There is nothing in your life that will make you as happy as a long-loving marriage, a healthy family and successful career.  For many of us, we start with the marriage and like an anchor, it provides stabilization and strength when everything in it's orbit occasionally goes haywire.  So, it's not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed and totally unhinged when your marriage ends.

Your friends provide you with companionship and lasting memories.  Faith provides the foundation for your beliefs.  But, a long-lasting marriage is the fundamental "everything" for many of us that eventually provides a part of our identity and life's structure.  You could never go back to being the person you were before your marriage.  Marriage changes you and so will divorce.  

Divorce is personal 

A divorce can be like losing a part of yourself.  You are not only losing your spouse, but you are losing your identity as a married person.  You are losing your marriage.  Some compare the pain to the death of a loved one.  The marriage was part of everything in your life.  

It's ending causes a rift in everything you do, you have and you believe.  While you may want to just "get over it", the end of your marriage is complicated and intertwined with emotions that can make the journey difficult to complete without some damage to just about everything and everyone in your family.

Divorce causes emotional turbulence

A common feeling during divorce is anger.  But at the root of this anger is blame, guilt & sadness.   These feelings are very common in the beginning Stages of Divorce.   

If you are taking medication that helps with depression and anxiety just know that despite feeling better, it won't change the fact that issues in your life need resolution despite feeling much better about them.  Medication can be very helpful for many, but it’s not a cure and will not change your current situation.  They are not magic pills.  Instead the medication should help you cope with your current situation in order to make effective decisions in dealing with it.

Talk to someone

It's important to have a strong support system to include close family and friends, therapists and/or support groups.   This will provide an outlet that allows you to express your grief and anger in a healthy manner so that these emotions don't abruptly overtake you.  This doesn’t mean you should feed your anger and depression, but with the help of therapy and the support from others who have experienced divorce you will better understand the Stages of Divorce and how to cope.

Healthy ways to manage your feelings:

  • Write it out.  Just write and write and write until you feel like you have written this anguish off.
  • Do something active.  Go for a walk, run, swim or bike ride.  Get outside when possible, be surrounded by nature.  Don’t be afraid of a cold or wet day. Just bundle-up or grab an umbrella.  Prove to yourself that nothing will stop you from fighting your misery.
  • Binge on a television show that brightens your mood.  It may not be something you'll do everyday, but it will help get your mind off your problems.
  • Your imagination and a good book can totally keep your attention and divert you from overthinking your current situation.  Choose a book as a part of a series or an author that will provide numerous "good reads".
  • If you find yourself slip into something that brings on a bad emotion like: overwhelming sadness, blame or hopelessness, then you must meet this reaction with an equal or greater reaction.  Get busy with some of the suggestions on this list and get refocused.  Call a friend who has been helpful during your divorce and get out of the house.  The worst thing you can do is nothing.
  • Its never, ever going to be what it was.  Never.  The only thing you can do is move forward.  Cut the bad parts of the past out by adding in new activities, relationships, goals and hobbies.  Start building a new, better future.  Rebuild your life.  While you will still be the same person, accept a changed lifestyle.  Learn something new, create something, get out there and meet new people.
  • After a long marriage it’s not uncommon to wait a while before you meet someone that you may want to date.  Even after you meet someone it still may seem that you are not ready for a new relationship.  Don't rush it.  You'll know when the time is right.  It doesn't hurt to "play the field" for awhile.  Just be clear when meeting new people that you aren't ready for a committed relationship.  Rather, seek a new friendship and see where things go.
  • Get back to school and take some classes on subjects and topics of interest.  It could be anything from a pottery class to financial planning.  Just continue to improve yourself and use your time efficiently.  Time can slip away when affected by sadness and depression.  Before you know it, years have passed and your stuck exactly in the same place as when your divorce was just finalized.  It may make you feel the divorce damaged your life, stalling it.  Education and productive activities are a great way to stop this from happening.
  • Organize or improve your home or workspace. Accomplishments are a great defense to blah moods.  When we make our life more organized and/or improve areas of our everyday living and workspace, it develops this sense of accomplishment.  It will extinguish your poor mood during the revamp and continue to serve to ease your life thereafter. 

-OurDMK.com



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