One of the most difficult and traumatic experiences in life can be a breakup or divorce. Whatever the reason for the split — and whether you wanted it or not — the breakdown of a relationship can upset your entire world and trigger all kinds of painful and unsettling emotions.
You can experience all sorts of confusion and rifts during and after a messy divorce. You might have trouble with tasks such as finding the perfect lawyer to get you through – the folks over at Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP understand this – or you might not be able to explain the divorce to your kids in a healthy way. Whatever your particular difficulty, you have to admit that it’s a tough time.
Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it can still be rocky. A divorce or separation can launch you right into uncharted territory. Everything around you becomes upturned: your routine and obligations, your workplace, your relationship with extended family and friends, and even your personality. A divorce results in uncertainty about the future as well. Without your partner, what would life be like? Do you want to pursue someone else? Will you end up on your own? These are all the questions you’ll be forced to answer.
Here’s how to cope with the mess of a divorce.
#1: Accept your feelings
Feeling sad, angry, tired, frustrated and confused is normal, and these feelings can be strong. You may be anxious about the future too. Understand that, over time, responses like this will fade. Even if the partnership was toxic, it’s perfectly okay to step into the unknown and be fearful.
#2: Learn to accept help
Sharing your feelings with your family and friends may help you get through this time. Consider joining a support group where you can connect with other people in similar situations. Isolating yourself can increase your stress levels, decrease your focus, and interfere with your job, other relationships, and overall health. Do not be afraid to call for outside help if you need it.
#3: Take a well deserved break
Give yourself permission to feel and to work for a period of time at a less than optimal level. On the job, you may not be able to be quite as successful or take care of others in exactly the way you’re used to for a while. No one is either a superman or a superwoman; take time to heal, regroup and re-energize.
Overall, allow yourself to go through this process with acceptance. It can be appalling to let yourself feel the pain of these losses. You may be afraid that your feelings will be too strong to handle, or you may be stuck forever in a dark place. Just remember that the healing process requires grief. The agony of loss is just what allows you to let go of and move on from the old relationship. And it won’t last forever, no matter how bad you feel right now or how tough everything seems.