First Timers Guide To Divorce: What to Expect Emotionally

There is a reason that people are constantly saying that divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. Since you are experiencing a tragic loss (of your marriage, your partner, and maybe your hopes and dreams), you will go through the grieving process in one way or another. There is nothing that anyone can say or do to change this, but being prepared can help you weather the storm.

First, it is natural to be angry. Marriages don’t typically end because everything is going right. There may be financial, health, or other issues at play. There may also be more serious issues such as disrespect or infidelity. These problems can impact even the strongest person, so don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t showing up at your best. Your divorce mediator has most likely seen his or her clients through the spectrum of emotions. They expect you to be upset, and even angry. Sometimes the best thing you can do is express what you are feeling so you can move past it into a more productive discussion.

Second, sadness is par for the course. If you went into your marriage for the right reasons, you loved this person once. You may not be at your best now, or even in a place to show it, but you may still love this person. It is common and totally normal for you to experience sadness as a part of your divorce. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions, and rely on your support circle for help. If needed, your divorce mediator can also steer you in the direction of a highly-qualified therapist who can provide you with professional guidance and add to your coping tool box.

Third, if you are afraid, you are not alone. So many people going through divorce are so emotional that they cannot plan for their future. The divorce process is full of uncertainty for someone who has never gone through it. You may be riddled with questions like “how will I make ends meet”, “will I still be able to maintain a positive relationship with my children”, “will I need to return to work right away”, “will I ever be able to retire?” All of these questions can be completely exhausting and emotionally taxing. The best thing you can do in this situation is take pause. Try to sit down and close your eyes for sixty seconds while practicing deep breathing. This practice will help calm the fear-based center of your brain. Then, remember that you aren’t expected to have all of the answers right now. You can only make the best decision you can with the information you have right now, and you don’t have a crystal ball. What you do have, however, is a clear picture of your assets, debts, and income stream. In divorce mediation, you will also likely have at least a couple of options to choose from for how to settle these financial matters. If you need additional support, your mediator will provide you with referrals to a qualified expert.

Finally, have some grace and patience with yourself. This too shall pass. Do your best to keep the situation in perspective and realize that you too can have a life after divorce.