How to survive a divorce and not go crazy: 8 recommendations psychologist
Greetings, friends! According to statistics over the past 10 years, from 51 to 73 percent of marriages in the Russian Federation break up. These are not scarecrows, but dry official figures. Unfortunately, the odds of a union ending in divorce are, at best, one to one, if not higher.
This new article will tell you how to survive a divorce, what to do to make life easier, and what things you shouldn’t do after a divorce.
- If there are signs of depression after divorce
- How to build a new happy relationship
- How to choose the right path in a relationship
Before my successful marriage, I went through a divorce myself, you can read about it in the “About Me” section. This experience, multiplied by an in-depth knowledge of psychology, formed the basis of this material.
What happens to the human psyche during a divorce
Everyone experiences divorce differently. It depends on many reasons: whether you were the initiator or the decision was made by the former partner, what the marriage was like, whether there are children, whether there was cheating, alcohol problems of one of the spouses and so on. The paradox is that even if you got rid of a toxic relationship, co-dependence, or left an alcoholic spouse, who exhausted all the nerves, didn’t work for the past 10 years, and so on, you shouldn’t think that happiness will cover your head at the same time. Stress, or even depression, is still ensured.
This is associated with a change of habitual way of life and leaving your comfort zone. Getting rid of unhappiness does not guarantee happiness. It is unclear what will happen next, there is no desire to do anything, and purely domestic issues (moving, division of property) can seriously stress you out. There are exceptions, for example, when one of the spouses immediately leaves in another family where all is well. But more often the partners go nowhere because they can no longer be together.
The 5 Stages of Grief Acceptance
The experiences one feels at this time fit into the 5 stages of accepting negative change, I will talk about them in detail. As a side note, the theory of the 5 stages of grief acceptance was developed in 1969 by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, a doctor of psychology, to help the dying sick. Later it turned out that the concept can be successfully applied in other situations where people find themselves in difficult situations, such as divorce, which is quite comparable in strength of experience with the loss of a loved one.
- Shock, denial. At this stage, the person does not yet believe that what is happening to him or her is real – “This is not happening to me, it can’t be! It is just another crisis – everything will get better!
- Anger. At this point, the person becomes aware of the reality of the situation and begins to look for someone to blame, which usually turns out to be his or her partner. “How could he do this? Why me?” Anger can also be directed to the outside world: the person snapping at children, relatives, arguing with colleagues at work and so on. You can learn more about anger and how to deal with it here.
- Bargaining. Turning point. The person realizes that divorce is real, but is still trying to avoid it. “Let’s try for another six months, if anything, get a divorce. Give me one last chance.”
- Depression. The person falls into despondency, he doesn’t care about anything, he puts his hands down. “Why do anything, you can’t change anything anyway.” You can learn about depression and how to deal with it here.
- Acceptance. The person understands that it is necessary to live and move on, accepts the situation as it is.
The stages of grieving do not go one after another in chronological order. They can change places, get mixed up, and so on. The person who yesterday accepted the situation and came to terms with his/her situation, today may again return to the stages of anger or denial, all of which will be accompanied by a prolonged depression.
The Kübler-Ross stages of grief
Everything I have written will not necessarily begin the minute after the divorce. Often the stages of grief start the moment one spouse makes the decision to divorce and continue for some time after all the formalities have been settled.
Why did I write all this? So that you understand: no matter how hard it is now, everything in any case will end with the adoption, and otherwise can not be. You can even comfort yourself with this thought: “Yes, today I am depressed and despondent, but soon everything will be fine, I am not the first, I will not be the last. This is a very important thought, it can make life a lot easier.
If nothing helps, there is a sense of brokenness in the soul and an internal emptiness, it may be a sign of depression caused by divorce (read more about depression here), and this is cause for treatment by a specialist. Do not hesitate and contact a qualified psychologist who will help you find a way out.
