The First Step Is the Hardest: How to Process a Divorce & Breakup

A young couple sits on a couch looking unhappy, needing tips on how to process divorce & breakup.

Tips on processing divorce to help you navigate this difficult period

Key takeaways:

  • Practice self-care

  • Allow yourself space to go through the stages of grief

  • Surround yourself with supportive people

  • Communicate using facts, not feelings

  • Consider individual or joint therapy to help you process this tough time

Getting a divorce is likely one of the most stressful events you’ll ever experience in your life. Even if the split is amicable, the process itself is challenging and will disrupt virtually every aspect of your life, from finances to living arrangements to parenting. Taking the leap and initiating the process by asking for a divorce & breakup is sometimes the hardest part; it can be intimidating and it’s scary to venture into uncharted territory.

If you’re considering divorce, you’re not alone. It is unfortunately common in the United States. It’s estimated that nearly half of first marriages end in divorce or separation.

There are many reasons couples get divorced – personality clashes, finances, falling out of love, infidelity, lack of equality in the relationship, unrealistic expectations, or a lack of commitment for starters. Even if getting a divorce is the healthiest option for you, it can still be a challenging process.

No two situations are the same but there are several tips to navigate divorce. Here are five.

- Prioritize self-care

The end of a relationship is painful, especially one that you were heavily invested in. Prioritizing self-care is vital during this time. It may be tempting to stop caring about your appearance or engage in behaviors like indulging in ice cream or alcohol every night, but taking care of yourself should be a top priority during this tough time, even if you’re low on motivation.

Give yourself extra TLC and build habits that serve your mental and physical health. Habits become automatic behaviors, so good habits will carry you when your motivation is low.