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The emotional impact of divorce

The emotional impact of divorce

In this section we look at the emotional impact of divorce and how you can get help and advice to assist you to navigate through what will be a very stressful and upsetting time for you, your spouse and any children

Divorce is very much like a bereavement, but without the closure of a death. Your relationship has died but your ex will still be there long after the physical separation has ended.

If you have children you are going to have to deal with the fact that you will still be having a relationship with that person and the feelings of anger and pain are going to have to be overcome if you are going to be able to move on and have stability in your life.

Coping with separation and divorce - some helpful tips

1. Recognise that it is fine to have different feelings

It is perfectly normal to feel angry, sad and emotionally exhausted and that you will feel, frustrated, and confused. These feelings will be particularly be intense in the first days and weeks after the split. You also may feel frightened about your future. Accept that these feelings will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was bad, going out on your own into the unknown is frightening and this is perfectly normal.

2. Don’t go through it alone

Sharing your feelings with friends and family will help you get through this period. Don't keep everything to yourself, it is unhealthy and bad for your stress levels and your general health.

Consider joining a divorce support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. There are groups in most major towns and cities and Isolating yourself will get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

There are different groups for different types of people and there are numerous support forums, chat rooms and other websites available online you can make use of, and most of them are completely free to use. 

3. Learn not to hate

if you have been in a bad or abusive relationship, the overwhelming feeling may be hate for your ex, but this is an emotion you need to get rid of. Hate will only consume you and make it harder for you to move on and have a meaningful relationships with anyone else, including your friends and family.

4. Take care of your health

A divorce is a life changing event.. When you are on the emotional rollercoaster, and dealing with your major life changes, it is more important than ever for you to take care of yourself. Treat yourself like you’re getting over an illness.

Get plenty of sleep,  avoid alcohol, and let your work place know what is happening, so that they can help you avoid letting it affect your job.

Learn the lessons from your divorce

In times of emotional stress, there is actually a great opportunity to reflect on what went wrong in your marriage and learn from it, so you don't make the same mistakes again.

Just because you are feeling down and low in your life right now, does not mean that things will not change for the better in the future.

Consider this period in your life as a time out from the hassles of a relationship and find out who you really are. Spend time with friends of your own sex, take up a hobby, go to the gym, go on holiday, just be selfish for a change and you will soon find out whether you like yourself.

Take some time to look back and see what went wrong. Was there anything you could have done to make things work.

Sometimes people just cannot get along because their personalities are too different. The biggest thing to a successful marriage appears to be tolerance.

Most marriages are about team work, and most break down because one or other was unable to compromise.