Going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotional time. The decision to end a marriage is never easy, and the aftermath can leave people feeling lost, angry, sad, relieved, or a mix of all of those emotions. Knowledge and insight into the emotional journey can help smooth the transition.
The Leading Causes of Divorce
There are a variety of reasons why marriages fall apart. Some of the leading causes of divorce include:
Lack of Communication
When couples stop communicating effectively, it can quickly deteriorate the relationship. Minor issues turn into big arguments because people fail to voice their feelings and work through problems. Resentment builds, and emotional connections fray when communication breaks down.
Money issues frequently add stress to marriages. When budgets are tight, bills pile up, or partners have differing money management styles, it strains the relationship. Financial strains often lead couples to fight about money, which can spill over into other aspects of the marriage.
An affair is an apparent rupture of trust and intimacy. For some couples, infidelity is an absolute deal-breaker and impossible to recover from. The emotional damage of an affair combined with the deception involved makes it one of the most challenging issues for a marriage to overcome.
The Emotional Roller Coaster
Going through a divorce sets people on an emotional roller coaster full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. It helps to understand the kinds of feelings you may experience at different stages so you can healthily process them.
Shock and Denial
No matter how strained the marriage is, when divorce papers are initially filed, it often leaves spouses feeling bewildered or unable to accept that the marriage is ending. Some shock and denial are expected as people adjust to the new reality.
Anger and Resentment
Anger, rage, or resentment may surface as the shock wears off. People get angry at their exes for letting them down or changing the trajectory of their lives. Anger at the situation is normal but should not turn into bitterness.
Sadness and Depression
Underneath the anger, people usually cope with profound sadness over losing their marriage and dreams for the future. It’s natural to grieve what’s been lost. Depression is common as people withdraw to process the grief.
Acceptance and Relief
In time, acceptance sinks in, and people feel relieved about closing an unhappy chapter. They can envision a better life ahead and feel optimistic about starting over. Acceptance and relief signal the roller coaster is ending.
How to Smooth the Emotional Journey
Going through a divorce may be one of life’s most difficult transitions. While the emotional ups and downs are inevitable, there are things you can do to help steady yourself along the way:
Don’t isolate yourself. Surround yourself with people who care about you, will listen without judgement, and help you work through turbulent emotions. Join a support group to connect with others who have similar experiences.
If emotions become overwhelming, seek help from a professional. A counsellor provides an objective sounding board to help you vent, process your feelings, and develop healthy coping strategies. Even a few sessions can help you gain valuable perspective.
Focus on taking good care of yourself both physically and mentally. Make sure you eat nutritious and balanced meals, get at least 30 minutes of exercise like walking, jogging, or strength training daily to release mood-boosting endorphins, get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, avoid drinking excess alcohol, which is a depressive, and do things that comfort you emotionally, like yoga, massages, relaxing hobbies such as reading or painting, or enjoying mother nature by taking quiet strolls outdoors.
Establishing healthy self-care rituals can provide stability when everything else feels chaotic. Be gentle and patient with yourself during this challenging transitional time in your life. Small positive steps towards self-care will shift your mindset and outlook over time.
Be Patient with Yourself
Permit yourself to feel whatever you feel when you feel it. Divorce recovery has a challenging timeline. Have compassion for yourself and where you’re at mentally and emotionally without judgment. Small steps forward still count as progress.
Going through a divorce marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one in your life story. While it initially brings pain and hardship, ultimately, it opens the door to second chances and new beginnings. If you care for your emotional needs along the way, you’ll emerge wiser and more robust. The future ahead will shine brighter. For information, visit https://coach-brad.com.