Going through a divorce can stir up a lot of different emotions. At times you may feel empowered and free. Other times, you might feel confused and lost. It’s a roller coaster that not many people understand unless you’ve been through it yourself.
Whether you’re thinking about getting a divorce or currently going through the process, it’s important to be able to work through these new and confusing emotions in a healthy way. In this article, we’ll offer some effective tips and suggestions for emotional coping as you go through this uncertain and difficult time. The most important thing to remember is you’re certainly not alone. Feelings can be difficult to deal with at times, but finding positive outlets for your emotions can make a big difference.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
One of the biggest mistakes people make when going through a divorce is thinking they have to ‘move on’ or get past it right away. A divorce is the loss of a relationship, and of a bond, you once shared with someone. It’s okay to give yourself time to mourn and grieve that loss.
Grief tends to come in a variety of different stages that are often predictable. However, you’ll likely most commonly shift between shock and depression, especially if the separation was unexpected. Grief is normal and trying to ‘get over it’ in a matter of weeks, or even a couple months is unrealistic.
Make the Choice to Keep Moving Forward
While you shouldn’t cut your time of grief short, there will come a point where you realize you’re ready to move forward. This can be a big, exciting, and even scary step. However, it’s extremely important and a very healthy way of thinking. Little by little, you should notice your stages of grief start to lose energy. When this happens, you can use that energy for the next phase of your life.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It
Divorce is, unfortunately, a fairly common occurrence nowadays. Not only should you never feel like you’re alone, but you shouldn’t feel as though you have to keep anything to yourself. Share your story, your feelings, and whatever else you’d like about your personal journey with some type of sympathetic audience. This could be anyone from a best friend or family member, to a support group for people going through separations.
It’s also important that you become a support for yourself. It might seem silly at first, but once you’re ready to share your story and emotions with others, practice being a pillar of strength for yourself, too. This can be difficult at first, but over time your self-esteem will rebuild, especially if you surround yourself with the right people.
One of the benefits of technology is that you can usually find instant support, 24/7. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to someone in person, try joining an online support group, or sharing your feelings in forums, etc. Sometimes, sharing your feelings online can offer a sense of security if you’re not ready to talk to someone in person yet.
When that time does come, however, active counseling or therapy can be a big help. For example, we’ll work with you to walk through your feelings and what they might mean. From there, we can help you move forward and get on with your life. Once you make the decision that you’re ready to move on, knowing the right practices and techniques to do so is important. The good news? You don’t have to go through it alone.
Carolyn Ehrlich LCSW, CGP specializes in Relationship Counseling NYC