The end of a marriage or serious relationship can come as an incredible blow. Often our identity becomes fused with our significant other or with the idea of being part of a couple. When we find ourselves single again, it can be a hard concept to grasp and the road back to remembering who we were as individuals can seem dark and frightening.
Grief can be experienced in all its forms, shock, denial, blame, anger, until eventually as hard as it may be to believe, you reach acceptance. Reaching acceptance usually requires some work. What is sometimes surprising is that this emotional process can also be initiated within the person that made the decision to call it quits.
While this turmoil is in play, we can be pushed to make serious long reaching decisions about all that matters to us both emotionally and materially; children, pets, property, possessions and finances are all suddenly part of a negotiation rather than a shared identity. Making decisions while our judgment is clouded by raw emotion is not recommended, although sadly in a lot of circumstances it can be made to seem unavoidable.
If you are feeling hurt it is easy to get caught up in reaction rather than response. Well thought out response will serve you much better in the long run.
Divorce can frightening and disorientating and can in some of the worse scenarios leave people vulnerable to manipulation and bullying. People in this situation often suffer a very significant blow to their confidence and question their own judgment about things which they previously did effortlessly. This can lead to them agreeing to terms and conditions that are not in their best interest.
It is worthwhile to talk through what you’re thinking and feeling with a trained counsellor or therapist. This will help release some of the emotional pressure you feel, and with that release allow room for clear thinking. A trained professional will also be able to teach you coping skills. A lot of emotions are stirred up and some of them may very well pre-date your relationship. Talking through this in a safe and non-judgmental environment will provide relief from the pain and insight into the best way forward for you.
Here are some practical tips:
1. Do not allow yourself to be rushed and don’t rush yourself. It is often tempting to say “I just want it to be over” and to sign away your entitlements in haste, only to seriously regret doing so at your leisure. Seek professional advice if you’re even a little bit unsure.
2. If required, seek recommendations for legal services from people that have been through similar situations and have achieved good outcomes. If you don’t know someone personally that has experienced similar, go online and google divorce forums, you will find a wealth of experience being shared and it will also provide you with an outlet.
3. Take care of yourself. Go for walks or do some other form of daily exercise, eat well and eat regular meals.
4. Try to maintain a good sleep routine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out our blog on good sleep routines and the 4,7,8 breathing system. If you’re feeling too anxious and agitated to get to sleep Hypnotherapy will help, alternatively see your GP. The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated.
5. Don’t cut yourself off from your friends and support networks. It can be very tempting to withdraw, but try not to.
6. Remember this is not forever, the feelings that are so powerful and painful now will pass, the often unexpected waves of emotion will reduce in size and strength. You will get through this. You will find your feet again.
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person