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How to survive your spouse asking for a divorce

The break-up of a marriage is never easy. However, when one spouse suddenly tells the other that he or she wants a divorce, it can be devastating. Family law attorneys have all had clients who came to them in a state of shock because the person they thought they'd be spending the rest of their life with walked out.

While it may not seem like it while you're going through it, you will come out the other side and likely better off. However, getting through the aftermath of being "dumped" with your dignity and sanity intact requires some effort.

First, remember that it's okay to embrace your feelings. It's natural to be sad and angry. As long as those feelings don't become destructive to yourself or anyone else, it's healthy to feel them. One clinical psychologist notes that anger can motivate people to take positive steps and emotionally separate from their spouse.

While embracing your anger and other emotions, keep your dignity. That means don't beg him or her to return, don't stalk, don't drunk dial, text or email and don't confront the other woman or man. This can seem very tempting, but you'll cringe later when you look back on that behavior. Besides, what kind of marriage would it be if your spouse stayed because you begged? Facing the reality of the situation is essential to moving forward.

Instead of obsessing about what your spouse is doing and with whom, focus on yourself. Create a new routine that will lead to a more fulfilling life as a single person. This could mean committing more to your career, reconnecting with friends, finding a new activity or taking up a sport.

Seeking therapy of some kind can be helpful in processing your feelings. This can be professional therapy and/or a support group. It can also be something more solitary like meditation or journaling.

People who have been left by a spouse often have a difficult time making wise decisions in the divorce. It's tempting to want to hurt the person who left you by trying to get as much as you can. However, that may not be in your best interests. That's where experienced family law attorneys can be crucial. They can help you make decisions that are best for you and your children, both in the immediate future and the long run.

Source: Huffington Post, "What You Need To Know If Your Spouse Leaves You," Brittany Wong, June 18, 2015

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