When you've gone through the end of a marriage, chances are you will need help to mourn what could have been and start putting together a new life for yourself. While your family and close friends will be there to help you through this rough spot, they will only be able to do so much for you. Much of what you are feeling and dealing with is not something they have first-hand knowledge about. What you need is a divorce support group.
Even if you live in a small town, chances are there is at least one divorce support group in the area. Here are a few tips to help you located any of the groups that may be within a reasonable distance of your home.
- One of the first places to check for information on divorce support and recovery groups would be with the local courthouse. The same people who will be processing your child support or spousal support will most likely have a current list of any groups that are meeting around the city. The list will usually include a main contact, information on the meeting times, whether there is a permanent meeting place, and whether the group is for divorced parents, former husbands, former wives, or for any person who is dealing with the trauma of a divorce.
- Next, check with local houses of worship. As more and more people of faith have experienced a divorce, clergy persons of many faiths have established faith-based ministries that are geared toward helping divorced people come to grips with their circumstances, deal with the pain, hurt and anger, and begin the process of healing.
- If there is a local professional association for psychologists in your town, you have another excellent source for finding a divorce recovery group. In some cases, they may be facilitated by a mental health professional at a reduced rate or perhaps even free of charge. Admittance into groups of this nature may require that you have an interview with the facilitator or check to see if there is room in the group, as it may be limited to a fixed number of attendees.
- Checking the web sites for your city and for the Chamber of Commerce may also help you locate divorce recovery groups in your area. Generally, these will be listed in sections of the web site that include community action and other voluntary groups that are open to interested persons.
- Along with the Internet, you can also check a low-tech but pretty reliable resource: The Yellow Pages of your local phone book. Established groups are likely to have a permanent address and phone number, perhaps even a hotline in place as well.
Getting past a divorce and pulling your life together is a process that takes time. Along the way, you need support from others who know what you are dealing with. Among them, you can find constructive tips as well as compassion. That is what makes finding a divorce support group a vital part of your moving forward.