Divorce can be emotional!

Divorce is a traumatic experience, and one of life's most devastating transitions.  Whether you are the initiator of your divorce or the spouse receiving the news of your partner's desire to end the marriage, there is a significant emotional component to your divorce.  It is essential to acknowledge and attend to those emotions;  ideally, you are able to access resources and manage your feelings in a way that helps you preserve your family, your parenting relationship and your dignity. 

Now is the time to take care of yourself.  The emotional stress of divorce can manifest itself in any number of ways:  you might be more susceptible to illness than usual, you might find it hard to concentrate at work, you might have far less patience with the people you care about.  Gentle self-care is critical at such times to relieve stress and help you stay as centered as possible.  Physical activities such as exercise, yoga and meditation are excellent ways to turn off your thinking, which is typically working in overdrive during a divorce.  Bodywork can be very effective in releasing emotion and attending to trauma, to say nothing of its soothing effects.

Working directly with your emotions can also be very beneficial.  Talking with a professional therapist can help you sort through your feelings during this difficult time.  A therapist can also provide a place for you to unload some of the overwhelming emotions that tend to dominate during divorce.  In not attending to these powerful emotions, you ensure that they will manifest in other ways, often unexpectedly and sometimes destructively.  Many communities offer divorce recovery groups, which typically provide an outlet for processing emotions as well as a way to develop a peer group that can be a wonderful source of support.  If you enjoy writing, journaling can be an effective way of expressing and processing emotions.  And of course, family and friends are invaluable sources of support who love and care about you;  accept their kindness.  You will surely get lots of well-meaning advice;  while this is informative,  you are ultimately best served by your own gut and the advice of unbiased professional resources.  It is helpful to note each resource's limits:  a therapist is typically available in one-hour increments once a week, family and friends are far more available but without an endless capacity either, and a journal doesn't provide feedback.  Asking yourself, 'What do I need right now?' can help you access the right resource in the moment.

Be gentle with yourself during this challenging time.  Seek the courage to experience this painful transition as deeply as you can bear;  in doing so, you will ultimately find relief, and understanding. 

About Syd

Many elements inform my practice:  training in clinical social work, a 20-year career in business, and my role as a parent, to name just a few.

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