Like most adults in Texas or beyond, you’ve no doubt encountered challenges in life that were stressful to overcome. For instance, if you’ve ever been unemployed for a period of time, you might have faced financial problems that were stressful to navigate. Divorce is another issue that can be quite stressful; in fact, studies show that it can have an adverse effect on mental health, especially if the spouses involved have a contentious relationship.
If you’re preparing for divorce, you’ll be making decisions and doing your best to resolve numerous issues pertaining to property division, child custody and child support (if you’re a parent) and other important matters. The reasons you have for filing for divorce as well as your interactions with your soon-to-be ex can weigh heavily on your mental health, which is why it’s a good idea to build a strong support network from the start and to take time to rest and nurture yourself as you adapt to a new lifestyle.
Issues that affect mental health most often in divorce
You might know someone who has previously navigated divorce who experienced a tremendous amount of stress because of a specific issue. That issue might not affect you the same way in your own divorce proceedings. Every relationship is unique, and the things that cause you the most stress might not be applicable to someone else. However, the following list shows numerous issues that studies have shown most often have negative mental health implications in a divorce:
- Major transitions in lifestyle
- Parental conflict and disagreements over child-related issues
- Property division disputes
- Reasons for divorce were emotionally-charged, such as infidelity
- Long period of separation before finalizing a settlement
Your initial reaction might be that a long period of separation seems like it would be a good thing in a situation where you no longer want to be in a relationship with your spouse. Studies show that long separations can be stressful because a spouse might rather tie up all the loose legal ends, finalize the divorce and move on in life. A lengthy separation might make you feel like the ordeal lacks closure.
Coping with mental health issues in your divorce
There’s no way to predict with 100% certainty how your divorce will affect your mental health. You might feel confident, at peace and happy on some days and not well on others. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to feel and that you can tap into local support resources as needed to help you over the rough spots.