A divorce may be a legal procedure, but it is fraught with stressful emotions at every turn. Managing these emotions on top of the process of your divorce can be challenging enough, but the many emotions you might face at the same time are often opposite of each other.
Be prepared for complex, opposite emotions
While it is difficult to prepare yourself to feel these emotions, at least being aware of them can help you understand them better. In turn, this could help you work through them more effectively. For example, it is common to simultaneously feel:
- Grief and relief: You may grieve the loss of companionship and the relationship itself, while also feeling relieved that you finally took the steps forward to end a troubled marriage.
- Hope and guilt: At the same time, you might feel hopeful for your future after the divorce, while also feeling guilty about it. It is not uncommon for people to view divorce as a failure, even though societal views have shifted drastically over the years.
It is important to remember that getting a divorce is not a failure. Additionally, all of these emotions are valid – and actually quite common – in divorce.
Do not be afraid to seek help
Working through opposing emotions can be difficult. You do not have to handle this stress alone. During a divorce, it can help immensely to:
- Talk to friends and family: Even just talking out loud through the complex mix of emotions can help you understand them better. Feeling them, however, can still be overwhelming. It can help to have loved ones you can lean on to support you during this time.
- Seek counseling: There are many therapists and counselors who offer services exclusively regarding divorce. There is no reason to feel shame for taking care of your mental health, especially with professionals who have training to help you identify why you are experiencing such emotions, and also provide you with tools to overcome them.
Even when getting a divorce is the right decision for you and your family, the emotions can be a lot to handle. Knowing what to expect can help you protect your emotional and mental health during and after the divorce.