Separation and Divorce rank second only to death as a trigger for depression among Americans. Divorce hurts like nothing else, and the feelings of betrayal, anger, and loss can be overwhelming. As a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer for over fourteen years, I have seen divorce bring out the very worst in otherwise good people. The good news is that you can overcome the flood of negative emotions by making a few simple changes in your life. While we cannot always control the things around us, lets take the bull by the horns and take control of our mind.
1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Why do people love trashy reality shows? Maybe it’s because these shows are the closest most people will ever come to exercising the worst parts of their nature; whether it be sleeping around, cheating, getting revenge, or whatever other secret desires people may harbor.
Some people are attracted to negative drama like a moth to flame. Few things contribute more to self pity and anger like family and friends that crawl deep into your personal life to participate in your drama. Negative people, like negative emotions, are damaging to your state of mind and these are the last people you need to be hanging around when you are dealing with divorce.
Most people are well intentioned, however they are using you to express their own feelings and pent up emotions. Do not be someone’s else’s reality show. Find happy, uplifting, positive people to spend time with and talk to.
2. EXERCISE. I know when I am feeling down the last thing I want to do is take on the burden of an exercise routine. But the fact is that exercise makes you feel better. It’s an indisputable fact.
So, does that mean you should start training for the next iron man contest and hit the gym for three hours a day? No, do not over do it and do not take on something you know you are not going to follow through with.
Commit to a Simple Routine
If you are not into exercise, start simple. Commit yourself to taking a walk everyday for ten or fifteen minutes. While you are walking focus on attractive and peaceful things, like the swaying trees or watching the birds and squirrels play.
If you do not enjoy walking, play basketball, ride your bike, play tennis or hit the gym. Pick a physical activity that you think is either fun or tolerable.
The key is make yourself commit to doing something physical everyday. While it will not fix all of your problems, I promise you will feel better within a week.
3. LEARN TO ACCEPT, FORGIVE, and MOVE ON. I have a hard time forgiving people. A lot of people do. I don’t mean forgiving someone for a rude comment or breaking my cordless drill. That is easy.
It’s easy to forgive people that you are not close to. I have difficulty forgiving those closest to me that I feel hurt or betrayed in some way. It’s taken me a long time to realize that when I hold onto anger or pain, it makes me feel horrible.
Why do we do that? I am a divorce lawyer and not a psychologist, but I see what I see. Let’s just say that being angry can makes us feel better sometimes because being “wronged” gives us power, and sometimes gives us an excuse to hurt other people.
Get Perspective on Being Wronged by Other People
Gain some perspective on what happened. Sometimes we truly are wronged, and there is nothing wrong with being angry and feeling hurt. What we have to do then, is work through that anger and hurt, and let it go. Anger and pain are bad things when taken to extremes. Everyday I see people who are angry and hurt, and I see how they express those feelings by lashing out and making bad decisions.
Don’t Forget Who You Are
You cannot let these powerful negative emotions change who you are. If you have been betrayed in some way, accept what happened. It is not going to change. Accept that you probably have some responsibility in what happened too. Not that it is your “fault,” but we all have faults and contribute to marriage problems. We have all lied and betrayed others in some way. All of us.
Find a Way to Forgive
How do we forgive? Forgiveness does not mean you have to get back together or trust someone again, just accept other people’s humanity and faults, and show some grace towards them. Show some grace to yourself as well. Stop dwelling on the negative things that happened. If you were betrayed, the memory will probably always hurt, but forgiveness makes things better for you, so work hard to let it go.
Move On from Anger
How do you move on from anger, bitterness and negativity? I hate to sound like Tony Robbins here, but in order to have a positive future, you have to create one. This does not mean jumping in the sack with someone at the first opportunity or charging into a new relationship. That is probably the last thing you should do. What I mean is move onto to a new positive chapter of your life. Now is the time to take that trip you always wanted to. Write the book you have been planning. Join a bowling league.
Take a step towards a new life, something that you have always thought about or sort of wanted to try but have not. If you find yourself struggling, talk to a counselor or therapist. It’s part of moving on and realizing that all changes are not bad, and there are fun and exciting things in life out there waiting for you.
Contact a Raleigh Family Attorney For Support
Over the years, our Raleigh law firm has helped hundreds of individuals work through the divorce process. We are always available to discuss the conditions of your case. Give us a call at 919-301-8843 or complete the online contact form below.
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