Divorce News: Making a Plan

It can be hard to bring up divorce with your spouse. However, it can be even harder to break the divorce news to your kids. With how traumatic divorce can be for them, you want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible…

Divorce News: Telling The Kids

Tell them together

When breaking divorce news to your kids, it’s important you and your spouse tell them together. In effect, you’ll both want to maintain a united front. After all, you kids aren’t going to know what you know about the divorce or who suggested it. Doing it together helps tell them you’re still working together.

Also, this avoids sending them any mixed messages. If you tell them first, and your partner does later, it could confuse your kids. Plus, you won’t know what your partner could say. Doing this together is good for making sure you’re both on the same page.

Wait for a good time

Another thing to remember when breaking divorce news to the kids is that timing is key. You don’t want to decide on a divorce, and then immediately tell the kids. You’ll also want to avoid telling them when they’re already angry or upset due to something else. Instead, you should make sure the time is right.

Wait until you and your spouse are sure you’ll divorce, and have some kind of plan set in place. Then, be sure to tell the kids somewhere they feel comfortable, and when they aren’t already emotional. This will help ensure the potential shockisn’t made worse by outside factors.

Know what to tell them

Of course, if you’re breaking divorce news, you should know what exactly you’re going to say. Your kids don’t need all the specific details of what went wrong. Most of it probably won’t make sense to them, especially if they’re younger. Rather, you should give them reassurance and a plan for the future.

Be sure that your kids know they aren’t responsible for the divorce, and that you both still love them. This reassurance is important for helping them start to process what’s going on. Then, tell them what might be happening in the future. If they know what to expect, then it’ll be easier for them to prepare emotionally.

How to Heal from Divorce Trauma

Divorce trauma is a very real problem that can create issues for many aspects of your life. The stress of the divorce process is often compared to the stress of a loved one dying. It can create lasting emotional scars that can be quite difficult to heal from. It’s important to take some time to acknowledge the trauma. It’s also helpful to give yourself plenty of time and space to grieve. Therapy can be very helpful for dealing with the emotional damage of divorce as well. And finally, there are support groups for divorcees that many find to be very helpful. Hopefully, you can find the emotional support you need to begin the healing process and start to move on towards the next chapter in your life.

How to Heal from Divorce Trauma: Finding Yourself Again

Why is Divorce Traumatic?

Divorce trauma can create similar symptoms to PTSD. It can leave people with difficulties sleeping, negative thoughts about themselves, feelings of isolation, or a loss of interest in normal activities. Going through a divorce means changing everything about your life and the life that you thought you were going to live. And in reality, it is similar to a death in that you are losing a future you envisioned for yourself. Trauma from this type of upheaval can be serious and can impact all aspects of your life.

Acknowledge and Grieve

To help heal from divorce trauma, make sure that you acknowledge the trauma itself. Don’t try to write off your feelings. And don’t let others make you feel like you are overreacting to the situation. Instead, accept that this is an event that deserves grieving. Take the time to feel the emotional ups and downs of the divorce process. Everybody grieves in their way and on their schedule. So take as much time as you need.

Therapy

Therapy can be very helpful for divorce trauma, and there are many different kinds of therapy. For instance, talk therapy can be helpful so that you can organize your thoughts and feelings. Art therapy, creative therapy, or animal therapy can also be helpful for many. These types of therapies give you something else to focus on, and many find them soothing for stress.

Support Groups

Finally, support groups can be very helpful if you are experiencing divorce trauma. There are many people out there who are going through the divorce process. They can better understand exactly how you’re feeling and what struggles you might have. In addition, they provide an outlet for you to share your experiences which can be therapeutic. It’s easy to find local divorce support groups near you. Divorce trauma can feel overwhelming at times and can create difficulties in all aspects of your life. An intensely stressful divorce can leave you with the same symptoms as other forms of trauma. So make sure that you acknowledge these feelings. Take the time to grieve the life you believed you were going to have. And remember that you are on your schedule and can take as much time as you need. In addition, therapy can be extremely helpful for many people experiencing stress and trauma. And finally, support groups for divorcees can also be very helpful. Search online to find local groups near you that fit your schedule. It can take a while, but healing from divorce trauma is possible in time. Hopefully, you can find the support you need to begin moving through your grief.

