11 Things To Do When Going Through A Separation Or Divorce

11 Things To Do When Going Through A Separation Or Divorce

Separation and divorce are hard – perhaps the hardest thing that someone will ever go through. Even if you know that you made the right decision to part from someone you were married to, it’s not easy. After all, you made a commitment to that person and probably meant it, no matter what went wrong in the marriage. That person has been an important person {maybe the most important person} in your life for perhaps many years. And it can be a tough realization that your whole world will now be changing. If you are going through a separation or divorce, here are some things you can do to help make yourself feel better when you need it.

11 Things To Do When Going Through A Separation Or Divorce

Make single friends
It can really be tough to hang out with married people when you are first going through your separation or divorce. It can be hard to look at people who are happy when you are sad, no matter how glad you are for their happiness. That’s ok. You are human. Find some single people in your area that have gone through what you are going through who you can relate to or people who are single and actually happy. Perhaps some of their happiness will rub off on you.

Find a support group
Try to find a divorce support group. Unfortunately, not everyone has friends who understand or want to hear about your separation or divorce “drama.” You also might have friends who feel that listening to you talk about your feelings means that they are taking sides and they are not interested in that. Perhaps you have friends who are only interested in hearing about “positive” things. Whatever the case may be, it’s healthy to talk about your feelings. If you don’t have anyone that you feel comfortable sharing with, try to find a divorce support group in your area. If you can’t find one, consider starting one yourself.

Do something on your own
It can be hard to do something on your own that you generally see people doing with someone else {like going to the movies, out to eat, etc}. Face it. There isn’t always someone ready and available when you want to do something. Is there a movie that you want to see but you don’t have anyone to see it with? Go see it anyway. Don’t sit at home and constantly be alone and/or sad. Get out there and have fun. You might even meet new people who would love to go with you to the movies next time.

Know when you need a break
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the day just sucks. If you need a day to lay in bed and watch sappy movies while eating ice cream, do it. Just don’t dwell on it everyday. When you are going through separation or divorce, not every day will be good. Most of your days might even be bad for a while. But eventually the sun will come up and you will start feeling better. Take a day every now and then to do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. You just lost someone that meant a great deal to you. Cry. It’s ok. Then move on.

Listen to music
To me, music is an instant mood changer. When I start feeling sad, I can turn on certain songs and I instantly feel uplifted. Find what music makes you happy and play it. Loud. Or soft. Whatever. Don’t sit there and just be sad all the time. It’s ok to be upset sometimes, but try to make yourself feel better when you can. You deserve to be happy.

Accept your responsibility in the break up
In most cases, a separation or divorce is not all your partner’s fault. Perhaps you tried to get your partner to change those ways that helped to drive you apart. That really doesn’t matter anymore now that you are separated. You can’t change others but you can definitely change yourself. Take this time to really look at what you could have done differently and how you were also at fault in the break up. This is hard to do but will help you in relationships moving forward.

Organize something
Part of what stinks so bad about separation and divorce is the loss of control. Everything you planned for the future has now changed. And this can leave you feeling quite helpless. Something that helps me when I feel like this is to organize something in the house or redecorate. Since I get to make the decisions, I get at least some of my control back. The time spend planning also distracts me from my problems for a little while at least.

Find a hobby
Is there something that you always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time for when you were married? Well, now is the time to do it. Read more books, travel, learn to play an instrument, learn to cook, take a class. Whatever. You will feel better if you have more things to occupy your time and less time to dwell on your sadness. Studies show that people who have goals live longer and are happier. So make learning something new your goal. You might even make some new friends with similar interests to hang out with.

Stay away from judgmental people
Look, only you and your spouse know what went on in your marriage, no matter what you tell people. A real friend will just listen and be there for you without offering unsolicited advice. It doesn’t matter how many times you have separated or what the reasons were, your friend’s opinion isn’t needed unless asked for. This isn’t a situation that anyone on the outside can fix. And it can also seem quite insulting when people offer advice on how you can fix it, like you didn’t try as hard as you possibly could. Sometimes marriages just don’t work and no one should have to stay with someone they are not happy with. That doesn’t mean the separation doesn’t hurt. Don’t hang out with anyone who makes light of your pain. Nothing makes you feel worse than someone saying “Again!” or comparing your marriage to theirs when you tell them you and your spouse are separated. They probably mean the best but you need to take care of yourself for a while. If distance from insensitive people is what you need then by all means take it.

Take time to be alone
Don’t jump right into another relationship. That really just makes things confusing. You go from loving one person to perhaps loving another person almost immediately. You could also project feelings from your ex onto your new partner which aren’t really there. Take time to be by yourself. You have probably been with your now ex for years and, let’s face it, you are probably a different person in many respects now than when you were when you first got together. You need time to figure out what you want as the characteristics you once looked for in a partner might not even be what you want in a partner now.

Work on yourself
Separation and divorce can be really hard on your self esteem. Do something that makes you feel better about yourself. Do this for yourself and not for anyone else. You could learn a new skill or go to the gym. Many people say running or journaling can both be quite cathartic. It sounds trite but it’s true. You really do need to love yourself before someone else can love you {or before you can accept it}.

Do You Have Any Other Tips For Those Going Through Separation Or Divorce?

Have you gone through a separation or divorce yourself? What did you do to make yourself feel better? We would love to read your thoughts and tips in the comment section below.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. It really helped when you said that doing something you love will help alleviate the pain and the stress that’s brought by a divorce. My husband and I have been on a rough patch for quite some time now and we’ve decided to go through a divorce last year to give everyone peace of mind. Just like what you said, learning new things is beneficial especially if it works as an escape. I’ll to try to learn how to play the violin and see how it goes. For the time being, I’ll get a divorce attorney to handle all of the legal matters so I can have more time to rediscover and reinvent myself. Thanks for this very empowering read!