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Some good advice needed on how to survive divorce

(9 Posts)
madgered Sun 30-Dec-12 09:38:10

my husband and I are divorcing after a long and difficult year, culminating in my discovery of another woman on Christmas day. Once the new year begins I will start legal proceedings. In the meantime what strategies are out there to help me cope, Other than counseling, To stop me dwelling on what they got up to together, to stop my imagination self mutilating my brain. I need to move on but I just keep"chewing the cud". help tips please!

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Dec-12 09:58:14

It's a bit early to be emotionally 'moving on' - the break down of a relationship is like a berevement - and there are 5 steps that come with grief:

Denial - its not happening to you
Anger - the realisation it is happening to you
Bargaining - telling yourself you can make it better
Depression - hopelessness that you can't change anything
Accceptance - that it's over.

until you've got past the first 4 stages and have accepted the relationship is dead, then you won't find peace. As I said it's like a death - it may be you come to terms very quickly, it may be that you take years.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 30-Dec-12 10:10:21

The adage is 'time heals' and it's very true. How much time depends on the individual. Some things I can personally recommend
1. Take control. It is easier to deal with traumatic situations if you feel that you are in a position of influence than simply at the mercy of other people's malicious actions. Seeing the lawyer is a very good thing to do psychologically therefore. This is the perfect time to be supremely self-centred.... only do things you want to do, be with people you want to be with and go places you want to go. No compromise.
2. Be busy. 'Dwelling', as you've found, is truly horrible so give your brain and body as little down-time as possible for mulling things over. Work, socialise, take up absorbing hobbies, try not to be alone too much.... you can't avoid dwelling completely but, if you stay busy, you can get past the worst of it.
3. Focus on the future whenever possible. Sort of connected to 'dwelling' avoidance. By making plans for the future and filling your diary - even if it's trivial stuff like lunch out or a weekly swimming session - it gets you moving forward again & can help you stop obsessing about the past.
4. Expect random bad days for a surprisingly long time - well, it surprised me anyway. They get further apart and less severe as time goes on but you'll feel like you've been hit by a truck every now and again. If you anticipate that you can deal with it when it happens. Just part of the grief process.

Good luck

porridgelover Sun 30-Dec-12 11:02:50

Excellent advice above, in my opinion.
It's very early days OP. Give yourself time and acccept that it will be cr*p for a long time. But taking positive action will help.
Best university I ever went to was going through separation.

Exercise: great for thinking in a way that keeps your head clear.

Friends: some will not want to know as they 'dont want to get involved', or will hear STBXH's side, or they were 'his' friends. You'll find out who your real friends are.

Goals: set targets for yourself re what you want for the future. What settlement will you be happy with? What do you want for (any)DC? Aim to do a 5k. Whatever. I've written my list for 2013.

Counselling: I cant make out from your OP if you've excluded it. If so, why so? I found it excellent, although I would caution that counsellors are like shoes. One size does not fit all. I got a recommendation from my solicitor!

If you really cant face it, try to figure out what went wrong. Don't duck from where your responsibility lies. You don't have to admit it to ex but admit it to yourself. Why did you marry this man? What did you get from him? What was good about your relationship?

Stages of grief: there is no going round it, you have to go through it. Accept that.

And big yourself up at every opportunity. Your self-esteem has taken a blow (may have been undermined for a long time). Celebrate every achievement. At the start, it may be small things e.g. I got out of bed and dressed properly. But pat yourself on the back for being strong.
Good luck.

madgered Mon 31-Dec-12 10:33:15

Thank you for you're morale boosting feedback. I guess I should have known he was seeing someone else, he was following the script! But I trusted him and worked so hard at keeping our marriage alive. I thought he was doing the same. I've been seeing a counsellor and she's helped me find my self confidence again. I guess I'll be back in touch in the new year.
I know who this woman is and she has been responsible for the breakup of another marriage. A friend has given me her parents address. I am tempted to write to them and tell them what has happened, what their daughter has done again! Obviously in a grownup, dignified, ladylike way.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 31-Dec-12 10:38:26

Never stoop to the OW's level - tempting though it is - because it only demeans you and makes you look bad. She may have a track record but the onus was 100% on your STBXH to remain faithful. It shouldn't matter if some supermodel served herself up naked on a platter saying 'I'm all yours big boy', he should have had the personal integrity and strength of character to say 'no thanks I'm a married man'.

Head held high. Maintain your own standards and values. Your STBXH won't be much fun for his new girlfriend once the allure of forbidden love wears off and she finds herself scrubbing his skiddies....

porridgelover Mon 31-Dec-12 11:05:50

Oh no. Maintain dignity at all times (the air is much better on the high moral ground) smile
The OW is nothing to you, don't give her space by writing to anyone. Don't open a chink that would allow the twunt exDH to say 'see what I had to put up with' (an opportunity he would love).

Nope. The only way to go is to detach. Anytime he or she comes into your mind, visualise putting the thought in a bin. And move on.

madgered Mon 31-Dec-12 11:45:33

Yes, sound advice. I'll let that one go. I suppose my gossipy friends will do the rest. I guess that's inevitable. "scrubbing his skiddies" made me laugh. Gosh what did all those people do before Internet chat came on the scene. You've all be a tremendous help. X

Catrin Mon 31-Dec-12 12:18:04

As pps have said, it really is very early days. My X started with the "I don;t love you anymore...etc" script nearly 2 years ago. He finally left 9 months ago. At first, I was a snotty, hairy legged mess. However, once you get past the upset and the anger and finally get to a point where you accept it is over, it all starts to fall into place.

I have concentrated on me and dd. I organised our life to suit me. Once he left, I have never asked him back and never will - I don;t want him back. But when it is all so new, it possesses your brain and you think about nothing else. One day, you will wake up and realise you have not been thinking about it for an hour, or a day, or a week. Just be kind to yourself and it will get easier, there is no overnight fix though unfortunately.

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