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Dealing with Divorce
Nearly half of the marriages in the United States today end in divorce
If you are visiting this topic, you have most likely been affected by divorce. We sincerely hope to help anyone going through the many heartaches involved in a divorce by a few upfront and common sense suggestions. Throughout the divorce process, there are bound to be doubts and stumbling blocks to deal with along the way. Download this FREE alternative to marriage counseling report from Marriage Sherpa. Add your name and email below to receive this FREE report and Marriage Sherpa's FREE course. This program outlines the keys to:Save the marriage yourself - Bring your spouse home - Restore the trust - Rebuild the honesty - How to forgive - Have fun again - How to talk about it - Rebuild the intimacy
After a divorce it might feel as though your entire world is falling apart, but a skilled online therapist can offer just the support that you need. We provide you with a safe environment in which to communicate with a live professional counselor, 24/7. We provide you with access to qualified and experienced counselors from the privacy of your own home. Whether you prefer a single session to discuss an immediate concern, or you'd like to schedule a regular weekly meeting for a more intense program of support, our online therapists are flexible when it comes to meeting your needs.
Advice, Tips, Resources about Coping and Dealing with Your Ex After Divorce
1. Expect the rush of emotions
2. Judge with your mind, not your heart
3. Be grateful for your good relationships
4. Remember the bad times (but don't forget the good)
5.Look at your bright future 6. Revel in independence
7. Keep your gripes to yourself
8. Say no to seduction: "Sex with the ex"
9. Kill him with kindness
10. Learn, grow, change
Look at your bright future
Before deciding on divorce, there may
still be some
last minute efforts a couple can
undertake to avoid the proceedings.
Talking honestly to the other
Don't be nervous to tell your spouse what causes you hurt and upset within the relationship. I am sure that they would be much happier to hear, "Honey, ___ upsets me!", than, "Honey, I want a divorce."
Listen actively to the other person
The golden rule in communication revolves around not getting angry when your spouse comes to talk to you about something that upsets her/him. If your spouse is making her/himself vulnerable enough to tell you about their feelings, do not give in to the temptation to knock them down (emotionally or verbally), because it may be the last time s/he decides to reach out to you!
Visit a marriage counselor or Relationship Coach
Perhaps expressing your feelings to each other didn't work. Maybe your spouse didn't recognize your reaching out, or maybe you did not recognize your spouse's efforts. Maybe you never sought to reach out in the first place. Most problems in relationships can be traced to a severe lack of communication. Yet, before deciding on a divorce, a couple should try to save the relationship by someone who is trained in the art of communication facilitation...a marriage counselor. I would go so far as to suggest that any couple having troubles in their relationship, which they are not able to resolve quickly and completely, can benefit from such counseling.
But we are already talking ...
So, you are communicating, with or without a counselor's help, but you still need to watch your daily interactions. Sadly, there are many spouses out there, nervous and even frightened, wondering if someday their spouse will turn to them and utter those words that will crush them, "Honey...". Before it gets to the point where one of the spouses considers divorce as an option, there are some practical suggestions for every-day life that may very well keep divorce out of anyone's mind. Have you ever heard the expression, "out of sight, out of mind"? Well this adaptation suggests, "Out of mind, out of life"!
Treat your spouse like gold!
Many marriages are said to have ended because one spouse thought the other did not love them anymore. Prevent this misinterpretation of your actions (or inactions) by actively making gestures (no matter how small) that let your spouse know beyond a doubt that you love her/him. Begin and end your day with an "I love you", write a little note and put it in her/his lunch, buy a flower... The possibilities are endless and uncomplicated.
Be true to your spouse
I would think that this would be obvious, but sometimes it isn't. You made a promise when you were wed, so keep it! If you want to stay happy, then don't break the promises that you make to your spouse, especially this most important of all marital promises! If you need a reminder of exactly what you promised to your spouse on that day, long (or maybe not so long) ago, please visit the wedding vow page of the Biblical Studies Foundation.
Respect your spouse's
Treat your spouse in the same way you would like her/him to treat you. No person is the more important one in the relationship; you are equally important. So, their feelings are yours to respect, and your feelings are theirs to respect as well. If your spouse is upset, you, too, should take the upset seriously. Make it your goal to help heal her/his wounds, and s/he will know you take a genuine interest.
