The word itself carries so much weight. The experience of divorce is so common, yet it can feel so isolating. Many people who go through a divorce feel an increased sense of loneliness and depression as their support system seems to crumble before their eyes.
Finding help in such a difficult time can feel like another thing to add to the to-do list, but the benefits are well worth the effort. If you are searching for a renewed sense of hope and purpose after or in the midst of a divorce but aren’t yet convinced to join a divorce support group, read on to learn about the benefits.
A place to express emotions
Processing your divorce either verbally – by sharing your story – or non-verbally, as you listen to others and ponder, can be a transformative experience. Healing comes from being allowed to understand and express your journey, especially the parts that we may have kept to ourselves for some time.
Learning how to express your emotions about the divorce will probably take some time. After all, you’re not just processing the divorce; you’re reflecting on your entire marriage and relationship. Coming to terms with the past is essential to moving on and building a new future. It may be scary and take time, but investing in yourself through a divorce support group can help you to see and heal your emotions.
Dealing with the logistics of divorce can transform a sad situation into a frustrating one. Questions as serious as where the children will spend their time, to the petty questions – like how to divvy up the kitchen utensils – might come in a flood that feels too overwhelming to handle on your own. Where you may have relied on your partner for his or her input before, you now might feel lost.
A divorce support group can help you to answer those tricky and emotional questions with a level head. Having been through the process, the members of the support group can give practical advice that will decrease stress for you and others involved.
A setting to combat loneliness
Divorce can be a lonely experience. After all, it might be the most profound separation a person goes through in his or her life. Not only does divorce mean separating from a spouse; it could also affect relationships with kids, in-laws and even your own blood relatives.
Support groups can offer a community of support when a family is shifting its structure. Divorce support groups can give a judgement-free place to cope with major changes, and can provide insight and empathy where others in your life may be unable to relate. Going through a divorce can lead to strong feelings of sadness and loneliness, but who better to be by your side than others who have gone down the same path?
In a divorce support group, you’re likely to make new friends. It’s been said that adversity is a foundation for some of the strongest bonds. Sharing vulnerably and listening to others can quickly form the social support you’ll need to combat loneliness.
Decreased feelings of depression
Often with loneliness, feelings of depression can creep in. This is a common reaction to divorce, and never one to be ashamed of. Chances are, someone in your divorce support group has also struggled with depression in the midst of a divorce. Having a support system that can spot signs of depression and encourage you to seek help is an invaluable benefit to a divorce support group.
The group members will not only look out for you and help you to seek professional divorce counseling if you are showing signs of depression, but they can also introduce you to ways to handle and cope with sadness and grief. Learning strategies to deal with the pain of a divorce is guaranteed to be a component of your meetings. Each of you is dealing with difficult feelings and building skills to adapt to your new life is a tool you can count on your group to share.
Normalizing the experience
According to the American Psychological Association, between 40 and 50 percent of married couples divorce. Why, then, does it feel so isolating? There are many reasons the experience may be isolating – you may not know couples your age divorcing or it could be stigmatized in your social circles. Regardless, finding a support group of other divorced individuals could be the thing you need to convince you that you’re not alone.
Divorce support groups and divorce counseling often incorporate this normalizing component into the content of the session. Learning about the stages of divorce, much like the stages of grief, can help you to grow in this self-awareness as you realize your reactions are ok.
A renewed sense of hope
Being in a divorce support group can infuse a renewed sense of hope in participants. On the hard path of divorce, you will be surrounded by others who have been through the same experience and come out through it healthier and happier.
In your divorce support group, members will be vulnerable about their struggles. Each of you will share about your pain, yet feel a sense of optimism as you see each other heal and find new purpose in life. You’ll grow through the experience of divorce as you both give and borrow strength.
Divorce is by nature a lonely journey. Finding others on that journey can lighten the load and instill hope and healing as you help each other to overcome challenges and move onto a bright future.
According to a study published in Couple & Family Psychology, one of the top three “final straw” reasons for divorce was substance use. If your drug or alcohol addiction is impacting your marriage or other relationships, it’s time to get help. Rehab After Work offers outpatient drug and alcohol treatment to fit your busy schedule, so you can get back to what’s important in your life. Reach out to Rehab After Work today, or call (610) 644-6464 to get started.