Separation and divorce are unfortunate truths of adult life, and something that every one of us has to contend with at one point or another in our lives – if not through friends and other loved ones, then in our own lives. Recent statistics have established that around 42% of marriages end in divorce.
If you find yourself looking at lengthy divorce or separation proceedings, whatever the cause, you are also looking at an extremely difficult time emotionally speaking. Even if you are the one doing the divorcing, the process can be slow and painful – and even if your partner has shown their true colours, there is still an element of grief to contend with for the life you once, or could have, had. With all this in mind, what are some helpful coping strategies to endure the coming months?
The Value of Good Representation
Before recognising the various personal, emotional and pastoral things you can do to help weather the divorce process, it is important to recognise the pacifying strength of fielding good legal representation. Though the emotional aspects of divorce practically define the process, it is fundamentally a legal process – and one which can end poorly without the right legal help.
To this end, early efforts placed into finding the right family solicitor can pay dividends with regard to divorce stress and anxiety, let alone with regard to tangible outcomes for yourself and your family. With the right representation, you can essentially leave the heavy lifting to your solicitor, and give yourself more time and energy to focus on your own health.
The term ‘self-care’ has become somewhat hackneyed in recent years, as vapid ‘awareness’ campaigns for mental health advocation have trumpeted it incessantly without actually engaging with root causes for mental conditions. However, the right approach to self-care can be transformative in the way you approach the divorce process.
Simply put, self-care should be treated more as self-kindness. It can be easy to take things out on yourself during a separation or divorce, whether tangibly (by starting up bad habits or blaming yourself for the present state of affairs) or intangibly (throwing yourself into logistical and legal preparations without giving yourself time to rest or breathe). By giving yourself space, and allowing yourself to enjoy the little things – a bath here, a well-cooked meal there – you can value yourself even in a difficult and devaluing time.
Seeking the support of family and close friends should be a given in such difficult times as these, but is often not the first thing you think to do. This is your sign to reach out; your loved ones may not even know that you are struggling!
Of course, the support of loved ones is great, but it is no panacea. The divorce process can kick up some ugly emotions and memories, which might be best tackled in a more formal scenario; therapy is a highly-recommended provision for those undergoing divorce, to help stay on top of negative thinking and attitudes arising from such emotions.