Copyright by Merlene Bishop

Divorce can be a painful and difficult process, even if you were the one to file. There are a lot of adjustments and changes to be made regarding the decisions about who will live in the house, division of property and assets, and of course, visitation. All of these issues take a lot of energy to work out and it can be very stressful. When most of your emotional energy is directed towards resolving the practical aspects of separation, there is not much left to deal with the grief process, which is the real healing challenge of divorce.

Healing from the grief process requires self honesty and support. When you are honest with yourself about your feelings, you will find that the process is easier. A very helpful technique is staying in the present. It's natural to run the problems back through your mind that led to divorce, but doing so can just distract you from the healing process and keep you from moving forward.

Another good healing technique is being aware of your thoughts when you are alone. You might find yourself blaming your ex-spouse or yourself, or having negative thoughts about him or her. This doesn't facilitate the healing process - you can think yourself into a tizzy. Whenever you find yourself thinking in negative ways, redirect your thoughts to the positive aspects of the situation. Divorce can be a blessing in disguise since you are ending an unhappy marriage. Give some thought to the things that can come from beginning a new lifestyle, such as making new friends, expanding your horizons, exploring new interests or just spending time on interests you didn't have time for when you were married.

Having supportive friends and family can also help the healing process. Everyone needs support and a helpful listener. Some people are natural helpers, so if you have one of those in your life reach out to them as often as you need to. Focus on your children's needs and how you can spend more quality time with them, regardless of whether you have full or joint custody. Be alert to ways that they may be acting out on their feelings about the divorce. Any behavior that is new in a child can indicate that they are experiencing the effects of their parents' divorce.

If your child didn't throw temper tantrums before, if they become especially resistive to their household responsibilities, or become sullen and hostile, that's a good clue that they are feeling overwhelmed by the emotions of the divorce. Putting your attention on them can help you heal. Whenever you see them showing any of these behavioral clues, take advantage of the opportunity by asking them how they feel. Then talk about your own feelings to let them know that they are not alone in the situation. When a parent talks about their own feelings in a way that is age-appropriate, it gives children a sense that feelings are part of life's ups and downs.

Healing from divorce is a challenge, but it can also be rewarding if you are not afraid to experience uncomfortable feelings and let yourself grow through the experience.

For more good information on divorce, visit my blogsite: divorceissuesandrecovery.blogspot.com. When you are there, be sure to sign up for my free divorce ezine (newsletter) and divorce recovery book.

Author's Bio: 

I have taught divorce recovery for ten years at a community college, and I have a Master's Degree in Counseling. I have a blogsite:divorcerecoveryissuesandrecovery.blogspot.com.