As soon as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to spread across the globe, relationship experts were projecting that the physical and emotional strain of couples and families cooped up for months could lead to a major uptick in divorce rates. So far, several countries, including China, Canada, and the United States, have seen an increase in the number of people reaching out to family law attorneys to discuss their divorce options. It’s anticipated that the volume of divorce requests will continue to rise as economic uncertainty grows and additional pressures erode romantic relationships over the next few months. During this stressful period, it’s helpful to explore some coping strategies that can alleviate some of the anxiety you may experience as you work to build a brighter future for yourself.
Strategy #1: Create Space for Your Emotional Needs
Ending your marriage comes with a lot of complex emotions, so it’s important to give yourself space and time to experience and process them. It may be tempting to ignore them and claim that you’ll deal with them later, but preventing yourself from connecting with your grief, frustration, or anxiety tends to make these feelings more intense over time. Instead, jot down your thoughts in a journal, or take some deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed. Allowing yourself to experience the full range of emotions when they come can leave you feeling more centered and prepared to face what’s next.
Strategy #2: Try to Avoid Making Impulsive Decisions
When people feel overwhelmed, they tend to make hasty decisions that could carry significant consequences. Feeling emotionally vulnerable or furious with your ex could make the idea of uprooting your life and moving to an entirely new location sound attractive, but you may find that this move carries several downsides in the long run. If you feel the urge to make an impulsive decision, take some time to unravel all the ramifications. Discuss your idea with a trusted relative or friend to gain another perspective before you take any sudden action.
Strategy #3: Look For Moments of Joy
Yes, the divorce process is often heavy and sad, as you are tasked with dismantling your relationship piece by piece. Whenever you can, try to find moments of joy, laughter, and connection. Even a simple conversation with your child or a phone call with an old friend can bring a smile to your face, allowing you to feel lighter for a little bit. Watch your favorite comedy, take your dog for a walk, or make your favorite dessert—these simple pleasures will sustain you as you navigate the more difficult aspects of your divorce.
Strategy #4: Focus on What You Can Control
One of the primary causes of stress is feeling like you need to control a situation that is ultimately out of your hands. As your marriage falls apart, you may blame yourself for not trying harder to be a better partner. However, by this point, the past cannot be changed. Rather than focusing on all the ways you failed to make your marriage work, invest your energy in building a brighter future for yourself. What actions can you control? Take concrete steps each day to ensure that you will ultimately walk away from your marriage with the confidence you need to enjoy the next chapter of your life.
If you are thinking about your divorce options in the Portland area, reach out to the dedicated and compassionate legal team at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today at (503) 233-8868.