Tips to help you grieve a divorce — even if you chose to end the relationship.
When getting married, no one is thinking about getting divorced. It is probably the last thing on your mind. Marriages are for “better or worse.” They are meant to last through sickness and in health. That is why getting a divorce is extremely difficult even if you are the one that chose to end the union.
When you get a divorce or separation, it is not just your relationship or marital status that changes. You have to adjust to a new role. Plus, it can be hard to say goodbye emotionally. Even if the relationship was not healthy, you will likely still experience grief after a separation. Emotions are complicated. It can take a long time to heal and deal with the shift that comes with starting your life over again.
Here are a few ways to ease the pain of divorce even if you were the one that chose to end things.
Allow Yourself To Mourn
It's normal to feel sad or down after a separation or divorce. It's a huge loss. It's not what you planned for your life. You lost your partner, but that might not be all. Maybe you also lost friends or social status. This experience deserves a proper mourning period.
So, how do you know if you are stuck in your grief after a divorce? If feelings of sadness or despair cause severe distress or significantly impact your daily life, then it might be time to talk to a therapist. So, if you can't seem to find the energy to do normal things like taking the dog out for walks or fixing lunch for the kids, then you should seek help. Sometimes grief can turn into clinical depression.
Holding onto bitterness and regrets will only make the pain of divorce worse. It will also keep you from moving forward. Take note of your inner thoughts. If they are angry or negative, ask yourself "are these thoughts helping me in any way?" If the answer is "no," then focus on letting go of them. An excellent way to do this is to use mindfulness meditation. Here is a simple practice:
Notice your thoughts. Are they negative?
Acknowledge the negative thoughts and then purposefully let them go.
Make sure you are focusing on your breathing the entire time.
Talk It Out
Don't isolate yourself from family and friends. Avoid keeping your emotions bottled up inside. Confide in friends and family members. Or, if you feel more comfortable, join a support group where you can talk to others who are also going through a divorce. Just make sure you are getting support from somewhere.
See A Therapist
Therapy can be beneficial when you are going through a separation or divorce. It can help you make the transition from married to single life. It can also help you have a healthier outlook on the divorce, which is one of the keys to getting through grief. Therapy is also a safe place to share your thoughts and feelings.
For more information about therapy in Roseville, CA or counseling in Fair Oaks, CA contact us today. At the Relationship Therapy Center, we provide a range of therapeutic services, including individual and couples therapy to help anyone going through a divorce.
Lori Hunter, LMFT specializes in working with families, co-parenting and those high conflict couples struggling with relationships. She helps couples build intimacy, teaching effective emotional processing techniques that directly improve thoughts and behaviors.