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Costly Divorce Coping

If you are human, you have probably fallen victim to the lure of instant gratification many times in your life. With the rise of high speed internet and technology, we are used to getting what we want quickly. Patience tends to wear thin in the modern world, and when it comes to negative emotions, patience wears even thinner. But appropriately dealing with difficult feelings associated with traumatic events like filing for divorce, is necessary in order to move on and heal.

Coping with hard times in unhealthy ways, such as through spending money or other methods of instant gratification, only serves to numb and trap yourself within negative emotions, which delays recovery and is harmful to your future. Choosing healthy self-soothing methods and working through your emotions instead ensures positive healing and growth.

Pleasure-Seeking Methods

Things that bring sugar-coated pleasure are easy to accumulate. Buy that expensive, gorgeous pair of shoes, or eat that second piece of cake, and your sad mood will take a hike quickly, with indulgent delight eagerly taking its place. The problem with this method of self-soothing is the way it only works temporarily, and usually causes future issues down the road.

Financial: When it comes to spending money to make yourself feel better, there are obvious negative ramifications. Not only does it deplete assets most likely needed during a divorce, it can handicap your financial independence afterwards.

It’s helpful to make sure your motivations are healthy before making any financial decisions during a fragile emotional time. This Huffington Post article quotes financial planner, Douglas J. Eaton, advising, “The most important question to be answered is: ‘What is the most important to you about your money and why?’…Do some soul-searching to define who you are and do not allow your money to define you.” Excessive spending cannot save you from the emotional distress of divorce, so it’s wise to keep spending in its rightful place on your list of priorities.

Self-Numbing: Additionally, any gratification you do savor from self-indulgent coping mechanisms, like overeating, is short-lived and empty. The emotions of sadness, anxiety, or frustration need to be worked through, not covered up or avoided. If you avoid and numb them, they will simply return after your pleasure of choice fades.

Our impatience with negative feelings results in instantly gratifying behaviors that only serve our present state, not our future. As writer Polly Campbell informs, “We move into ‘present bias’ when we want immediate gratification–in the case of sadness, we want to feel better–so we become impatient and ignore the greater benefits that come when we settle down and wait awhile.”

What Are Better Ways to Cope?

The main necessity for healthy coping in the face of the divorce process, is facing it bravely. This means not being afraid to feel your sadness and then seeking the right kind of support to overcome it. As a result, instead of pushing bad feelings away temporarily, you take control of them and gradually become free. Support from family and friends helps with this process, and doing enjoyable activities, that don’t involve harming your future assets or physical health. Patiently taking care of yourself and your future is the key to thriving recovery.

What are some other healthy ways to cope with divorce?

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