Coping in the early days

Woman comforting friend

The very early stages of a divorce or separation can be a very painful and difficult time. Not only are you grieving for the loss of your relationship and coming to terms with this but you are expected to continue with your day to day life, such as work and looking after your children.

Many parents say the initial stages of family breakdown feel like an emotional haze and a bit like being on auto-pilot. As you begin to cope with divorce or separation, you will feel a mixture of emotions including shock, anger, hurt or even relief. It is important to accept that this is a very natural part of the process of moving forwards and it will take time. As hard as it is, it is a case of taking each day as it comes without setting yourself unrealistic goals or expectations. It is common to feel up and down and no two days may be the same for a while. 

You may get fed up of hearing that time is a great healer but there is a lot of truth in this even though it is the last thing you may feel when in the middle of such a horrendous time. It is hard to envisage your feelings and emotions in the near or distant future but as time passes, things may start getting a little easier as you start accepting and managing this change. Please read our tips below to help you.

Tips to help you cope with divorce or separation

  • Lean on your friends and family so you are able to talk things through
  • Get in touch with one or our Family Support Workers for continued support
  • Write down how you feel in a journal or notepad as it may help
  • You might want to write a letter or an email but there is no pressure to send this to anyone but just writing it down could help
  • Take each day as it comes
  • You may want to keep yourself busy but try not to over burden yourself at the same time
  • Make time each day for yourself, even a relaxed bath in the evening
  • Try to stick to a routine for the children
  • Try not to make any major decisions that you may perhaps later wish you had not
  • Remember that moving on is the end of the tunnel and you are taking small steps to get there