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Coping With the Hurt of Divorce

You’ve spent years creating that happy family you dreamed about, and now it’s falling apart. It hurts so much and your friends and family may not understand the pain you're going through. It hurts as bad as if someone had died - but often the person is still very much a part of your life due to business or co-parenting... which makes it complicated. With divorce comes a feeling of grief, despair, and fear about your future - this is all normal and not something to be ignored, but rather, addressed..

Your marriage may be over, but a new chapter of your life is just beginning. You can pick up the pieces, recover, and emerge stronger than ever.

These strategies can help you cope with the hurt of your divorce and claim a brighter tomorrow:

1. Nurture your spirit. What are your spiritual beliefs? How could those beliefs nourish you at this time in your life, when you need that nourishment the most? You always take time to eat, right? Your spiritual nourishment is as valuable as the food for your body.

  • If you take time for yourself and find ways to nurture your spirit every day, everything else will fall into place. Examine your heart in light of your spiritual beliefs. Pray for guidance. Seek like-minded people that will lift you up and encourage you along your spiritual journey. Visit your local place of worship and connect with people there. Or, grab a few books from the local library.

  • Instead of dwelling on the challenges you face, pray or meditate on how you can heal and channel your grief into helping others. Serving others brings joy to your heart and provides a much-needed distraction from the complicated emotions of your divorce. Seek volunteer opportunities in your local community or place of worship.

2. Get moving. When faced with the heartbreak of divorce, you may be tempted to stay on the couch. Resist the temptation. Instead, get out and get moving. Pick a physical activity you enjoy and commit to a regular exercise routine. You'll have more energy, self-confidence, and strength to overcome the challenging emotions you face.

  • Exercise releases happy hormones and keeps you fit, healthy, and youthful. If you have trouble deciding on an activity for your workouts, consider yoga. Yoga can be a gentle and inviting way to get moving. An important part of yoga is nurturing the connection between your body and your spirit.

3. Take a vacation. Get away from all the places that remind you of the years you spent together. Spend a few hours or days in a place of natural beauty. Allow the surroundings to take your mind off of your divorce. Think of as many things as possible to be grateful for, and relax in a place that lets you escape for a while.

4. Change your focus. What you focus on becomes your reality. You deserve to be happy, and you can decide to settle for nothing less than your best experience of life. Begin to take action today in the direction of your dreams.

  • If you're struggling with your self-confidence, seek positive friends who can encourage you to see the best in yourself. Focus on your strengths and how you can use them to forge ahead in creating the life you want.

5. Create new rituals. Yes, you build a life rich with "married" traditions, habits and rituals - now is your opportunity to decide what YOU might want to create new or different for yourself! If certain holidays trigger sadness around what you've lost, consider planning in advance for new traditions during those times. Consider refreshing your holiday decor to include new or different themes, consider traveling over the holidays instead of celebrating with family, or consider bringing friends together and creating new experiences to celebrate in different ways.

Be Patient With Yourself

Allow yourself some time to heal from the pain and grief of your divorce. Healing may take some time, but it will come. Take positive steps in a new direction, but give yourself permission to feel the hurt from your divorce. Over time, you'll notice the hurt becoming less and less as you take action toward a new direction and a bright future.

If you find yourself stuck and the heaviness of life after divorce isn't lifting, consider reaching out to a qualified therapist who can help you work through this transition.

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