How to Take Care of Yourself While Coping With Divorce

A divorce is a challenging event in the life of any person. During this time, you lose your partner and your habitual way of life. Even the way you look at yourself can change.

At the first stage of coping with divorce, self-esteem can be greatly reduced, which complicates an already tough life period. 

The leading provider of online divorce services, CompleteCase.com, which devotes its professional experience to promoting an amicable and stress-free divorce, presents five tips on maintaining self-esteem and self-worth at this time.

Speak to accepting people

A therapist, a closed social network group, friends who are entirely on your side – you need support and an opportunity to share your feelings. Ideally, there should be several such places. You will probably want to speak about your experience often, but you don’t want to burden people who treat you well.

Often, people keep everything bottled up inside because they are afraid of annoying others with their “whining.” This is an understandable feeling: divorcees often feel abandoned. The fear that friends and acquaintances will also turn away from them is natural.

It is beneficial to tell your friends about your doubts: “You know, you are my closest friend, and I want you to listen to me. But I’m afraid to burden you.” It’s okay to agree with your friend or sibling for them to tell you when they get emotionally tired and want to change the subject.

Do not satisfy idle curiosity

Divorce is an emotionally charged topic. When it becomes known that you are getting a divorce, many people will want to talk about it or ask questions, often without tact or support.

You should learn to distinguish people who really care about your life and emotional state from those who are just curious and indifferent about your personal feelings.

Ask yourself, for example, if you have shared the details of your personal life with this person before? If not, his or her question can be somewhat beyond your usual relationship. Yet, even if the questioner is your close friend or relative with whom you usually share important things, you do not have to answer if you do not want or do not feel the desire to talk about your divorce right now.

Don’t hide the fact of your divorce from your family

Divorced spouses usually choose the specific moment that is suitable for “disclosure.” For some, it is filing a divorce petition with the court; for others – the time when the spouses start living separately.

However, sometimes, people are ashamed or afraid to share the breakup and choose not to tell anyone and pretense of maintaining a happy family. As a temporary solution, this can eliminate the additional burden (questioning, the parental family’s discontent, and so on). Still, when this situation drags on for months, it becomes unhelpful.

First, it takes a lot of effort to maintain the appearance of marriage. Secondly, it keeps the spouses “not separated.” You have to come together at family celebrations, tell your family how he or she is doing. In such a state, it is impossible to separate from the former partner completely. The shared secret makes this connection stronger.

And finally, divorce is a social fact, and announcing a new status to mutual acquaintances is a natural consequence. Think about what scares you. Are you afraid of judgment or disapproval? Or that this will be “the grand finale” of the marriage? Do you think people will look at you differently when they find out that you are divorced? When you find the answers to these questions and analyze them, it may not be so scary to talk about the breakup.

Care about yourself

There are many stereotypes about how women who have just gotten divorced behave (for some reason, there are fewer such stereotypes about men, and they all boil down to alcohol or one-night stands).

It is believed that after breaking up with their partner, women tend to change their hairstyles and image, start a new job (or start to work if they were not during the marriage), start practicing sports, and take better care of themselves.

There is a grain of truth in these stereotyped patterns of behavior. In fact, it is suitable for both men and women to start thinking more about themselves and relying on themselves.

Divorce is a difficult time when we feel much less valuable and important. It’s great to think about how to treat yourself. And it would be even better if you remind yourself that this is a good habit, which you should definitely hang on to and take it with you into new relationships in the future.

It’s not so important what this care is (maybe, going for a massage, getting a new haircut, asking for a pay raise, or just spending an evening alone with the favorite TV series and refusing an unpleasant meeting). These actions must help you feel a little more comfortable and confident.

Do not force yourself to stay positive

You can do no greater harm towards yourself than pretending that everything is fine, and you are happy with all the changes that are happening to you.

Undoubtedly, you can see something positive in divorce but now is a difficult period when there are many bitter and complicated emotions. It’s better not to go to companies and communities where people support the discourse of “stay positive no matter what.”

For example, divorced people are often advised, “don’t think about the past and move on.” How can you not think about breaking up with a person with whom you have lived for many years? And how are you supposed to move on, if the future is so uncertain right now, and it is not clear what to expect from life?

When people you know say that “you are strong, so you can do it,” it may be worth explaining to them that these words will not support you in any way. And do not worry that your sour face will ruin someone’s good mood. This is not your responsibility, and you have the right to be sad for as long as it takes.

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