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During divorce, don't rely too heavily on friends, family

Pennsylvania spouses who are ending their marriage often find the process to be more challenging than they anticipated. Even when both parties are in agreement that divorce is the best course of action, a strong emotional response often comes when the process actually begins. Many spouses are surprised when anger, resentment and frustrations arise, and seek a sounding board to express those feelings.

The obvious outlet for many are the friends and family who have offered their support. Having this type of network in place is an essential part of moving through with relative ease. However, it is possible to ask too much of those closest to us. In the end, the result can be damage to the relationships that are most cherished.

Friends and family often offer their support during a divorce, and there is nothing wrong with tapping into that resource when needed. However, there is a point beyond which the people closest to a divorcing spouse are simply unable to help. It is possible to ask too much, which can place an undue burden on a loved one who has his or her own life and problems to deal with.

The best way to avoid overtasking the people within one's support network is to save the heavy emotional lifting for a professional. Seek the assistance of a therapist, even if only for a short time while the divorce is in progress. A therapist is trained to listen to one's concerns, evaluate the situation and offer advice for coping with stress. Most importantly, a therapist is able to provide an objective viewpoint on one's divorce woes, and will not be negatively affected by that process. By taking this approach, Pennsylvania spouses can receive the support and guidance they need, while retaining the friendship and family bonds that are so important.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Ways to Behave Like a Grown-Up Through Your Midlife Divorce", Abby Rodman, Sept. 21, 2014

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