Divorce is hard, period, but for folks who are older and have been married for eons, the breakup can be so very devastating. Divorce has been associated with an increase in depression because people experience the loss of a partner, hopes, dreams, and lifestyle. The financial reality of the termination can also be nightmarish for both parties. According to relationship experts, marriages do not breakdown overnight; the breakup is not the result of one incident; nor is the breakup the entire fault of one party.
The most natural thing in the world is to grieve the loss of your relationship, and to allow yourself to feel pain. You might fear that your pain will never end and that you will forever be stuck in a dark place. Grieving puts you on the road to healing and eventually to let go of something that once was. Grief does not last forever!
The most important thing to understand after a breakup is that you must take care of yourself–rest, keep stress to a minimum, reduce your workload. Taking care of you is essential after you part ways with a soon-to-be-ex spouse, so that you can make positive choices in the future.
Taking care of self will help you move on with a sense of renewed hope and total optimism; here are some tips that will help you do so:
Let your voice be heard. Speak up for yourself in any given situation where you need to be heard. State your desires and beliefs even though your views might differ from your ex. Don’t be afraid to say “No” when you need to and do not attach any guilt or angst to the word!
Make time to do you. Schedule daily time to do the things that help center and soothe you. Hang out with good friends, take a walk, go to the movies, go shopping, luxuriate in a hot bath, read a book, hit a spa, do the things for yourself that will put a smile on your face.
Create a new routine for yourself. A divorce can bring chaos to every single area of your life. If you had structure before your breakup, add it back to your new life, but make the new system work for you. Getting back to a routine can oftentimes provide comfort and normalcy.
Take a break from decision-making. Going through a divorce can be a very emotional time and because of this, making any major life-altering decisions should be postponed. If a decision can wait during this time, then deal with it when your head is clear.
Stay away from excesses. Some people feel that their pain can be deadened by excessive drinking, eating or drug-taking but these forms of escapism are not only unhealthy but dangerous. Anything done in excess can bring on addiction as well as a series of health problems. So in the long run, excesses will not numb your pain but will, most definitely, add to it!
Find a new interest. A divorce is not only an end but a new beginning! Grab the opportunity to find a new hobby or interest that you can pursue with gusto. New interests are fun, relaxing, enjoyable and they place you in the here-and-now rather than in the what-was.
Take our quiz: Is Your Marriage Healthy? to see if there are red flags in your relationship that you should be trying to address!