In 1967 two psychiatrists, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe used landmark research to create the SRRS, a scale still used in modern medicine to measure the amount of stress in a person’s life. According to the SRRS, divorce is the second most stressful life event after the death of a spouse.
The problem is that we already know how stressful it is, what we need to know is how to deal.
There will never be one catch-all solution, there’s no landmark study on how to cope with divorce. The hard thing about the end of a marriage is it’s never one problem, it’s many. In the end, what we have to do is take each problem at face value, and solve them one after another until, one day, we’re done. So, while it may not be much, here are five tips for going through a divorce. You won’t find all the answers here, but hopefully, you can start to solve a few problems.
1. Man Up, Ask for Help
We’ve all heard the bad jokes about men refusing to ask for directions. It’s that ingrained in our culture that masculinity and needing help are at odds with each other. Psychological studies show that men seek out emotional support at a significantly lower rate than women. As we know, thanks to Holmes and Rahe, divorce is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever go through, if there is ever a time to ask for help it’s now.
2. Get Ready for a Long Ride
In a Wall Street Journal story headlined “After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis” the writer turns to experts for a realistic timeline of when you can expect to feel normal after a major setback.
The answer, approximately two years which translates to you have time. Don’t rush yourself, it won’t work.
You’re pretty much guaranteed two difficult and uncertain years, and yes that’s a long time but it’s not forever.
3. How to Cope With Divorce? Ask a Lawyer
We’ve already touched on the importance of asking for emotional support, but maybe more important than that is having a good divorce attorney on your side. Divorce outcomes can have long-term impacts primarily on your financial stability, and the lives of your children.
The future may seem uncertain, but if you want to build something new the best way to start is with what you still have.
4. Brush Your Teeth
Seriously though.It can be difficult to put yourself through the motions at first, but maintaining basic self-care routines can help ground you in your day-to-day after the drastic changes of divorce.
5. Get a Friend to Tell You a Dirty Joke
Reach out to your friends when you can, even if you don’t want to, and let them reach out to you. Divorce may be the second most stressful life event according to the SRRS, but laughter is a medically proven stress fighter.
So, This Is the End…
It’s impossible to completely show someone how to cope with divorce, but we hope that you’ve come away with a little less stress than you did at the start. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts to pass on to others dealing with divorce.