Staying Focused During Divorce
You may have heard before (or even read in the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory) that divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience, falling just after the death of a spouse.
This can even become chronic stress, if you’re engaged in a battle about the terms of your divorce, including issues related to financial security, the well-being of your children, when it will end, the cost involved, whether the outcome will be fair, what your future will bring in terms of companionship and happiness, and on and on. It’s no secret that chronic stress can interfere with your ability to function effectively and can contribute to an overwhelm of negative emotions.
It’s also not uncommon during a divorce to experience a loss of confidence, increased irritability, and anxiety. Many people feel a lack of confidence in terms of parenting, being a friend and even being a person.
Since how your divorce progress will likely affect your ability to cope when considering the process that is right for you, it’s important to thoughtfully assess what you think you can manage. You have to be honest about who you are, your temperament, attitude towards conflict, ability to adapt to change, emotional bandwidth, level of hostility, support systems, resources, and hopes for the future.
Try to keep your focus on your long-range goals that are aligned with your personal assessment. Try to engage in a problem-solving process to address your divorce and the restructuring of your family that will best support you in achieving your goal(s). Seek appropriate and trusted guidance to help.
Some ideas to consider: Are you the person that you want to be as you transition through a divorce? Think about what is driving the conflict and your own role. Are you bogged down in the minutia of the fight to the point where you’ve lost sight of what really matters to you? Do you want to be in battle or engage in mutual problem-solving? Do you want to make decisions for yourself or have a third party make the decisions (which means you lose any control in that area)?
While it is true that you cannot control your soon-to-be-ex and that life is nuanced and complicated, people often have a more productive influence over their divorce process if they assess and continually reassess whether their expectations are realistic and focus on how to construct a more positive experience instead of fixating on what is wrong. Remember that the present moment is not forever!