“Try to remember that this stressful conflict is not going to last forever and that you are in the home stretch to achieving your freedom and a path to happiness, something that would not have been possible if you had chosen to stay in this toxic relationship.”
Here is how.
1. Limit or eliminate contact with the abuser. If you must communicate with him or her about children, send a brief text. If he or she sends you lengthy emails, phone message, or texts, choose not to respond. They are trying to tear you down and wear you down. Don’t take the bait. You are not obligated to allow a toxic person to take up any of your precious time. Conserve that time for what you need to do to take care of yourself and get the divorce. Remember that they are dangerous and keep healthy boundaries.
2. Do not allow them to try to negotiate the terms of the divorce directly with you to save money or for any other reason. They will use that to make unreasonable demands and to wear you down. They won’t keep any promises made anyway. Don’t fall for it. Tell him or her to have their attorney contact your attorney to discuss all aspects of the settlement. Be realistic about what you can expect to receive in the divorce and then fight for it. Get your attorney the documents and evidence he or she needs promptly. Eliminate unnecessary delays to reduce your stress and save expenses.
3. If you aren’t seeing a therapist already, go see one now. Many survivors can develop eating disorders, chronic anxiety, depression and PTSD. You will need to work on self-esteem issues, as an abuser’s toxic behavior can erode your sense of self-worth over a long period of time. Please see my article, “Therapy For Stress and Healing.”
4. Take time for yourself. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to four days a week. Go for a walk outdoors for the sunshine and fresh air. Exercise helps to reduce stress by releasing chemicals that increase our sense of well-being. This regimen will help you to be alert and give you the stamina you need. It will also improve your memory and mood.
5. Clear your mind. You will improve your ability to handle things if your mind is clear, you have enough energy and you are well rested. Get enough sleep, pay close attention to your diet and drink plenty of water. These simple things are very important.