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How to Cope With a Bitter or Hostile Divorce

Nov 6, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce is a difficult situation for anybody to face, but the right strategies for how to cope with divorce can help you through this challenging chapter of your life. Follow these tips to come out stronger from this trial you face.

How to Cope with Divorce When It Turns Hostile or Bitter

Find Acceptance of the Current Situation

Living in denial of any negative event, including a hostile divorce, can be a tempting option. Our brain’s natural defense mechanisms give us some instinctive urge to pretend as if our life is going on as normal and that nothing has gone wrong. However, while living in that mind state can keep negative emotions at bay, it also prevents us from coming to terms with the situation we’re facing so that healing can begin.

That’s why it’s important to accept your current situation as soon as possible so that you can get ready to turn the page to the next part of your life. Tell yourself consciously that this is your new reality, and that you need to adapt so that you can start moving on. This may bring up uncomfortable, heavy feelings, but it’s important that you get yourself to the starting line so that the healing process can begin.

Let the Grieving Process Begin

Before you can truly begin healing, it’s important that you first completely grieve for what you’ve lost. It can be tempting to hold these feelings at bay, since feeling numb can be a pleasant alternative to the devastating, overwhelming emotions of grief. But if you let yourself feel numb instead of embracing the emotions that you’re feeling head-on, you’ll never be able to move beyond them.

Every divorce is unique, but even in divorces where you are separating from a toxic partner, there are things to grieve for. Whether your remorse stems from the lost feelings for someone you once loved and cherished or your grief is more related to other factors, like the impact of the divorce on your children, it’s important that you account for what was lost so that you’re ready to start taking steps forward.

Seek Help from a Professional

Divorce provides a daunting challenge in life for us to overcome, but the good news is that you don’t need to face this challenge alone. Finding professional help to assist you in coping with these often-jarring changes in your life that divorce brings can make the process seem much more manageable. While general therapists can be profoundly helpful, there are also divorce coaches who specialize in assisting with your exact situation.

Along with one-on-one therapists and other professionals, another way of getting the help that you may benefit from is finding a support group. This will allow you to talk with other recently-divorced people, who, although their situation is unique as well, understand the sorts of challenges you’re facing. Finding that common ground with somebody and empathizing with them can go a long way towards helping with your own healing.

Find Support from Loved Ones

In addition to the professional help and support groups you can find, relying on your own support network when you need it most is another beneficial step that can make coping with your current situation a little easier. Reach out to family and friends, even with people you may have been out of touch with while dealing with your situation.

It’s important to remember that these friends and family are not professional therapists, however. While it’s only natural that you’ll discuss the big events in your life including your divorce, it’s important that you don’t focus all of the energy on this all-consuming issue during times you’re trying to relax. Instead, focus on doing the things you love to do with your friends and family to give your exhausted mind a break from coping with divorce.

Channel Your Anger Productively

Almost everybody is going to deal with anger at some point when facing a divorce. Anger in itself isn’t necessarily an entirely negative thing; in fact, anger is usually a secondary emotion that protects you from feeling things like sadness and fear. Understanding and coming to terms with our anger can be beneficial towards dealing with the root causes of these negative feelings.

When you feel the inevitable rush of anger that comes from dealing with the challenges that arise from divorce, work hard to identify the source of that anger. Only once you’ve identified where the anger is coming from can you start to deal with its source.

Accept Your Share of Responsibility

Although it can be easy to assign the full share of blame to your ex-partner, there are two sides in every divorce. It may be true that they are at fault for why the divorce happened, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for self-reflection in your situation.

Take time to evaluate what led to the messy situation you currently find yourself in. Recognizing opportunities for self-growth that can make you come out of this difficult situation a better person is one of the most important steps in learning how to cope with divorce.

Try to Reframe Things Positively

Perception dictates reality. The way that we think about and talk about our situation informs how we end up feeling about the challenges we face. With regards to dealing with a messy divorce, if we only think about the challenge in negative terms, we’ll only end up feeling negative emotions related to the situation.

A bit of cognitive reframing can go a long way towards a better outlook on your current situation. Instead of thinking about what you lost, start considering the possibilities that your new life has. You’re leaving behind the negativity of your previous marriage and have infinite potential for what comes next; start embracing that positive line of thinking so that you can start moving on with your life.

Set Clear Boundaries

Separating from somebody who had previously been such a big part of your life can be difficult, but it is a necessary step to take when learning how to cope with divorce. Obviously, the situation between you and your former spouse has changed drastically, so the old way of doing things and the boundaries that used to be in place need to change to match this new situation.

What those new boundaries need to exactly come down to are the exact circumstances that surround your divorce. Work with your former spouse to determine where the line is, then follow through and make sure you honor those arrangements yourself. After all, you can’t expect your ex-spouse to live up to the new expectations you’re setting if you yourself aren’t willing to change to adapt to the new situation as well.

Reach a Resolution Quickly

Of course, one of the best ways to close the chapter of divorce in your life is to reach the end of divorce proceedings so that you can move on. Find legal representation that works swiftly and efficiently on your behalf so that these often-painful processes don’t get dragged on any longer than they need to. With the right help on your side, you’ll be able to get through this difficult challenge so that you move forward with your life.

With these tips for how to cope with divorce and the right help on your side, you’ll be able to overcome this challenge. We can provide the skilled legal counsel you need to help you through. Contact the experienced team at Skillern Firm today!