Every person who goes through the experience of a separation and divorce suffers. What was believed to be a forever relationship, “till death do us part”, has ended, along with all of the hopes and dreams that you had a couple before your marriage. It is the often-messy conclusion of a significant relationship, which for some people, has lasted a significant portion of their adult lives. In addition, it is easy to lose one’s identity when your relationship ends, as amongst your family, friends, and social circles you have been known in the context of a married couple and not as individuals.
At New Direction Family Law, we have witnessed twenty years of people coping with separation and divorce, and have seen healthy behavior and incredibly unhealthy behavior. Please consider the following thoughts, as we believe that healthy grieving will benefit you as you work toward your future.
- Seek individual counseling or a support group as soon as you separate. There is absolutely no shame in getting help. A therapist or support group will allow you to share your experience with another person, and hopefully gain some tools and ideas to cope with your emotions.
- Know that it is normal and acceptable to grieve. You are experiencing a trauma and need to feel your emotions in order to move forward. Mental health professionals will tell you that ignoring grief and trauma will usually catch up in negative ways.
- Don’t compare your grieving process to anyone else’s. You may see your spouse, or other people that have experienced a divorce “get over it” quickly. But realize that everyone processes their feelings differently. Further, you are likely seeing a strong public face and do not really know what is happening with them behind closed doors.
- People often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as the use controlled substances. If you find yourself drinking more, spending excessively, gambling, or using drugs, please tell your therapist. Addictive behaviors can quickly spiral and have a devastating impact on your life.
- Maintain a daily routine. If you are employed, continue to go to work. Continue to bring the children to school. Continue to see your friends and make plans. While you may feel like staying in bed or on the sofa, it is important to maintain the momentum of your life. Even if you are miserable leaving your home, the alternative is shutting down socially, isolating yourself, and dwelling on your grief.
- Set goals for yourself. Try something new. Try exercising or volunteering. Plan a little vacation for yourself with friends. As painful as separation can be, it is also an opportunity to do things you would never have done with your former partner. Find things that you love to do.
Contact New Direction Family Law
At New Direction Family Law, we have seen many people experience the grief of separation and divorce. This is normal and natural. If you have are separating or are seeking a divorce, we can help you. Our team of professionals will work with you to define your goals, and will provide you honest, compassionate advice on moving forward. Call our office today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online at our website.