Having to cope with a divorce that you don’t want can seem insurmountable. I’ve put together some tips gleaned over the years as someone who has been through a divorce myself, as well as a family mediation specialist in Perth.
Here are my tips on how to cope with a divorce when you don’t want it.
Discuss The Decision With Your Partner
You have basically two choices – try to reconcile with your spouse, or accept the situation and prepare to move on with your life. To try and save your marriage, the first step would be to talk to your spouse to discover the real reasons behind their feelings and the relationship breakdown (if you didn’t already know), before you decide what path to choose.
If there is a glimmer of hope of a reconciliation, you can jointly decide if you want to pursue that. The last thing either of you want is to be thinking years down the line “I wonder what would have happened had I tried …” Seeking professional help would be top of the list, followed by a trial separation, although statistics show very few couples reconcile after a trial separation.
Letting go, when it’s not something you want, is probably the hardest part in any divorce but, when you ask yourself whether trying to remain married to someone who no longer wants to be married to you is harder than moving on and living on your own, the answer may become much clearer.
With any divorce, no matter how amicable it may be, comes a multitude of changes. These can raise the level of stress and cloud your mind. Add that to the fear of the unknown that lies ahead. Where will I stay? How will I survive? How am I going to pay for everything? Have I let my children down? How will I take care of them?
When you stack all these problems and fears together, you’re left staring into a great big mountain of questions. But, just like the millions of people who have gone through the same thing as you, perhaps far worse, you will climb it, one small step at a time.
Just stay calm, be patient and take it one day at a time. Don’t look too far ahead and tackle each problem one by one. Never forget that this is only a temporary phase you’re going through and soon, it will pass.
Be Prepared For Every Emotion
No one said this is going to be easy. This will probably be the hardest thing you will ever do. You’ll be bombarded by every emotion you can imagine. There’ll be fear, disappointment, anger, anxiety, despair, loneliness, and more. That is to be expected and is perfectly normal. It would be abnormal if you didn’t feel a range of emotions during this tumultuous time.
There will be days when you feel you’re not coping, there will be sleepless nights while crazy thoughts race through your mind, wearing you down. That’s OK too. But as you start overcoming your problems, you will begin to gain confidence and you’ll start having days when you feel you can deal with whatever life throws at you. Just be prepared for every emotion and remember to be kind to yourself as you experience them.
Establish A Safe Support Network
There is nothing more comforting than having someone really close in whom you can confide. There is no need cope with a divorce on your own. Everyone has a friend or some family to lean on and there is no better time to do so than right now.
Establish a safe support network of people who are supportive and positive-minded and dump those who dwell in the past. Perhaps you know someone who has been divorced. Talk with them. They can tell you what to expect. If you’re still battling, don’t hesitate to seek counselling or a support group. Whatever you do, do not isolate yourself.
Don’t Stress About What You Can’t Control
Separate the things that you can change and forget about what you cannot. By now, you may be a little wiser, so take any lessons from your marriage, and avoid repeating mistakes of the past. Look for solutions to each problem and put them to work. If a problem is beyond you, forget it.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Being in a continued state of anxiety often renders us unable to control our emotions, think clearly and express ourselves accurately. If you find yourself in this state, consider creating a journal in which to diarise your thoughts and emotions. Converting emotions into text can be quite challenging but also therapeutic.
Don’t forget to practice daily gratitude of what you have in your life, instead of wallowing in misery thinking of what you do not have or have lost. Write down one thing each day that you are grateful for.
Focus On The Future
Try to imagine yourself two years down the line. Or even five years. Where do you want to be? Once you know where you going, start planning the next phase of your life focusing only on the future and building a new life for you and your children.
Once you have come to the acceptance that you are getting a divorce, your next choice will be whether to divorce through the Court or through family mediation. If you have children under 18 years, you have no choice but to try family law mediation first, as it is a legal requirement prescribed by Australian Family Law.
Regardless of it being mandatory, divorcing through mediation, is by far the quickest, least costly, and least stressful for the whole family than any other way.
I hope you’ve found these tips on how to cope with a divorce when you don’t want it helpful.
Get in touch with Move On Mediation in Perth today for a confidential discussion about your circumstances and how we may be able to help you move on.