Starting the Divorce Conversation: How to Begin

The idea of starting the divorce conversation with your spouse can be painful to consider. However, most people tend to reach a breaking point in their relationship when they decide firmly that they do not want to continue the marriage. If you are at that point, it might be a good idea to speak to an attorney first to understand the legal process of divorce. Make sure that you are certain about your decision because you cannot unring the divorce bell. Pick the right time and place when there won’t be interruptions and try to keep the conversation calm. Your spouse might react in several different ways, but it’s important to stand firm and explain your reasoning. Hopefully, you and your ex will be in mutual agreement and can proceed with an amicable divorce.

Starting the Divorce Conversation: How to Begin the Talk with Your Spouse

Speak to an Attorney First

Many find it helpful to speak to an attorney before starting the divorce conversation. In some states, you’ll need to do a period of separation before you can begin the divorce process. An attorney can help you figure out what the steps are in your state. They can also help you decide if there are any steps you’ll want to take ahead of time to protect your assets before bringing up a divorce if you worry that your spouse might react badly. Having an idea of what you’re getting into can be a great place to start.

Make Sure that You Are Sure

Before starting the divorce conversation, make sure that you are certain about your decision. This is a bell that you cannot unring, so make sure that you won’t change your mind. For example, don’t decide on divorce in the heat of an argument. Rather, take a lot of time to think about all of the repercussions. It can also be helpful to speak with a relationship counselor to make sure that there aren’t ways to work through your problems.

Picking the Right Time

If you’ve considered it carefully and want to move forward with starting the divorce conversation, make sure that you pick your timing carefully. Find a time when you will not be interrupted. If you have small children, find childcare for them. In addition, make sure that you have plenty of time set aside for the conversation. For example, don’t try to spring it on your partner as they rush out the door for work. And finally, don’t bring up divorce in the middle of a heated argument. Instead, you’ll want to find a time when both you and your spouse are in a calm mental space.

Having the Talk

When you finally decide it’s time for starting the divorce conversation, just know that your partner might react in many different ways. For example, they might get upset, angry, or completely surprised. It’s important to keep your tone neutral and calm so that you can have a productive conversation. You want to make sure that you can explain yourself fully, so try not to let yourself get sidetracked by extreme emotions. In addition, if you are set in your decision, convey that. Don’t waver or act uncertain, but instead be firm with what you want.

Starting the divorce conversation is an overwhelming thing to consider. Divorce is a big deal, and not a decision that you should come to light. It can be helpful to speak with a therapist or counselor to help you make sure that this is the decision you want to make. In addition, it can also help to speak to an attorney beforehand so that you know what to expect out of the divorce process. Once you are certain about your decision, picking your timing is important. Finally, when you begin the conversation, try to make sure that you are firm but calm. Nobody wants to go through the stressful divorce process, however, staying in an unhealthy marriage can be much worse. Hopefully, you and your partner can move forward with separation and divorce in mutual agreement.

Supporting a Friend Through A Divorce

Supporting a friend through a divorce is one of the kindest things you can do to help them. This is likely one of the most stressful things they will go through. It helps to have a friend by your side the whole way. Be a good listener and do more listening and less talking. Your friend might need a shoulder to cry on. They might also need somebody to vent their frustration to, but try not to engage in trash talk. In addition, help them with the day-to-day necessities. Sometimes, just picking up groceries, taking the dog for a walk, or babysitting is the best help you can give. And finally, include them in your plans. They likely will be feeling lonely sometimes, so it’s nice to invite them out. They’ll be very glad to have such a good friend by their side.

Supporting a Friend Through A Divorce: How to Be Helpful

Be a Good Listener

Supporting a friend through a divorce is often a lot about listening. Try to do more listening without chiming in too much. Talking out loud is a great way for them to sort through their feelings about the divorce. Try to let them experience a wide range of emotions without judging or trying to change their mind.

