our everyday life

Divorce Survival Strategies

by Mitch Reid, studioD

Roughly 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association in its “Marriage and Divorce” article. With numbers this high, there are hundreds of people across the country looking for ways to emotionally cope with the affects of a messy divorce. Whether you initiated the divorce or your spouse called for it, it’s easy to get wrapped up in grief and resentment as you proceed with the breakup. Rather than stumble around in your own emotional storm, employ several strategies to help you keep your life together.

Resist the Blame Game

Don't play "The Blame Game." Don't pile guilt on yourself for a failed marriage, advises Lisa Kaplin, divorce coach and psychologist, in her PsychCentral article, "Five Tips for a Drama-Free Divorce." On the other hand, don't drop all the blame on your ex-partner either. Instead, accept that the actions, reactions and decisions from both you and your spouse have lead you to divorce.

Cooperate with Your Ex

Once you have accepted that you and your spouse are both at fault, make it your goal to work together to clean up the loose ends. Even if you are both at odds, cooperating in this final endeavor can help make the divorce smooth and healthy for everyone, suggests the APA in its article "Healthy Divorce: How to Make Your Split as Smooth as Possible." Don't allow emotional hang-ups to drag the legal proceedings on longer than they need to, and don’t drag your children into the conflict. Resist selfish or spiteful demands concerning property, unless you feel they are truly necessary.

Limit the Insults

While it might be tempting, don’t insult your ex at every opportunity when you speak with your family and friends, suggest Kaplin. This only keeps you in a negative state of mind, possibly even repelling those around you or ruining your general outlook on love. When it comes to self-esteem, resist the urge to doubt and criticize every little aspect of yourself that you feel might have lead to the divorce. Instead, aim to move forward with self-improvement strategies. For example, take up a new exercise routine, pick up a new hobby or make new friends around town. The spotlight of your life should be back on you.

Seek Professional Help

If you find it difficult to employ these strategies and keep a clear head by yourself, you can also enlist the aid of a licensed psychologist, suggests the APA in its article "Healthy Divorce: How to Make Your Split as Smooth as Possible." Not only can this help you get a grip on the life changes but also overwhelming emotions, such as depression, fear and resentment. Children involved in the divorce might also benefit from professional help; however, the APA reports that most children adjust to the lifestyle changes within two years, as long as the parents tame their own feuding. In addition, a psychologist might help you identify the major problem spots in your past marriage, which will help you make smarter choices when you reenter the dating world, says the APA.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images