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Divorce Support: Keeping Your Life on Track when Your World is Falling Apart
One of the most difficult aspects of grief and trauma is that the world keeps going in spite of one’s heartache. No matter what you’re dealing with in your personal life, other people’s lives keep moving, and to some degree you are expected to keep functioning as part of that world. That means that in the midst of your pain and confusion, you must keep most aspects of your life going – being productive at work, getting your kids to school and extracurricular activities, running errands, etc. This can seem like an overwhelming, if not impossible, task for someone dealing with divorce. Here are some tips for keeping your life on track when divorce is wreaking havoc on your world.
Conserve Physical and Emotional Energy
Conserve your physical and emotional energy by curtailing non-necessary activities. If you ran low on money, you’d cut out luxuries to stretch your budget; similarly, you need to conserve your strength now by doing only what’s required to keep your life going. So go to work, but skip the office party if you’re not up to it; take your child to school, but sit out the PTA meetings. You will eventually feel up to these activities again and can resume them at that time.
Make Time for Friends
While dating someone new is probably too much pressure right now, make time for outings with old friends who will support you during this difficult time. You don’t have to talk about the divorce unless you want to, and getting out of the house – and out of your head – for a few hours will keep you grounded. Dinner is great, but a game of golf or tennis will also allow you to expend nervous energy while enjoying the companionship of your friend.
Seek Spiritual Support
Seek support from your house of worship, if applicable. Many churches, synagogues, and temples offer one-on-one and/or group support for separated and divorcing individuals. Or locate a Fisher Rebuilding Divorce Seminar; this non-religious ten-week seminar is based on the book Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends and can be very helpful in assessing and dealing with emotions, as well as letting you know that you are not alone.
Attend Divorce Therapy Sessions
Consider divorce therapy to help you cope with the short-term trauma of divorce, as well as to assist you in developing a new life for yourself. A therapist who specializes in divorce issues will understand what you are going through and be able to offer support as well as practical suggestions for coping with divorce.
Read books on coping with separation and divorce to help you feel understood and to gather coping tips. You don’t have to take every word of every book as gospel; pick and choose what works for you. Books on relationships can also generate discussion topics for your divorce therapy sessions.
Trust yourself to be able to deal with and overcome this hardship in your life, just as you have overcome others. No matter how weak and unstable you feel, you are stronger than you think.