Going through a divorce is difficult no matter what the circumstances are. You may have many different feelings about the situation, and it can be hard to know who to talk to, what to do, or how to continue your regular lifestyle. Though this situation is challenging, there are ways to cope with divorce that will help you heal and live a better life. Divorce counseling can help, whether you are in the process of a divorce or coping with the separation after.
How to Cope With Divorce: What is Divorce Counseling?
Divorce counseling services are specialized to suit the needs of couples or individuals who are currently going through divorce or recently divorced. In some cases, divorced partners attend divorce counseling together to learn how to be effective co-parents, how to communicate in a non-confrontational way after divorce, how to navigate new lifestyles, or arbitrate disputes.
Many individuals seek divorce counseling after or during divorce as a way to cope with divorce and the feelings they’re experiencing. An experienced counselor can help you understand, accept and cope with the experience, while also building or rebuilding a lifestyle that works for you as an individual. Your counselor can also help you communicate with your children about the situation and avoid power struggles or arguments with your former spouse.
What to expect from divorce counseling as co-parents:
- Learn positive communication strategies
- De-escalate conflicts
- Negotiate rules and address disagreements in ways that are best for your children
- Understand your own feelings and your former spouse’s
- Express your frustrations in a healthy way
What to expect from divorce counseling as an individual:
- Learn to understand, accept and express your feelings
- Develop healthy coping mechanisms
- Explore hobbies or interests and identify things that make you feel happy and fulfilled individually
- Navigate lifestyle or routine changes
- Learn communication strategies to work with your former spouse and children better
- Cope with and manage stress
If you’d like to know more about divorce counseling in Taylor or Bloomfield Hills, we can help. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.
How to Cope with Divorce: 4 Important Strategies
There are many changes that can occur after or during divorce. Your routine, finances, responsibilities, social life and emotional balance may all be changing. You may be experiencing many confusing feelings. Divorce counseling can help you address these feelings in healthy ways using constructive coping mechanisms. The following are some feelings you may experience and coping mechanisms that may be helpful.
1. Interrupt Rumination
When we continually think about a problem or stressor, it’s called rumination. You may be worrying about a legal or financial issue, a lifestyle change, or a conflict, and you can’t stop thinking about it. During divorce or other stressful live events, it can be difficult not to ruminate. This can cause even more stress, sleeplessness, distraction, anger and other negative outcomes.
Try the following to interrupt rumination:
- Make a habit of checking in with your thoughts periodically to recognize and stop rumination when it happens.
- Use a distraction, such as a puzzle, book, craft, tv show, or something else you enjoy to give your mind a rest and take some time to destress.
- Practice meditation. This will allow you to clear your thoughts and focus just on your breathing. Even a few moments of peace can be good for your mental, emotional and physical health.
- Express your worry by talking through it or writing about it. If a solution is available, remind yourself of it or make a plan for obtaining it. If the situation cannot be changed, let go and remind yourself that rumination will not change the outcome.
2. Don’t Relive the Experience
Reliving negative experiences is similar to rumination. Except, instead of ruminating on a problem, you keep coming back to a bad experience. It may be an argument, a hurtful statement or action, a legal conflict, or something else. It may even be a positive experience that now makes you feel lonely or regretful. The previous strategies mentioned can help you stop reliving these experiences. The following can also be helpful.
- Talk about the experience. It can be tempting to bury the experience, but talking about it can help to make the feelings seem lighter and less extreme.
- Focus on something you want to do in the future when you feel yourself returning to the negative experience. Maybe you’re not sure if you’ll actually complete your future plans, and that’s okay.
- Remove reminders. A picture, routine, habit or even a familiar scent can make us relive an experience. Try to remove, alter or replace these in healthy ways.
3. Let Yourself Grieve
After divorce, some people strongly hold to the adage, “living well is the best revenge.” While positivity, excitement and optimism about the future are important and valuable ways to cope with divorce, it is also okay to feel negative emotions. A divorce is a type of loss and it is normal to grieve your loss. Give yourself time to feel and express your authentic feelings. Talk with a friend or counselor, or express yourself through a hobby.
4. Lean on Your Friends
Your support group is essential to coping with divorce, or any stressful life event. Communication, quality time, and emotional support are all important parts of your relationships with your friends and family. Keep in mind that your friends and family might not always know what you need, and it’s okay to tell them.
Some friends try to show support with statements like “everything will get better” or “it’s not that bad.” If you find yourself feeling frustrated or guilty when you hear this, try a response like this: “I appreciate your positivity, but right now this is how I feel, and I really need someone to listen.”
Other friends may go to the opposite side of the spectrum. They can relate and listen, but don’t provide much positivity or optimism. If you find yourself ruminating when you’re around these friends, try a statement like this: “I really need positivity and reassurance right now. Let’s talk about the future, and how things will get better.”
With constructive strategies to cope with divorce, you can let yourself grieve and construct a new life that is uniquely your own. A divorce counselor can help you through this process. If you are struggling with divorce and seeking a divorce counselor in the Metro Detroit area, contact us online or give us a call at (888) 622-3345 to make an appointment with a therapist in Taylor, Michigan or Bloomfield Hills, MI.