So divorce has come knocking at your door and has finally come in.
If you’re certain that this is what you want then read on. Coping with divorce from the start can help reduce much of the pain, hurt and stress that comes with dealing with divorce and the whole divorce process.
There are fights and arguments so terrible that you feel like you will never forgive this person.
You cannot believer the words that are coming out of his mouth and you cannot believe that she could be so vulgar and nasty!
There are financial issues so huge that you believe you will never overcome them.
Your level of mistrust is high, and for probably for good reason, so you need to be vigilant and aware that right now, it’s every man for himself. You don’t want to be cheated off anything that is rightfully yours and neither does your partner.
That’s what divorce is about – but it doesn’t have to remain that way from here onwards.
You will need to start putting some things into place to make sure that this divorce doesn’t totally overwhelm you and your children.
As Maya Angelou put it:
Nothing works unless you do.
So here are some tips to help you through this time and beyond. Just keep them in mind as you go:
- The divorce is not you. Avoid looking at the divorce as part of you. Instead look at it as something that is happening outside of you. Don’t attach yourself to it despite all the emotions and pain. Look at it from the outside in.
- Your partner’s determination to hurt you is part of the process, unfortunately so don’t take it personally. People fight back when “attacked.” You are fighting back too. If you can learn to accept that your partner is reacting in a way that is normal given the circumstances then you learn how not to take it personally which in turn helps with dealing with the journey with less hurt and malice and do so instead in a more practical way.
Accept what is going on. It is happening and there is no turning back. This helps deal with the whole thing more objectively and practically. It is what it is.
- Accept and acknowledge that you too played a role in the break-up of your marriage. You absolutely need to accept this because if you don’t then you will very, very likely repeat the same mistakes that you in the your next relationship and the next and the next. There’s power in being self-aware.
- Always, always, always make sure that the children are as all right as possible. If you’re finding it hard to cope then get someone to help you along the way; a friend, relative or a good and reputable divorce coach like the wonderful Shelley Whitehead.
- Keep the children in mind at all times. Keep asking yourself – “and this benefits the children how?” If it doesn’t then don’t do it.
- You have to decide to get better. You need to have that determination that you will get over this without believing that “getting over this” equates jumping into the next relationship as fast and as quick as possible. Get over this while single, work on yourself, know and understand why this marriage ended and how you helped it get there.
- Don’t go out there like a warrior. If you’re hurting, hurt away. If you want to cry and lock yourself in a world where no one else can enter – apart from the children – then do so. Feel those emotions, go through them as much as you need but don’t stay with them for the rest of your life. Deal, feel and move on.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org