If you’ve recently separated from your partner or spouse, you might be wondering how to cope with your separation and impending divorce.
In fact, it could be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, so don’t expect the process to be easy. How long and how hard it will be, though, is entirely up to you. Although circumstances can vary, all break-ups can be traumatic.
After any separation, particularly a long-term marriage involving children, you’ll no doubt experience a multitude of different emotions, which could certainly cloud your mind and potentially affect your self-esteem, confidence and trust in other people and perhaps in any future relationship. But only if you allow it to.
You may feel grief, anger, pain, betrayal, fear, loneliness and a feeling of total helplessness. On top of that, financial constraints, moving house and caring for young children and even pets all add to the level of stress. But sometimes, for example, after a long and abusive relationship, there may also be elation and relief. All these emotions are normal and can be expected, so don’t beat yourself up for too long. Just work through them, one by one.
Here are some tips from our Perth family lawyers on how to cope with your separation and divorce.
All Things Will Pass
The first thing you need to recognise is that nothing in this life is permanent, and all things WILL pass. This is just another phase in your life that millions of people have gone through.
Along the way, you will experience many ups and downs, good days and bad – it will all be well in the end.
Remain Emotionally, Mentally and Physically Healthy
Acceptance of your situation is the key. Once that penny has dropped, you need to prepare yourself to face the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead.
If you have small children, you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of them. To do that, you will need to be emotionally, mentally and physically healthy. Eating healthy, exercising and getting enough rest and sleep are non-negotiables.
Remember, you are not alone. You have family and close friends around you. This is your support system – the people who love and care for you the most. Don’t be afraid to rely on them to help pull you through. Remain socially active. Don’t isolate yourself.
If you have no one to turn to, there are therapists specialising in this field. Don’t feel embarrassed to consult them if you feel like you need some professional help.
Aimed at single mothers, Single Mama Way is one such counselling service – offering counselling sessions, courses and resources to help single mothers find a way forward. Find out all about founder Elle and how she helps single mums become confident, happy and connected. When it comes to starting your single mum journey, the Nurturing Growth & Empowerment Call is the best place to begin. It is also the most intelligent mental & emotional health investment you can make.
What To Avoid
Avoid saying or posting hurtful things on social media about your ex, even though you think they may be true.
Remember, this period is for your own healing, not for taking revenge. If you feel you might be going off the rails, lean on your support system to help get you back on track.
Do something that you have always wanted to do. Take that trip, try that new sport or pick up a hobby. Learn a new skill, make some new friends or catch up with some old friends you may have neglected.
Find things that you enjoy to put some pleasure back into your life. While you are doing all that, you are giving yourself more time to process your grief – and we all know that time heals all manner of things.
When Do You Start To Date Again?
There can never be a simple answer to this question.
Learning to trust others, particularly after a traumatic separation, can be challenging, so take your time – there are no timelines. Trust yourself to know when you are ready. There is no pressure, so you are in control.
Good advice would be not to jump in right away, but you don’t have to take forever, either. One thing is for sure – you would have become a little wiser when it comes to what you do and don’t want in a relationship.
If you have made mistakes in the past, acknowledge them and try not to repeat them. Chat to others who have gone through a separation. They can share with you how they felt and what you could expect.
Remind yourself that you survived before you entered into this relationship, so there is no reason not to do so now. You are now in full control and are free to seek whatever will bring happiness into your life moving forward after your divorce.
Written by Ella Hickman
Do you want someone who is on your side when it comes to the legal proceedings for your divorce? Hickman Family Lawyers can help you get through your separation and divorce as quickly as possible.