How to Survive a Divorce (These Days)?

Even though it's not an official divorce, it's a break, it's a cut, it's a separation from the other. It is, therefore, suffering. Of course, those who want separation don't suffer as much. Those who don't want to, those who would continue clinging to the other being, have more pain. Of course. Much more in this new era.

Today's society has deprived itself of socialization. And that, in itself, is already a conclusion. For this reason, we must understand that, in new times, new “moments” must emerge. Some of the tips that were usually given in these circumstances may be obsolete because, quite simply, we cannot put them into practice.

And everything that cannot be performed, experienced, everything that the body does not feel, does absolutely nothing to our Self. Without a doubt, when we are going through heartbreak we need to grieve. This process involves being alone sometimes, yes. It involves crying and feeling a little self-pitying. But just a little. Otherwise, we will fuel a depressive process that can put our overall health at risk.

Truth be told, there is no one who deserves to get sick because of you. So let’s see what you can do to start minimizing your suffering. Before that, however, it is important to remember what types of feelings, emotions and sensations are most common in this situation:

  • Despair;
  • Revolt;
  • Feeling of emptiness;
  • Insecurity;
  • Sadness;
  • Strong feeling of loneliness;
  • Doubts about yourself and what others think of you;
  • Apathy, etc.

The “symptoms” described above may not all be evident and some may even be the trigger for others. What is certain is that most of them give rise, as is often said, to low self-esteem and a tendency to snowball. For example: the fact that you feel very alone, as if a piece of yourself is missing, can lead to sadness, a feeling of emptiness and so on.

While it is normal to feel some, or almost all of these sensations, what concerns you is how often you feel them and for how long. As with everything in life, what is bad is the quantity and duration. It's not harmful to have a dessert every now and then, but it may be less good for our health if we do it after meals every day.

Therefore, you cannot allow this sentimental Machiavellian machine to take over you. No. You have to manage it. Maybe you think you've lost your soulmate. Maybe you think this pain will never go away. Relax. Pain is not an arm, it is not a leg. It can pass, no matter how deep it is. Or calm down, become lighter.

Before more concrete tips, taking into account our “new normal”, I need you to reflect on this:

  • Do you really think that you have lost your soulmate, or that it is not a soulmate, but rather a great “complement” of your Self? Did you know that almost all theories about soulmates state that most of the time these people were not born to live together? True, these scholars say. They need to be in contact, but they cannot live in the same space and/or they cannot maintain a harmonious loving relationship. It's worth thinking about it this way.
  • Do you think you will never find anyone like him again or that you will never be able to love again like that? Well, there may even be a point, for the simple fact that no one is like anyone else, and because there are human beings who make us feel extraordinary things. But many, too, make us feel like we are dependent on them. And, similarly, they destroy us from within, because this is not healthy. If you're feeling like that person was the special one, try to remember that before that person came along you already had a life. As I said above, this person, like the pain they cause in you, is not an arm or a leg of your body. You'll see that love will come again.

To do this, you have to open up. You have to leave the old and give shelter to the new. I'm not talking about new love yet. Start by giving way to new thinking, in order to have new behavior and a different result in terms of feelings and emotions. In this new era, it is advised that:

  • Take care of yourself physically again, even if you are teleworking, or if you don't go anywhere and don't feel like it at all! There is nothing more boring, and dangerous, than feeling sorry for ourselves for too long. Strength! Look in the mirror again and like yourself! Note: physical exercise is important, even if it’s just walking. It will make you feel better, both physically and mentally.
  • Socialize. Even if you don't do it with everyone you usually socialize with, meet up with a friend and have fun! If you cannot meet in person, do so by call. However, don't isolate yourself too much. Excessive isolation will accentuate the feeling of loneliness, even unconsciously, and increase the depressive state. (Warning: the video call can be very tiring and, if it is after 7pm/8pm, you should put the device with a night light. Otherwise, you will feel more tired and the blue light will make your brain think that it is still too early , fueling insomnia. Sleep deprivation promotes depression and anxiety.).
  • Re-manage your social networks. «Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't feel», and it's very true. Are you sure you want to remain “friends” with that person? This can even be great when it happens naturally. But, can you do this without martyring yourself? Do you want to see every step she takes (and who she takes it with)? Think carefully. It can hurt, a lot. And no, it's not rude to stop following her on social media. Bad manners would be to offend that person, just because they are hurt, and it would be offending yourself, being masochistic.
  • Redecorate the house or relocate furniture and objects! Even if you weren't living together, I assume that person was with you, there, in those places that constitute your home. As such, change. Change the location of things and take the opportunity to redecorate the house, even if it is by recycling some things and reusing others. Enjoy and free yourself. Create!
  • Invest in a new project. Do you remember what you have been putting off? Or that course you loved taking? Well, it's time to put those dreams into practice. Don't have money for the course you want? Invest your time in free versions for now. On the Internet , there are lots of courses offered, even by prestigious universities (see sites like FUTURLEARN, COURSERA, etc.). Browse and take risks. It will do you good.
  • Avoid listening to music and watching films that evoke strong emotions and/or memories about your relationship. Listen to happy music, but not associated with moments for two. You can also listen to calm music that doesn't make you sad, such as those suitable for moments of meditation or practices such as Yoga , Reiki , Chi Kung , etc. Watch films whose objective is to laugh (or at least smile) and, preferably, which don't end badly.
  • Avoid alcohol and substances that can artificially cause an altered state of consciousness. It's wasted time because, later, reality appears again (moreover, in excess, these substances are terrible for your health in general). When reality appears again, the tendency is to become even more depressed and powerless. If you feel this need, you can always start doing transcendental meditation. You can see (hear!) an example of one of these moments here, in Frederica, through this link .
  • Practice Mindfulness ! Insert this wonderful concept of Mindfulness into your life, which with its practices, both meditative and cognitive, will help you to not be so stuck in the past and minimize the anxiety for the future. One day at a time will be the best way to live. This book can help you begin to understand the importance of the here and now, as well as giving you the foundations you need to regain balance.
  • Share what you have to share and don't complicate it. It's not easy when, for example, the couple has children. I assure you, however, that most of the time this situation becomes more difficult to manage because we complicate it. One of us doesn't make it easy and is usually the one who is hurt the most. But this has repercussions on the children. And they were not the ones who asked for divorce or separation. Read (or listen to) topics related to parenting in divorce, and put it into perspective. It's not easy, but your self and that of your children deserve this effort. On these topics, I advise coach Andreia Carvalho ( @andreiacarvalho.coach ), coach Vanessa Colaço ( @pt_crown ) and SMART Mindful Kids ( @smart_mindfulkids ), best suited for children (Emotion Management).

Despite all this, it is important to mention that it doesn't matter if you think that you cannot overcome this moment of pain alone. What matters is whether, in this case, you do not ask for help. A hand from someone, especially a competent professional, can work miracles. And you deserve this miracle, now and always. As such, inhale, exhale and lift your chin. the world is waiting for you.


Vanda do Nascimento is a therapist, trainer and Mindfulness instructor at the Escola de Mindfulness Essencial , founded by her in 2016. She began her career as a teacher in 1997, obtaining a degree in Education. On that same date, he also began his studies in Reiki, Meditation and Mindfulness. Later, he embarked on the path of Psychology and delved even deeper into the topic of Mindfulness, in order to continue his fight to control stress and anxiety.

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