As far as stressful life events go, divorce and separation are up there with the best of them. And with nearly half of US marriages ending in divorce, it’s something that millions of people go through every single day. The path leading up to divorce is probably the worst bit, as many people feel it coming from a mile off, after months of even years spent in an unhappy marriage. Making the decision to separate is the first step, but it can easily be the first foothold on a long road of further stress and upset. During this process, you may experience feelings of responsibility for other people caught up in the situation. Your children, if you have them, are the obvious ones, as your divorce will cause a major upheaval in their lives whether you like it or not. You may also find yourself worrying a lot about your ex-partner, especially if they have taken the separation much worse than you. Aside from that, you also have family and friends to think about, and this can get complicated if people start to take sides. But the one person you really need to be thinking about in this whole situation is you – fail to take care of yourself during a separation, and the event could have a lasting negative effect on you. Here are some ways you can be kind to yourself if you are going through this at present.
Don’t beat yourself up about it
If you were the one to ask for the separation, dealing with the guilt can be really difficult. The important thing to remember is that the only thing worse than ending the relationship would have been continuing in it, living a lie. Your ex-partner may not see this right now, but he or she will thank you for it in years to come. Trust in your decisions and know that in the long run, you have made the right choice.
Seek professional legal counsel
A divorce can easily get messy, especially when there are children, finances, and assets involved (such as your family home). Your best bet is to seek professional legal help, as this will help you to outline a workable separation agreement for both parties. Doing it all yourselves can become complicated, especially as divorce is still a legal matter. You will need to hire a divorce lawyer at some point to act as the middle man between the two of you, and the earlier you do this, the earlier you can get the whole thing done and dusted.
Spend time with friends…
…who aren’t close to your spouse. When you have the same circle of friends, it can be hard to find someone you feel you can trust to speak to about your feelings. Take the time to reconnect with someone who isn’t part of your spousal friendship group and make an effort to get out of the house with them. Social interaction and friendships are vital to help you recover from a divorce, so surround yourself with positive people who are committed to helping you.