Don’t Engage in Trash Talk

Another thing you can do when supporting a friend through a divorce is to avoid engaging in trash talking. They might feel the need to vent their frustrations to you. They might have a lot of bitterness, resentment, and anger. They might even cycle frequently between anger and sadness, or any other spectrum of feelings. While it’s fine to listen to what they say about their ex, try not to engage.

Help With the Day to Day

Supporting a friend through divorce often means helping them with day-to-day activities. They are suddenly handling everything on their own and their schedule is likely very different. They might need you to help them with the logistical side of things. For example, you could take their dog for a walk, or do some dishes while you’re there. Or do a quick clean-up, help them organize bills, or cook a meal. And of course, if they are now parenting solo, childcare is a great help.

Include Them

Finally, when supporting a friend through a divorce, it’s nice to include them in your plans. They will be facing holidays that look very different than they used to. For example, they might be splitting custody with their ex. In this case, they might be missing their children during the holidays. Try to remember to include them in your plans. Invite them to dinner, over for a movie night, or just reach out for a coffee. While it might seem awkward to invite somebody to your Christmas dinner or an anniversary celebration, it can be very helpful for them. Supporting a friend through a divorce is one of the most helpful things you can do. It’s hard watching a friend go through the stress of divorce. However, knowing they have you there by their side will be a great help. Try to be a good listener when they need to vent their frustration. However, avoid engaging in trash talk. It never does anybody good, and it could come back to bite you. Help them with day-to-day tasks that they might get overwhelmed by. You can do small things around the house to help, or take on some childcare. And finally, include them in your plans so that they aren’t lonely. Your company will be a great distraction for them. Hopefully, it will be an easy transition for them. But it will be much easier with you helping them through it.

How-to Help Kids Understand Divorce: Difficult

Every child is going to react differently when learning that their parents are getting a divorce. Of course, the age that a child is at will determine their understanding of what is going on. In some families, the children may be very aware of what is going on. In other instances, the parents may hide all of their disagreements from their kids. While every situation will be different, there are a few tips that can help kids understand divorce.

How-to Help Kids Understand Divorce: Preparing for the Talk

Planning For It

The best way to help kids understand divorce is to talk about it. Part of how a child will react will be based on how the parents tell their children that they are getting a divorce. Parents should put thought and consideration into how, when, and where they break the news to their children. It may be helpful to have the entire family meet together as a family so that the parents can answer the children’s questions. In this type of setting, there will be less opportunity for parents to blame the other for the divorce. Make sure to plan a family meeting to have this big conversation. Go ahead and think through and plan out what is going to be said at this meeting. Parents should do their best to stay calm during this conversation. It will be best to plan to have a follow-up meeting to answer any further questions and address concerns.

Things to Say

Children often find divorce hard to understand. To help kids understand divorce, keep the initial conversation to the basics. Otherwise, it could get very overwhelming and confusing. The most important thing is for kids to know that their basic needs are still going to be met. They will also want reassurance that they will be able to continue a relationship with both parents if that is possible. Kids may not understand that a divorce is final, so that is something parents need to discuss so that kids do not have false hopes. It is easy for children to think that it is their fault that their parents are getting a divorce. Parents need to reassure kids that this is not their fault.

Listen

To help kids understand divorce, it is important to listen to their questions and concerns. Children will have worries about how their life will change, and parents need to be mindful of that. By listening to kids’ concerns and questions will show that the parents care. Parents should not be alarmed if they have to answer questions and give reassurance many times during this process. Also, parents should ask children about their fears and concerns, so that the parents show the kids that they care. It also shows kids that it is okay to be open about those feelings. Telling kids about divorce is never easy. There are ways to help kids understand divorce. Once they understand it, it will help the transition process to hopefully be a bit smoother.

How Do Children React to Divorce?

Children react to divorce in many different ways. A lot depends on the family, the situation, and of course, the child. However, some behaviors are very common among children of newly divorced parents. Be on the watch for these behaviors and be prepared to give your child as much support as they need during this tough time. One thing you might see is regression – this could be with sleep, using the bathroom, or other behaviors. Another typical reaction is aggression or new anger issues. Some children feel very sad and begin to internalize the stress as shame. And finally, some children go through intense separation anxiety. Guide your children through all of these emotions by being supportive and allowing them to share their feelings.

