Coping with divorce
According to DivorceRate.org, 50 percent of all marriages in America end in divorce. Although there are hidden layers about that alarming statistic - such as the breakup of ages, genders, and whether or not these are the same people over and over getting married and divorced - one thing is certain: Divorce is nothing new, rare and possible. The bright side? If you do get divorced, you will get through it.
But how? I could have asked relationship experts for advice, but I quickly realized who better to turn to than those divorcees who have been there and done that. After all, it's easier said than done. Those who have gone through the divorce motions know exactly what you're going through and what's in store from tasks to emotions.
Need some help getting through the tough time? Read on…
Prioritize Your Needs
There's a lot in store for you. From moving to dividing up your assets, it's important to prioritize what you need to do versus stuff you don't have to do. "Go from one thing to the next," says Valerie, who's had to divorce her high school sweetheart. Lucky for Valerie, she and her ex-husband didn't have children, but if you do have kids, try to make the transition as smooth as possible for them. That should be at the top of list of your priorities: Making it easy and as less scary as possible for your babies.
"It's also important to not sweat the small stuff," says Valerie. "Think of it this way, keep what you really want in mind, but if it doesn't materialize, let it go." Assets are just things – your sanity is more important.
Ask for Support
From family to friends, it's okay to ask for shoulders to cry on, ears that will have a listen, and companionship. Now that you'll be alone for the first time in a long time, it will take a little getting used to. "Your support system will really make a difference in making this tough time in your life easier," says Joyce, who's going through a divorce right now. "Waking up everyday can be scary because you realize all over again that you're going through this big change that you didn't foresee." Joyce says a call to a girlfriend or her sister always helps.
It is heartbreak, after all, and it's good to talk (or vent) about it. If you have friends who have gone through divorces, that's even better, she says. "Just knowing that other people have gone through the experience can be therapeutic."
Put Some Things on Hold
If you were planning to make a huge purchase like a car, or change careers, it might be best to put those updates aside. Your mind is already preoccupied with this huge change, anything else might stress you out to the point where you'd go out of your mind. "My husband tried to use my 'extravagant' purchases against me in court," says Annmarie, who's been divorced for a handful of years. Luckily, Annmarie's husband wasn't successful, but it's important to keep this in mind nonetheless.
When it comes to finances and property, things could get ugly. Any out-of-the-ordinary change in your lifestyle might depict instability in your personality that's not even accurate. Just be careful, advises Annmarie.
Take Care of Yourself
Whether you thought this ex (or ex-to-be) of yours was the love of your life, don't forget that the most important relationship you have is with yourself. You should be the most important person to you! At the end of the day, no matter what happens with your divorce, your wants and needs trump everything else. Don't beat yourself up over what happened, and don't wallow in it. Just do the best that you can with the situation, remain true to yourself, try to de-stress whenever possible, and you should be fine. As hard as times may be, know that you will get through this.