Do you remember the first time you got on a roller coaster? You were probably afraid. Maybe you even thought about jumping out when the ride attendant strapped you in. Then it started: the forward lurch and everything happening so fast that you clutched the support bar for dear life.
You probably heard younger kids around you crying and were tempted to join them because you were sure that this was it. The End.
Then, after a few minutes, something changed. The fear stopped. Looking over the side, you see other kids staring up at you, mouths slack with awe, clearly wishing that they were as brave as you. Suddenly you stopped gripping the bar for reassurance and relished the feel of the wind whipping your hair.
When the ride finally ended, you felt so powerful you wanted to cheer. You did it!
The Divorce Roller Coaster
Divorce has often been described as an emotional roller coaster. Once you realize that it’s the right decision for you and your kids, there are five emotions that you can expect to feel as you go through the process of engaging a divorce attorney and negotiating your future. Although they can be intense at times, we know you’ve got this, just like you did that day at the theme park.
It’s normal for things to feel unreal after you visit an attorney and your spouse moves out. Denial is a natural defense: it gives you time to accept and adjust to this huge change in your life. It’s not the same thing as being in denial, which is refusing to accept the truth. Take this time to focus on the practical aspects of the divorce, such as assembling financial documents, itemizing assets, and opening a new bank account
Once denial subsides, you’re probably going to feel angry and let down because an important relationship in your life has ended. While anger is normal when you’re getting divorced, you can make the choice to handle it in positive ways:
- Go for a long run in your favorite park
- Sign up for the yoga classes you’ve always wanted to try
- Make an appointment with a counselor
Not only is this beneficial for you, but your children will see you managing your anger in a non-destructive manner and let your actions guide them.
Once your anger recedes, you may feel sad that things didn’t work out with your spouse. You may spend a lot of time thinking about the excitement and optimism of your wedding day and wonder where it all went wrong. Like anger, this is a normal emotion during the divorce process and there are positive ways to handle it. Talk to your best friend or a therapist and treat yourself to activities that make you feel good, such as a movie night or day at the spa with friends.
Like sadness, depression can set in when you accept that the future you envisioned with your spouse did not transpire. There may be times when you have trouble concentrating, withdraw from friends and family, and question your ability to cope. Give yourself all the good things you deserve, such as plenty of sleep, a balanced and nutritious diet, and generous amounts of time with those who love you.
Acceptance is not the same as resignation. It’s a sign that you are no longer overwhelmed by the change in your life. You now welcome it, and it’s time to get excited about your new situation and your future.
The emotions associated with divorce can be strong, but you are too. When you understand what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and how you can cope in a positive way, you prove that strength to yourself and your children. When the roller coaster ends, do what you did that day at the theme park: live your life like you’re unstoppable.
At Bliss Law Group, we believe in you and welcome the opportunity to be your legal partner as you prepare to enter this new and exciting transition in your life. Call us today at 253-844-4412.