How to survive a divorce – 8 recommendations of a psychologist
1. Accept the fact of what happened.
A common mistake to believe that the partner will return, and everything will return to normal. Especially if the initiator of a divorce was not you, and a spouse. Thinking so, you cling to the old and deprive yourself of a chance at a new life. So you can think for years, deceive yourself and wishful thinking.
Few people are able to enter the same river twice, and even less often it turns out something good. It is with acceptance of what has happened that the further work begins. Yes, it hurts, but it is necessary. In order to start a new life, you have to finally put an end to the old one.
In general, if you’re going to post a message on your social media page to your ex in the hope that he will see it, cry and come running back, knock yourself out.
2. Don’t look for a new partner right after your divorce
The practice of “fighting fire with fire” in this context is wrong, dangerous, and misguided. There will still be time for this, but only after you have gone through all the stages of grief, resolved your internal problems, and simply let the situation go.
Finding a new relationship right after a divorce can be dictated by anything but common sense or true feelings. That includes wanting revenge on your ex or ex, fear of loneliness, and domestic problems. You will not get a strong marriage on such foundations, it will only get worse.
3: Don’t withdraw into yourself.
Meet with friends and family, talk to your colleagues at work. It is very important to talk about your emotions and feelings, especially if you have someone to talk to. To put your worries in a drawer, to be strong/strong will not work here. Life is full of situations where we need to be strong, but this is not that story. Sincerely crying for a couple of weeks after a divorce is great therapy.
It is clear that one does not always want to bother friends or relatives with their whining, and many simply do not have such an opportunity. Then a great psychological practice will come to your aid, which I want to tell you about in the next paragraph.
4. use psychological practices.
For example, this: you need to choose the object on which you can “break away”, splashing out on it all the negative emotions. Technically it could be anything, even a frying pan. Do you remember the joke, where a Georgian, who served in the army, asked his parents to get a pig and name it Ensign so-and-so, saying that if I serve time I’ll come back and slaughter it? That’s exactly how it works, but that’s only the first part of the technique.
Then do the following: shout, scold the object as much as you can, not hesitating in expressions. And after the emotions poured out, you need to remember something nice, something that used to give pleasure and pleasant emotions. An important point: the memories should not be associated with a former partner. It can be a walk on the seashore, fragments of travel, and so on. To enhance the effect, you can lie down and close your eyes.
The point is that this way you train your mind to switch from negative to positive and then you will be able to do it with an effort of will. The exercise should be repeated every time you have an attack of moping.
More similar practices can be found on the Internet or by contacting a specialist psychologist.
5. Look for the pluses in everything.
Yes, including divorce. It’s a beauty: no one now need to coordinate plans with anyone, to plan a vacation, to send off or consult. You are your own mistress (or master) and it is necessary to take advantage of it.
Think back to what you couldn’t do while you were married? Perhaps it was a trip, a meeting with old college friends or something crazy like a parachute jump? Now anything is possible and you don’t have to answer to anyone. Yes, you could get a cat, too, even two. The restrictions that were imposed by married life no longer exist.
Yes, you can have a pussycat too, even two.
6. Make yourself a top priority.
Divorce often affects self-esteem, and not just for the person who got dumped, but also for the one who initiated the separation. In the head may come to mind the thoughts of the format “I was always unlucky”, “I am not like everyone else,” “I no one else will love. In fact it is not so, because of the negative mood you may not notice how many positive things around you and how many people sympathize with you. I wrote more about this in my article about toxic thinking. Self-esteem is to trust yourself and be sure that you are worthy of happiness (read about self-esteem).
A well-known psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky in this situation advises learning to understand yourself and your desires, at least at the level of the simplest things: food, clothes, and so on. Most likely, such interests during the marriage were pushed into the background. There was no “I” at the time, there was only “we” and everything was adjusted to the former partner. It’s time to incorporate a healthy selfishness and start living for yourself, it’s good for self-esteem.
The specialist advises you to stop living on automatic and ask yourself: “What do I want?” . If the answer is, for example, to sleep or buy five pounds of sweets – not bad. It seems like nothing, but that’s not the point: in this way you learn to listen and hear yourself, to understand your desires. Make yourself a priority and remember that you have only one, and life is given only once. Do not give up hobbies, and better make new ones.
