A divorce is a lonely time. The life you thought you had is changing, and although in most cases it is changing for the better, when you are in the midst of a divorce it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
Having a strong support network around you is essential to come out the other end of a divorce unscathed. You will need to talk to people and open up and you will be surprised at how you aren’t nearly as alone as you thought you were.
Your support network doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be reliable. Here are a few people that you will want around you during and after your divorce.
A good divorce lawyer
Having a good divorce lawyer will put your mind at ease and help you achieve the best result during your divorce. Choose someone who you have a good rapport with and who has a good track record. You don’t want someone who will push for a long and lengthy court battle, but someone who will try to resolve your divorce efficiently and amicably whilst still protecting you financially.
Some people are blessed with amazing families, others not so much. Depending on the type of family members that you have will depend on how much you confide in them. However, family can offer a great support in times of need.
If you only choose one family member to confide in, make it clear to them how much you want them to report back to other family members. You may choose a sibling that you are close to or your parents. However, be aware that other family members will be asking after you so explain to whoever you talk to whether you want them to talk to other family members honestly on your behalf so you do not have to repeat everything ten times over, or whether you want them to sugar-coat your experiences to avoid awkward questions and unwelcome interference from other family members.
A couple of close friends can make your life much easier. Be honest and open with your friendship group about what help you need. Choose people to confide in that will respect your privacy and personal space as well as being there when you need them. You don’t want people who will turn up unannounced and insist on cooking you dinner when all you want is to spend the night alone in your pyjamas watching trashy TV.
You may find that you form new, close friends during your divorce as someone who was merely an acquaintance before becomes someone who is completely reliable at providing you with the support you need.
You may not want your colleagues and supervisors to know all the details about what you are going through and you may use work as a welcome escape from your home life. However, no one will be on top form during a divorce. Therefore it is advisable to inform your supervisors and close colleagues of your personal situation and ask them to respect your privacy.
This way if you are not performing to your usual standard people will cut you some slack and it will reduce some pressure. You may find that your colleagues are surprisingly helpful and sympathetic, as everyone in your workspace is human and will have a range of life experiences.
Hobbies provide a great way to forget about your problems, even if it is just an hour a week. Whether you are a keen mountaineer, or enjoy watercolours, join a local group, meet other people, have fun and take your mind off things.
It is vital that you get out into the real world and meet real people who will help you through your tough times, however, internet groups, forums and blogs can be a great way to realise that your experiences are not unique and that other people have gone through them and got through them.
Counselling or therapy isn’t for everyone, but for some people it can provide an essential part of the recovery process. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional if your problems become more than you feel equipped to deal with.