Making positive choices following a Maryland divorce

Every divorce is unique, as are the individuals who comprise the marriage itself. In the same vein, each spouse’s emotional response to the end of their marriage is the result of their own background, attitudes and personality traits. Virtually everyone who goes through a divorce will have some type of negative emotional response, even in cases in which the division was sought by both parties. Recognizing the validity of negative emotions and finding appropriate coping mechanisms is key to avoiding poor decision-making in the weeks and months following a divorce.

Financial self-soothing is one behavior that can cause a great deal of damage to the financial standing of a newly divorced person. This is the act of spending money in an effort to feel better about the end of a marriage. While there may be some short-term comfort in an expensive vacation or new wardrobe, when spending exceeds a reasonable level, there can be serious negative consequences. In the worst cases, such overspending can bring financial devastation to an individual or family.

A key part of avoiding this scenario is to simply acknowledge that the urge to self-sooth through spending is a normal reaction to stress or emotional turmoil. In this way, individuals are able to identify those behaviors or urges and take action to re-channel their energies elsewhere. Another helpful approach is to map out a long-term budget complete with one’s goals for the future, so that it is possible to see how a large or unnecessary purchase will hamper progress toward those goals.

Maryland residents who are having a difficult time weathering the emotional fallout from a divorce are encouraged to seek counseling. Finding a trusted therapist to help work through these issues can make a world of difference in completing the transition from married to single. By learning how to sooth through positive means, rather than spending irresponsibly, individuals are better equipped to get through any future challenges that life may bring.

Source: Huffington Post, “Did You Financially Self-Soothe After Your Divorce?” Diane L. Danois, May 21, 2013

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