How to get through the trauma and make a good life after divorce: Part One

Crises come in different shapes and sizes.  Divorce is probably the most severe and life changing.  Whatever crisis you are experiencing there are certain principles that can help you stay on top of it and come out the other side in good shape.

In a crisis we need all the help we can get from anywhere prepared to give it.  Friends, family and professional counselling will all be vital.  However, nobody is going to solve the divorce crisis for us but a technique of dealing with it will help to maximise your chances of negotiating a way through the crisis successfully.

Stand still and breathe slowly
When you feel that initial wave of panic and you think the world around you is collapsing, you must just stand still and breathe slowly.  Do nothing.  Make no decisions.  Every instinct will tell you to act and do it quickly.  You are being threatened and you have to fight back or you will be destroyed.

sabre toothed tigerIf your crisis is an imminent attack from a sabre tooth tiger then that’s exactly what you should do.  Our brains have been programmed for this situation over millennia.  That’s how we got to be the dominant species on the planet.  However, if you are dealing with a 21st century divorce then it absolutely isn’t the right thing to do.  Be calm and do the most difficult thing in the circumstances, nothing.

Resist the primeval urge to fight back instantly, divorce proceeding are not quite the same as being attacked by a ferocious big cat.  Although on reflection they can lead to a pretty similiar end result!

Conserve your energy and build your stamina
The divorce process is a bit like a marathon interspersed with a couple of biathlons for good measure.  Energy and stamina are the most essential ingredients in negotiating the best outcome and a good life after divorce.  Don't waste any of it.

You can easily waste these vital resources by running yourself down and blaming yourself for precipitating the crisis.  Feeling like a failure will sap your energy and reduce your ability to negotiate a good, fair and honest path through the long divorce process.

Concentrate upon your future and that of your children.  You are the ones that really matter in all of this.  Treat your soon to be ex spouse with respect but do not dissipate your energy on trying to reverse your spouse's decision to divorce.  This almost never works and only leads to further stress and heartache.

Build your power and your defenses by seeking strength from within yourself and those around you.  Try not to compare your situation with others who appear to be living happy, contented and fulfilled lives.  Take stock at what you have achieved in your life so far and be proud of that.  Feeling bad about yourself will reduce your energy and determination at a time when you need them the most.


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