Getting divorced is one of the most stressful and draining processes you can go through during your lifetime. But once you or your ex has moved out, and your divorce is finalized, what are the next steps?
Many people decide to get a dog or cat. There’s nothing like the unconditional love of a pet to help you get through distressing times. If you are like a lot of newly divorced individuals, it’s probably been quite some time since you last lived alone — perhaps never — and the prospect of coming home to an empty house may be overwhelming.
Experiencing depression and loneliness after going through a divorce is natural, even if you have a good support network of family or friends. Research has shown that petting a dog or cat encourages the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. Not only do endorphins help to reduce those feelings of loneliness and sadness, but they reduce the effects of loneliness-related health issues.
What are some other reasons to get a pet after getting divorced?
Your new best friend
Adopting a pet after divorce can be particularly beneficial because pets provide the company you may need to make adjusting to your new life all that easier. An animal companion can help ease the unfamiliarity of living alone that many newly divorced individuals experience. Caring each day for your pet has the added bonus of putting some much-needed structure and routine back into your life.
While adopting a new pet is a big responsibility, having to care for something other than yourself is not only very empowering, but also a way to start feeling good about yourself again. Just knowing that your furry friend is relying on you to satisfy their needs could be the motivation you need to get on with your life, especially during those times, after the divorce, when feelings of sadness and depression might arise.
Is it the right decision for you?
If you are looking for a steady source of companionship and unconditional love and support, getting a new pet after divorce could be the right choice for you. And, unlike your former spouse, you won’t have to worry about them neglecting you, leaving you, or breaking your heart!
The responsibility of taking your dog for walks and ensuring they have meals on time is a good way to provide some structure as you transition into your new life. Owning a pet can be hard work, along with the financial responsibilities, so you may want to wait until you adapt to your new situation before bringing an animal into your life.
However, telling mutual friends about your divorce is something you may not want to wait to do.