How to cope when you’re getting a divorce
If you’re reading this then you’re probably sat up at 3am googling “how to cope when you’re getting a divorce” – I know, I’ve been there. I’m not exactly an expert on how to cope with divorce, as I’ve not exactly “coped with it” but I think that’s ok. It’s definitely been the most painful and horrendous experience of my life so far and anybody who hasn’t been through a divorce (or a really terrible break up) can’t understand the hurt, embarassment and general worthlessness that you’ll feel. So on that happy note…
There isn’t a rule book that’s written for when you go through this divorce stuff, so all I can do is share my experiences and hope that, if I haven’t helped you even a tiny bit, that at least I’ve given you a bit of a giggle and reassured you that you’re not alone. Plus given you something to do to pass the hours until your alarm goes off and it’s actually reasonable to be awake.
This is a super personal post and one it’s taken me a really long time to write – my husband left me in January and this has been sat in my drafts folder since way back in May. A lot has happened since then (it feels like a lifetime ago) and my blog has been super busy since the wedding dress situation, but it feels like now is the right time to do this.
Surround yourself with people
If you’re the kind of person who sacks off your friends and family as soon as you get a boyfriend then THIS is exactly the reason why you shouldn’t. Of course, your husband will have been the most important person in your life but nobody can cheer you up like your friends and family. I’m incredibly thankful to all my family and friends for being there for me 100% over this horrible time. They’ve gone over and above to make sure I’m always busy and to do everything they can to put a smile on my face.
But make sure you have your alone time too
It’s kind of morbid but you’re going to have to get used to it. Plus, it’s not all bad being alone – you can eat what you want, watch what you want on TV and come in at whatever time you want with no one to wonder where you are. In fact, I’ve written a blog post all about this – 10 reasons why living on your own is awesome.
Remember that you’ll be ok
You feel awful at the moment – there’s that constant sick feeling that doesn’t go away (I couldn’t help but wretch every time I brushed my teeth), waking up every hour and not being able to get back to sleep, and bursting into tears at least 5-10 times every single day. But believe me when I say you WILL be ok. You have no choice.
Don’t rush to make yourself feel better
It’s taken me six months to even write this post (edit: nine months) and I still have days where I feel awful and random things that will upset me. There’s no set time to heal and I think that even if you meet someone else, it doesn’t erase all the pain you’re going through, so just take your time. By the same token, don’t let anybody tell you you moved on too quick or you should get over it quicker – everybody is different so just do what you want in your own time.
Don’t measure yourself against other people
Everybody’s different and every divorce or break up situation is different so it’s unhelpful to compare your progress with that of your friends, family, or even someone on TV. Just concentrate on you for once, you deserve it.
Don’t worry about your crazy behaviour
Stalked your ex on Twitter for the millionth time? Ok, doing this WON’T help, especially if they’ve moved on to be with someone else and there’s pictures of them all over social media, but if you feel you need to then do it. Situations like this can make people obsessive and it will take time (and possibly other distractions) but this phase will pass. If you want to speak to someone about how you’re feeling then do, there’s no shame in that.
Book some holidays
One of the best things I’ve found to do is get away from your usual surroundings. If you pick a beach holiday, it gives you plenty of time to think and get your head straight, plus the rest you need because you’ll be exhausted, emotionally and physically. I went to Dubai with my best friend, Portugal with my family and Ibiza with the girls and they were all amazing. Be warned though: you won’t want to come home.
Make the most of this opportunity
It sounds ridiculous, but try and see this as a positive thing (or at least take something positive from it). Always wanted to go travelling? Do it. Wanted to move across the country? Do it. Wanted a new puppy but were never allowed? Oh…just me then…
You will feel like you never want to kiss anyone else again. I even actually said the words “the thought of kissing another man makes me feel sick” to my mum. If your husband has left you, you’re literally left with no self confidence and it’s nice to feel like someone is interested in you, even if it’s just for one night. If you’ve been married for a long time (I wasn’t) you probably don’t even know what you like anymore, so try it out!
Sort out the practical stuff
When you get a divorce, there’s plenty to sort out. Bank accounts, bills, the house, solicitors – the list is endless. Sorting all this stuff out gives you something to focus on, so write a list of things and get them ticked off one by one. If you feel like you can’t cope, enlist the help of your friends and family.
I actually felt so much better as soon as I saw my solicitor as I felt like I had someone on my side, fighting my corner so to speak. If you need help, ask your friends and family to help find you a divorce lawyer. Chances are someone will have used a solicitor for something recently and so will be able to recommend someone.
I’ve always found it quite easy to be a happy, positive person and I don’t ask for too much out of life. I am with someone else now (YAY – go me!) but if I wasn’t then no big deal, I don’t need a man to make me happy. Make your own happiness from your friends, your career and your home. And make sure you have plenty of laughs. The lost feeling won’t last forever and these experiences shape us into the awesome people we become so chin up and move on. I genuinely feel the happiest I’ve ever been right at this moment in time and so, although it’s a massive cliche, just remember – everything will work out ok in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.