The divorce process is probably the most difficult and distressing you will ever experience in your life. In bereavement you will have universal sympathy for your loss. In divorce you almost certainly will not. Divorce is divisive.
The process of getting divorced is a lengthy and complex legal process which would be a considerable challenge even under normal circumstances. When you are in an emotionally chaotic environment with feelings running from anger and betrayal to abandonment and desolation it makes it all a whole lot more demanding and difficult.
There is no simple set of ‘rules' that can make it easy but there are some ideas that will help you cope better and give you greater confidence in the quality of the outcome.
Seek out friends and family members for support
Your friends care about you and they will want to help but may not feel confident in offering that support. They may not know what would be best for you. Tell them what you need even if it's just a phone call once a week or help picking up the children from school.
Divorce is divisive and will tend to polarise your friends and cause each family to ‘back' their own. This really cannot be avoided and it's best to accept it and if possible do nothing to deepen this division. Inevitably each side will have their own justifications for the actions that have been taken. Work within this environment and concentrate on making things better for you and not using it as an arena in which to beat the crap out of your soon to be ex spouse.
Listen to what your children have to say and never make them listen to you have a rant
Whilst your divorce is all about you, it's not really because it's very much about the kids as well. Your children care about you and in their own way will have an understanding of what is happening to their parents. They need to know from you that you care about them, especially in a time of great anxiety when they are feeling very vulnerable.
Talking is good but it needs to be accompanied by a great deal of listening. Listen carefully and help them to process information at their own pace. They are not your therapist; they don't want to hear about the agony and anger. They need honest reassurance and the understanding that you and your soon to be ex will love them forever.
Remember there are other things going on in the world apart from your divorce
Nobody wants to hear a constant rant about your divorce, your spouse or the cost of your divorce lawyer (we could help find one who will provide a good service at a reasonable cost). Speak softly and kindly to those you love and trust. They will understand better and will want to help you more.
They have their lives too and don't want your interest in them to be drowned out by a constant diatribe on the desolation of divorce and the wickedness of the world. Your problems and difficulties are real and your friends and family will help you get through this. Hundreds of thousands of people do this every year and you will too.
Get help from a support group or by one on one support
There are a wide variety of support options out there on the internet. Finding the right type of support for you and the right organisation to work with is not easy. The Divorce Support Group offers three options: support groups in a number of UK locations, individual help from one of their therapists plus counseling and mediation for couples. These are excellent services which allow you to choose exactly the support you need to help you through your divorce.
You are the most important person in your divorce
Divorce is a marathon. You need to be in the best possible mental and physical shape to cope with it. Not easy. However, being in better shape physically will help your mental state, those exercise induced endorphins really do the business.
Nutrition is also vital. Not just the Seven a Day stuff but a proper plan to eat properly and regularly. No more junk food, bid goodbye to the delights of McDonalds and say hello to real food that you have to cook yourself. This is a great opportunity to relax and do something just for you. If cooking isn't your idea of fun then don't follow this advice! But do eat properly.
Getting divorced is a tough undertaking and these ideas will help you get through it in one piece. Good luck, you'll get there.