Coping with Job Loss and Divorce

Lost Job and DivorcedWhen it rains, it pours.

If you’ve recently lost your job and you’re talking to a Chapel Hill divorce lawyer about dissolving your marriage, you might be feeling like you’re caught up in the storm of the century.

So what happened—and how in the world do you cope with a double-whammy like this one?

What Psychologists Say
Job loss is often a factor that contributes to divorce, according to San Francisco therapist Susan Pease Gadoua and a Norwegian study conducted in 2007. The dynamics in your marriage change, particularly if you’re a man who’s lost his job (women’s job losses have less of an effect on most families, according to the Norwegian study), and some relationships can’t weather the strain.

3 Steps to Coping with Job Loss and Divorce
Since the stress you’re experiencing is compounded—you’re dealing with two issues rather than one—you need to employ extremely effective coping mechanisms to come out stronger, healthier and happier.

1. Recognize that circumstances are beyond your control. Although most people question themselves and beat themselves up during a “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” phase, which is normal, you need to realize that looking backward isn’t the way out of your situation.

Set aside some time for personal relaxation and worry about things you can control. You deserve time to lounge around with a good book, to kick back in a recliner and watch the game or to sit in a boat with a fishing pole. The things you can control in your life, including when and where to start looking for a new job, when and where to hang out with your friends, and managing your personal priorities need to be your primary focus.

2. Force yourself to slow down. You may not realize it, but the whirlwind of stress that you’re caught up in is probably overwhelming you. When you have to rush to get things done, you’re only agitating yourself, and it’s all part of a nasty cycle that’s hard to get out of. Get a head start on your activities so you’re not in a hurry to wrap things up; walk slowly, talk slowly and get some rest when you need it.

3. Let yourself be who you are. While we all have to do things we don’t enjoy, we all deserve the freedom to be ourselves. If your marriage or your last job was holding you back from being who you really are, it’s time to get your identity back. Taking the time to understand your own needs (and to fulfill them) is a vital part of moving on.

When Things Aren’t Going as Planned
If your ex is giving you a hard time, whether it’s about child custody, alimony or something else entirely, make sure you keep your Chapel Hill divorce lawyer in the loop. Your lawyer is there to work hard on your behalf so you’re set up for a successful single future.