You were told that you were not loved anymore, that there was someone else. Maybe you drifted apart and don’t like each other anymore. You are perhaps at the end of a long marriage and you had no idea about the pain and heartbreak that awaited. Life is full of hardships, but when it comes to how to survive a divorce, there are ways to get through, become stronger and move on to a courageous new life after a divorce.

How to Survive a Divorce

Make a Small Decision

Suddenly you find yourself with the same amount of income between the parties but now there are two sets of household expenses to support.  If you are worried about finances, sometimes it is best to think small.  Make a smart financial decision and find a smaller, more affordable place to live. Also, staying in the location where all the memories took place can keep you stuck in the past. Here, you can cry, mourn, gather your thoughts and plan your new reality. This does not have to be your “forever home,” but your “for now” home.

Keep your Heart Protected

Stay off social media. Ask your friends to stop bringing you stories about your ex and their new partner. If you are the one that was dumped, evidence of happiness without you can be heart-breaking. Deactivating your social accounts such as Facebook and Instagram can give you time to grieve in peace.  It also prevents your social media account postings from being used against you in the divorce process.

Experience Gratitude

When traumatic things happen, sometimes looking beyond your sphere of living can help. This could be spending some time in nature and connecting to your spiritual side.  It could be spending time volunteering for a worthy cause or helping those less fortunate.  Focus on becoming more spiritual and finding meaning or purpose beyond just your life, and the world that you used to know. This will help you stop spending energy on negative thoughts. You could read spiritual devotionals and research questions you always wondered about. You could become more involved in a cause you always had a passion for.  You could start practicing yoga or meditation.  Focus on living in the present and being grateful for what you have. The power of gratitude is incredible!

Be Brave

Push yourself to be independent and daring. This is a new chapter in your life.  Try the things in life you’ve always wanted.  Every decision you now make is your decision alone. This can be very intimidating to think about, but also exciting. Take that solo road trip to the place nobody else wanted to go, join a cause, meet new people, and learn something new! Toughen up, learn how to sort out that running toilet or whatever always seemed daunting to you.  For others, this is the opportunity for bigger changes.  Move to the place you always wanted to go, start on the path to the career you truly wanted.  Sometimes change is what you needed.

Know You’re Not Alone

Days during the divorce process and the days following your separation can be some of the loneliest times you will encounter. However, remember that it won’t always be that way. Stop feeling ashamed, drop your pride, and reach out and share your pain with those you trust. Not only will you get the support you need, but you may make your relationships stronger along the way.

That being said, do not wallow and whine continuously to your family and friends.  Nobody wants to hear only pain and suffering and it isn’t good for you to spend too much time on negative thoughts.  Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling or join a support group. People in the same boat tend to give wonderful advice on how to survive a divorce.

Be Kind to Yourself

You can’t change the past.  In the meantime, you are torturing yourself by going over things that could have been done differently. Be kind to yourself, and don’t punish yourself unnecessarily.  Remember to eat, sleep, and exercise.

How to Help Kids Survive a Divorce

Ideally, it should be you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse who talk to your children together about what is happening. The conversation should be somewhat scripted ahead of time and done in a calm, rational manner. Now is not the time to get angry or hysterical. Give them a good week’s notice before any moving out to give them the time to process what is happening and how it will affect them. Let them know this isn’t their fault and life will be good, even though different.

Remember that the children, no matter what age, will go through their own grieving process. They will have worries about how the divorce is going to affect their lives. If at all possible, agree to the logistics affecting your children’s schedules with your spouse ahead of time as much as possible, and also be honest about the parts that haven’t been worked out.  Ideally, the parents would share this with the children together when informing them of the divorce.  Just knowing there is an agreed-upon schedule as to who is picking them up from school and who is taking them to their activities can help create some certainty when their lives are otherwise changing.

Telling Other People

Your friends, family, and co-workers are bound to ask you what happened. Decide in advance what you want to share, with whom. This way, you won’t be surprised at that office party or family reunion and regret sharing or venting with someone not close to you.  Keep your communications to those limited few who you truly trust.  Don’t post details about your case or your feelings on social media, even if you believe you are doing so anonymously.

Your parents read you the happily-ever-after fairy tales. You believed that Prince Charming marries the princess and both ended up living in harmony. As adults, we know that an actual relationship is hard work and sometimes people just grow apart. Nonetheless, this work may have been very worthwhile and rewarding, even if it does lead to divorce. The divorce process can be a big relief and the past marriage is still a beautiful chapter of your life even when it ends in divorce, especially if the divorce is done peacefully and with respect to both parties.

Additional Reading:

What to Do When Your Spouse Asks for a Divorce

See also “Me, Myself and I:  How to Travel Alone and Love it”

Law Office of Julie Fowler, PC, LLO | Divorce Lawyers Omaha

Child Custody | Child Support | Divorce Lawyers Omaha

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.