How Do Children React to Divorce? Behaviors You Might See

Regressions

One way that many children react to divorce is through various regressions. Regressions happen when a child’s behavior seems to be getting less mature, rather than more mature. For instance, some children might be sleeping well and suddenly start waking up at night. Or some potty-trained children begin to have accidents again. There are many ways that regressions can present themselves. Usually, they will get through the regression on their own with a little guidance.

Aggression

Another way that children react to divorce is aggression. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll start hitting their friends. It could just mean that they are easier to upset or fluster. Or their frustration seems more intense than usual. Guide them to healthy outlets for their strong emotions, like a new hobby or exercise.

Depression

Depression is another way that children react to divorce. It can be very different from child to child. Some children might just become more whiny than usual. Others might be upset easily or spend lots of time crying. And many children begin to feel shame about the divorce and think that they are at fault. You should constantly reassure them that the divorce is not their fault and that you love them very much.

Separation Anxiety

Finally, one last way that children react to divorce is through separation anxiety. Their entire world has likely been turned upside down. They may be a little clingier than usual. They are trying to make sure that they hold onto the one constant in their lives – you. Usually, separation anxiety eases with time and with reassurance that you will always come back when you leave. Children react to divorce in a myriad of different ways. Some children get very quiet while others have hundreds of questions. However, many children present with regressions like potty training. Or with aggression and a little more moodiness than usual. Yet others go through depressive stages, and some get more separation anxiety than usual. However your child is handling the divorce, you should reassure them constantly. Many times these changes ease fairly quickly as they get used to a new routine. However, if your child seems to be struggling, reach out to their pediatrician or a child therapist for some guidance. Hopefully, you can help ease your children through this difficult transition and help them handle their emotions.

Ease Your Child’s Anxiety About Divorce

Your child’s anxiety about divorce might make you feel guilty, but remember that you’re making the best decision for them in the end. They should grow up with functional co-parents than constantly fighting married parents. Know some common ways that children show anxiety and be on the lookout. Remember that calendar, repetition, and routine are your friends. Talk it out with your children and be a sounding board for them when they have questions. And finally, reassure them constantly and give them time to adjust. This is a new lifestyle for them too, so it can take some getting used to. Kids are resilient though and typically adjust to new changes fairly quickly.

Ease Your Child’s Anxiety About Divorce: Help Through the Difficult Time

Signs of Anxiety

If you want to ease your child’s anxiety about divorce, it’s important to be able to recognize it first. Children show anxiety in many different ways and a lot depends on their age and personality. However, some classic signs of anxiety would be an increase in moodiness or if they get upset easily. Some children show more aggressive behavior than usual. And others regress with things like potty training or sleep. If you see any of these signs, it might indicate that your child is feeling some stress over the divorce.

Routine

Children thrive on routines. Your child’s anxiety about divorce likely stems from the change to their schedule and lifestyle. If you and your ex can keep your routines consistent no matter which house the children are in, it will help your kids. Try to keep their wake-up times, bedtimes, mealtimes, and activities the same throughout the divorce process and afterward. Having a routine that they can count on gives children a sense of confidence and security.

Talk it Out

Another important thing to help ease your child’s anxiety about divorce is to talk it out with them. Make sure that you are always open and honest with them if they have questions about the divorce. Some children want to talk and some get quiet. However, they must know they can come to you with any questions or problems.

Reassure Them

Finally, your child’s anxiety about divorce might stem from a feeling of guilt. Many children begin to think that a divorce is their fault even if there’s no reason to think this. Constantly reassure them that the divorce had nothing to do with them. Also, make sure to reassure them all the time about how much they are loved. Even older children need to hear this more often when they are going through a stressful time. Your child’s anxiety about divorce is perfectly normal and expected. Almost all children react in some way to the stress of their parents splitting up. However, children typically bounce back very quickly and get used to a new routine. Be on the lookout for classic signs of anxiety-like moodiness or regressions. Keep their routine as similar as possible so that they can depend on their schedule. Make sure that your children know they can always talk to you about the divorce. And finally, reassure them constantly about how much you love them and that the divorce is not their fault. And remember, you are making the best decision for them in the long run because you will hopefully be happier post-divorce, which is the best thing for kids to see.

