How To Deal With A Break-Up Or Divorce Without Losing Your Head

Everyone deals with a divorce or break-up in their own way. Whether it’s ended with animosity or things are left amicably, there’s no correct, certified way to get through the pain or celebrate a new found freedom.

Though recent news reports of a fall in divorce applications rather put paid to the notion that COVID-19 would lead to a breaking-up epidemic, there were still 102,438 opposite-sex divorces and 1,154 same-sex couple divorces in 2020. And that’s before we consider all of the break-ups, conscious uncouplings, falling outs and any other term you can throw at the painful process of splitting with a partner.

Divorce is an emotional time, regardless of exactly what those emotions are, with the most protracted often the most painful, and administration related issues being hurdles to happiness, without fail.

It can be something as mundane as the divvying up of your shared fridge’s contents or as complex as the bureaucracy of the actual divorce; either way, it’s best to prevent things getting messy if you’re to get through this thing in one piece. With our sensible hat on, here’s how to deal with a divorce or break-up without losing your head.

Remind Yourself Why You’re Doing This

It’s only natural that doubt over whether you actually want to get divorced will surface, usually when the finality of things dawns on you.

However, it’s important, through all the rushes of emotion and feelings of longing, to remember what brought you to this situation in the first place. You and your spouse felt that this was the right way to go and that likely hasn’t changed in the time it’s taken to move through the divorce process.

Though couples can have a change of heart and end up staying together, this rarely works out. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the process. Maybe it’s just a clean break from that part of your life, or it’s something physical – a house, a pet – that you both owned and now need clarification over. It’s a good idea to go through this with yourself, your lawyer and, ultimately, your ex-spouse to get the best outcome for everyone.

Keep Yourself Busy

Simply put, if you’re going to get through the trials and tribulations of divorce in one piece, then it’s important to confine the past to the past.

In the modern, always-online world, this starts by making huge efforts to avoid cyberstalking your ex-partner, constantly checking up on what they’re up to and who they’re spending their newly single life with.

A better, more productive idea than flicking through endless photos of the past is to keep yourself busy on things your relationship may have otherwise prevented you from doing. Hit the gym or the library, see your close friends more or get really stuck into your career. Keeping busy and spending some time on yourself is a great way to draw a line under the past.

Keep Those Thumbs Idle

We have become known as the ‘Tinder generation’ for good reason. Take a straw poll of how couples met and the answer is now almost always the same. In fact, according to a 2022 article in The Knot, ”dating apps are the most common ways couples meet”.

Yep, having new partners at the swipe of a screen is now so commonplace and convenient, and that’s generally no bad thing. But the temptation after a break-up or divorce is to dive straight back into the endless pool of singles for some pain relief. It’s not always the best idea, believe us. Avoid the hard and fast rebound and just take your time.

Embrace A New Social Circle

That said, new platonic relationships can truly help keep your head clear and distracted. After divorce, you may feel like the odd one out amongst your happily married friends. If you were married for a long time, a lot of your friends might also be friends of your spouse, which can be an awkward proposition at social gatherings.

Making new friends who are yours and yours alone will help you move on instead of being reminded of the past. Going to a class or trying out a new hobby is a great way to meet new people, whether you want to try your hand at yoga, go on a cooking course or express yourself at an art or craft club. And even if you don’t click with anyone, you’ll have learned a new skill or discovered a new favourite pastime!

Don’t Drink & Dial

Booze may help you forget for a few hours, but a renewed melancholy with added headache will meet you in the morning if you’re prone to drunk dialling or reeling off a raging email detailing all of your complaints after a couple of wines. We’re not saying monk-like abstinence is required, but it’s a good idea to take it fairly easy on the alcohol as your adjust emotionally to your life post-divorce.

Read: Do divorces have to be messy?

Look After Your Wellbeing, First & Foremost

Going through a breakup or divorce can bring about such a shake up in your everyday structure and sense of normality that it can completely throw you off kilter, both mentally and physically, if you let it.

Suddenly you’re forgetting to eat, neglecting the gym regime and finding yourself in your pyjamas way past the closing credits of Good Morning Britain. Worse still, you’re finding yourself increasingly attracted to Richard Madeley. That is a sign, more than any, that you need to sort yourself out.

It’s vital if you’re to keep control of the spiralling situation to stick to a routine. It needn’t be the same as the one you used to follow with your former partner, but having some semblance of normality and discipline in this difficult time can be really reassuring.

Do What Makes You Feel Happy

Ok, sensible hat off now, the best approach to dealing with a divorce without losing your head is to do whatever makes you feel happy. A break-up can be a traumatic, lonely time. So, within reason, do whatever you need to raise your spirits. Get out there. Eat well, drink well, go on a shopping splurge, have a fling, don’t. It’s up to you!

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