LIVING WITH DIVORCE
Surviving the Changes in
Divorce can be one of life's most stressful
experiences. It also can be a time of creating new relationships,
learning and growing. Understanding the emotional and physical
stresses that often come with divorce is the first step in
learning how to deal with them. When you accept your feelings,
and learn ways to care for yourself during this stressful time,
you'll find that you not only can cope with divorce, you can
survive and even thrive.
Separating from someone you had hoped would be
your life partner is usually painful. You might feel like a
failure. You miss the warmth, friendship, financial security and
sex you had or hoped you would have.
Your job as a parent is suddenly that much
bigger if you now have primary responsibility for the children.
You may have less time to spend with them, yet their needs are
greater. If you did not want the separation, your resentment and
anger may flare up around them, although it's not their fault.
You and your former spouse may have conflicts about child
If you are a parent whose children are not
living with you, you may feel guilty, lonely and resentful. You
may worry that the children may forget you or be turned against
Divorce is especially painful if everyone you
know seems to be happily married, or if you get little support
from your own family.
As in any distressful situation, your body is
affected. Ongoing stress can cause minor and major illnesses,
including headaches, backaches, ulcers, flu and asthma. Even if
you feel relieved by the divorce, you may have physical symptoms.
You may not be able to change your situation,
but you can stay healthy during the transition if you take care
- Recognize your feelings. It's normal to
feel lonely, frustrated or even hopeless.
- Pound on a bed or yell in the car, where
no one can hear you, to release your feelings.
- Reach out to others. Friends, relatives,
support groups and therapists all can support you. A hug,
phone call or letter can mean a great deal.
- Take risks. Try a new activity. It will
keep your mind off your problems and help you to meet new
- Treat your body well. Cut down on alcohol
and smoking. Eat healthy, tasty food. Take long baths and
get exercise you enjoy.
Taking care of yourself and taking risks can
have surprising benefits. Don't be surprised if eventually you
are stronger, more confident and more content than before.
Copyright © 1989, PARLAY INTERNATIONAL