The most important thing to remember when it comes to dealing with the drama of divorce is that you can get through it. You are strong. And, with this five step program to getting over the hump of divorce and back onto the road of life, you can soon be on your way to a better life.
1. Get your finances in order: money is a very stressful topic when it comes to overcoming divorce. In most instances, finances are the last thing you want to deal with, but they have to be dealt with efficiently and professionally in order to get out smoothly. The best thing to do is consult a divorce lawyer who can help you sort through the assets, child custody and various other financial aspects of your marriage or relationship. Once the money is out of the way, you can concentrate on everything else more logically.
2. Eat, sleep and drink well: because of all the stress and woes of divorce, many people will forget to take care of themselves. You really need to make an effort to remain in a positive and healthy state of mind. This means getting the regular eight hour sleep per night, eating right, drinking eight glasses of water a day, and exercising (if you want to – don’t stress yourself out if you don’t want to – for now). The stress of divorce can take a toll on your health, which is the last thing you need.
3. Focus on ‘me’, not ‘us’: it has most likely been a long time since you have been single and not part of the ‘us’. It’s time to concentrate on the ‘u’ of ‘us’ for once. Do all those things you didn’t do because your husband hated- go to the theatre, join a yoga class, take up pottery, run a marathon. Your weekends are no longer consumed by football games, boat shows and other boring male outings. You are free to do what you want, when you want.
4. Look for accommodation: another thing of the ‘to-do list’ should be to find accommodation. Although it is possible for some couples to live in the same house while going through a divorce, it is more comfortable and customary to find alternative accommodation. If you are the one who is moving out, this may mean staying with a friend or family member for a while. It may also mean renting your own place, which can be a fun and exciting challenge. You can decorate it the way you want, not the way he wants!
5. Consult a therapist or a life coach: and finally, don’t deal with the emotional burden of a divorce alone. Talk to someone about it. If you are not comfortable confiding in your family or friends, then see a therapist or a life coach who is there to listen. They will not judge; they will not take sides; they will not think ‘thank god this isn’t happening to me’ and they will not offer advice that you don’t want to hear. Don’t let the frustration, pain, anger disappointment and sense of failure get the best of you. Let it out.
Call to Action
From each of the 5 steps, pick one thing you can commit to doing this week. Ask a friend to hold you accountable. Say you will do it, and then do it! And just know that YOU CAN!
© Vanaja Ghose 2009