Written by Charlotte Friedman

Charlotte is family law barrister, and Deputy District Judge. She is also a qualified Family Therapist and Mediator. In 2007 she set up the Divorce Support Group which provides emotional support for parents going through separation. She is also the author of Breaking Upwards How To manage The emotional Impact Of Separation.

Divorce is a major life changing event and although statistically quite common is one of the most painful and difficult events that any of us should have to endure. These tips are given to try and help you cope and to help make your separation more manageable.

Allow yourself to feel grief. No-one ever died from wallowing.

It’s okay to cry yourself a river until there are no more tears left to cry.

Don’t be surprised at the intensity of your feelings.

Don’t fight how you feel. It will only add to your exhaustion.

Don’t let anyone tell you that its time to move on or get over it. It will be time when you say so and not before. This is your divorce.

It is completely normal to feel rage, grief, envy, and all the other emotions that you are feeling. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don’t let anyone tell you that its time to move on or get over it. It will be time when you say so and not before. This is your divorce.

Don’t be surprised at how long it takes to catch up with this life changing event. It may have been imposed on you when you were least expecting it. Catching up is a long distance run, not a sprint.

If your friends are also seeing your ex and you don’t like it, let them go. Your real friends will stay with you and you will meet new ones.

You may believe that your ex is living a great life and you feel left out and on the side lines, it is just that – a belief. That feeling will pass.

You are capable of and entitled to a happy and meaningful life, you will get there.

You will think that the whole world is made up of couples and that is all you see. That is not true and more than half the couples that you see will have problems.

The framework of your life has changed, embrace it and shed the last frame. By holding on to ideas of how you want your old life back, you will start to feel stuck and opportunities will pass you by.

Start to allow your life to be different from before, instead of longing for how it was.

Take control of this new life and start to inhabit it.

You are still you and although you may feel abandoned you are the wonderful person that you were before and you will be stronger for this life experience.

Although you may not believe it now, you will survive and you will be happy again.

Charlotte is the author of  Breaking Upwards: How to manage the emotional impact of separation.

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