Divorce can affect your emotional health

If you’re one of many people in New York whose marriage didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, the realization of this might prompt certain decisions that may cause major changes in your life. If you file for divorce, for instance, especially if you have children, your decision means you and your spouse must resolve numerous important issues before you can achieve a fair settlement.

It’s understandable that once you decide you no longer wish to be married to your spouse, you simply want to leave the past behind, move on in life and start afresh. This is often easier said than done, particularly if you encounter unexpected emotional challenges along the way.

You may experience a period of mourning

When someone you love dies, it’s natural to grieve your loss. It takes time to heal and to learn to live without your loved one by your side. Many people say they have felt similar emotions after finalizing a divorce. Your ex is still alive, but the relationship you shared is over. If you’re a parent, you’ll still have to interact with your ex-spouse, but it’s not uncommon to feel a sense of grief or loss where there was once a marriage and is no longer.

Many licensed counselors who specialize in helping people cope with divorce say it’s best to allow yourself to grieve. While you may have even been the one to file divorce papers, it’s okay to acknowledge the sorrow you feel that your relationship didn’t last as you’d hoped it would.

Put reminders away to help promote healing

When you finalize your divorce, you’re re-entering a single lifestyle. If you’re struggling emotionally as you adapt to your new lifestyle, it may be helpful to remove any visual reminders of your past relationship, such as photographs, gifts that your spouse gave to you or items that have particular significance because of memories you shared with your spouse.

Be proactive to develop new routines and create traditions

There’s a difference between allowing yourself to grieve and becoming so reclusive that you become sedentary and isolated from friends, family and new experiences. It’s best to try to stay healthy by eating right and getting adequate amounts of sleep but also to be active and to interact with others on a social level when you’re ready.

If you have children, the way you celebrate holidays or take vacations and other family customs might change. Remember that it’s not only okay to feel joy and make new memories with your kids, but it may also help provide them with much needed coping skills to come to terms with the changes in their life.

Address any legal problems that arise

Sometimes, co-parenting problems or other legal issues can cause a lot of emotional stress during or after a divorce. If your ex is refusing to adhere to the terms of your custody agreement, isn’t making child support payments on time or is contributing to other problems, it can take a serious toll on your emotional health.

This is another area in which it pays to be proactive. The sooner you bring such matters to the court’s attention, the sooner you can resolve the problem and focus on building a healthy, happy new lifestyle with your kids.