The pain of sacrificing a relationship you thought would last forever can be truly life-altering. Indeed, divorced people are three times as likely to commit suicide as married people, suggesting that for many, the pain of divorce is unbearable. It might seem hard to believe right now, but the pain will wane with time. Eventually, you’ll no longer miss your spouse or feel jealous when you see him or her with someone else. The time this takes varies, and there’s no “right” way to grieve your divorce. But if you’re struggling to get through the pain, here are some strategies that really can help.
It’s not easy to do, but ceasing contact with your ex is the fastest way to feel better. Removing contact removes your opportunities for jealousy, rejection, and disappointment, while clearing your mind to focus on more important matters. If you have kids, you won’t be able to cut of contact altogether, but keep the contact you do have minimal. And remember, no contact also means no Internet stalking. Get off of your ex’s social media page; these pages are designed to make everyone look better than they are, and your ex is no exception. Social media stalking is only going to make you more miserable.
There’s nothing wrong with a good cry, and taking some time to grieve can be cathartic, in addition to getting you back on track more quickly. Rather than falling prey to your emotions, schedule time each day to grieve. Crank up the sad music; close the bedroom door, and feel what you feel. Then get back to the business of living.
When you’re overwhelmed by grief, it’s tempting to skip out on every responsibility you have, spending endless days on the couch eating ice cream. This, though, is a recipe for more misery. Instead, commit to doing something you enjoy each day, and schedule some “me-time” each week. Research shows that spending time with other people is especially helpful for moving past grief, so don’t be afraid to schedule a spa weekend with your friends or finally go on that whitewater rafting adventure you’ve been talking about for years. When you spend your time doing things you enjoy, you have less energy to be miserable about your divorce.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care isn’t easy when you can hardly get dressed without bursting into tears. Ultimately, though, you’re the only person you can count on to care for yourself. Don’t binge eat, starve yourself, or give up your exercise program just because you’re sad. Continue taking care of yourself, and consider adding a new health goal into the mix. By staying healthy, you make it easier for your body to cope with the stress of grief. You also show your ex that he or she has not destroyed you, and your healthy changes can even help both you and your ex see that you really are better without him or her.