How to Stay Strong During a Divorce

by Shelley Frost ; Updated March 15, 2018

Maintain your dignity when talking to your ex.

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Divorce is one of the most difficult things you may go through in life. Staying mentally strong during and after the process isn't always easy, especially if you don't want the divorce or your spouse is making the process challenging. Work toward increasing your strength while allowing yourself room for occasional weak moments.

Be Honest With Yourself About the Situation

Sometimes it's easier to deny what's happening when you're going through a divorce. You may refuse to believe the divorce is actually going to happen. Perhaps you think it's not fair that you have to deal with the divorce. Denying the reality of what you're going through only makes the situation more difficult and prevents you from dealing with the details.

Focus on Immediate Concerns

Divorce is a lengthy process with lots of legal aspects and decisions. You have to figure out your finances, child custody if you have kids, living arrangements and division of property. It can feel overwhelming. Instead of letting all of those things concern you at once, focus on the immediate things you need to handle. Focus on one decision at a time, starting with the most pressing issues.

Stay Productive

Divorce comes with strong emotions, even if you're the one who wants the split. It's easy to get stuck in those feelings. You might find yourself complaining all the time or feeling sorry for yourself. You're allowed to have those emotions, but don't stay in them too long. Force yourself to make productive moves every day to make your situation better. Think about the specific steps that can put you in a better position as a single person, and start doing them. Seeing the progress you're making gives you strength and encourages you to keep going.

Take Care of Yourself

It's tough to feel strong when you aren't taking care of your basic needs. Fuel your strength with nutritious foods that make you feel good and energized. Exercise off the stress that comes from the divorce, so you feel better mentally and physically. Dress up in fun clothes to feel your best. Take a few minutes a day to pamper yourself, even if it's just soaking a short while in the tub or listening to your favorite song on repeat.

Find Ways to Release Stress

Dealing with stress in a productive way helps you stay strong during the divorce. When you feel the pressure overwhelming you, take a step back. Find a quiet place to take some deep breaths. Take a kickboxing class to punch and kick away your stress. Pick up a hobby or interest you always wanted to do. Everyone relieves stress in different ways, so do some exploring to find out how you handle stress best.

Embrace the Opportunities for the Future

Divorce feels like the end, but flipping your view to think of it as a new opportunity makes it easier to handle. Explore the things that bring you happiness and a sense of fulfillment. Think about the goals that you put off during your marriage. Pursuing things for yourself helps you feel stronger because you're taking control of your life. You also have something to look forward to.

Find a Support Network

Being strong on your own is challenging, so call in reinforcements to help you through the divorce. Start with your professional support network. Rely on your lawyer to provide the legal advice to help you get through the divorce as well as possible. A therapist can provide professional guidance for the emotional aspect of the divorce.

Your friends and family also make up an important part of your support network. When friends ask what they can do to help, give them suggestions. Accept offers of babysitting or homecooked meals. Ask for help when you need it. Even venting occasionally with friends can help you feel stronger.

Photo Credits

  • Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.