Getting through a divorce is tough - there's no doubt about it. Divorce involves not just the end of your marriage but many other endings too. It means the end of hope for your relationship, the end of the future you’d planned, perhaps the end of your financial security, and much more besides.
So it's no wonder you're searching for advice on how to get through divorce.
I'm going to reassure you right away: you will get through and you will be okay again.
However, how you navigate your divorce and recovery depends on your own actions and attitude, regardless of whether you instigated the divorce. These can have a positive or negative impact on your soon-to-be ex.
There'll be much you won't have any control over. However, you do have control over how you react, adapt and deal with things.
That’s things like getting legal advice, maybe moving house, sorting your finances, and dealing with family and friends. If you have children, you'll also need to know how to get your children through divorce.
And, of course, you'll want to get through it all with your self-worth and confidence intact.
So, in this round-up article, I'm going to signpost you to the right resources on my site. Be sure to follow the links to get of all the information, tips and advice that's mainly freely available. I also urge you to read my article on how to get through a breakup which has a ton of information to help you survive a divorce too.
I have included three free printable worksheets for you to download because the best way to get through divorce is to work at it!
Avoidance and inaction feed the sense of hopelessness and depression that could be lurking around the corner. The sooner you get in the driving seat and take control, the less you'll suffer and the faster you’ll recover - on many levels.
First of all…
Clinical psychologist Prof. David A. Sbarra, Ph.D. has extensively researched what helps people to survive divorce. Watch this short video, then read on to discover the resources I've prepared for you.
Before we move on, I'd like you to consider the following because if you're the one instigating the divorce, I really want you to be sure you're doing the right thing...
Living apart for a little while could give you both a chance for quiet contemplation and re-evaluation. Maybe you just need a little time alone to help you figure out all the stuff you’re dealing with right now.
Depending on your reasons for divorce, during a trial separation, you and/or your partner might be confronted by what you're missing about each other. Or it could become obvious that a permanent separation and divorce is the way to go.
If you do go down this route, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Taking a temporary break in the hope that your partner will suddenly want you more or fall in love with you again is a somewhat manipulative way to change the dynamics.
You can sort your own divorce if you and your spouse agree on all the important aspects. You'll find plenty of forms online.
However, that route does come with a health warning!
Even if you agree right now, neither you nor your soon-to-be ex knows what the future holds. During a period of high emotion and for whatever reason, either one of you could change your mind about what you previously agreed. That's when you might discover that there are some unfortunate holes in your agreement or contract.
Instead of this dodgy route, find a good divorce lawyer and consider mediation. I've explained all in my article on how to find a divorce lawyer.
My article: Divorce advice for men has a ton of tips and advice regardless your gender.
Here's what you'll learn in that article:
As Prof Sbarra mentioned, you'll do much better if you have great people around you. That means no complainers, no gossips and no can't-be-bothered types.
Research shows that having a good social support network makes all the difference during a difficult time [1}. Having people whom you can call on and who look out for you makes all the difference.
So, I've prepared a worksheet for you to help you see who you can call on: who can give advice, who'd be good for emotional support and who would just offer great companionship as long as you don't end up crying on their shoulder.
You cannot afford - emotionally, let alone financially - to avoid dealing with money when divorce is on the cards.
Pluck up your courage and start immediately. You'll feel so much better for even just making a little start.
Do 1 or 2 items a day on your financial to do list if you really can't cope with it all at once.
Just in case you need it, read my article: Is your partner lying to you about money.
People often like to be helpful, so dare to ask for help if you're struggling. Choose your helpers wisely though.
Accept help with shopping, cleaning, picking up your dry-cleaning or post etc. from those who offer it (use that worksheet!).
Rejection hurts so badly! If your brain was to be scanned by what is called a PET scanner, that pain of rejection would light up the same neural pathways as a physical pain .
So, you need to share that and you need to offload. Talk about what's happening with trusted people in your social circle. If you're afraid of burdening people, then just ask if they have some to time to listen to you. Nothing else is needed.
See also: How to deal with rejection.
Alternatively, consider connecting with an online counsellor, particularly one trained in relationships and breakups. For further information, see my page: Online breakup advice.
You're entitled to your own feelings and reactions. What other people think of that is no business of yours!
Accept your own reactions too. Don't judge yourself, and remember to be kind to yourself. I have prepared a worksheet to help you manage your emotions.
To help you cope better with divorce, you could also consider self-hypnosis. Hypnosis with the aid of a professional download is effective, user-friendly and affordable. See my article: Hypnosis FAQ and Downloads.
Through my professional and personal experience I know only too well how easy it is to neglect yourself during a really tough time. But I also know how much better and how much more in control you'll feel if you take good care of yourself.
So, I've designed this worksheet to help you do just that. You can download it for free.
In my article Divorce tips and advice, you'll find all of the following:
Here are some other ideas:
1. Search for free advice
You can get free or affordable help by googling your particular issue - be it a relationship problem like infidelity, or an alcohol addiction or any other specific mental health problem. There are plenty of organisations and individuals with expertise who have written or contributed to online articles.
2. Counselling at your place of work
In addition, your place of work might provide free access to a counselling service
3. Counselling via your healthcare provider
Your medical centre may offer affordable counselling sessions
4. Independent practice counselling
Your insurance package may include access to a limited number of sessions with an independent counsellor or therapist
5. Specialist organisations
Specialist, often free, services are available in many towns (and online) for you if you are in an abusive relationship (in which case specially trained police officers can be of huge help too). Sometimes these organisations are staffed by trained volunteers, sometimes by professionals or a combination.
6. Religious support services
Your place of worship may have trained volunteers or religious leaders who can offer help and support.
7. A trusted person in your own environment
may be able to offer a listening ear, without feeling the need to start off-loading their own troubles! Have a look out for that one non-judgemental soul who's able to impart that little bit of wisdom that could just make all the difference to you. Be sure to read my article on getting trustworthy support first though.
Searching for how to get through divorce is a great first step towards actually getting through divorce. Taking the time to consider your options, how you behave and how you treat everyone else involved is to be commended.
Even if your ex refuses to be civil and is hell-bent on making the process as unpleasant as possible, you have a choice about how you proceed.
Try to always treat yourself and your ex with basic respect. Don’t resort to dirty tactics but also don’t give up hope if it feels like the divorce is really starting to take its toll. None of the advice I've given you will work if you don't do the work.
Continue to research how to get through divorce, surround yourself with robust support (whether friends, family or a professional), and know that you will get through this. I’m rooting for you :-)
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)
[1} Psychological well-being of individuals after divorce: the role of social support