People cope with divorce just like a death. In certain ways, it is exactly like a death, but instead of a person, it is your marriage. You are grieving what you thought your life was going to look like and the future you hoped to have with your spouse. It is important that you treat your divorce and the entire process like a death so you can properly cope. Here are a few tips on how to get through the most difficult times while grieving.
Don’t Make Big Decisions
It is very very important that you recognize your limited ability to make decisions after a loss. Research as shown that the grieving brain is not functioning at full capacity. This is why you may see newly divorced individuals making spontaneous decisions, like a tattoo or suddenly quitting their job. They say after a death you shouldn’t make life-altering decisions for at least one year.
Take Your Time
Getting into a routine takes time. When you are in the beginning stages of grief, you likely feel completely disorganized. That is normal. Write a small list each day of a few simple things you would like to complete. Focus on achieving those small goals and build from there. It isn’t a race.
Get Help When You Need It
Divorce can trigger a lot of emotions. If you find that you aren’t coping well, having a lot of hard days, isolating yourself, and unable to function on a day-to-day basis, it may be time to get a therapist involved. Talking through your grief with someone who can provide you with coping tools is invaluable.
Lean on Friends and Family
It is common to lose friends during a divorce. Mutual friends may feel pressured to “pick a side” then they go M.I.A. Connect with close friends and talk to them about how you are feeling. Try to organize a few days a week where you are either with friends, family, or pursuing a new hobby in a social environment.
If you are going through a divorce and need assistance finding a good therapist, we have excellent referrals, including a therapist located in our offices. Call us at the San Diego Family Mediation Center, (858) 736-2411.