How to Cope With Divorce
Even when being divorced is better than being married, you’re still sad about the end of your relationship. These ideas on how to cope with divorce are inspired by a marriage that ended in my family.
In Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, Dr. Richard A. Warshak offers a blueprint for an effective response to the destruction divorce can bring to families. You’ll learn how to distinguish different types of criticism, how and why parents manipulate their children, how to detect these maneuvers, and how these practices damage children. Most importantly, you’ll discover powerful strategies to preserve and rebuild loving relationships with your children. If you’re learning how to cope with divorce with children, this book is a must-read.
I’ve written several articles that offer practical tips for coping with divorce, such as How to Make a Life After Divorce. This article is different. Instead of the usual problem-solving tips for moving forward with your life – which you can get anywhere – I’m offering a series of prayers for you. I want to bless and encourage you as you move on to the next stage of your life, and help you see that hope and help is out there. May you be filled with faith and a sense of possibility as you move forward in your life.
Coping With Divorce
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross.
Turn away from bitterness
It wasn’t until divorce touched the family I married into that I realized how devastating it can be. I grew up with divorce. My mother was divorced, my grandmother was divorced, and my sister is divorced. Each of those women rolled with divorce as if it was just another fact of life. They barely blinked an eye, and they weren’t tainted by bitterness or disappointment.
I don’t think divorce itself is devastating. It’s how we respond to divorce that has the potential to rip our families – and ourselves – apart. My prayer is that you find healthy tips on how to cope with divorce. May you turn away from the dark shadow of bitterness and violence, regardless of how your partner is treating you. I pray your heart stays clean and pure from the blackness divorce can bring.
Accept the things you cannot change
How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife is one of my most popular articles. There are so many complicating factors, and every person has their own perspective of the story. The new wife says it’s the ex-wife who is toxic; the ex-wife insists it’s the new wife who destroyed what little was left after the divorce.
When you’re coping with divorce, accept that there will be hugely painful aspects of life that you won’t be able to change. Visitation schedules, new partners, financial problems, arguments, sad children, lost innocence, broken dreams and dashed hopes. There is a whole pile of pain that comes with divorce, and no article or book on how to cope with divorce will change that.
Accept that this divorce will bring pain, confusion, and sadness to your life…and to your children’s lives. Instead of fighting what you can’t change, surrender to it. Find ways to flow through it.
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Change what you can
You may feel powerless, helpless, and hopeless during custody battles, endless arguments with your ex-husband, and meeting after meeting with lawyers, counselors, mediators, judges, and doctors. You’re coping with a lot of heavy stuff during this divorce, and it’s not fields of daises or endless views of calm seas and blue skies.
My prayer is that you find ways to change the things you can. May you see the ray of sun through the dark clouds. May you see the people who still love you, and hold on to the faith that you had as a child. I pray for strength and perseverance. May you learn how to cope with divorce in the smartest and best possible ways. May this experience bring out what is strong, true, and good in you.
May you learn how to take care of yourself after a divorce without becoming hard or brittle. May you find warmth on cold nights, and peace during stormy days.
Reach upwards with both hands
I pray for freedom from the emotional turmoil that coping with divorce brings. May you be blessed with peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that surprises you at the bleakest moments, and hope that inspires you to keep moving forward.
May you reach up to God with both hands, and feel His face shine brightly on yours. I pray that you give your heart to Him, and feel the joy and peace that only He offers. May your life become bigger and brighter, more passionate and purposeful. May you learn how to cope with divorce, and may you pass your wisdom on to others. May you meet Jesus where you least expect Him, and may you accept the love and freedom he offers.
Ask for what you need
Do you need emotional sustenance, financial support, physical help, professional encouragement, or spiritual healing? Ask. Ask God to fill the holes in your heart and life. Ask Him for whatever you need, and know that He loves you and is watching over you tenderly. Ask once, ask twice, ask thrice. Keep asking until you can no longer breathe a prayer.
Make room for praise, too. God wants a relationship with you; He is not an empty provider of stuff. While you’re learning how to cope with divorce, learn how to have a relationship with Jesus. You’ll find that the nitty gritty details of life get taken care of. They fall away when you focus on the one who created you.
If you need practical tips on coping with divorce, read What to Expect After You File for Divorce.
I welcome your thoughts on how to cope with divorce below. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience. Writing can bring insight and clarity, and will show others they’re not alone.
“I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my own life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions…tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again.” – Leo Buscaglia