Mikhail Labkovsky advises learning to understand yourself and your desires
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Loneliness
The fear of being left alone, even for a short time, is one of the main concerns of divorce. It is not easy to go back to an empty apartment and do everything on your own, especially at first.
In fact, being alone is a great opportunity to sort out your feelings, understand yourself better, and deal with your fears. The main thing is to understand that the opportunity to communicate with people is not always there, and this is normal. By and large, living together is a habit, and it’s always hard to give up habits. If you doubt that you can cope by yourself, it is better to ask for help from a qualified psychologist.
8. Understand that in a divorce is always the responsibility of both parties
Here are a few examples.
- After marriage, the young wife almost immediately quit her job and became a housewife, and her husband did not mind. But at home she quickly got bored, lazy. Social networks became her only entertainment and solace. She became cold towards her husband and her household duties. The husband tried to remedy the situation, but he failed: the wife left her for a man she had met online.
- Some time after the marriage, the wife realized that her husband was a tyrant. Being a sensible woman, she went to a psychologist to work through her husband’s childhood traumas and fix him. She tried not to pressure, not to throw tantrums. But it all worked to the contrary: the husband, who was cherished and nurtured, even more claimed his own importance. He began to drink, then cheat, then raise his hand. In the end – a natural divorce.
- In spite of her parents’ protests, a girl from a wealthy family married a simple guy. She helped him get a higher education, got him a good job, and raised his self-esteem in every way. And she raised his self-esteem so much that he left him for someone else at the first opportunity.
All three examples have one thing in common: at first glance it seems that only one party is to blame for the divorce, and that the other was doing everything right. But if that were true, then it would appear that one is always the tyrant and the other is simply the victim. Marriage is more complicated than that: it is not just a union of two hearts, but a partnership of two personalities. If the union falls apart, it means that the parties have failed to find some kind of balance, and that is the responsibility of both. It is simply that the so-called “injured party” has invented a game for herself that she has been playing alone. The “injured party” was elementary not being honest with himself. Everything he did was for him, not his partner. And the one-way game in a marriage doesn’t work.
Divorce is always the fault of both, period.
The position itself and the role of the victim is very convenient: I do everything right, and he (she) is to blame, but therein lies the trap. If you don’t admit your responsibility in the divorce, the pattern will carry over to the next relationship, where you will also “do everything right”, only no one will want that. Only by taking some of the blame for the divorce will you be able to draw conclusions and not make the same mistakes in the future. You can learn about guilt and shame here.
Especially for women
It’s no secret that it’s harder for a woman after a divorce for at least two reasons. First, the children usually stay with the mother and it is harder for her financially. Secondly, there is a fear that the “divorced woman with a trailer” will not be needed by the opposite sex.
Yes, there are men who do not accept the divorced women with children, but these are not the men you need. Your man will accept you for who you are, with your past and with your children. I myself and my spouse are an example of this kind of marriage. He and my children are best friends. See more examples in this article.
Material problems are also quite solvable. First of all, no one cancelled alimony. If your ex-husband has a decent “white” salary, there are no problems at all. He will pay child support in the amount of 25% of income for one child, 33.33% – for two, and 50% – for three or more.
The amount of child support for one, two, three or more children
But even when the ex-husband is not officially employed, he is obliged to support his children. This is explicitly stated in the Family Code of the Russian Federation.
- The father pays a fixed amount specified in a notarized agreement;
- The father pays a percentage of the average wage in the region;
- the former spouse pays a percentage of unemployment benefits and other social benefits;
- the ex-husband pays a percentage of his pension, disability benefits, and so on.
Yes, sometimes it will be a small amount, but it’s better than nothing, especially if you yourself do not work (for example, sitting on maternity leave). Find support among your relatives and friends, who at the time until your employment will be able to help you out in an emergency.
