Maintaining Your Mental Health After Divorce


Even though divorce is an unfortunate reality of modern life, that doesn’t make it any less upsetting when it occurs to you. Nobody marries with the intention of getting a divorce, and relationships can fall apart for a variety of reasons that can be difficult for everyone involved. For some time after getting divorced, your mental health may suffer greatly.

For some people, a divorce may have been building momentum for a while. The couple may have had little else in common besides living under the same roof due to a lack of shared interests, boredom, and lack of respect. Then there are those who might have thought their marriage was going well until their spouse suddenly made a shocking, devasting, and totally unexpected request for a divorce.

Yes, cohabiting requires a lot of effort, flexibility, and open lines of communication to discuss irritations and differences and, hopefully, come to a better understanding. If that doesn’t happen, perhaps for a variety of good reasons such as work, children, feeling stressed or too tired, it can be all too easy to fall into an autopilot existence where you go through your regular daily activities, collapse into bed at night, and then repeat the cycle the following day. Sound familiar?

However, such a lifestyle has its own stresses and pressures, which may eventually have an effect on our relationship and mental health. If we start to feel more and more unimportant, stressed, and like we don’t have enough time, money, or energy to do what we want or would like to do, it can lead to a frumpy, ugly, and boring mindset where we almost stand back from experiencing life fully. In our early wedding pictures, we might not even recognize ourselves. What happened to that person?

How many of us swear by the phrase “start as you mean to go on” when we begin our marriages? But as the honeymoon phase fades, everyday reality usually replaces it, and growing pains in relationships are frequently felt. Little doubts, uncertainties, and criticisms may be forthcoming. The worn-out “why don’t you?”‘, ‘The phrase “I wish you wouldn’t,” the raised eyebrow, or the sigh could be indications that our partner is becoming irritated with our eccentric routines or behaviors.

We may be able to resolve conflicts by talking them out, but for some people, hearing criticism or rejection from a loved one can feel like the ultimate rejection, making them feel compelled to work even harder to overcome their shortcomings and improve. What happens next if that doesn’t have the desired outcome? When people realize they are getting a divorce, it can be a huge blow to their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Long-term residents of a loveless or disapproving, highly critical relationship may suffer a significant deterioration of their mental health; as a result, depression, low mood, insomnia, poor self-confidence, and lack of self-belief are not unusual.

Let’s look at ways to support your mental health after your divorce;

– Share how you’re feeling with a trusted friend or confidante. It’s beneficial to have a support system and source of assurance in an ally. Alternatively, your doctor or spiritual guide might be a helpful resource. Likewise, scheduling a session with a therapist might be a good way to release some of the stress that has been accumulated as a result of the breakdown of your marriage and the ensuing divorce.

– Accept that your ex partner now feels differently about you and the relationship, an opinion that’s been shaped over time, encompassing many different experiences. Simply put, their perspective on you is what they think. It in no way defines who you are. Over time, you both changed and grew apart, which resulted in your divorce.

– It’s often necessary to make quick decisions after a divorce, in particular concerning living arrangements, schooling and earning money. Avoid making big, hasty decisions that might have long-term effects and instead consider renting a house with a friend, trying to keep things as familiar as possible at first. Give yourself time to grieve, heal, and think about what you want to do going forward; you could start by taking on a part-time job.

– Formulate ideas and plans for a positive future, no matter how far ahead that may feel. Yes, money may be tight and your children may demand your full attention, but try to schedule in windows of time for yourself, whether it’s taking a walk, reading a book, talking on the phone with a friend, enrolling in an online course, or even dabbling in online dating.

– Be proactive. For a variety of reasons, you might have lost your old group of friends. As a result, you should start to form a new group of people who are better suited to your current situation. Other parents, neighbors, coworkers, even online forums and social media platforms might provide support, companionship, and assistance with lifting your mood. Finding out that you’re not alone and that others have gone through things similar to you and come out on the other side can be a tremendous source of comfort and assurance.

Agree to be kind to yourself as you enter this new phase of your life, but also to be open to fresh perspectives and ideas that you may not have previously considered. Be willing to consider the possibilities of your new life after the divorce. Not only are you moving forward, but you are also beginning over!

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