Tips for Physical & Emotional Safety After Divorce
Divorce is one of the toughest challenges in any relationship—and any family—can face. More than a breakup, the finality that comes with a divorce is deeply painful for everyone involved Often the circumstances surrounding or leading to the divorce make healing feel impossible.
Maybe it’s your divorce, and you don’t know who to turn to without your wife or husband in your corner. Maybe your parents’ divorce is happening suddenly after years of marriage, and you feel like nothing makes sense. At TheHopeLine, we’ve helped many people heal after divorce. We can offer guidance, prayer, and support no matter how divorce has impacted you and your family.
Physical And Emotional Safety After Divorce
If your marriage is ending in divorce, you likely feel exposed or vulnerable. This is especially true if:
- Your divorce is happening because of cheating or infidelity.
- Physical, mental, or emotional abuse preceded your divorce.
- Substance abuse and addiction have made you unable to stay with your spouse.
- You spent almost all your time with your spouse before being separated.
- The divorce was shocking or unexpected to you.
It’s very important in the aftermath of a painful divorce to protect your heart and emotions. Avoid all but the most necessary contact with your ex-wife or husband. If they have been abusive toward you, make sure you are never alone with them when dropping off or picking up belongings. Respect all court rulings, and ask your attorney (rather than your ex-wife or husband) any questions you have along the way about the terms of the divorce.
Even if you feel physically safe with them, the emotional shock of a divorce can take its toll. What can you do to ground yourself after a divorce?
- Focus on caring for your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. Don’t overcommit to activities or overextend yourself emotionally.
- Ask for help and support when you need it.
- Reach out to people who are qualified to talk you through your feelings— a mentor, a therapist, or a pastor, for example— rather than bottling things up and isolating yourself.
- Spend time with people (and in places) you find calming and soothing.
Dealing With Divorce: Guilt Versus Responsibility
Guilt and shame are two of the most dominant feelings that surface when dealing with divorce. We’ve talked with young adults who feel they’re to blame for their parents’ divorce, and spouses who have spent week after week wondering what else they could have done to keep their marriage together. These feelings are normal, but it’s important to remember the truth of the matter:
- You are not responsible for any of your parents’ choices, and especially not for their divorce. Their divorce is not your fault, and neither were any problems in their marriage leading up to it.
- If your spouse is divorcing you, it is not “all your fault”. There may be things about your life together that you wish you would have done differently, but that does not mean you should bear the entire burden of guilt.
In either case, it’s healthy to take responsibility for your own growth, learning during a life-changing event in our family. But it’s also important to make sure you don’t allow fights, negative emotions, or hurtful comments that happen when going through divorce to damage your self-worth.
You Can Feel Whole Again After Divorce
The journey to wholeness after a divorce is long and hard, but it can happen. You can face painful emotions and circumstances while still leading a full life. Because you don’t have to go it alone.
Help after divorce is available anytime through TheHopeLine. You can live chat or email one of our mentors, request prayer for yourself and your family, or find encouragement from our resource library. However you choose to reach out, we will be there for you.