Dealing With Divorce

From the Mental Health Minutes  

When you start through a divorce daily experiences can seem overwhelming and you often feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster.

One of the things that can help is to keep as much of your life the same as it was before the divorce. This is not the best time to move or change jobs if it can be avoided, even though it might seem like a good idea to get as far away from the ex-spouse as the planet will allow.

The tasks of adjusting to divorce involve making new single friends who can be available on the week-ends to socialize with you. Many of our clients have only had married friends for some time. While maintaining those friends is helpful for support, developing friendships with other single people can help you to have a fuller single life.

The change in traditions, such as holidays can be a painful transition. Before the holidays sneak up on you make careful plans to have someone over or to participate in a new way with your family of origin. Traditions and daily rituals give you a sense of continuity and stability and help a single parent family heal.

Be careful to avoid lengthy discussions about what you're really like with your ex-spouse. They can rarely provide objective input in a divorce and only serve to keep the pain going.

There may be days that you think getting a divorce was a bad idea, even if it was your idea. Wait at least 24 hours. If you still feel that you might want to convey this to your former spouse, call them. It is easy to forget the bad times when you are lonely and sometimes a minimal contact can help clarify whether or not this was a good decision for you.

Remember it gets better. While experts say that it takes from two to five years to get over a divorce, most also feel that the most painful part for many individuals is getting to that decision, not living with it.

Dr. Hudson's newest book THE SOLUTION-ORIENTED WOMAN: Creating the Life You Want is particularly empowering for women going through divorce. You can find this book and other helpful material in our Online Catalog.



Copyright 1999, 2003 Dr. Pat Hudson. All Rights Reserved.