Coping With Divorce – Guest Post

Supervised visitation momEvery year, and often seemingly out of the blue, many couples find themselves facing a divorce. Coping with divorce is one of the most challenging events a person will faces in their lifetime. Many mental-health experts even believe the hurt divorce causes can even exceed the pain experienced over the death of a loved one.

Though the turmoil, most people struggling to get through a divorce will run the gauntlet of emotions, from depression and despair, to anger and guilt, to a sense of relief and even joy. One of the hardest things to deal with during divorce is maintaining some semblance of a normal life while riding the emotional roller coaster. Most expert agree there are some critical steps, making up a three-part strategy, people should follow to help them cope with divorce.

Have a Support Network

The vast majority of people going through a divorce, especially those on the receiving end of a surprise announcement by a spouse, will need some type of support system to lean on. Typically, if one spouse drops a bombshell on the other, the person making the initial decision to leave has already made peace with themselves, their decision and what they are going to do. However, the spouse being left is usually in a position of not knowing where to turn.

Initially the support system may only consisted of a best friend or most-trusted family member to talk to and go out to do things with. Unfortunately, this is when people coping with divorce will find out who their true friends are, as some people will make an intentional effort to distance themselves. Still, there will be some people who will make the effort to be supportive, and it is important to know who those people are, and who they are not. There are also formal support groups that have been established specifically to help people cope with divorce. These groups can usually be located through a house of worship or a local mental-health organization.

Learn to be Single, Again

A divorce means no longer being a couple, a realization that may come as scary prospect or a flat out relief. Returning to the single life is typically much easier for someone who sees themselves as multifaceted. However, if someone hasn’t been anything but a spouse for many years, having to suddenly return to being single can be devastating.

Denver-based marriage counselor Patricia Covalt, PhD, tells people to make the effort to stay busy in a constructive way. This time should be used as a period to gain self knowledge and awareness, and not left to become a time of isolation and fear. Exploring new interests and taking up new activities, such as earning a graduate degree in a beloved subject, staring a community project or getting into the best physical shape of your life, can create new-found self-esteem.

Minimizing the Impact on Children

Soon-to-be divorced spouses have the ability to minimize the discomfort their children will experience by simply keeping things as cheerful as possible, at least whenever the kids are around. Houston-based marriage and family therapist Jennipher Cole says parents should make an agreement and an arrangement to avoid criticizing each other either in front of, or to, their children. Under no circumstance should divorced parents ever put their children in the position of having to take sides with one parent over the other.

Christopher Steven is an avid blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who is passionate about encouraging healthy family values for all communities while working with the Gorospe & Smith Tulsa Divorce Law Firm in his own community.

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