Secondly, some of the financial problems can be solved by the state. If you have children, contact the Social Security Fund and find out what payments and benefits you are entitled to. You can get on the record in the Employment Center and 3 months to receive unemployment benefits. In general, the options are, you only need to deal with this issue. And God forbid you to get married only to solve material problems, it will only get worse.
Tips from a psychologist, how to quickly and painlessly survive a divorce from your husband, parting with the man you love
It is commonly believed that coming to terms with a breakup is an easier task than, for example, restoring a relationship.
Suffering from heartbreak for a few weeks or even months is perfectly normal, but if for a long time a woman still cannot accept the breakup, it means that she is trapped in her own mind and not able to get out of it.
The following will explain the psychological background of the breakup rejection and give advice on how to come to terms with the breakup.
Do women and girls in general worry after the breakup of a relationship with a beloved man, a guy?
Of course, divorce for both men and women is always a more or less conscious recognition of defeat. In this case, if one of the parties is planning and thinking about this process, the second parting is a complete surprise. The degree and nature of women’s experiences largely depends on whose initiative the breakup occurred.
If a member of the fair sex herself was the initiator, she may also experience it in different ways:
- Demonstrate indifference, because the man for self-sufficient ladies – just a tool to achieve the goal.
- Depress – such women can “overplay”: beg for forgiveness, call and guard at the doorway.
- To suffer without extremes – to feel guilty for the caused “inconvenience”, to suffer remorse.
If the initiator was the former chosen one, then this fact very much throws a woman out of whack. She is not happy about anything, she remains alone with her problem, and in severe cases, she may even become depressed. A characteristic behavior in such moments – to think only about the man and the moments with him.
Women’s experiences and their stages
Stages of experiencing a breakup:
- Denial . A breakup for a lady is a shock and a shock, and in such a situation the human psyche activates a defense mechanism in the form of refusal to believe in what is happening. The girl does not understand what happened and for what reasons, masterfully deceiving herself. The duration of this period is from an hour to a year.
- Expression of feelings . After the realization of what has happened, there comes an emotional reaction, which is expressed in different ways: for some through resentment and anger, for others through longing and sadness.
- The desire to restore the relationship, to come to terms . Going under the illusion, the woman tries to bargain, repent, beg for forgiveness – do everything to make the man change his mind or correct his own mistakes.
- Apathy . There comes a mental emptiness, which can turn into melancholy. The girl does not leave the feeling of loss, devastation, abandonment and uselessness to anyone.
- Humility . This is true acceptance of the fact of the breakup, understanding that nothing can be changed. At this stage, the person fully recovers and decides to move on.
How do you accept the situation?
“I can’t accept the breakup, even though it’s been a long time.” “How can I accept the divorce?” “How do I come to terms with a breakup that was not my decision?”
These and many other similar questions women ask professionals and themselves after a breakup. It’s impossible to completely avoid the pain of a breakup, but there are some suggestions and guidelines that allow you to get through this difficult time in life better, faster and more effectively so that you can turn the trauma into an opportunity for something new.
Yes, a breakup can be your chance for a new life! But first you have to accept the very fact of the breakup. To answer the question of how to accept a breakup, you need to understand what a relationship breakup means to your mind and your body as a whole.
Love is a kind of drug (for some reason, when people are in love, they feel great pleasure), and a very strong and addictive one at that. Agree that when you are in love, you don’t want to stop loving, even when it is accompanied by suffering.
You may repeat that you want to fall out of love, but the truth is that your mind feeds on feelings of unhappy and/or unrequited love. It happens precisely because of your dependence on your partner. That said, when suddenly someone tries to cut you off from the source of your addiction, you struggle with withdrawal syndrome and try to satisfy your hunger somehow.
So tip #1 . Replace one source of “high” with another. For example, pay attention to family and friends, engage in a professional career or fulfill a long-held dream – to get a second higher education (or first, why not?).
