If you’re one of the thousands of people embarking on a new life journey after a divorce, you know the path isn’t easy – even if it was for the best. You’re likely stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to develop a new routine on your own. Divorce is a relatively common life event, but few people can imagine it ever happening to them. Even if you have family and friends available, it can be incredibly helpful to talk to people who know exactly what you’re going through. This is where a divorce support group can be helpful.
What Are Divorce Support Groups?
Divorce support groups are designed for people going through a divorce to meet up on a regular basis and come together to offer strength, encouragement, and a sense of community for one another. They give you an opportunity to open up and communicate your questions, concerns, and aspirations with people struggling with similar situations. Members of a support group can validate your feelings, give advice, or just offer an ear to listen.
Some divorce support groups focus on education regarding the process of divorce, while others hold seminars or bring in special guest speakers to offer guidance. Certain groups may supply you with resources or a list of qualified professionals to provide additional assistance. No matter what your situation is, you will undoubtedly find others experiencing the same thing.
How Can a Divorce Support Group Help Me?
Many people who have attended divorce support groups find them significantly helpful in making their divorce easier to handle. Utilizing a healthy outlet to speak openly and honestly about how you feel and the obstacles you face helps to alleviate anxiety and pain. Recognizing that you are not alone can lighten your emotional burden and give you the confidence to improve yourself and start really living again. For some people, it can help them be a better parent through a very challenging time.
You may have a strong support system already, but it can be difficult to relate the intimate details of your relationship to the people in your life, even the closest of friends and family. Depending on how long you had been married, your friends and family are likely also close with your ex. Sharing personal information about your marriage can be awkward and painful, even at the best of times.
Unlike friends and family, who are either stuck in the middle or find themselves feeling obligated to take your side, members of a divorce support group are able to view your circumstances from a more well-rounded, objective perspective. While some divorces occur due to the actions of one person, most of them result from both people playing a role, either in something they did or something they neglected to do. Support group members can approach the relationship logically and give honest feedback that can help you appropriately deal with your ex now and prevent you from making similar mistakes again in the future.
Few things are as comforting as having someone listen to your problems without judgment or interruption. A divorce support group offers a welcoming community of individuals with knowledge, skills, or experience that you don’t have but could greatly benefit from. When multiple people going through the same struggles can share their thoughts and feelings, it reduces your sense of isolation and soothes feelings of guilt, shame, or loneliness.
Shared experiences among group members help normalize divorce. Rather than viewing yourself as a failure because your marriage didn’t work out, you are encouraged in support groups to focus on improving the present and preparing for the future. The emphasis is placed on your recovery and restoring confidence in yourself moving forward. Members of the support group can also help you learn to manage your anger and resentment in constructive ways rather than wallowing in these negative emotions or allowing them to take over your life.
How Can I Find the Right Support Group for Me?
Groups vary in significant ways, so ask yourself the following questions to determine which one is a good fit for you:
- Is the group information-based or process-based?
- Would you prefer a more educational environment that utilizes recovery concepts and learning tools or a more personal environment based on sharing stories and gathering support from other members?
- What are the attendance expectations of the group?
- Can you just drop in, or do you have to register first?
- Can you join the group at any time, or are you required to start with the first class in the series?
- Does the group meet year-round?
- How much does it cost to attend?
- Are you able to observe the group before making any commitments to see if it is a good fit?
- Is there a religious component, or is it non-denominational?
- How much experience does the facilitator have in leading support groups?
If you are considering divorce and would like to speak with a qualified divorce lawyer about your options, contact us today. At the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, we have decades of experience working with people just like you in all matters of family law and can ensure you receive the highest-quality legal representation.