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How to Survive a Divorce

Divorce can leave even the strongest of men vulnerable and hurting. It can mean leaving your old life, your house, some friends that you have known throughout your married life, and sometimes even your own children. Many divorcees experience depression, loneliness and anger while struggling hard to adjust to their new lives. Some force themselves to move on while some nurture the pain.

Recognize that this is an adjustment period. Although it may be hard to treat the loneliness and anger simply as part of the process, try to keep in mind that the pain will subside in time.

However, do not force yourself to move on if you are still hurting. Denial would not ease the pain but will only cover it up and leave it to fester. Perhaps even turn into depression later. Hold on to the knowledge that this is just a phase and that you will eventually feel better.

1. Join a positive divorce support group - These groups encourage sharing of experiences and thoughts so members can better realize that they are not going through the pain alone. If you are not comfortable talking in front of a large group of people, seek help from a professional counselor. This is especially helpful if you are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. A professional counselor can help you work through the pain, monitor your condition and make sure that you are well on your way to healing.

2. Stay away from rebound relationships - During the first year of your divorce, you are way too vulnerable and will still be carrying a lot of baggage. Even if you don’t like the idea or feeling of being single again, moving from one relationship to another can only make your loneliness worse. Many divorcees who go through a series of relationship soon after the divorce find that a new relationship only complicates things. Getting out from underneath all that pain takes time. Wait for the wound to heal fully before entering another serious relationship.

3. Communicate your feelings verbally and in writing - Talking is one of the most effective ways to relieve emotional turmoil, which is why support groups and counselors encourage conversation. Writing on your diary is also therapeutic and allows you to reflect on your thoughts afterwards.

If you do have kids, include them in the healing process. Assure them that you love them deeply, that the divorce has not changed that. The end of a marriage is painful for anybody. Remember though that moving on is the only way to free yourself from the pain and move forward. However, making impulsive major changes in your life can wait until you have fully adjusted to being single again. Take it easy. Help yourself. Get a new haircut, join an interest group, work out, buy something you’ve always wanted, take a vacation from work, eat and live well, and learn to appreciate yourself more.