Giving yourself endurance in a family law dispute: Part I

Giving yourself endurance in a family law dispute: Part I

38365694_S.jpgWe have previously written that divorce is often difficult emotionally, physically and financially. A major reason for this is that divorce (or any family law dispute) can leave you in a near-constant state of stress, worry and anger.

Say, for instance, that your divorce or child custody dispute takes 18 months to finalize. For many people, that would mean 18 months of near-constant stress and all the psychosomatic symptoms that come with it. The human body is not designed to handle adrenaline and other stress-related hormones for more than a few minutes at a time, much less for a year and a half. Finding a way to cope doesn’t merely make your divorce easier – it makes it survivable.

So how can you let go of an issue that can be deeply emotional, painful and distracting? How do you go on living the rest of your life during such a difficult time? While there may be no perfect solution, some advice columns recommend finding ways to set limits for yourself.

Once you have found an attorney and have begun the process, you may find yourself bombarded at all times of day and night by nasty emails from your ex or news that stresses you out. The worry over when bad news is coming is often as bad as or worse than the news itself.

Perhaps the best thing to do, then, is to set very clear limits with yourself about how much time you will devote to the family law dispute each day and when you will devote that time. Maybe you decide that you’ll only handle divorce-related email and correspondence for an hour in the morning and make any phone calls for an hour in the afternoon. Outside of that time, you won’t allow yourself to focus on the divorce or spend time worrying about the “what-ifs.” The only caveat to this rule would be responding to time-sensitive messages or inquiries from your attorney.

You could also set limits with yourself on who you talk to about divorce and how often you have those conversations. Social support is important. But it is also important to have social support that is unrelated to the divorce. You may find it helpful to discuss the family law dispute with certain friends/family, while not discussing it with others. This will also help remind you to stick to the daily time limits mentioned above.

Please check back next week as we continue our discussion.

Source: First Wives World, “Don’t Let Divorce Consume Your Life,” Cathy Meyer, Feb. 22, 2013

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