Here are some of the more common feelings divorcing people may have
- Grief and sadness: It is normal to feel grief and sadness during the divorce process. I have heard divorced called the death without a body. You have lost your spouse, your partner, and your future together. Allow yourself to grieve these losses and to feel sad. There is no right or wrong way to grieve a divorce, but if you feel stuck with your grieving process, you might want to seek professional help.
- Anger and resentment: It is also normal to feel anger and resentment during and after your divorce. You may be angry at your spouse for the things they did or didn't do. You may also be angry at yourself for things you did or didn't do. It is important to express your anger in a healthy way – and not endanger your future by expressing your anger in destructive or criminal ways. This might feel amazing, but hurts your future you in long-lasting ways. This could mean talking to a therapist, journaling, or exercising.
- Guilt: You may feel guilty about getting a divorce. You may feel like you are letting your spouse down or that you are failing as a parent. It is important to remember that divorce is not always a failure. Sometimes, it is the best decision for both parties involved and it gives you the opportunity to shape your future the way you want.
- Fear: You may feel fear about the future after divorce. You may be afraid of being alone, of not being able to support yourself, or of not being able to see your children as much as you want. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time.
- Confusion: You may feel confused about what to do next after divorce. You may not know how to co-parent with your spouse, how to start over financially, or how to rebuild your social life. It is important to take things one step at a time and to reach out for help when you need it.
Remember, divorce is a process. It takes time to heal from a divorce and to move on with your life. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage. With time and support, you will get through this.
Here are some tips to deal with these feelings
- Acknowledge your feelings. It is normal to feel a range of emotions during and after divorce, including sadness, anger, grief, relief, confusion, and fear. Don't try to bottle up your feelings or pretend that you're not going through a tough time or turn to destructive behaviors that might get you into criminal trouble. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and express them in a healthy way.
- Talk to someone you trust. Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or counselor can be helpful in processing your emotions and getting support. It can be helpful to talk to someone who has been through a divorce themselves and can offer you understanding and advice about how they coped with how they felt. Just don't follow their legal advice - leave the legal advice for the lawyer you hire.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. These things will help you to feel better physically and emotionally. If you cannot do all of these, then pick one, and build from there. Rediscover the healthy delicious foods you used to eat but your ex hated.
- Do things that make you happy. Spend time with loved ones, pursue your hobbies, and do things that make you feel good. Or, you could find a new hobby or activity that you always wanted to try but did not. This can be a time to build on your new future, and that future can include things you have never done before. This will help you to take your mind off of your divorce and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
- Consider getting a pet. Pets show unconditional love (even cats). If you have not moved out yet, you might want to wait until you are in your new place (unless they moved out) before you do. Renting is harder with pets.
- Set realistic expectations. Emotionally recovering from a divorce can be a long and difficult process. Don't expect to feel better overnight. It takes time to heal from a divorce. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you are struggling to cope with the emotional aspects of divorce, you may want to consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor. They can help you to understand your emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. And no, its not going to be used against you.
You are not alone. Millions of people go through divorce every year. There is help available, and you will get through this. And in fact, you can get through this in a way that you are a stronger, more resilient and happier you.
Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:
The American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: https://www.aamft.org/
If you have employer-sponsored insurance, the insurance company may have an employee assistance program. They may have additional resources that can get you cost-effective help
Even if you are early into your journey, if you think you can work through the issues of your divorce amicably with your soon-to-be-ex, I would love to help. You can reach out to my office through my website or by calling me. I have helped hundreds of people through the legal aspects of the process, and can make that part just a bit easier.