Navigating Through Toxic Emotions Following a Divorce


It is generally considered impossible to recover and thrive after a divorce until the negative emotions, which have built up against your ex, are fully released. It may even feel as though the toxic emotions following a divorce will be with you for the rest of your life. You may feel raw and exposed, perhaps even betrayed. And depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, you may wonder if you will ever reach a point in your life where you can move forward and find happiness. What is hard to see when you are in the middle of the storm is that the person who pays the biggest price is the one holding on to the negative emotions—you. Toxic emotions can prevent you from creating a new life—a life you look forward to greeting each day.


Some liken the stages of divorce to the stages of grief. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Don’t expect to leap gracefully from one stage to another following your divorce. You will likely visit and re-visit each stage more than once. Further, when a divorce is particularly contentious, it can be easy to get stuck in the anger stage for a significant length of time. Who better to blame than your ex? Right? The anger stage has its place with two caveats. First, make sure there are no "little" ears to hear your anger against your ex verbalized. Second, let yourself be angry for a set amount of time—then move on to the next phase. 


It is important to note, however, that even when you’ve reached the acceptance phase, you may still have negative emotions associated with your ex from time to time. So long as the emotions are relatively fleeting, no harm no foul. But, if your toxic emotions are holding you back from the life you deserve, then you have a problem. Most everyone who has gone through a divorce knows it can feel like a roller coaster—full of twists and turns and a lack of control. These out of control feelings are unpleasant, and they can prevent you from making sound decisions about your future. In order to get past your toxic emotions, consider the following:

 Pay attention to your emotional and physical well-being. Take the time to nurture yourself, even in small ways. Get some regular exercise, eat healthy, and get plenty of rest. When you feel good physically, it is much easier to handle your negative emotions.  
 Make the choice to release your toxic emotions. Your negative emotions are hurting you much more than they are hurting your ex (if he or she notices at all). Meditate, take a walk, do whatever brings you peace—and do it often. 
 Do your best to separate your finances from your emotions. There is danger in combining the emotionally charged topic of money with the emotionally charged process of divorce.  If you are not careful during this vulnerable time, you could end up both financially and emotionally bankrupt.

If you are considering a divorce in Boulder, Denver, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is important to have a divorce attorney on your side from the very start. Don't attempt to navigate the divorce process on your own. Our Boulder divorce attorneys can protect your parenting rights, your assets, and your future during this difficult time. Contact the Boulder divorce attorneys at Goff & Goff, LLC today for a free initial consultation.