Coping With Divorce

Anchal Sood

Published on

The mere thought of being separated from that one’s partner in life often brings up feelings of helplessness, hopeless and a large deal of emotional pain, with feelings of rejection, guilt, anger and failure. Because of the difficulty with dealing with relationship issues as well as with the idea that you can no longer depend on another person (materially or emotionally), divorce can rightly be classified as an event that requires a serious effort to adjust to the changes it brings with it.

The emotional pain that is caused by a divorce would affect the same areas of the brain that are affected when the person experiences physical pain. This means that emotional pain might manifest itself as physical pain that a person feels. Such somatoform pain could range from abdominal discomfort to headaches.

Moving forward emotionally involves a constant effort to stay positive and accept that the marriage is actually over. This acceptance is the first step to adjusting to a divorced person’s lifestyle. Avoiding dwelling on the ugly details and the reasons for divorce is an important thing to do, with the person realizing that they need to keep busy to do so, as well as reclaim their identity as an independent individual. At such a fragile time, it is important to look at a friends or family members for support and to provide healthy relationships to act a transitional partner through the process. To be able to cope with the stress and negative emotions of a divorce, seeking relationship counseling is a natural as well as socially acceptable step. Finding outlets for one’s feelings is very important, and the feelings should not be kept bottled up inside. It is healthy to deal with the pain that one feels rather than pushing it away. Forgiving is a large part of moving on, as it helps one to manage the anger and bitterness that you have about your ex-spouse. These feelings for forgiveness and closure come about only after a long period of time, and through sustained efforts to do so.

Each person has their own manner of coping with such an event. While some might find it beneficial to immerse themselves in their work, others may find it useful to relocate to a new neighborhood or area, to start a new leaf.  Numerous studies have shown the different ways in which men and women respond to relationship problems. Studies on divorce coping methods have shown that there exist gender differences in the manner in which people cope with the changes and the turmoil of divorce. While women reported seeking social support through emotional coping strategies, men relied on problem-focused coping strategies.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that no matter who you are, or what your coping style in life, allowing the people who care about you to help you is something that goes a long way in the coping process.


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  2. Lifeworks and Thompson-Kassels, Ali. “Adjusting to Life After Divorce”. Ceridian Corporation, 2003 and 2007. Web. 29 Dec.2013.
  3. Diedrick, Patricia. “Gender Differences in Divorce Adjustment.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage., 1991. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.