Managing Your Mental Health in Divorce

Experts consider divorce to be one of the three most traumatic events you can experience in life. The other two are the death of a loved one and moving to a new home. When you realize that most people who divorce also need to adjust to a new living situation, it’s easy to see why the combined stress of going through a divorce is monumental.

Along with managing legal rights and financial matters, you also need to take care of your mental health during and after a divorce. The traumatic effects do not magically disappear the moment your divorce becomes final.

There is No Shame in Emotion

The loss of a relationship rearranges all of your expectations for life. In addition to losing the partner you envisioned sharing your future with, you may also have to move out of a home filled with memories and lose possessions that provided comfort in ways you never realized. You are going to feel a range of emotions and suppressing them will not make them go away. During and after divorce, many people feel:

  • Shock at the changes
  • Guilt and pain over mistakes they think they may have made
  • Anger over big changes as well as seemingly inconsequential issues
  • A sense of failure
  • The urge to try to do something to bring things back to the way they were before
  • Fear for the future
  • Loss and loneliness

Your yellow brick road through these emotions can eventually encourage you to let go and lead you to a place where you accept the changes and move forward with a new life. But first, you’ll need to acknowledge and deal with the emotions in a way that works for you.

Be Careful Whom You Go to For Advice and Help

It is natural to go to friends for help, and easy to look for advice on the internet. However, you need to remember that your friends and co-workers are not trained to help you process emotions and they are not paid to listen to your grievances. Advice that is easy to locate online can be wrong or at the very least, incomplete. Divorce is a major experience, and it deserves professional treatment.

Find a good therapist, parenting counselor, psychiatrist, or spiritual advisor—or all of the above—to address the issues and emotions rolling through your head. As trained professionals, they understand what you are facing and how to help you move through the healing process.

When it comes to your legal and financial concerns, you can look up some basic information online, but consult an experienced divorce attorney and financial advisor before making any decisions. These professionals can help you anticipate issues and resolve potential concerns to reduce your worries about the unknowns of the future.

Time and Teamwork Can Protect Your Mental Health in Divorce

It will take time to process the mental issues as well as the legal and financial issues in a divorce. Allow yourself to grieve, but don’t allow negative emotions to run your life. When you work with legal and financial advisors to develop concrete plans for your future, the decrease in stress can allow you to focus on managing your emotions so that you are ready to move forward to your best life ahead.