Divorce can be a traumatic and challenging experience. Short of the death of a loved one, divorce is one of the most stressful things a person will experience. Along with the loss of such a primary relationship will come feelings of grief. Each person will deal with their grief in unique ways. Some people will withdraw while others will act out and pretend as if everything is fine until one day the grief will find a way to express itself in ways that could turn out to be destructive.
We have worked with countless couples as they separate their lives. We have seen some people handle the divorce and the aftermath well and others not so well. Grief is an inescapable human emotion that is best dealt with so that you can move on with your life and make healthy decisions.
We wanted to offer these five tips to help give you a bit of guidance as you are grieving your divorce. Sometimes in the tumult of emotion we are motivated to do reckless things or neglect other things. Take a minute and read through this list and take mental notes about what not to do when you are grieving a divorce:
- Pretend you are ok when inside you might be falling apart.
Acknowledging the grief that you are feeling is a first step towards healing it. Keeping a “stiff upper lip” and plowing ahead with life does not give you the chance to address all of the powerful emotions associated with divorce such as, anger, betrayal, a desire for revenge, shame, disappointment and others. Find someone to talk to so that you can move on without carrying all of that unprocessed emotion into your new life and future relationships.
- Make reckless financial decisions.
Do you ever think, “I’ll show him/her!” as you think about buying a new sports car or a speedboat? Making an extravagant purchase might give you a bit of momentary relief, but you are likely to regret it sooner than later. Grief can make people do some crazy things, so give yourself a time buffer after the divorce is settled before you make any indulgent purchases.
- Jump into a new relationship too quickly.
You must allow yourself to heal from a broken relationship before you dive into another one. If you have children, this is vital for them because the divorce has already upended their lives. Never underestimate your need for time alone to heal and regroup and allow your children to adjust to a new normal before you embark on a new relationship.
- Forget to make plans for your new life.
Your divorce attorney can help you to make sure that you have updated all important documents, changed the beneficiaries and updated your estate plan in light of the divorce. Do not allow sadness and depression to derail you from making decisions that will have an impact on your future.
- Give up hope.
Just because this relationship ended in divorce does not mean that you will not find true happiness later in life. Acknowledging the grief but remaining hopeful about the days ahead will put you in a positive place as you begin your new life.
At Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC, we help clients as they move through the process of ending their marriage. We invite you to contact us or call us at 410.921.2422 to schedule a consultation in our Annapolis office to discuss your case today with an experienced Maryland divorce attorney today.