Divorce; how to deal with your emotions

Type in the word divorce on Google and you’ll get thousands of hits of websites that will legally support you during your divorce. That there is so much help available isn’t a surprise, because 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce. According to Stine Jensen, for kids who are still in school, it’s already the norm to have divorced parents. In addition to the discussions, arguments, and all the legal things you have to take care of, it is especially important in a divorce to reflect on yourself and your feelings.

Feel your feelings

Divorce is a major life event. Perhaps your vision of the future is falling apart, maybe you and your partner are in conflict, or you feel guilty or stressed about possible children involved. Divorce is seen as a form of loss and grief, and it is therefore not surprising that it can take a long time to process. You can experience all kinds of feelings, think of sadness, rejection, relief, anger, or the feeling of failure. We tend to hide those bad emotions. Understandably, because it doesn’t feel good to feel anxious or sad. And in some situations, it can be very inconvenient when your emotions run wild. Yet these negative emotions are also very valuable! By reflecting on what you feel, you gain more insight into and you are closer to yourself.

Time for yourself

Take a moment for yourself and allow your feelings to be there, no matter how difficult that may be. You can focus on yourself by asking yourself questions such as: how am I feeling? What does this life changing event do to me? What do I need? Do you feel like your feelings are getting too real and tend to put your feelings away again? Go against this urge and accept and respect any feelings that arise. Don’t try to explain your feelings. It is normal to feel sad and angry, your negative emotions are also allowed to be there. By allowing your feelings to exist, you give them space. That space ultimately provides relief.

Tip: Mindfulness and meditation are effective ways to focus your attention on yourself. The Headspace app guides you through various meditation and mindfulness exercises to help you relax and unwind. 

Separate together

What else can you do to make your divorce go as smoothly as possible? Below you will find some tips:

  • Keep talking to each other

Chances are, both of you are high in emotion. Don’t blame each other, that won’t do you any good. In a divorce, at least two people with feelings are involved and the feelings of both “parties” are important.

  • Find support in your friends and family

There is a lot going on with you, with your partner, and with any children involved. The people around you can also have a big influence on this. This influence can turn out to be positive or negative. It can be annoying when family or friends express their disappointment or anger or express their opinion in other ways. It can also have a positive effect if they do support you or your partner. Who are the people who can help you now? What kind of help do you need? Discuss it with the people you need. You don’t have to do this alone!

  • Take good care of yourself

When so much is going on in your life, you may feel like you don’t have the energy to exercise. But right now it is important that you continue to take good care of yourself! Maintain a routine that involves going to bed on time, eating well, and getting enough exercise. Be kind to yourself; don’t drive yourself crazy and don’t keep worrying about guilt. Take the time and space to get used to the divorce, it’s a big change.


You can always turn to professional help. Visit your GP for a referral to a psychologist, or click here for more information about online treatment via NiceDay.

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Maaike van der Kaaij

My name is Maaike and I am a psychologist at NiceDay. During sessions with my clients I find it really important they feel free to tell me everything. I am interested in people's behaviour and enjoy helping people gain new insights! Besides my work, I love my family, travelling, working out and going out to dinner.

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