While divorce is common and most of us have either experienced it or know someone close to us who has, it is far from a “normal” life experience. The level of pain inflicted by the experience ranges widely from tolerable disruption and discomfort to wrenching despair and a sense of personal destruction.
While advice from friends and family can be very supportive, more often the most beneficial help can be found within community with others experiencing it and/or with a skilled professional therapist. We suggest one or a combination of the following to consider for your divorce coping strategies:
“You’re better of without him/her”
“Run, don’t walk from that marriage”
“When you’re ready, I have an amazing guy/gal for you to meet”
You might hear things like this from well-meaning people. There is a sub-text running through each of these statements that “this is somehow a good thing in disguise and you should see that”
Well, it may indeed turn out that way one day, but it sure doesn’t feel like that now. Some combination of guilt, shame, rage, fear, desperation, confusion and fantasies of violence are more likely. This is normal. Divorce can feel like an existential threat and touch off our most primal “fight or flight” autonomic response system. To protect yourself, find support, community and trusted friends and professionals.
Now is the critical time to focus on your most basic self-care even if you don’t feel like it.
Practice clearing your mind and being still. Find your sanctuary. Some good examples can be a public library, a city park, a favorite coffee shop or your church or house of worship. Observe….be still…. Breathe…..Breathe…...Breathe..
Working towards a hopeful and positive mindset can be especially hard in these times. But most often with help it can be achieved and it offers you a tremendous advantage. Remind yourself that practicing and training yourself to be more optimistic is in fact possible and optimism generally leads to a much better outcome.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychology can both help https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral, https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-positive-psychology-definition/
They are going through their own form of torment or despair. Neither of you likely has enough ground beneath your feet to have anything productive come of this and more likely it will make things worse.
Seek the light. This is a perfect time for personal reinvention or for rededication to your values. Now is the time to ask yourself the big questions. What are the bedrock values of life for me? What actions should I now dedicate myself to? What positive lessons can I learn that can guide me in the next phase of life?