Whether you’ve decided to do it on your own or are preparing to work with TruNorth Divorce, there are several things to consider before filing. While there are extensive and pragmatic ways to financially prepare for divorce, much of the emotional preparation is up to you and the daily choices you make during the duration of the proceedings. This guide offers 5 ways to best approach the emotional side of divorce and prepare you for what can be a traumatic event.
The trauma associated with divorce, however, is somewhat unique in that it can be planned and prepared for with some healthy amounts of patience and consistency. If you can respond from a more emotionally stable place, you’re going to be able to make healthier decisions in regards to the divorce.
1. Taking Care of Yourself During a Divorce
First and foremost, slow down, pump the breaks, and center yourself by taking care of you. While the phrase has been distorted by Instagram influencers, self-care applies to divorce too. Self-care encompasses the daily rituals or routines we practice in order to nourish ourselves. This includes the messages we send ourselves when we make choices about what goes into our bodies and minds.
By empowering yourself to make practical daily choices when it comes to your health and wellbeing, you are reinforcing your sense of self-worth. More reliable than high self-esteem, a strong sense of self-worth allows you to navigate the obstacles and stressors that often arise with divorce more easily.
Things to Do Before Filing For Divorce
So, stock up on fresh foods, arm yourself with supplements that will assist your immune system and combat stress and tell yourself you’re worthy of being taken care of. Find a physical outlet that allows you to let loose, the sillier and more recreational the better.
Setting even 5 minutes aside every morning to meditate can literally be the difference between feeling capable of handling the day or not. Last, do this on a cadence that works for you. The idea is to be compassionate with yourself; you are, after all, going through a divorce.
2. Accepting the Divorce Process
Our strongest cause of suffering is the attachment to our ideas of what should be happening, what we shouldn’t be doing, or most often than not, what someone else should be doing. These elements are entirely out of our control, especially during divorce mediation, and when we cling tightly to a specific outcome, we suffer when our reality doesn’t match up to our expectations.
In the case of court proceedings with divorce lawyers, there isn’t an emotional “winning” or a “losing.” There is only finding the solution that will benefit both parties, children included, for the future. This requires letting go of the narrative of what happened or what your spouse did wrong.
Self Compassion & Divorce
Easier said than done, acceptance is a daily choice. With an attitude of acceptance, however, you can be aware of your triggers and prepare for the subjects that are touchy before the courtroom. Knowing what your triggers are ahead of time and communicating them with your divorce lawyers can save you a lot of self-loathing and feeling emotionally out of control.
The point is that you are human, and this is a process, one where you will move between stages of denial, isolation, bargaining, rage, and depression before you can fully accept the reality of the divorce. Accept you will have bad days and accept you may need to cry in order for your body to have a release. After accepting it, you can focus all of your attention on beginning your new life.
3. Focus Your Attention on the Divorce In Spurts
There can be a trap of fully immersing yourself into the doom and gloom of divorce papers and landing in a clickbait circle of misery. While it is important to research what to expect in a divorce separation in order to fully understand the process, healthy boundaries still apply. An example of a healthy attention goal could be no divorce talk after 6pm. Strive to not allow the divorce to become a defining stick of furniture in the living room of your life; this is not the end, your life is not ruined, and it will ultimately be okay.
There are a myriad of tips on how to prepare financially for divorce, but from an emotional perspective, the object is to not create a story where you are a victim, powerless to choose how you feel. Choosing what you focus your attention on, and away from, can help you feel more empowered throughout the divorce.
4. Preparing for Divorce If You Have Children
When it comes to emotionally preparing for divorce, often the greatest anxiety among parents is how this decision will affect their children. This anxiety may not go away for several years, but rest assured to know there are no perfect parents and no one knows exactly the right thing to say all the time. However, as long as you are willing to talk about the divorce and are emotionally available for their fears and concerns, you’re on the right track.
Some key guidelines are not disparaging your spouse in front of them, or using them as a source of sympathy to your stressors; they aren’t the therapist you need to vent to. Another good rule to follow is to not lie to your children about what’s going on. This only further complicates the situation, and will ultimately lead to your child resenting you or feeling as if they’ve been betrayed.
It’s best to keep things as honest as possible while also bearing in mind that your child’s age will have a lot to do with how they handle such a large change. If you feel challenged by talking with your children about divorce, there are a ton of great resources and self-help books that can provide valuable scripts on how to best communicate the changes that come with divorce.
5. Find Divorce Support
Your divorce can be a tumultuous and incredibly grading stressor on your sense of well-being, not to mention the necessary grief that comes with mourning your previous life. Intentionally seek out support before, during, and after your divorce, even if it means fighting through the uncomfortable feelings of being vulnerable or feeling like you’ve messed up.
There’s nothing shameful about joining a Meetup or support group and talking to others who are also going through a divorce. In fact, having conversations with fellow divorcees can help you feel less alone and far less alienated throughout the divorce process.
Another essential way to prepare emotionally for divorce is to ask your friends and family if they have any referrals for a therapist or contact your insurance company to find out if your policy covers mental health; even if it’s only an online therapist, it’s wise to have a professional guide you through what can ultimately be a traumatic event.
TruNorth Divorce Can Help
These are just some ideas to consider when emotionally preparing for divorce. Taking care of your body and mind first and foremost, like putting on your oxygen mask on a plane before anyone else, allows you to approach the divorce with a greater sense of self-worth and stability.
Use these five best practices to make sure you are emotionally prepared for your divorce, before it traumatizes you. If you need some extra assistance, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section. We’re also on Facebook, and if you want to learn more about divorce or want to explore your options, which includes my free ebook, reach out to me. TruNorth Divorce Solutions can help you.