You may have been experiencing marital problems for months, perhaps even years before you decided to end your relationship. On the other hand, you might relate to many Michigan spouses who thought they had a happy marriage only to encounter a specific issue, such as infidelity, that convinced them that this was no longer the case. Either way, filing for divorce typically sets off a series of life-changing events and can take a toll on your mental health, as well.
In addition to resolving issues concerning important matters, such as property division, finances, child custody or alimony, there’s an emotional aspect to divorce that can affect your mental health. Even if you are the one who decided to file the petition, you might still feel great sorrow that your relationship is coming to an end. There are several things you can do to take care of your mental health.
Implement forms of self-care in a divorce
No two marriages are exactly the same, which means that every divorce is unique to each set of spouses and their specific circumstances. The following list, however, includes basic ideas that can help you stay mentally healthy as you navigate the family justice system:
- Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage.
- Take time to indulge in hobbies or soothing activities that you enjoy.
- Let yourself feel emotions as they arise, including relief or joy.
- Reach out for additional support as needed.
- Make informed decisions and be as prepared as possible for court.
It’s normal to feel sad about your divorce. You might also feel relieved that you won’t be fighting with your spouse all the time or joyful about starting afresh in a new lifestyle. How you feel is not as important as making sure you allow yourself to process whatever emotions happen to rise to the surface.
Be proactive during litigation proceedings
Not only do you not have to be a bystander that sits back while litigation unfolds, you can be proactive to make sure that you have all relevant documents and information in order so that you can protect your interests in court. This helps you stay mentally healthy because not being prepared or being caught off-guard during proceedings can be highly stressful.
Never hesitate to reach out for support
If you’re feeling angry or especially sad about the loss of your marriage or how your divorce is affecting your children, it’s a good idea to speak with someone who has gone through similar experiences or is well-versed in counseling resources that can help you cope.
Many people also reduce mental health stress in divorce by acting alongside experienced legal representation in court so that they don’t have to do all the talking, especially if complex issues are being litigated. With self-care and access to outside support networks, you can minimize mental health stress while adapting to your new lifestyle.