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The Stages of Adjusting to a New Reality After a Divorce


Divorce is exhausting.  From the legal battles to hastily finding a new residence and moving into it, you are in crisis mode for such a long time that you barely have time to feel any emotions about the larger picture.  The present looms so large in your mind that you can’t imagine how it will feel to be single again.  When the court finalizes your divorce, you will go through a series of phases in adjusting to your new life.  They are unique to each person, but generally, they follow the same pattern.  A Boca Raton divorce lawyer may not be able to shield you from the emotional turmoil of divorce, but your lawyer can help you get a fair share of marital property and parenting time.

Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is when the negative emotions finally hit you after you have not had time for them while your divorce was in progress.  Careful not to badmouth your ex in front of your kids, you spend every moment of your ex’s parenting time venting to your friends and family about all the ways that your ex hurt you during your marriage and continues to hurt you.  Maybe you feel too sad and overwhelmed to do anything; except when your kids and pets bug you to feed them, you just sit around like Bridget Jones after her breakup from what’s-his-name, eating ice cream and watching reality TV.

The “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” Phase

Eventually, you become determined to show your kids, your parents, and the court that you are a functioning adult.  You finally unpack the boxes in your new home, and you decorate it as well as your budget will allow.  You cook healthy meals and eat them with a smile.  You try to form new social connections with the other parents at your children’s school and extracurricular activities.  Every so often, the “rock bottom” feeling goes back, and you hastily shoo it away with your competence and good cheer.

The “I’ve Still Got It” Phase

Being a functional adult isn’t enough.  You won’t feel normal again until you find a new partner, or at least know that you can find one.  You flirt with everyone who is of the appropriate age and gender to be a match for you.  You want everyone to know that you are charming and single.  You go on dating sites.  Dating is even harder than you remember it.  Laughing with your friends about bad dates is fun, though.

The New Normal

It may take a year or more, but eventually you find a new normal.  Everyone’s new normal is different.  Yours may or may not involve a new partner.  Even though it may take time, you will eventually feel comfortable in your own skin again.

Contact Schwartz | White About Coping With Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you get a fair divorce settlement, even though divorce inevitably involves some stress and pain.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.

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