Divorce can be a difficult life transition for everyone involved, regardless of gender or the situation. Not only is divorce difficult for the couple splitting up, but it can also be difficult for any children, family members, or friends closely involved. While you should expect some struggles when going through a divorce, there are signs that you may need extra support getting over a divorce.
Divorce can be difficult for all parties involved.
Divorce can affect a person’s mood, motivation, and eating and sleeping habits.
The stages of grief that come with divorce are normal.
It’s never too soon to seek support for getting over a divorce, so it’s especially important to seek support if you’re experiencing difficulties long after your divorce to help you heal, move on, and thrive.
Significant mood changes
Divorce is not usually a happy time. Negative moods and emotions are to be expected. There are also a set of grief stages that accompany a divorce. Mood changes are to be expected during this time with feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, etc. There is never a bad time to seek help and support from a licensed therapist or trusted friend to help with the emotional struggle. However, should you find that these feelings are lingering for several months, this is a clear sign that some extra may help alleviate any mood changes.
Little to no support system
Getting a divorce can feel like losing your best friend, support system, and family. While not everyone will feel the same amount of loss, those who built much of their lives around their marriage may find that they have lost their primary support system after a divorce. Friends may take sides, the family may not be nearby, and there could be discord between separated couples and any children they’re raising together. Getting help to cope with your feelings during this time is highly beneficial. If you feel a lack of support, it’s always best to seek professional help from a licensed therapist or counselor.
Lack of interest in your favorite pastimes
It’s normal to feel like you don’t want to do the things you used to enjoy when you’re going through a divorce, especially if they are things you used to enjoy doing with your spouse. However, when this happens, it’s important to find new interests or focus on hobbies you enjoy doing by yourself — for yourself. If you enjoy sharing hobbies and interests with others, seeking out people to share these hobbies and interests with can be helpful. Should you lack the motivation to do the things you enjoy, it may be time to seek the support of a trained professional or support group.
It’s normal to have some bad days while going through a divorce. Those times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. However, this can become a problem if it negatively affects how you take care of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. If you consistently find it difficult to perform routine tasks that adversely impact your personal hygiene and well-being, it’s time to seek outside help. If you no longer get out of bed, shower, brush your teeth, prepare healthy meals for yourself, exercise, meditate, or connect with others socially, it can be a sign that you should meet with a professional.
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Separating from someone you are used to living with and sharing a bed with every night is sure to cause some disturbances to your normal eating and sleeping routines — at first. It is when these issues linger for several months that they become issues of concern. If you find yourself unable to adapt to a new norm, a professional therapist or behavioral health doctor should be able to assist you with techniques to ease this transition. To maintain proper mental and physical health, you need to get back to eating and sleeping normally.
If you find yourself with an overly negative outlook on life and feeling plagued by patterns of negative self-talk, a cognitive-behavioral therapist can help. It’s understandable to think about the things we could have done differently. However, it’s important to start believing in yourself again. Wondering if there is something wrong with you or over-focusing on what you think are personal inadequacies is detrimental.
Some of these feelings are normal during a divorce, but when you’re unable to simply acknowledge the thoughts and let them go, they can form negative thought patterns. These pessimistic notions can hold you back by dictating how your life will move forward. Negative thoughts and feelings can prevent you from reaching your greatest potential. A therapist can help you challenge these thoughts to rewrite your internal narrative. You need to start being kind to yourself and supporting yourself again.
Legal disagreements can cause discord with your ex
It’s rare for couples to separate happily and peacefully. Many times, there can be discord between separating couples, and legal disagreements only fuel the conflict. Beyond seeking legal advice and mediation, a couple’s counselor can help prepare couples for divorce in a healthy, peaceful way. However, a couple will only benefit from honest and mutual participation.
Feeling a loss of identity
A married couple intertwines many parts of their lives. However, during a divorce, it can leave a person feeling like they no longer know who they are or how they identify as a person in the world. Speaking with a therapist can help you rediscover who you are and get you to a place where you feel whole again.
Reluctance to date again
It can be difficult getting over a person you have committed to spending the rest of your life with. It’s normal not to be ready to date right after a divorce. However, should you find yourself feeling such reluctance several months or years after your divorce, it’s time to talk to someone.
If the feelings linger, it may be time to invite a therapist to step in and help you work through the things that are holding you back. Not every person is going to treat you like your ex, and not every relationship will end the same. It can be difficult to see this, however, when you’re feeling broken from a failed marriage.
Conquering personal and professional struggles
If you feel like your connection with your children, pets, family, friends, or your job performance has suffered after a divorce, a mental health professional can help. It’s important to face and overcome the mental and emotional blockages holding you back from feeling joy or success. You must realize that all is not lost.
You just need to find a way to feel life’s joy again. To get past these hurdles, you have to be there for those who care about you — but first, you must focus on yourself. This also ties into self-care. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so if you feel like you’re running on empty, a therapist or counselor can help. They can assist you with redirecting your focus back to you so you can share your energy with others again.
It is possible to experience a decline in mental or physical health after a divorce. However, should these symptoms last for an extended period, it’s imperative to seek help from a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist. While there is no magic wand or happy pill that can immediately heal you from the ramifications of a divorce, healing and recovery are possible with time, patience, and kindness to yourself.
Divorce can be difficult for all parties involved. Difficulties with mood swings, motivation, emotions, and simply carrying on as normal may seem impossible at first. However, with time and support, it is possible to overcome the hardships of divorce and thrive in your new life.