The end of a marriage is a traumatic event for even the most toughened people. Regardless of the reasons that led a couple to this point, divorce is a sad event and it is completely natural for any spouse to feel the impact deeply. Everybody has their own way of coping with grief, which can manifest in many different ways.
Is There A Right Way to Grieve a Divorce?
No. There has never been a “right” way to cope with grief. Everyone is different and has the capacity to cope in a way that is completely appropriate to them. However, there is definitely a wrong way. Resorting to violence, criminal misconduct, or destroying marital property are all harmful to others and counterproductive to your own future. You have a future after your divorce, and a responsibility to yourself to make it as bright a future as possible.
Instead, consider the following:
- Allow yourself to feel sad. You are a human being and not a machine. If you don’t give yourself permission to be sad, then this emotional avoidance may catch up with you later.
- Identify unhealthy coping behaviors. Overindulging in food, alcohol, drugs and sex can all lead to problematic decisions and addiction issues that are devastating to your health, your relationships, and your livelihood.
- Find a support system of friends and family. This is a time that you need friends the most. Create a group text that you can reach out to in an instant. Spend time with healthy friends and take advantage of opportunities to spend time together.
- Make time and space for yourself. While you may have the urge to continue your life at full throttle—to prove that you are ok—show yourself some kindness instead by slowing down. Further, if there are unhealthy or negative people in your life, this is an important time to establish some boundaries.