A breakup is one of the most traumatic events in a relationship, yet one in two marriages in the United States end up in a divorce. You have to come to terms with the fact that you no longer will spend your life with your ex. Having kids complicates the matter, and it can have equal, if not worse, emotional consequences for the children. But there is life after a breakup for you and your children, and taking several steps can make it more bearable.
Give Yourself a Break
A breakup with a long term partner presents a loss of not just your dreams as a couple, but also an environment where children can enjoy being with both their parents. When it happens, Mental Health America advises that you allow yourself to go through the painful emotions patiently. Give yourself permission to work or perform less than you did.
Protect Your Kids
Most children adjust well within two years of their parents’ breakup, according to American Psychological Association. You can do a lot to make your children’s transition smoother by protecting them from any unresolved conflict with your ex-partner. Exposing them to conflict can increase their risks of psychological problems. Explain to your children what is going on in a language they understand, and take time to answer their questions and listen to their concerns. Don’t use them as a sounding board to complain about your ex. Ultimately, your children need to know that they can rely on you and your ex for support.
Take Care of Yourself
Adjusting to changes brought about by a brea up can be tough. You may not be used to taking children to school or doing all the chores in the house. But it is important to take care of yourself and stay positive. Don’t disconnect from your friends and family, but instead tap into all the help they are offering. If your budget allows, go out and eat your favorite food, work out and engage in activities that cheer you up. Try out a new hobby such as a dance class, and eat healthy to boost your immunity and energy levels. Above all, spend time with people who value and support you, and who allow you to vent out without criticism or judgment.
Isolating yourself after a breakup can raise your stress levels and affect your health negatively.. Staff at the Mayo Clinic.org, note that strong emotions can hamper your ability to make god decisions for you and your children, and chronic stress can increase your risk of suffering from depression. Consider seeing a professional counselor and joining a support group. Have a counselor talk to your children too if they need it.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Children and Divorce
- Mental Health America: Coping with Separation and Divorce
- American Psychological Association: Healthy Divorce: How to Make Your Split as Smooth As Possible
- Help Guide: Coping with a Breakup or Divorce
- Mayoclinic.org: Strong Emotions Can Lead to Poor Decisions
- Mayoclinic.org: Can Chronic Stress Cause Depression?
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