Developing Your Support System During Your Divorce

The process of divorce is draining, painful, and to some, embarrassing. It is this embarrassment that prevents many from seeking out the support they so desperately need. Having a support system in place can help you through even the most stressful divorce.

Lean on Your Family and Friends

When you’re ready, let those closest to you know what you need, and what you can do without. People want to help but they may not know how. Think about what you need and from whom. Is it someone to vent to or cry with? Someone to make sure you get out of the house? Someone to watch your children while you take some time for yourself? Make a list and start reaching out for help.

Be Aware of Toxic Relationships

Be selective about those with whom you spend your time. Some people aren’t going to understand what you are going through. Others will seem to lack even basic empathy. We all know people like this. If they’re family, they may always be in your life, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend time with them now.

On a similar note, be aware that you may have to mourn the loss of other relationships as well. You and your ex probably shared the same friendship group. Some will feel awkward and some will take sides. It is painful but it is not personal.

Seek Community Support

Even the most supportive friends and family members have their limits. If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of the same thoughts and feelings and having the same conversations over and over, it may be time to look outside your inner circle. Whether online forums or in-person group meetings, connecting with others who are experiencing the process may be just what you need.

Seek Professional Help Where Needed

Your friends are not your therapists and your cousin who is also going through a divorce is not a mental health professional. You can find someone who specifically assists those experiencing divorce or other difficult life transitions. In this relationship, you don’t need to worry about being perceived as a burden or receiving judgment.

Outside of mental health professionals, think about taking care of yourself in other ways. Consider outsourcing some of those household chores that seem insurmountable. Or spend a day doing absolutely frivolous things. Put yourself first part of the time.

There is no such thing as an “easy” divorce and there is no piece of advice that is going to change that. But allowing others to care for you can go a long way toward easing your burden.

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