Dealing With Grief

How To Use Your Divorce Heartbreak To Become A Better Parent

Mother and daughter walking and dealing with grief while discussing heartbreak.

Yes, it really is possible to express the pain of your heartbreak and become a better parent at the same time!

I know you love your kids. But when you’re recently separated or divorced, it’s easy to get lost in dealing with grief instead of parenting in the same way you did before the heartbreak of your split.

And it’s completely understandable! You’re going through one hell of a lot.

There’s a tug-of-war between what you need (to lie in bed with the covers over your head crying) and what your kids need (a parent who’s there for them as they make sense of their new life). And the constant back and forth adds to your guilt about not being the parent you were before.

What makes these seemingly opposing needs especially challenging is that the grief you’re feeling is actually changing how your brain works. Through brain imaging, researchers at Stony Brook University found similarities between romantic rejection and cocaine craving. No wonder you’re having a hard time!

But the truth is no matter how you’re feeling, you still have to parent.

So how do you accomplish both dealing with grief and parenting? By using your heartbreak as an opportunity to teach your kids about…

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People Who Do These 5 Things Are WAY Better At Handling Divorce

Yes, you can absolutely handle this!

Divorce is such a trip, tossing you head first into a world that’s largely unfamiliar. You’re suddenly forced to navigate situations (and make hard decisions) you’ve never faced before.

You’re living alone (and wondering if you’ll live alone for the rest of your life). You’re handling your finances … or what’s left of them. You’re building a personal relationship with your kids in a new way. You’re working with an attorney and legal system that don’t know (and sometimes don’t seem to care about) you and your situation. And, hopefully, you’re standing up to your ex (maybe for the first time ever).

It’s a lot! No wonder you feel like divorce is eating you alive. The constant overwhelm often leads to profound anxiety, frustration and sadness … which creates even more overwhelm. It’s a horribly vicious cycle. And, you worry your friends will stop taking your calls because you feel so needy.

Sure, you could choose to talk with your doctor about a prescription for an anti-depressant. But, a new study found alarming side effects. So, what else can you do to manage the stress without losing your mind?

Good news, there are some simple, effective ways to inject a…

Read more: People Who Do These 5 Things Are WAY Better At Handling Divorce

5 Things To Do When Your Divorce Grief Attacks You

Divorce grief can strike anywhere.

You can’t predict when your grief will hit and that’s scary. Use this plan and stop feeling scared.

It’s not surprising that divorce hurts or that part of the healing involves grieving. But knowing this intellectually does nothing to prepare you for the reality of the pain or the way your grief attacks you out of the blue.

Grief is merciless. It can hit you full force anywhere and at any time. It demands to be felt or at least acknowledged until you’ve worked through the pain of all you’ve lost.

Your grief will change you. If you allow yourself to feel and work through it, your anguish will change you for the better. However, if you ignore or stuff your sorrow, it will fester and change you for the worse.

When your losses are recent and raw, you’re more susceptible to being unexpectedly overcome by tidal waves of hurt regardless of whether or not you’ve been working through your pain. But the waves of anguish aren’t confined to when your divorce wound is new. They can hit any time and you don’t have a choice about when or where these grief attacks happen.

So what do you do when your grief ambushes you at…

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Divorce: The Kind Of Heartache You Can Feel In Your Bones

Heartache can be so debilitating that all you want to do is lie down.

What to do when your heartache is so great the world just seems to be flying past.

Having your spouse tell you they want a divorce is like an unexpected punch to the gut. You’re shocked and instinctively double-over from the pain. You can’t quite catch your breath.

You’re convinced you’ve misheard them, that it’s some horrible dream that you’re going to wake up from, but it’s not. This is real.

As the shock begins to wear off, the heartache starts and it’s debilitating. You go from living life in a daze of denial to living life in so much pain you can hardly move much less think.

What happened to us? How can they really want this? What’s wrong with me? Why do I hurt so much? What about the kids? Will this pain ever end?

These and a thousand other questions run rampant through your mind, demanding answers. Yet there are no answers, no closure, only more questions and more pain.

So what can you do to relieve the heartache of divorce?

The answer is you have to allow yourself to grieve and then move on. It’s simple to say this, but not so simple to do. So, let me share with you some ideas…

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12 Classy Ways To Keep Your Dignity During Divorce

Classiness will help you get through your divorce.

Dignity is your best friend during divorce (or any crisis).

Look, I know divorce hurts and you're looking for just about any way possible to feel better (because that's what I did). The thing is that sometimes what you do to feel better backfires and the next day (or even within a few heartbeats) you wish you hadn't done or said what you just did.

This is why it’s important to choose dignity during divorce – so you don’t have (too many) regrets about how you handled yourself.

Dignity is our best friend in a crisis because it reminds us that, although we may be at the mercy of uncertain circumstances, we can at least be in control of ourselves. Psychologist Susan Quilliam 

Choosing dignity is being grounded, centered and in control of yourself. And there’s a huge upside to choosing the high road. You feel good about yourself which means your self-esteem gets a (much-needed-when-you’re-going-through-divorce) boost.

Here are 12 ways you can choose classiness as you navigate your divorce:

  1. Put down the ice cream scoop, chip bag and wine glass. Drowning your sorrows in ice cream, chips, alcohol or any comfort food will at best provide a temporary comfort (Rutgers). But they won’t help you long term…

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