It happens that people try to somehow drown out attachment, for example, falling into a whirlpool of emotions and unnecessary actions, such as endless parties with drinking. This is how a woman tries to communicate her feelings of frustration to the outside world, to find stimulants to help her forget herself. Sometimes the brain decides to deceive the person: in a sense, it “feeds” him with false expectations. Such situations do not allow you to come to terms with the breakup and live normally.
Therefore, advice #2 . Look for inspiration intellectually: pay attention to decent people nearby, join the beautiful, find like-minded people of interest. Well, what’s wrong with being a member of a forum of “divorcees”? These people know exactly how to accept a breakup.
Lastly, tip #3: Learn a new art form: the art of acceptance. Think about the benefits and opportunities of solitude – you can even write them down on a piece of paper if you want.
Who and what do you have more time for right now? What decisions require advice and how to find an alternative to a former partner? What can you go back to, what have you had to give up because of the relationship? What are you allowed to do that you cannot do in a permanent relationship?
It is important to see your current state as something positive where you can, but also need to learn to function again. This state is not a series of suffering, but a happy life that gives you a chance to grow. The sooner you define yourself, including among other people, as a strong and independent loner rather than an abandoned victim, the sooner you will believe that your life now is what you want it to be.
How do you come to your senses, endure grief and calm your soul, and learn to move on without your ex?
Psychological advice on how to recover from a relationship breakup:
Get over the pain.
The pain you feel after a breakup is natural, and while it shouldn’t affect your life, you should focus on it early on.
It’s all about being able to live and work effectively–without blocking the process of accepting a breakup.
Take time each day to listen carefully to your inner suffering. If it involves physical pain, focus on it. Allow the wound in your heart to gradually heal, but first carefully cleanse it. Give yourself permission to be sad, to cry, to be distracted by it. By accepting this state of your soul, you will find it easier to come to terms with it.
Remember to set aside some time to experience the pain deeply, but after that, try to return to normal life.
Balance and a final goodbye.
At this point you need to try to work out most of the points of contention . Balancing the relationship with an honest listing of your partner’s negatives and shortcomings will allow you to overcome your tendency to idealize.
Also, think about why you failed in this relationship-without conspiracy theories, but paying attention to actual internal and external factors (your character traits, life goals, value system, relationship circumstances).
Say goodbye to your ex by putting all items and mementos in a box. If there is anything left after the breakup, it is easier to resume the relationship.
No matter what it is: the pictures on the fridge, a ring on your wedding finger, or anything else, it will all be a source of emotion to your soul over and over again. Valuable gifts can be put in a pawnshop or sell, you can even return them to the one who gave as a gift, it does not matter. The main thing is that nothing is left in sight.
Put “Pandora’s Box” in a place that you rarely visit. Don’t contact your ex or his significant other and turn off your social media options. After this “cleaning up” you have more space for yourself and your business.
New experiences give you strong feelings, energy, vitality, motivation, joy and new opportunities to learn something else that you have not been in contact with until now.
This is not an extreme experience, but rather a sincere admiration for the possibilities you have and what you will still have.
It is the unknown experience of separation, the new experience of loneliness. All this shapes you, so find other activities that can further shape you in a positive way.
Start by traveling, learning new skills, meeting new people, and participating in previously unknown events. Circumstances in life are unpredictable, but one creates one’s own destiny.
New Direction, New Love
Only complete reconciliation with separation will allow you to open the gates to your heart to a new love . A dysfunctional old relationship will never allow you to establish a healthy, lasting and happy relationship with someone else.
Give yourself time and enjoy your independence (take your time!), and when you feel the moment is right, take one last step and let people get close to you. You are now a stronger, funnier, more mature person. As long as you feel good about yourself, you can make others happy.
In each successive partner we always discover something new and better-particularly what we need and expect in the moment. In your case, let it be common goals and shared ideas for realizing them, and your relationship is sure to gain value.
How do you calm down and recover?
Even after the breakup has already happened, the fact is fully realized and accepted as a fait accompli, women feel a special burden that wants to throw off their shoulders. At this stage, the main thing – do not fall into a deep depression and to rehabilitate.
