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Tips for making divorce easier

What are some of the first images that come to mind when you hear the word divorce? For many people, it is of families torn apart, tears, fighting and grief. Divorce is quite common today compared to three or four decades ago. Divorce was stigmatized back then - and it still is today, but to a lesser extent. There are still many cliches about divorce, such as children being from "broken homes." Slowly, these views are changing, and maybe it's time that people who are going through a divorce try to look at it differently, too. One expert weighs in on some ways that you could change your approach to your divorce to make it easier on you and your children.

First, it's important to remember that divorce is but one event in your life. It should not be the defining event in your life and it should not define you. Your children should not be considered "Victims of Divorce." Instead, let them learn about hope, forgiveness and love - important life lessons that will help them grow stronger. They will learn how to deal with stress, turmoil and emotional upheaval by watching you. Teach them how to find the positive things in life and not to focus on the negative things that can so quickly drag you down.

Don't let yourself be seen as a victim, either. Learn how to control your thoughts. Become disciplined to know how to move toward positive self-talk and reflection. Try to see that this divorce, while painful, will open new doors for you - even if you have no idea what might be behind them right now.

Don't be afraid to allow yourself to feel. This means letting yourself be angry, sad, anxious and fearful. Just because you need to be positive doesn't mean you have to shut off all those other feelings.

Set aside time for you. There will be times when you feel as though you've had enough of everything. Your responsibilities will likely feel overloaded. Take some time off and let your body and your emotions have a reprieve. It will allow you to deal with everything more constructively.

Finally, make sure you seek help when you need it. This may be in the form of a therapist, a legal advisor or a financial counselor. You must ensure all aspects of your life receive help when needed.

Source:, "Coping with Divorce" Karen Stewart, Sep. 16, 2013

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