Ten Tips for Navigating The Emotions of Divorce

By Christian Denmon

Whether or not you had a feeling that a divorce was in your future,  it’s still a shock when you hear these words: “I want a divorce.”

10 Tips for Emotional Survival During Divorce Process

How do you cope with divorce and what can you expect? The following ten tips for emotional survival may be helpful to you as you navigate the divorce process with a seasoned divorce lawyer.

You must realize that it is alright and expected to get emotional because, after all,  you put time and energy into the marriage as a devoted spouse and parent.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Show How You Feel
You may not want to show your emotional side. You may feel saddened, exhausted, angry, frustrated, and anxious. This is normal and expected. Your feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are and you or your spouse should not judge each other.

2. Never Go Through a Divorce Alone
Have quality support from someone whether it is your lawyer, family members, or close friends. This support system can add strength to your emotional stability.

3. Plan on Moving Ahead
While waiting for finalization of your divorce,  put a lot of thought into the future and your future goals. You must always plan on moving ahead and closing this chapter of your life. This will not happen overnight and will take some time. Each day is a new day offering new opportunities for the future.

4. Protect Mental Health
If you have a spouse, family members, or friends who become overly dramatic, detach yourself from the dramatics. You do not need the extra emotional baggage. Protect your mental health at all cost. Seek a support group with members going through the same things.

5. Think of The Kids
You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are not the only ones hurt by divorce. Always think of the kids. Frequently children feel that in some way they are to blame for this divorce. Children can carry a lot of guilt and this guilt and other feelings should be addressed, with patience and compassion.

6. Take Responsibility
It takes two people to make or break a marriage. Divorce is the right time to reflect on what you did wrong and how you can work on improving your actions. Divorce is the time to take responsibility for your actions and decisions leading to the divorce.

7. Learn And Accept
Learn to change the things you can change and accept the things that cannot be controlled or changed.

8. Heal With Patience
Realize that a divorce is very similar to death–the death of marriage. You have to take baby steps in a divorce process much like a death. Realize that some negative feelings are inevitable during the divorce process and in the healing that follows. Know that the following are stages you go through when divorcing, and recognize that healing takes time.
• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance

9. Intense Feelings Are Normal
Realize that you may have intense feelings of depression, disappointment, and stress. These feelings are normal and will pass. However, seek professional support if you are having trouble coping with these feelings.

10. Realize This  Phase Is Temporary
The side effects of divorce are a passing and unpleasant phase that does not last forever.


Christian is a divorce attorney  based in Tampa, Florida. He is the founding partner of Denmon & Pearlman, a truly progressive firm that offers fixed fee engagements, service guarantees, and a focus on picking the right process to lead to a principled settlement for the client.  He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.


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