How to survive a divorce and not go crazy: 8 recommendations psychologist
Greetings, friends! According to statistics over the past 10 years, 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 acceptance of 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 be fine!
- Anger. At this stage, 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 another six months, if anything, 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.” 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 may swap places, get jumbled up, 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 may be 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 sad, 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. This includes a desire to get back at 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 shut yourself away
Meet with friends, family, and colleagues at work. It is very important to talk through your emotions, 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 straining friends or relatives with their whining does not always want to, and many people simply do not have the opportunity. Then come to the aid of an excellent psychological practice, which I want to talk 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 can have 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.
Not only 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 autopilot 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 to learn to understand yourself and your desires.
7. Do not be afraid of solitude.
The fear of being alone, even for a short time, is one of the main things in 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, both parties are always responsible
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’s just 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 is no secret that it is more difficult 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 a “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 has cancelled alimony. If the 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.
5 tips on how to survive a divorce and get a fresh start
Divorce is a phenomenon faced by a huge number of women. And a rare girl can feel truly happy at this moment. The world that once seemed so stable and unbreakable, turns into a pile of shards, and the future seems vague and not happy at all. And such feelings are easy to understand, because over the years of life together we become attached to the person, despite his shortcomings, and the need to separate from him becomes a great stress.
The book “Divorced and Happy” – the stories of women who were able to overcome the pain of separation and start a new life. We have chosen from it a few rules that will help cope with the personal drama.
-15% Divorced and Happy. How to get through a breakup and create a life you’ll love Suzanne Riss Hardcover 616 ₽ 725 ₽ -15% Add to Cart In Cart
Don’t Forbid Yourself to Cry
There is a stereotype that any display of real feelings and emotions – the lot of weak people, but as we know, only an iron will and character can painlessly and quickly cope with disappointments and dramas. Well, everyone indeed has different methods of dealing with stressful situations, and blaming anyone else for the lack of tears is at least unethical. But this rule also works the other way around – there is no shame in crying. It’s okay to cry, especially when you’re hurting. And a breakup is just such a case.
“The time it will take and the journey of acceptance itself will be different for each of us, but the benefits are the same for all: peace, serenity, and the ability to move on.”
“Divorced and happy.”
Psychologists say: in terms of the level of mental pain, divorce can be quite comparable to the death of a loved one. And to forbid yourself to grieve over the loss in this case is not only unproductive, but also harmful. Postponed or completely suppressed suffering will not allow you to let the situation go, to forgive ex-lover, and open up to a new life, and suffering will drag on for years. Allow yourself to be in despair, so that you can return to the joy and serenity.
Take your time to get your life together
When the first tumultuous emotions subside, they will be replaced by a sense of confusion. How do you go on with your life? How will life change? How do you accustom yourself to waking up in an empty bed?
Often such reflections push us back into old relationships. But is everything as terrible as it seems at first glance? Yes, indeed, the fear of the unknown, adjacent to us since ancient times, pushes sometimes to rash actions. But what if we allow ourselves to stop for a moment, breathe out and think about the fact that life is not over with the parting? Yes, it seems unrealistic now, but believe me, after a few months or maybe even weeks you will feel better without going back to your ex, and without a new, created in a hurry relationship. The picture of the world will clear up, and the answers to difficult questions will be found on their own.
Stop blaming yourself.
“You’re a woman, you could try to save the family” – such phrases develop in us an invincible guilt complex: to her ex-husband, to his and his own family, to children (if any) and even to friends. A woman has to hear that it’s her fault: not trying hard enough, not accepting, not understanding, not supporting, and dozens if not hundreds of other “not”. But wait, aren’t two people supposed to share first all the joys of life together and then, if they have to, the consequences of separation?
“When your eyes are opened to the way you behaved during your marriage, and you come to understand what and how you could have done differently, remind yourself that looking in the mirror is the manly and constructive thing to do. We strongly advise you not to engage in self-injury! Awareness, however painful, is the first step toward positive change.”
“Divorced and happy.”
You can’t control every situation in life, nor can you be responsible for another person’s thoughts, aspirations or actions. You’ve done all you can do, and now it’s time to pay attention to yourself, because you have a tough job ahead of you – restoring inner balance and returning love to your reflection in the mirror. And there’s no need to waste energy blaming yourself for the collapse of your marriage.
Finding Life Around You
Life doesn’t end with divorce. It’s not easy to believe in a moment of despair, but one day the pain of separation will subside and you will begin to enjoy familiar things again. You will remember how nice it was to meet your girlfriends, watch sunsets, listen to your favorite music, go to exhibitions or read books. Look around – there are so many things in the world that can bring joy, and it does not have to be shared with a partner, because even alone it is possible to enjoy and feel in harmony.
Now that the loss is over and mourned, it’s time to think about yourself. Remember all the things that make you happy, and add to that list with new hobbies and interests. Allow yourself to be yourself, and you’ll discover a wonderful world that you may have forgotten existed, or perhaps never knew existed.
Take the time to start a new life if you’re still not ready for it. Fortunately, there is no clear timetable or deadline in this matter. Unhurriedness and the ability to listen to your own heart in the case of a breakup play a central role. And when you feel like you’re getting better, then you can think about finally closing a failed chapter and starting a new one. And it, whether you have a man by your side or not, is sure to be the happiest chapter of your life.
For more practical tips on how to cope with depression after a breakup, personal stories and just encouraging words, check out the book “Divorced and Happy” by Suzanne Riess and Jill Sockwell.