Surviving Divorce and Separation

It really can’t be denied that divorce and separation are difficult times in a person’s life. You may feel confused, overwhelmed, angry, betrayed, and any number of other emotions that vary from minute to minute. Here are some tips for surviving this difficult and challenging time (and you will survive!).

Let Go of Others’ Judgment

You are going to hear a lot of myths and platitudes when you undergo divorce or separation. People like to say things like, “It’s never just one partner’s fault,” or they will conclude that both parties are to blame without knowing the circumstances.

People may also assume you’re glad to be divorced when you’re actually devastated. The bottom line is, only you know what really happened and only you know who is to blame. It’s important to let the judgmental comments and assumptions from others just bounce off.

It’s Not the End of the World

It may be the end of a part of your life, but divorce or separation does not mean the end of everything. In fact, such traumatic events can actually open up new possibilities and opportunities in your life if you look for them. It’s important to remember that you will survive, and you may even end up happier than ever before. Look to others who have successful post-divorce relationships and be encouraged by them.

Guard Your Heart

You’ve probably heard about “being on the rebound” and its dangers; but don’t make the mistake of thinking it won’t happen to you! It’s important to be aware that during a divorce and/or separation, you are quite vulnerable emotionally.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be feeling very hurt and in need of affirmation. Most sources agree that you should turn to your friends and family at this time, or talk to a counselor, therapist, or spiritual leader rather than seeking another partner right away.

Write in a Journal

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a natural writer, keeping a journal can be very cathartic. If you like, you can follow a particular style or method to help you get started. As you recover, your journal can help you see how far you’ve come. It’s not intended for anyone to read unless you choose; the important thing is to be completely honest and open in the journal for your own insight and healing.

Get Outside Yourself

Depression and a tendency toward self-focus may result from a divorce or separation. It’s tempting to brood on your or your partner’s (perceived) shortcomings, or to feel sorry for yourself. Instead, turn to meditation, prayer, relaxation exercises, a Yoga class, or other stress-relieving activity. If you engage in such an activity regularly, it may go a long way toward helping you heal.

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