Fighting Loneliness After Divorce

Fighting loneliness after divorce can be tough. You have likely been living with another person for many years, and it can be quite hard to suddenly learn to live alone. However, know that you will quickly get used to your new situation. It can help to reconnect with old friends that you’ve lost touch with. You can also make new friends by joining a local meet-up group or getting back out into the dating world. It helps to stay busy with hobbies and interests. And finally, adopting a pet is always a great way to fight loneliness. Divorce is stressful and difficult, but for many, adapting to their new way of life is just as hard. Hopefully, you will be able to adjust quickly and find some ways to fill your time and help battle loneliness.

Fighting Loneliness After Divorce: Adjusting to Your New Normal

Reconnect with Old Friends

Fighting loneliness after divorce can start with reconnecting with old friends. The divorce process is stressful and complicated. It can often take up tons of your time. So it’s possible that you haven’t had time for friends lately. Now is a great time to reach out and try to re-connect. Invite them out for a quick bite or a cup of coffee to catch up.

Join a Local Meet-Up Group or Dating Website

Another way of fighting loneliness after divorce is to join a local meet-up group. There are groups for many different hobbies and interests. There are also groups specifically for divorcees. And of course, if you are comfortable and feel ready, you can always re-join the dating pool. It can be scary at first, but if you take your time and take things slow, you might connect with somebody amazing.

Stay Busy

Fighting loneliness after divorce is easiest if you stay busy. Boredom always increases feelings of loneliness. Try to focus on a new hobby or interest. Or reconnect with an old passion. You can take classes, explore museums, or even do virtual tours. Taking up a new hobby is also a great way to meet new people who share the same interests as you.

Adopt a Pet

Finally, one final and fun way of fighting loneliness after divorce is to adopt a pet. There are many needy animals out there just looking to be adopted by a loving parent like you. Just make sure that you have the time and energy to dedicate to a pet. Consider rescuing a pet from a local rescue group, shelter, or foster service instead of going to a breeder. Fighting loneliness after divorce can be hard. It’s difficult when you’ve lived with another person for many years to suddenly adjust to single life. Even just learning to cook for one can be an adjustment. However, you can fight the loneliness by making time to reconnect with old friends. Or you can take up a new hobby. This is also a great way to meet somebody new to date or some new friends. There are plenty of meetup groups available to fit any interest. If you feel ready, try online dating, or asking a friend to set you up on a date. And finally, adopting a pet can be a great way to get a loving buddy for many years. Hopefully, you’ll adjust to your new normal quickly and find happiness.

What Happens During Marriage Counseling?

Many people wonder what happens during marriage counseling. If you and your partner are thinking about going to a counselor, you might want to know what you can expect to learn. Of course, everything depends on the couple and the therapist. However, there are a few things that you will likely learn with almost any counselor. One of these is communication. You’ll probably also cover some conflict resolution. Many counselors give you real tools for dealing with difficult life stages. They also might encourage you to keep coming throughout your marriage. And finally, it’s also important to know that marriage counseling is not a place for venting. It’s a place to come together and learn to be in a healthier marriage. Hopefully, you’ll learn valuable tools to help make your marriage as strong as possible.

What Happens During Marriage Counseling? What to Expect to Learn

Communication

Everybody knows that good communication is the basis of any healthy marriage. However, it often takes marriage counseling for couples to understand how to do it. People communicate differently than each other. You and your partner might have very different styles. Things can get lost in translation if this is the case. Or blown out of proportion. A therapist can help you figure out how to better communicate with each other. And also how to better listen to each other. Not just the words you use but the hidden meaning behind them that is based on your particular style of communication.

