Mandy Kloppers

How to cope with a marriage breakdown

A marriage breakdown is a life-altering event. Your existing path and future are interrupted and the future suddenly seems uncertain. It can rock a person’s foundations to the core and it’s easy to slip into anxiety and fear of the unknown.

So what are the best things you can do to cope with a marital breakdown?

Focus on your self-care

First things first, you must keep yourself well and strong – mentally and physically. Eat well, exercise, and take care of yourself. You will need healthy habits to cope with the added stress. Take time out and maintain balance. Don’t throw yourself into work to avoid thinking about the marriage breakdown. Instead, feel the sadness – it will help you heal in a more holistic way. When you sit with unpleasant emotions, you will be less likely to experience any trauma or long-term stress in the future.

You can only control what you think and do

Your power lies in what you focus on. Don’t focus on your ex as this will keep you stuck. Focus on your possibilities now that your life is different and a chapter has closed. Look forwards not backward and remind yourself of the good reasons to be out of the marriage. Focus on the negatives of your relationship and the positives of being away from that situation as much as possible. Let your thinking work for you not against you.

Spend time doing the things you have always wanted to do – in particular, think about any hobbies or activities you wished to try that you couldn’t do in your relationship. A marriage breakdown shouldn’t only be seen as a sad ending – it should also be seen as an exciting new chapter for you.

Redefine your values and goals

Rediscover what is important to you as well as what fulfills and inspires you. It’s common to go off-track when you are in a relationship as you end up taking on some of your spouse’s interests. Now is the time to redefine what you want in your life and what you want to let go of. An exciting fresh start that will bring hope for the future.

Make a plan

Once you have redefined your values, the things that matter to you – you can begin to make a plan to integrate your values into your life. If you prefer nature and the outdoors perhaps relocate or take on a new hobby. If you know that family is important to you, renew your efforts to spend quality time with those who you have possibly neglected in the past. reconnect with friends and family and see them more often. This is an excellent way to speed up your recovery from your marriage breakdown.

Activate your plan

It’s no use having a plan if you don’t implement it. Write a list and brainstorm ideas to get closer to your goals. Be patient and set aside time each day to make progress towards your goals. Whether that’s exercise to improve your health and lose weight, study for half an hour, or do research on places to relocate – start DOING instead of just PLANNING.

Uncertainty is scary but see life as an adventure and keep fear in its place. Fortune favours the bold so learn to take a few calculated risks and promise yourself that you will grab your opportunities with both hands.


Seek out inspirational people

Join a new Meetup group, or go traveling – find people who are in a similar position to you for social and moral support. It can feel lonely during a marriage breakdown and having someone to talk to can give you the strength you need to get through. We all have weak moments but remember they will pass. The sad or negative feelings will evaporate – feelings come and go. Stick to your plan and be unswerving in your commitment to improving your life.

Keep hope alive

There will be dark times when you feel overwhelmed but hang in there. the sun will come out again. I know because I have been there. Believe in your ability to cope and never forget all that you have already managed in your life. You are far more resilient than you know. Create a few positive coping statements to help you.

Examples of coping statements:

I can handle whatever comes my way

Whatever happens, I will find a way through

I am strong and resilient

I am resourceful and amazing

I deserve love and good things in my life


Don’t spend too much time overthinking – that’s the worst thing you can do. Stick to the plan, focus on the positives and the possibilities and accept that there will be dark duvet days and that’s okay too. You will survive this just as you have survived many other difficulties in the past.

Visualise yourself happy and carefree and know that the day will come when you look back on your marriage breakdown, stronger and wiser than before.


Mandy X


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash