15 Tips for Getting Through a Divorce

Love & Learn 19

Those of you who read my personal blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, know that I'm in a bit of a rough patch: I'm going through a divorce. No one who gets married sets out with the intention of getting divorced one day, and we were no exception.

I won't go into the nitty-gritty of it all, but suffice to say it's been really hard on me. I'm lucky enough to have perspective to know what (in part) it's going to take to get through this. So I want to share with you some tips I've learned for coping with divorce.

1) Develop a support system that's all your own. Many of us who have been married awhile lost our single-days network, which means we have mutual friends.

2) Mutual friends will take sides during a divorce, so be prepared to lose people you'd always thought you could count on. It's going to hurt. Don't let anyone tell you different.

3) Recognize - and understand - that it's okay to have a mixture of feelings, sometimes at the same time. With hurt, you may have anger, confusion, and shame for being unable to "work things out."

4) Take care of yourself. When we're stressed about an impending divorce, it's hard to remember to do things as simple as brushing our teeth. Those minor victories can make a gigantic difference in our outlook.

5) Any way you look at it, divorce is a loss. It's the loss of a future together, the loss of a support system you thought you had, and the loss of a person you once loved.

6) As such, it will take time to grieve. There is no timetable for grief. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

7) Anyone who has become a toxic friend to you during your divorce should be cut out of your life.

8) Don't let others pressure you into getting back out there to date until you're ready.

9) Similarly, do not allow others to heap judgment on you when you do decide to date again. It's your choice.

10) Remember that while there are many downsides to divorce, it's also a way of starting your life from scratch - a life lived on YOUR terms.

11) You may want to isolate yourself - the world can seem like a very scary place once you realize that the foundation of everything has been broken. Don't give in to that temptation. Your best bet is to be around people.

12) Talk to a therapist trained in marital problems and divorce. He or she may be able to offer you practical advice about how to cope with your changing life.

13) Keep the end goal in sight: to move on with your life. And while it may seem you're sitting in a dark hole of despair, you will emerge from it a smarter, stronger, and more capable person.

14) Begin and follow a daily routine. Divorce can disrupt nearly every facet of your life - which is why a routine can bring you comfort even while you're at your worst.

15) Some days will be better than others. In time, you'll realize you have fewer "bad days" and more "good days."

Any other advice for someone going through a divorce?

Image via frankh/Flickr



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jessi... jessicasmom1

do marry in the first place unless you are truly ready and know this person

pflip pflip

After 15 years of being married to my high school sweetheart, I can honestly say that the loss of our "friendship" is the hardest part. He was my best friend for so long that not having him be that for me anymore really sucks. But our divorce was not a happy or calm one. It's been over a year, and I still find myself itching to call him about day to day garbage. Chin up, and keep breathing!

Taisie Taisie

Wow Jessica, that was pretty condescending, I really hope for your sake you never have to go through a divorce. Sometimes, you can be with someone for years before you marry them, and then, one day, they just come home from work, and the just out of the blue, want out, want a divorce, and walk away. you can never really know what goes on inside someone else's head no matter how much you'd like to think you do... just have to have faith in your heart and trust...

PonyC... PonyChaser

@Jessica... because nobody EVER changes throughout their lives. Because circumstances NEVER change, disasters NEVER happen, and when you dress up like a princess and carry a bouquet of flowers down the aisle to Prince Charming, it really is always "happily ever after". Wow, I really wish we could ALL live in YOUR world.  (why isn't there an eyeroll emoticon??)

Venae Venae

Yeah, Jessicasmom1 - having been w/mine since I was 16, married at 20, married for 23 years, I think I knew him pretty well.  Didn't stop him from out of the blue leaving us for some whore he knew for less than a month.

zandh... zandhmom2

When my sister was going through her divorce, the best advise I gave her was concerning the kids.  I told her to always take the high road and never complain or insult her ex in front of her kids.  It's been 3 years and even though it's been hard many of times to not complain about him, she has done it and I'm so proud of her for handling it that way.  She may know that he's an ass and her kids are finding out slowing on their own but atleast she didn't influence them herself.  Her kids have the upmost respect for her and that makes it totally worth it!

Taisie Taisie

Oh Venae! My heart aches for you! My ex-husband pretty much did the same thing! After 14 years together, he got up one morning, and just packed up and left me for someone else, floored everyone we knew! Our hearts do heal, but it does take time, I wish you the best, (((hugs))).

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

Gosh Jessica... how was I supposed to know that my husband had come out in college when he was gay when NO ONE TOLD ME.. especially since he had been married before?  How was I supposed to know he was bipolar when HE HAD NOT BEEN DIAGNOSED?  How was I supposed to predict he would become an alcoholic?  How was I supposed to predict he would develop psychosis?


Xiemeneh Xiemeneh

Sorry to hear about the divorce, Aunt Becky. Keep your head up!

nonmember avatar truthfairy

Dear Jessica's Mom, I have been married for eight years and it sounds like you sat on your wand, witch! Dear Aunt Becky, I approve this message and I hope you do to because Jessica's mom is an idiot and someone needs to tell her ;) your welcome, the truth fairy

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