Conflict-Resolution

Another important tool that you will hopefully learn in marriage counseling is conflict resolution. Just like communication, people also fight differently. One partner might want to talk about issues whereas the other wants to ignore them. Learning to address your problems healthily and respectfully is key. But it can also be hard to learn. A marriage counselor might be able to smooth things over since they will be able to see both sides of a conflict.

Advice for Difficult Life Stages

Marriage counseling should also provide you with tools for handling tough life stages. Many people recommend marriage counseling when your relationship is struggling. But it’s also helpful to go when it’s healthy. If you are going through a tough life stage, a counselor can be very helpful. Transition periods, adultery, or dealing with grief are examples of life stages that they can help you through. Hopefully, they’ll give you some tools for healthily channeling your emotions and communicating them with your partner. They will also likely encourage you to come back if anything comes up in your marriage that you feel you need help navigating.

Not a Venting Session

Finally, while it’s important to know what a counseling session involves, it’s also important to know what a counseling session doesn’t involve. And that is ranting. A counseling session is not a place to vent all your frustrations with your spouse and expect a counselor to side with you. Or expect them to only address your partner’s issues. You might feel that the problems are one-sided. But likely, a counselor will help you to see that there is usually fault on both sides. And also usually room for improvement on both sides. Marriage counseling is a valuable tool for any healthy relationship. While each therapist and couple are different, your sessions should include some of the same ideas. For example, communication is likely to be a hot topic. You’ll also probably work on conflict resolution. Many counselors give you advice for tough life stages. They’ll probably also ask you to come back periodically to check in. And finally, it’s good to know in advance that this is not a place to rant. A counselor is more interested in helping you grow than hearing complaints. Hopefully, they’ll help you learn to trust one another and open up more. Marriage counseling can give you the tools to help you work together to make and keep your relationship as strong as possible.

The Emotional Stages of Divorce

The emotional stages of divorce are slightly different for everybody and can take different amounts of time for everyone. However, many divorcees report having similar overall patterns to their emotional response to divorce. If you are not the partner proposing the divorce, there might be a lot of initial shock. Many then move to a stage of denial where it’s difficult to accept that this is happening. After that, many people go through conflicting emotions like anger and grief. And finally, you’ll eventually reach a stage of letting go and moving on. This is where the healing process begins. Hopefully, you can healthily address your emotions and get the support you need to handle the emotional stress of divorce.

The Emotional Stages of Divorce: Going Through the Process

Shock

The emotional stages of divorce can begin with a big shock if you aren’t the one that decided to pursue the divorce. Oftentimes divorce is a mutual agreement, but sometimes that’s not the case. If your partner decided to spring a divorce on you, you might be in a lot of shock. Perhaps you wanted to work on the relationship before taking such a drastic step. Hopefully, your initial shock will wear off before too long.

Denial

Many people going through the emotional stages of divorce can bring a moment of denial. This might also be a stage where there is bargaining and trying to mend the relationship. However, even if you both have decided together to move forward with the divorce, there is still often some denial. It’s difficult to accept that your marriage is over.

Conflicting Emotions

The next in the emotional stages of divorce is conflicting emotions. This can be very different for everybody. Many people cycle between feeling resentful, angry, hurt, and sad about their divorce. It’s normal to feel a lot of conflicting emotions. You might be missing your partner in one moment and wanting to think about reconciling, and then furious at them the next. This stage can take the longest, but you must go at your own pace.

Letting Go

Finally, the last of the emotional stages of divorce is the letting go stage. This is where you finally accept the divorce and begin to move on from it. Often this is when people begin imagining what the next stage of life will be like. While this stage doesn’t mean that you’ve healed entirely, it just means that you have accepted the divorce and are no longer fighting it. Divorce is incredibly stressful, and everybody experiences it in their way. The emotional stages of divorce that you go through might look different than your ex or somebody else you know. It’s perfectly normal to go back and forth with lots of emotions. You’ll likely start with some shock and denial that the divorce is happening. Then many people feel conflicting emotions for a long time before finally letting go. Hopefully, you can begin to see your divorce as a beautiful opportunity to create a new chapter in your life. Just make sure that you take some time to emotionally heal from the stress of the divorce process before you jump back into the dating pool.