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Grieving the Death of a Marriage

by Becky Swain , studioD

The death of your marriage represents much more than the death of a key relationship in your life. A marriage relationship embodies other components that are intertwined within your emotional health, such as dreams for the future, according to HelpGuide.org. The trauma of this loss may produce deeply painful emotional repercussions. Grieving over the death of your marriage is an individual experience, but you can help yourself to emerge from the grieving process.

Kick Back and Breathe

Breathe, slow down and breathe again. It’s natural for you to want to eliminate the discomfort that you are experiencing, and you may feel tempted to immerse yourself in work in order to avoid the negative feelings. It's important that you acknowledge that the life as you knew it has been altered, and take some therapeutic down time to begin the process of mending your psyche, says psychologist Dr. Suzanne Lachmann in the Psychology Today article, “How to Mourn a Breakup to Move Past Grief and Withdrawal."

Nurture the Body and Mind Connection

Your heart cannot heal in the absence of an unhealthy body. It’s crucial to take the time to nurture your physical health with good nutrition, rest and even a bit of pampering. This is not the time to abandon routines that help you feel good about yourself. For example, the yoga class that functioned to calm your mind, and rejuvenate your tired body remains important to your well-being, so don’t give it up now.

Resist Rebound Relationships

Resist the temptation to medicate your pain by exploring a new relationship while you continue to grieve for your marriage, recommends the PsychCentral website in the article, “How to Get Over a Breakup.” Recognize and respect that you are navigating a major life crisis. While the excitement of a new relationship temporarily distracts your attention from your emotional distress, it doesn’t resolve the grief. When the exhilaration that serves to mask the grief disappears, the unresolved feelings of grief remain.

Accept Professional Support

When the painful emotions associated with grieving don’t improve over time, or when you feel consumed by sadness, consider sharing your feelings with a professional counselor, recommends HelpGuide.org in the article, “Coping With Grief and Loss.” The grieving process is characterized by emotional highs and lows, but consistent feelings of despair and hopelessness are symptoms of depression. Other symptoms of depression include an inability to perform daily activities, thoughts of suicide and an overwhelming sense of guilt. Accept support for working through your grief and know that you can and will feel better.

About the Author

Becky Swain's first publication appeared in the "Journal of Personality Assessment" in 1984. Her articles have also appeared on various websites. She is an adjunct college instructor, licensed school psychologist and educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science in clinical psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology, both from Mississippi State University.

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