There is little that causes more stress than a divorce. Ending a relationship can be difficult even without the legal matters that you have to handle with a divorce. After all the legal stresses are resolved, you may feel like you're entitled to relax and take time for yourself, and you are. However, many people take this too far and end up causing problems for themselves.
Much of how you react to a divorce depends on how you feel about it. If you wanted the divorce, then the finalization may make you extremely happy. You might go out and celebrate, start dating new people or start spending on new items you've wanted to buy. If you didn't want the divorce, you may feel depressed or start looking for ways to cope, which may not always be positive.
How can you avoid harmful behaviors after divorce?
Whether you're happy about the divorce or not, the reality is that you need to have a plan for what you do after the divorce. Many people benefit from going to therapy to work through any remaining emotions.
Often, people think they're doing things that are healthy, but they're really coping with being single again. Some things that can happen after a divorce that may hurt you in the long run include:
- Dating too soon or dating multiple people just to avoid being alone
- Spending alimony or divorce settlements all at once
- Drinking too much alcohol or starting to take drugs to cope with depression or anxiety
- Isolating yourself from others as a way to focus on your own emotions
It's important that you come out on the other side of a divorce with a positive mindset and in a balanced way. Fortunately, therapists can help you work through the trauma of a divorce and focus on more positive actions and emotions.
Your attorney can also help. Talk to your attorney about ways to set up trusts or retirement accounts after divorce, so you don't get a massive lump sum of money that you can blow through. It's amazing how fast you can spend money when you have it, so it's best to avoid the temptation when you can.
Everyone is different, and divorce may not affect you in a negative way. However, if it does have a negative influence, you should not be scared to reach out and ask for help from those around you.