If you’re going through a divorce, you may feel like you’ve been hit by a tornado, where there is literally debris everywhere. You don’t even know where to begin and what to focus on first.
There’s a part of you that knows you’ll be ok, but there’s also a part of you that thinks you won’t ever be the same again. Well, they are both correct. Someday you will look back on this time and realize that you aren’t the same, that you got through one of life’s biggest challenges and you are stronger for it.
Until then, rebuilding after a major change in your relationship support system will involve trying different things to learn what works for you. Until you find your new normal, you focus on coping with the grief and changes one day at a time.
If you are looking for some ideas on where to start, here are the top 3 things that have helped others who cope with the divorce they didn’t want:
• Connect: Reach out and connect with others is one of the main ways people say they coped with their divorce. This can be challenging if your friends and family members are taking sides. You may need to meet new people that have been through a divorce and are now thriving. Or you may need to reach out more than you did while you were married. Many people feel like they will be a burden or they can’t leave their kids with a babysitter. But your kids and your sanity need you to feel less lonely. Decide how much time alone is too much, and then initiate doing something with a friend that you both enjoy.
• Move: Another main way people cope with their divorce is to get moving. While divorce stress typically contributes to feeling anxious and even weight loss, many find it helpful to move their bodies by beginning a walking or exercise program. It helps to have some place to disperse some of your stress and can help you appreciate the strength you already have. Or if exercise isn’t your thing, try moving toward a new interest or passion that you’ve always wanted to try.
• Learn: Lastly, if you are a person that loves to learn, reflect, and grow, then better understanding what wasn’t working in your marriage can bring clarity to a confusing and emotional time. While you may never get the closure you are looking for from your ex, you can learn more about relationships as well as your strengths and weaknesses in this area. Listen to podcasts or read books about relationships when you are ready to look forward. Instead of dwelling on past regrets or shortcomings, identify what you want to do differently in current or future relationships.
When you feel like many things are out of your control, finding that you can control how you connect, move, and what you learn about can give you a sense of strength and confidence. Day by day you will not only be discovering who you are without your ex, but also that you deserve to be happy again.
Marci Payne, MA, LPC is a resident of Lee’s Summit, MO. She offers divorce recovery counseling at 816-373-6761 ext 2, where she helps men and women find themselves after a divorce. Schedule your free 15-minute phone consult with Marci at https://marcipayne.com.