If you have ever been through a divorce, you know how it can suck the energy out of you. You may not feel like you want to do anything, and you may begin to seclude yourself from the company of others.
You also may know that divorce can suck the energy right out of a room. When you are in a social setting, it can hover, pulling you back into a life that you left behind, as well as forcing everyone you come into contact with to acknowledge what you went through.
This can be a lot. You had to live through one of the toughest moments of your life, and now, you are forced to relive it any time it comes up. Subsequently, your friends may begin to feel like the acknowledgement of your divorce is something that is weighing the group down, lowering energy and making social situations difficult.
It can be challenging to talk about the end of your marriage with the person you actually need to talk about it with: your family law attorney. It can be difficult to articulate what you want and what you need during this time, because of how fresh the emotions may be.
However, this is not the time to allow your emotions to paralyze you or your lack of decision-making. Your future is on the line, and if you do not effectively communicate with your attorney, regarding your case, your future, as well as the future of your children could be at risk.
Communicating with your attorney is the best way to use the time you have with them productively. The time you spend with your attorney will benefit you in the long-run, because you are talking to someone who can make a difference in your case. The same may not be said about everyone you choose to discuss your divorce with.
Within your support system, you may have specific friends that you choose to vent your frustrations regarding your divorce, your ex-spouse, and your complicated emotions during this difficult time. However, if they are not willing participants to your venting, you can be putting those relationships at risk.
You need confirmation that they are willing to assist you in this difficult process, but you also cannot take advantage of their kindness and thoughtfulness too much. Just like a typical friendship, there needs to be a balance of talking about you and talking about them.
While this may seem like basic information regarding the innerworkings of interpersonal relationships, the stress of the divorce experience can cloud the common courtesy of a conversation. Because of what you are going through, you may feel entitled to talk about it, railroading otherwise easy-going conversations among friends.
You want to keep your friend group close, because they are a support system for you during this difficult time. Focusing solely on what is happening to you and ignoring their lives will only alienate them. You do not want to drive them away.
Your family members
The same can be said for family members. They may have their own thoughts regarding your marriage and can come with a plethora of questions regarding your divorce. They may have never liked your ex-spouse and feel that this is a blessing; that you can do better.
They may have differing views on marriage, based on religious or cultural beliefs making your divorce more stressful than it needs to be from individuals who are not directly involved. They may be angry at you for pursuing a divorce, begging you to reconsider. They may suggest couples therapy, and when that does not work, they may threaten to cut you out of the family, because their belief in the institution of marriage is so strong.
When it comes to divorce, family members can fluctuate in their support, so you need to feel out the situation before you decide to share any details regarding your divorce or your feelings. As much as you may want to trust them with these details, you cannot afford to jeopardize your mental and emotional health with the unnecessary stress they may place on you with their unsupportive opinions.
With all of the experiences you go through during the divorce process, you need to have supportive individuals in your corner, helping you along the way, and while you may have the legal help from your family law attorney and the comfort of family and friends, seeking the aid of a mental health professional can only be beneficial to yourself and your future.
Your mental health professional
With a mental health professional, you do not need to worry about tip-toeing through a conversation about your divorce. You do not have to worry about dominating the conversation or the judgement of others. You talk, and they listen. Mental health professionals are trained to help those in need, and during the divorce process, you qualify.
As new and intimidating as it may be to ask for help regarding your mental health, it is too important not to. You need to set yourself up for a post-divorce life with your best foot forward, and that starts with discussing what you have been through with someone that can help you be the best you that you can be.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with Joe Cordell.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.