One of the most difficult parts of a relationship breakdown is dealing with divorce. A divorce can be one of the most devastating and stressful things that will ever happen in your life. People do manage to survive and live to tell the tale, but how do you move forward in your life? How do you deal with divorce?
Dealing with divorce is a fact of life for many people, because many couples split. Statistically speaking, in 2015 there were 2 divorces per 1000 people in Australia. In a population of (then) 23.78 million people, there were 48,517 divorces granted. Most manage to move on with their lives and some even get married again. A break-up or divorce can throw your world into turmoil. This can happen even if you are the party wanting to separate. All sorts of uncomfortable and painful emotions accompany a relational parting of this manner. But you can find ways to cope with the grief and fear. There is light at the end of the tunnel when you’re dealing with divorce.
Robert Frost, the early 20th Century American Poet was familiar with pain and grief. There was much tragedy in his life, including the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was only 11 years old; 15 years later the death of his mother from cancer; outliving 4 of his 6 children and losing his wife when she was just 43. He said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Mandy Moore, an American singer-songwriter and actress knows well that life does go on. When discussing her divorce she said, “My story deviated in a different direction than I expected. But ultimately, life is about being happy and fulfilled and sometimes that means making hard choices.” Although she and her ex-husband split amicably, it has still been a difficult time in her life. “There are moments of being curled up in a ball on the floor,” Moore admits. “It’s really hard. But I’ve moved on and progressed in the stages of grief and being angry and feeling the loss and all that. I do believe things happen for a reason. And I think I had that mantra moving through the trying times.”
One of the things that helps us when dealing with divorce to move on is to focus on the positives. For some it will be remembering the good times. Moore says. “There was a period in my life when it was so beautiful. And I had this really fascinating person [through whom] I got to see a completely different perspective on the world.” Moore had joyful moments in her marriage. For others, though, there will be a sense of relief. They’re positive is getting out of a relationship that was toxic more than anything else. But for all those who come out of an intense, committed relationship there is still heartbreak over what might have been – pain is part of the journey when a marriage is finished.
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Dealing With Divorce Is Hard to Do
It’s disappointing when a relationship does not go as planned. Even if the parting is amicable or comes as a release after years of unhappiness, relationships always start with the glimmering future in our minds. When the sparkle becomes shadows, we grieve the loss of our relationship and we may feel disoriented and alone.The stress that accompanies massive change in our lives is exacerbated by sadness. An uncertain future can be extremely daunting – especially in a world where we are now trying to re-establish how we fit in. Dealing with divorce is a burden that has been endured by many, but how do they cope?
- Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused—and these feelings can be intense. You may also feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the relationship was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.
- Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.
- Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, other relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.
Grief is normal when dealing with divorce. Allow yourself to grieve. Everyone is different as to how long they might grieve and what it looks like. For some it’s a short sadness that they can shrug off without it seeming to impact them greatly. For others a deep darkness can descend. Looking after your physical self is important but checking in with your GP about your mental health is also a wise idea at this stressful time.
Healing takes time and needs the support of others. How much time depends on our level of hurt, but a good support base of family and friends ensures that we have the best possible chance for recovering sooner rather than later. Feeling lonely and vulnerable can sometimes make us think that a new romantic relationship will help us to heal faster. While relationships and connection with others is vital for our growth and well-being, jumping into the dating scene too soon can spell disaster.
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As psychologist and love and marriage expert, Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC explains, “The time to move on after a divorce varies from person to person. For many people, the relationship was long over before the divorce was final. For some couples, the divorce was a long and bitter process that left them in bad shape. Depending on where you stood at the end of it all can dramatically change the time you need before meeting new people again.” Wisdom is required as to whether now or later is the time to meet new people.
At Divorce Lawyers Brisbane, we understand that dealing with divorce can be a traumatic experience. Our compassionate and experienced family lawyers offer a free, 10-minute phone consultation. Please contact us today.