The end of a marriage is hard on all parties involved. They both must grieve and come to terms with the fact that the life they once knew has ended. However abrupt it may be, a marriage that has come to an end requires healthy coping strategies. Women sometimes find themselves in an unrecognizable situation in which they are forced to enter or re-enter the work force and become the main family breadwinner. These coping strategies can help you better handle the emotional pain that comes with a divorce and help guide you through this very hard time.
Grieve the loss of your relationship. You have to acknowledge that you will have no more shared experiences with your spouse. You may have lost different forms of support, such as financial, emotional, or social. These changes may have an effect on your future goals and dreams. However, do not give up your goals and dreams just because your marriage has ended; a divorce does not mean that your life has also come to an end, just your life with your partner.
Understand that you will feel many different feelings, all of which are ok. You may feel sadness, happiness, grief, confusion and even exhaustion. Keep a diary to log your feelings and, after a period of time, you will be able to see on paper how you have progressed. These feelings will fade over time, as will any uneasiness you may feel about not knowing what your future holds.
Take some time to be alone and unwind. Take a vacation alone or with one of your best girlfriends who can assure you that you will find happiness again. The decision to end your marriage comes with tasks that you must now handle without the help of your spouse. You may have to move or go job hunting. You may have to care for a child by yourself. These responsibilities can be exhausting; therefore, you should allow yourself a period of time in which to mentally and physically recuperate.
Find support that you can count on. Talk to friends or locate a support group that meets once a week. There may be times when you feel like crying and others when you want to stop thinking of your soon-to-be ex and laugh a little. Sharing your feelings with someone or a group of people who understand what you are feeling can help you to grow and feel better about your situation. Though misery does sometimes love company, it is usually only for the affirmation that you are not alone and the reassurance that you will one day be yourself again. Talk to people who have already been through a divorce to reassure yourself that your life will indeed return to normal.
- Try to keep your divorce as clean as possible. Just because your marriage has ended does not mean that you cannot be civil to each other. Be as fair as possible when dividing your belongings.
- Only contact your spouse through your lawyer. Avoid seeing him. You need time to heal; talking or seeing him will only upset you. Once you have completed the five stages of grief, you will be better prepared to handle being in his presence.