You’ve probably heard the statistic that about 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. While that’s a staggering number to consider, most people don’t feel that affected by it until they become a part of it.
Whether or not your divorce was amicable, it’s never an easy thing to go through. No one gets married thinking that one day, things will end.
No matter what, divorce is a loss. It’s okay to grieve over your marriage, and it’s okay to feel like something is missing—even when it was the right thing to do.
For some, dealing with the impact of divorce feels next to impossible. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and there are healthy ways of coping that can help to get you through.
Let’s look at three tips for coping with divorce that can encourage you to feel more like yourself again, and keep moving forward with the next chapter of your life.
1. Don’t Feel Like a Failure
The last thing anyone should do is to look at their marriage and consider it a success or a failure. It isn’t a business proposal or a “project”. If your marriage ends in divorce, it doesn’t mean you failed.
Were there things that should’ve been done differently? Probably. Maybe some issues were your fault, maybe some had to do with your partner. What triggered your divorce doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you look at it as you’re moving ahead.
Instead of feeling like a failure because your marriage ended, think about what you gained from it. At one point, you were in love. You saw a future with someone. Things might have been great for a while. Focus on those times and how you grew as a person. Did you buy your first house? Adopt a dog? Have kids? Along the way, what did you learn about yourself?
There are things in your life that never would have occurred without your marriage. Focusing on those things will make it easier to keep your head up and recognize you didn’t fail.
2. Practice Self-Compassion
If one of your closest friends or family members got divorced, how would you react?
Chances are, you would treat them with compassion, kindness, and understanding.
So, why is it so hard to show that same grace to yourself?
Be kind to yourself during this stage of life. Practice self-care, and do more of what makes you happy and reduces your stress. It can be tempting to stay in bed and eat pints of ice cream, but your life doesn’t have to feel like a scene from a romantic comedy.
Instead, try things like exercising, cooking your favorite meals, journaling, or even having a few “spa days” at home. Self-care isn’t selfish—it’s a necessary part of life, especially when you’re going through a difficult time.
Be patient with your emotions and make your mental and physical health your top priorities.
3. Lean On Your Support System
Signing your name on those divorce papers can make you feel incredibly alone.
The good news? You’re not.
Now is a perfect time to lean on your support system. Family members and friends are important, whether you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen to your feelings. It can also be helpful to talk to other individuals who have gone through a divorce. There are support groups, both in-person and online that will help you understand that you’re not alone, and can offer actionable advice on how to cope.
If you’re still struggling, feel free to reach out. Your mental well-being doesn’t have to suffer, and you don’t need to fall into unhealthy coping mechanisms because of your divorce. Together, we’ll work on more ways to move forward, so you can feel good about the next steps in your journey.
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