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How to cope with divorce so you and your children can heal.
Guest post by Audrey Taylor.
Divorce is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person. The circumstances certainly do matter, but even the best circumstances don’t neutralize the emotional, mental, social, and financial mess that inevitably follows the end of your marriage. While it is difficult to stay calm in the face of such a crisis, it is of paramount importance to keep your wits about you.
Like everything, this stage of your life will end, and you need to make sure that you’ve given yourself the best chance for going through the rest of your life. Here are some suggestions for how to cope with divorce to help you keep calm and deal with matters in a responsible way.
1. Take responsibility
Your marriage is at its end, and you and your partner have (or haven’t) agreed that divorce is the only solution. Now is not the time to break down. On the contrary, now you have to think clearly and be rational. Organize the documents you need, find a lawyer if you have to, and find a way to deal with the children if you have them. Make sure everything is in order, and try to make the process as smooth as possible – it won’t do any good to anybody to prolong and complicate it. Get through the technicalities and legal matters with determination and clear goals.
2. Be civil
Civility and will to deal with things peacefully can go a long way in how to cope with divorce. In Australia, for example, it’s quite common to move from contested to uncontested divorce (which is a much quicker and cheaper option) during the process.
No matter how horrible you feel, keep in mind that your partner is the person you once loved so much that you agreed to marry them. Remind yourself of that fact if things get ugly. Talk to them and see if you can reach an agreement. You can always find a good family mediator in Sydney if you don’t feel like you have the strength or presence of mind to go through it on your own, or you or your ex are reluctant to compromise. It’ll speed up the process, and spare you the bitterness that will inevitably arise during a hostile divorce.
3. Think of the children
If you have children, you must consider their well-being from the moment you realize your marriage is approaching its end. Think about what’s best for them, and don’t be selfish. Even if your relationship with your ex-partner is less than perfect, don’t let the kids listen to any fights. Don’t make them choose sides. Don’t badmouth their other parent when they can hear you. Divorces are difficult for the children as much as they are for the parents, so make sure you give them any attention they need. If necessary, ask for professional help. Do what is necessary to help your children cope with the situation.
4. Let yourself grieve
Even if your marriage stopped working in the end, there are many things you lose when you divorce. You lose companionship and support, you lose the knowledge that someone is always there for you, and you lose your plans and hopes for the future of your marriage. Understandably, this loss is enough to make you sad and even depressed. Allow yourself to feel the sorrow for your previous life. Talk to the people in your life, and accept your feelings. If you need to, find a professional to help you deal with your emotional chaos, and move on.
5. Reach out
Even if you’ve just lost the person who was closest to you in the period you left behind, you still have your loved ones. Find comfort with your friends and family. Spending time with the people we love is a great stress relief, and it will help you cope with all the difficulties you’re going through.
6. Take care of yourself
Accept the fact that you’re in a trying period of your life, and treat your health and well-being accordingly. Reduce the workload, or take some days off of your job. Get plenty of rest, and make sure you eat healthily. Come up with a good daily and bedtime routine, and stick with it – it’ll help you feel organized and introduce some order in all the chaos. Make time to relax. Don’t slip into bad habits, such as drinking too much or harming your health in any other way. Get some new hobbies that’ll help you start over, and give you the hope that comes with new beginnings. It just might be the boost you need to start living your life again after going through a dreadful period.
In conclusion, while the divorce marks the end of an important part of your life, it doesn’t have to be the end of your world. Use the tools you have in your disposal to help yourself close that particular door with as much grace as possible, and move on with your life.
Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.
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