Without a doubt, going through a marital breakup is often one of the most difficult things you can face in life. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a split, divorce is heartbreaking and very similar to experiencing a death. It’s a drastic change, causing you to lose your marriage, your plans for the future and a long-term partner. And cleaning up the legal, emotional and financial mess that usually comes with this event is like rubbing salt in your wound.
However, it is important to remember that, over time, things will get better and you will survive. Fortunately, you have some control over just how quickly you recover and heal from a divorce. If you are about to face the difficult reality of divorce, assembling a divorce “team” is one of the most important things you can do to get through a divorce and facilitate healing. Build your divorce team to fill the following roles.
Divorce and stress are synonymous. During divorce, your body may go into fight-or-flight mode and produce stress chemicals, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Now more than ever, it is important to take care of your body and reduce stress. Recruit friends to exercise with or find a gym with options for a personal trainer. Make sure to get the proper nutrition, activity and adequate amounts of sleep.
Talking to a trusted friend or family member can be great in a moment of emotional need. However, you may find that meeting with a professional counselor or minister can provide greater emotional benefits during divorce, especially for those who are coping with major trauma. You may notice benefits in as little as one session, or you may choose to continue for deeper healing. Either way, lean on friends or family for the minor emotional needs, but speak with professionals for heavier emotional needs.
If you and your soon-to-be ex are on good terms and want to cooperate through this ordeal, an amicable divorce may be an option to pursue. However, most people will need a divorce attorney. A seasoned lawyer will help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and can also translate all the legal jargon so you can make the best choices for your future. Just make sure your attorney has the heart of a teacher and is not determined to wage war on the other party.
Having the right people on your side is one of the best ways to get through a divorce. However, there are going to be days where you want nothing more than to crawl into bed and never come out. It is crucial to keep an optimistic outlook throughout your divorce experience, as difficult as it may seem. Although divorce signals the end of your former life, it also signals the beginning of your new life — a new life of freedom, independence and opportunity.