Divorce is always found at the top of the list of major life changes that cause significant stress, second only to the death of a spouse. Many people going through a divorce for the first time can often be taken off-guard by the overarching impact that it has on their daily life. Divorce impacts every area of one’s personal life (social supports, activities, relationships with mutual friends), affects one’s professional functioning (takes away time and resources that you would normally be spending on client matters), and produces long lasting mental and emotional changes (can produce a sense of shame, questions about the future, and elicit hopelessness and anxiety).
Due to the way that divorce impacts multiple areas of life, social isolation is a common reaction. This isolation typically makes the stress of a divorce worse as social support is one of the most important factors in getting through a major life change.
For lawyers, divorce can be particularly stressful. For one, lawyers are usually in the role of the advocate or problem solver. It can be quite the uncomfortable transition into the role of the one who needs help. Giving up control (whether it is to your attorney or recognizing that you cannot control the outcome of the divorce proceeding) can add to the feeling of insecurity and diminish your self-confidence. Lawyers, if you did not know this already, are human beings. And human beings handle stressful life events much better with help from others. One helpful resource that LCL offers is a support group for divorcing attorneys. This is a group for lawyers who are going through the divorce process where they can get support from others, hear from those who have made it through, get information about the options available to them in the divorce process, and learn coping skills to better handle the stress that divorce brings your way. Click here for more information and to sign up.
If you are going through a divorce, remember that many have been through it before you, it won’t last forever, and you can actually come out of the experience stronger as a result. Join us to find out how.
Shawn Healy, PhD