Finding support during divorce or separation

When you are going through divorce and separation it can be really hard to find support from others who know what you are going through. It can feel like an extremely isolating time and sometimes it is nice to know that there are others who know how you are feeling and can understand how difficult it is.

Key Points:

  • Sharing how you feel with friends and family members that you trust can be a huge weight off your shoulders
  • There are many organisations out there that have online communities where you can find other people who are going through a divorce or separation
  • Prioritise your self-care by taking care of yourself, physically mentally, and emotionally

Why support is essential

Going through a divorce or a separation is painful, but you do not have to go it alone. Being kind to yourself and finding support is key to your healing process. Finding ways to manage your emotions will not only benefit you, but also your children. You will be better equipped to support them and build a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex-partner.

It is normal to feel lost and overwhelmed during this transition. Be patient with yourself. Progress may seem slow but focus on taking things one step at a time. Remember, even small steps lead in the right direction.

Lean on your support network

This is a difficult time, and keeping everything inside will only add to your emotions. Sharing how you feel with friends and family members that you trust can be a huge weight off your shoulders. Just knowing someone is there to listen without judgment can be incredibly comforting. It can also provide valuable perspective and support as you navigate this transition.

Remember, you have a support system for a reason and lean on them when you need it. Whether it is accepting support with childcare, help with household chores or simply a shoulder to cry on, it is important to accept their help and support. Their offers of help can ease some of the stress and allow you to focus on your own wellbeing.

Support groups can be a lifeline

There are many organisations out there that have online communities where you can find other people who are going through a divorce or separation. They may have online groups or local face to face support groups that you may be able to join.

Gingerbread offer a wealth of support and you can access their groups. They can also help you start up your own group if there are not any in your area and if this is something you would be interested in.

Families Need Fathers can also offer support to both parents. They have local branch meetings throughout the UK and online meetings too. 

Andy Man’s Club run support groups for men throughout the UK. This is for men, and they can talk about the storms affecting their lives in a safe, judgement-free, and non-clinical environment.

Social media can be a source of unexpected support during separation. Look for private groups specifically for people going through divorce or separation. These groups can be a safe space to connect with others on a similar journey. However, be sure the group is well-moderated, has clear rules, and has a positive environment. This ensures a supportive space for sharing your experiences and emotions without judgment.

Getting professional support

A counsellor can provide a safe space to process your emotions during a divorce or separation and can help you navigate this challenging time. They can offer valuable guidance and coping strategies to manage the stress and emotional of a relationship breakdown.

Speak to your GP as they may be able to make a referral for talking therapy. If you would like to find a private counsellor or therapist, please use an accredited directory such as The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Relate can provide you with counselling and have branches throughout the UK as well as online advice and support.

Making self-care a priority

In the early days, it is important to be kind to yourself and take each day as it comes. If you want to give your children what they need from you, you need to look after yourself too. You cannot do your best for your children and cope with a separation if you are running on empty or feeling anxious. The first step is to admit to yourself that you actually have feelings and needs of your own and recognising what they are. It may help to write down how you feel in a journal, so you have an outlet to express your feelings.

Prioritise your self-care by taking care of yourself, physically mentally, and emotionally. Resource yourself with some much needed ‘me time’. Try to add self-care into your routine, even if it is just 10 minutes a day. It can be a good book, a box set, an outdoor walk, exercise or perhaps some mindfulness or meditation to help recharge your batteries.

Further resources

If you would like further support and advice, call our helpline on 0808 800 2222 or email us at askus@familylives.org.uk. You can talk to us online via our live chat service, which is open, Monday to Friday between 10.30am and 9pm. You may find it helps to find out how other parents and carers have coped with this on our online forums. We also have a range of free online parenting courses that can help through the ages and stages of parenting. 

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