiasm and excitement.
When you are going through a divorce, working with a smart, savvy, and compassionate divorce attorney can make a difference to how you feel about your prospects. Talk to a family law specialist at Stephen M. Bishop Law today by calling our San Diego office at 619-404-2619. You may also send us an email to schedule a free consultation.