Dealing With Divorce & Ending a Relationship
Well I have done all this, and my spouse still doesn't seem happy
Sometimes a marriage is beyond healing. The emotional damage caused by infidelity and affairs can sometimes be healed and the relationship restored. But sometimes not. If you can say with a clear conscience that you have done everything in your power to make the relationship work, it may be time to reevaluate your marriage.
If Divorce is Immanent or in Progress
In the initial stages of divorce, it's
hard to be patient while the world is
going about its everyday business as
if nothing has happened. Don't they
know you're aching inside? How dare
they show those romantic movies on
HBO! Can't those people hold hands and
nuzzle each other somewhere else?
The adjustment period after divorce trauma (whether you are the "leaver" or the "leavee") is between two and five years, depending somewhat on the amount of pre-grieving you've experienced. Some people begin the emotional journey when they realize the marriage is dead -- sometimes well before they mention the word "divorce" to their spouse.
If you're in the early stages, you're probably wondering what to expect -- and how to accelerate (or even bypass) the painful stages to reach the place where you feel whole and happy again.
Unfortunately, recovery from divorce is not an express elevator from the basement of grief to the penthouse of joy. It's more like a maze: you go forward a bit, become confused, find the way forward again, hit a wall, retrace your steps, find a new way forward, realize you took the wrong turn and back-track again. Like wandering through a hall of mirrors, you confront yourself -- or what looks like yourself -- around every corner.
Getting through the First Year
The first year is characterized by numbness, denial, relief, acute periods of pain, and back to numbness again. This is the divorce roller coaster, which includes periods of euphoria ("how nice to be rid of that louse!") followed by deep lows ("oh my God: she's really gone!"). During the first year, you may sometimes feel like a robot going through the motions of living without really participating in your own life, or like an unwilling passenger on a wild roller coaster ride.
Of course, the first year is characterized by the ever-present reality of dealing with the legal work. To get through it successfully, you really need a split personality: one part of you is grieving and the other is calmly filling out financial disclosure forms. If you have children, they are grieving and adjusting to their new situation, too. You must devote some time to helping them through this painful transition every day -- but don't neglect your own emotional and physical well-being in favor of theirs! You can't help your children if you're teetering on the brink of a breakdown yourself.
After the initial shock wears off, the next stages of recovery are characterized by reorganizing and reexamining your life. You're searching for answers to questions both large and small. Where do I want to live? How will I support myself? Will I be able to make the support payments? Should I buy a new car? Should I go back to school? Who will care for my children if I go back to work? It's a busy time -- one that affords little opportunity for grief when you may still be reeling.
The Final Stages of Recovery
By the second or third year, your life is probably moving along a more predictable path. You may cry or feel sad once a week -- which will gradually become once a month -- instead of once a day. Complete divorce recovery usually requires about three years; some people require less time, and some people never get over it. I have had participants at my workshops who had been divorced for more than a decade without achieving resolution or understanding.
Will you ever "get over it?" With time, the pain and confusion lessens, but expect to be ambushed by grief or readjustment anxieties from time to time. You may be ambushed by grief or anger on your wedding anniversary 10 years after your divorce; when your son graduates high school and you and your spouse are sitting on opposite sides of the auditorium; when you see your ex meandering through the park with his new love; on occasion, even after you are happily remarried. But by this time, you'll have learned to move on and leave the past behind.
Exercises to Help You Heal
What You Can Do to Help Yourself Heal:
Share your story -- struggles and successes -- with a support group. No one knows better how you feel than those who have been there.
Create some kind of divorce ceremony for yourself. For example, try writing a eulogy for your marriage. Place the written document in a box with other symbolic mementos of the marriage, then bury it in the woods.
In addition to psycho-spiritual exercises, intense physical exercises (like Tae-Bo) can offer immense release of anger and frustration (and you get in shape in the process!).
After you have honored your anger, try writing a "thank you" note (one that you will not mail). This will help you consider all you have learned from the relationship, retain what was valuable from the experience, and let go of the rest.
After a while, try helping others in a similar situation. For example, babysitting for a friend who's going through divorce so she can meet with her attorney, or taking your friend out to dinner so he can talk about his divorce and not have to eat alone.
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