Divorce is emotional. It is hard. It can be messy and painful. And regardless of how prepared you think you are, you might not be quite as ready as you think for what’s to come.
It isn’t uncommon for guilt, anger and sadness to come to the surface and create additional, unnecessary stress in what is an already emotionally tough time.
Strategies for coping with separation
There will be days when you’ll mourn what was, be angry over decisions and be stressed about the unknown. But there are ways to help guide you and your former spouse through this stressful period.
Get support. Having a good support system will help get you through your separation. They will be your shoulder, your rock, your voice of reason and your sounding board. Going through a divorce without the support of friends and family is emotionally draining and lonely. Counselling is also a great idea to help keep your mental health at its best. A divorce support team can do more than just help you survive your separation, it will help you grow.
Have a plan. Separation and divorce are not something you should go into blindly. You need to be informed and know what to expect. Once you have made the decision to separate, you need to have a plan.
Put the kids first. Always. When children are involved, they need to be at the forefront of every decision. Separation affects them too. Both parents need to make an effort to do what is best for their children. This includes custody, care, and being respectful of the other parent in their absence. Putting your kids in the middle of disputes only causes more problems.
Be objective. Keep an open mind when it comes to ideas to make the best out of this bad situation. While it may be difficult based on the circumstances around the separation, try not to be bitter or spiteful. The end game here is coping with your divorce in a healthy way, resulting in a happy future.
Look at the bigger picture. Many couples go into estate and custody negotiations with one goal in mind… winning. The house, joint savings, cars, assets and children. One very important thing to remember is that you built a life with this person, together. For many years you choose one another and loved one another. So looking at the bigger picture, making decisions fairly, and with a level head, are crucial in ensuring a neutral ending.
Do something for you. It’s time you start doing something for yourself. Put some focus on what you need. It could even be something small – yoga, coffee with a friend, a night out. Doing these small things for yourself will have a positive impact on your mood and mental health.
Separation and divorce is an overwhelming, stressful and often messy time in your life. Take some of the pressure out of the situation by using these coping strategies and working together whenever possible.