Going through a divorce is one of the most challenging life transitions.
The feelings that get invoked around separation and divorce can be debilitating and overwhelming, and it is often hard to know where to turn for help. Many things can get in the way of reaching out for help and getting the support necessary to begin recovering from the devastation.
Here are some common obstacles to seeking help for divorce recovery:
1. Feeling like a failure for choosing to divorce.
Even though the rate of divorce is over 50 percent, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that marriage means forever. Recognizing that the end of your marriage is not a direct reflection of you personally will alleviate some of the thoughts and feelings that lead to shame, and ultimately not reaching out for support.
2. Stuck in a divorce funk.
The devastation of divorce can make it difficult to function, and it is easy to become paralyzed by the uncertainty and fear of the future.
Getting out of bed in the morning can feel daunting and socializing is often completely unfathomable. The motivation to break this unhealthy cycle of behavior is an essential part of recovery. Eating well, exercising, connecting with others and processing feelings reduce depression, which in turn will lead to a more efficient and healthy recovery.
3. Overwhelmed by it all.
While life is unpredictable, it is hard to be prepared for what can come your way. A divorce can be sudden or drawn out, but either way it can make you feel like your world has been turned upside down. Feeling overwhelmed by the process can make it very challenging to know which direction to take.
Focus on what is immediately in front of you and taking proactive steps to center your emotions. This step makes it possible to move forward toward recovery instead of staying stuck in the past. Reaching out for help is an important first step toward your healing journey.
4. Avoiding the pain that comes with divorce.
Divorce involves significant loss and a grieving process, but many divorced individuals do not allow themselves to feel the pain.
Whether you were encouraged as a child to “buck up” when things got tough or you believe that experiencing negative feelings is a weakness, it is actually the expression of feelings that is the cornerstone of divorce recovery.
Telling yourself that you “should be able to handle” your feelings after divorce on your own, or minimizing the pain of what you’re going through will only dig you deeper into the misery. Seeking help requires courage and a willingness to grow, as well as a commitment to change.
5. Minimizing the impact of divorce on your life.
The magnitude of divorce is often minimized because it is such a common phenomenon.
Treating your divorce as a real life trauma, the death of a relationship, as well as many other material and emotional losses, will empower you to seek the appropriate support you need to recover. Treat yourself with the kindness and respect you deserve during this challenging time, and honor the fact that you are going through something very substantial.
6. Loss of trust during a divorce.
There are many losses associated with divorce. One of the more debilitating losses that is forsaken after a separation or divorce is trust. Loss of trust can often get generalized to the world making it hard to believe that anyone has your best interest in mind.
Reaching out for help means depending on another person, which feels scary after trust has been lost with the one person you depended on the most. Like getting back on a horse after being bucked off, it is important to allow yourself to take the leap of faith that you can trust and depend on others to help you move through this challenging time.
Minimize the additional resistance you create for yourself.
Divorce is not something you simply overcome or “get through.” It is an unexpected change in your path that deserves and requires deep contemplation and understanding.
The wisdom you garner from this life transition will help you to make healthy choices going forward and move into the next phase of your life.
Allison Pescosolido, M.A. and Andra Brosh, Ph.D. are experts in everything regarding divorce. They co-founded Divorce Detox, a full service center to transform the lives of individuals transitioning through divorce. Their success in helping clients quickly identify, manage and overcome the specific challenges of separation and divorce have led them to become the Nation’s leading divorce recovery experts.
Based in West Hollywood, California, The Divorce Detox™ Center offers national support for anyone going through separation, divorce, marriage crisis and relationship issues.
Editor: ShaMecha Simms
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