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Coping strategies

  • Sparkling
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15 Jun 12 #336988 by Sparkling
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Hey just wanted to share one of my coping strategies and hope it might help someone else too - particularly when the ''inner rage'' starts to surface, you are losing your sense of self at the injustice of what is going on and you feel like no progress is happening!! I have kept a small notebook writing each day and rather than focus on emotions I have written bullet points of the things I have achieved. Anything from ''made a nice dinner for myself'' to ''written a reply to solicitor''. it all counts as progress or achievement - take each day one step at a time.

  • Winnie81
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16 Jun 12 #337037 by Winnie81
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That sounds like a really good idea, such a simple thing to do, but I bet when you start writing you find that actually you''ve achieved quite a lot. Brilliant idea. Thank you! x

  • samchik1
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16 Jun 12 #337056 by samchik1
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Hey sparkling,

Thanks for your tip. I have to agree that it really does help to make yourself explicitly aware (by writing it down) of the reasons why each day of your recovery need not be considered a failure on all levels.

It''s still early days for me but I can remember when it was all I could do to simply take a bath, make a basic dinner (although most of my dinners are "basic" - I''m no Gordon Ramsey), or just "sit" in the park for a bit. All of these little things are triumphs in their own right and we should acknowledge them. I found myself wanting to measure my progress in the very early days in "giant leaps." Not a good idea...someone here said tiny steps is better...they were right...and the daily items on your list are manifestations of those steps.

  • DrManhattan1
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18 Jun 12 #337354 by DrManhattan1
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Hi Sparkling/all,

I was attracted to the thread by the words "coping strategies". I think its a really important general topic- would be great to share other really practical tips/ mental strategies that have helped us all cope through with the process. I know that I was (and still am) desperate for practical things that I can do to help me cope, rather than just discussion (although the discussion is a brilliant form of therapy anyway).

Love the idea of writing things down as you mention. Other things that have helped me (generally from a male perspective and very specific to my situation and past relationship);

1 The hardest part of all this is not seeing the kids for days/ weeks on end and the "no contact rule". No contact is the most painful medicine I have ever tasted, especially in the early days, but it is really effective. When the kids aren''t with me I now imagine that they are with a childminder while I work. It helps me to be civil with the ex and to control the no contact rule. After all, if it was a real childminder I would only ever ring her or text to make arrangements for the kids, and it would be pretty "business-like". I wouldn''t dream of talking about personal stuff with the kids childminder.

2 The other tip or mechanism I have used to help me involves "reclaiming the past". I was going to post a seperate thread on this. In the early days I couldn''t stand the thought that the ex''s actions had not only "ruined" the present, but also wrecked my past and future. I have hundreds of hours of family videos and photos of the family- most of which have the ex in them, as I was always cameraman. I couldn''t believe that I would never be able to watch them again. However, strangely I have no problem looking at old family photos and even videos- if anything I find them a relief. I thought I was still in denial or something. However I think I have worked it out- When I look at the photos and videos I know with all my heart that the woman in the photos loved me and that indeed we were both in love- you can''t fake the the smiles and laughter we shared, especially when she was pregnant or when she was holding our babies. It was love, she wasn''t a demon or monster then. I genuinely know that if I could go back in time and ask that woman in the photos "will you ever leave me for another man, and take the kids from me?" etc, she would have been horrified and said a definite "Never!" In fact she used to beg me never to leave her, which always appalled me as I never gave her reason to think that I ever would. It allows my heart to rationalise things- still feel love for the woman I knew in those photos, and seperate her from her current incarnation! A woman I know nothing about and don''t understand anymore. It has allowed me to reclaim my past which is such an amazing feeling- a huge relief. It wasn''t always as mad and terrible as it has become. I''ve not gone mad!

Hope this helps someone, and would love to hear anyone else''s mental coping tips.

Take care :), love to all on the site,

Dr. M

  • Marshy_
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18 Jun 12 #337401 by Marshy_
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I love the idea of writing things down. Having thoughts and eureka moments is common when we start tacking (or want to tackle) acceptance.

An example of an eureka moment could be around blame. Say you was constantly accused of having an affair and when you said to him/her that they are insecure, you get the blame for making her insecure. And it could be that he/she actually was the one that had the affair and all the time, you felt as if you caused it. Of course you didnt. This blame was projected on you.

Writing things down organises out brains and lines up our thoughts. This is one of the great values of writing. Its cathartic. Its also something great to check yr progress as Sparkling suggested. Walking out of this hole involves lots and lots of small steps. Cooking a great meal is something to celebrate. Also writing a letter perhaps. Or even watching a great film and writing what you thought about it and how you felt.

A lot will think this is really sad. Fancy writing about cod and chips? Or Dot Cotton? But all these things you do like this, are all tiny victories. Little battles that you win every day. And eventually, this will improve yr feelings of self confidence and self worth. It will make you feel, yes I am someone that is worth something to someone. Me!!.

So go ahead and write or blog or whatever. Its all good and you can look back on it with amazement to see how far you have come. Member, baby steps.... C.

  • Sparkling
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17 Jul 12 #343714 by Sparkling
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The more I''ve written the more I realised how I could get out the rut I was in and not content with the divorce being enough of a challenge ;)I decided I needed a goal to push myself in a positive way - so I''m raising money for charity and doing the Great South Run (10 miles)- signed up a few days ago. I''ve got to get fit now - makes me feel I have something positive to focus on and to talk about to other people too (really need that at times). It will make sure I stay healthy and I can add it to my journal notes. Wholeheartedly recommend this as an antidote to the stress of divorce :-)

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