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How to Deal With Divorce As an Adult

by Jessica Jewell

A divorce can be a stressful and emotional time for anyone, and dealing with a divorce in a healthy way is essential to moving forward with your new life. This is true for both a person going through a divorce and also adult children whose parents are divorcing. While coping mechanisms are different for every person, there are several techniques that you can use to help you deal with the emotional impact of the divorce, such as cultivating new relationships and seeking out a support group with whom you can share your feelings.

Dealing With Separation From Your Spouse

Seek out a support system, such as a friend or support group or even trained therapist with whom you can discuss your feelings. People go through a wide array of emotions after a divorce, including depression, anxiety, fear and frustration. Feelings of loss or loneliness are often triggered by divorce, so you may need reassurance that you're not going through all of these emotions alone.

Allow yourself time to grieve. Grief is a common reaction to loss and broken relationships, so you must allow yourself time to work through the emotional impact of the divorce. From day to day, you may alternate between feelings of loneliness, shock, frustration, anger and various other emotions. If you allow yourself time to face your feelings, you will be able to move forward with time.

Return to your routine. In conjunction with working through the emotional impact of divorce, you may find it beneficial to return to a set routine. Accomplishing even your small daily tasks will give you a sense of return to normalcy, in addition to providing you a sense of accomplishment in a time when you may be suffering from feelings of doubt and self-defeat.

Take care of your body. Avoid alcohol and drugs while you are coping with the fallout from divorce. A healthy lifestyle regime will give you energy and self-confidence. You may want to consider joining a new exercise class, taking regular walks outdoors or even scheduling an appointment for self-care treatments, such as a massage.

Establish yourself as a single person. If you are a woman, revert to using your maiden or former name. Open new bank accounts and pay your own bills. Also, removing reminders of your spouse, such as photographs, will help you re-establish your independence.

Cultivate new friendships. In certain cases, divorce also comes with a loss of shared friends or groups of friends. This can add additional stress and sadness to an already difficult situation. Try to meet new friends by joining clubs, taking classes and even going on a singles-only vacation. New friendships can help you establish new avenues in your life with good and positive experiences.

Dealing With Your Parents' Divorce

Speak openly about your feelings. If you are not an only child, you may want to convene a meeting with other siblings to discuss the issues of the divorce, your feelings, and a common course of action when it comes to discussing the divorce with your parents.

Talk to your own spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend about your parents' divorce. Adults witnessing the deterioration of their parents' marriage have to cope with doubts and insecurities about the permanence of their own relationships. Remember that these feelings of loss are not uncommon. Have an open dialogue with your spouse or companion about these feelings. You may even want to seek counseling, either by yourself or with your partner. Communicating feelings of insecurity or anger will keep your own relationship healthy.

Confront your parents about your feelings, and accept that such confrontations are okay. According to divorce expert, M. Gary Neuman, adults often don't confront their parents for the same reasons that children of divorce don't confront their parents: they don't want to hurt their parents feelings or assign blame. Opening a line of calm dialogue with your parents is important, however, especially because you may have to deal with additional emotions in the future when, for example, a parent starts to date again or remarries.

Items you will need
  • Support group
  • Healthy food
  • Gym membership