Let yourself be you
When a relationship ends, it’s okay to be sad. Don’t let people you don’t like into your life.
Get busy and put on your favorite music. Draw, dance, garden, skydive if it makes you feel better.
Do not be afraid to see the positive in the world: to feel disappointment, resentment and sadness – it’s good. But you’ve already let these feelings go. Now it’s time to just live: communicate and read interesting books, expand your dating horizons and self-improvement.
Do not turn into a “loner” who does not need anyone.
Do not think that talking about their problems – it’s bad. Let the people closest to you will be a shoulder and a support. If there are no such people, another effective way to make an appointment with a psychologist who will help solve all problems.
Look for reasons to rejoice
Cheer up in this life can be the simplest things: a kitten found in the street, needing your warmth, or the radiant sun, which suddenly looked out from behind the clouds after a long rain, many other absolutely insignificant things.
You can start renovating your room, take time out to change yourself, like having morning meditation rituals or enrolling in a foreign language course.
Take care of your appearance, visit beauty salons, because it is better to be sad with beautiful nails and well-groomed hair. Do not forget about regular procedures, keep to your schedule of the day.
Set new goals
It is necessary to set a new goal and small steps to achieve them, despite the difficulties and problems that may arise along this thorny path – and life will change. Small victories can help you regain confidence and go further.
You can start a new relationship for the sake of experimentation. Find someone who can boost your self-esteem or just someone you enjoy spending time with.
Remember: it takes time to recover from a painful breakup . Give yourself time to rest from what happened in your life.
And only after that do you go through “rehab”. This is not the last relationship you will ever have: there is sure to be someone who is right for you. In the meantime, just live your life, breathing in with your full breath.
You may notice certain behaviors that constructively indicate an inability to accept separation from your former partner:
- You idealize your former partner, focusing only on his or her benefits, exaggerating them or even giving them additional traits. In doing so, the final image is very different from reality, and when you are reminded of your ex’s defects and shortcomings, you immediately replace this with an imagined ideal image.
- You idealize your relationship – there is nothing good about cherishing bad memories and regrets, but in this case you present your finished relationship as an absolute idyll, devoid of negative aspects.
- You blame yourself for the breakup of the relationship – you see yourself as the sole culprit of the breakup, the person who caused the destruction of the ideal relationship and the harm or inability to satisfy your ideal partner.
- You follow your ex-partner in person or on social media – observing his movements, posts, photos, analyzing social media activity.
- You weave conspiracy theories about the breakup – looking for cheating, flirting, dark secrets, giving new meaning to situations from the past, reevaluating the behavior and words of the ex-boyfriend.
- You do not let the chosen one out of your life – you keep his things, souvenirs, photos, letters, messages (at home, in the phone, on the computer), you remember him in the company of others, you agree to irrational decisions like friendship with the former partner.
- You neglect yourself and your environment – you avoid social contacts, you forget about family members, you push others away with your irritation or resentment, you don’t exercise, you give up hobbies, you become slovenly.
- You try to win back your ex-partner by pressuring him, being extreme and reckless, trying to reach out to him through his family, friends and acquaintances.
Why is it important to go through the process correctly?
Certainly, the breakup process is long and painstaking. It requires a lot of time for a variety of reasons.
During this difficult time, you need to treat yourself with the utmost care and take advantage of the help and support of relatives and professionals.
After all, the correctness of the path depends not only on the mood and emotional stability, but also the prospects for a future happy life.
If you want to personal front in the relationship with the opposite sex was all good, you have to discover the possibility of another experience, not negative, but necessary and meaningful for gaining wisdom and spiritual growth.
Many women after divorce behave more confidently and independently than during the relationship – which shows that even an unpleasant event can have a positive impact, if you have the courage to turn the breakup into your chance to start a new life.
Video on the topic of the article
How to survive a breakup, the video will tell you:
Summing up about how to come to terms with a breakup, we want to express the hope that this serious and difficult ordeal you can turn into a positive change that will be a further motivator for personal development.