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Divorce marks a significant life event for everyone involved. Even in cases in which both parties agree that the union should come to an end, the transition from married to single can still bring on a negative emotional response. Researchers have identified some of these emotions brought on by divorce as anger, anxiety, frustration and despair. The degree to which a Washington spouse may experience these or other emotions is completely unique, and is in no way abnormal.

Individuals cannot control their emotional reaction to the end of their marriage. They can, however, determine the manner in which they will respond to those emotions, and strive to make the best possible choices in their actions. For many who experience a negative reaction to divorce, self-soothing behaviors are one way to cope. Financial self-soothing is the act of spending money in an attempt to relieve emotional distress. It is rarely a positive approach, however, and can lead to serious financial harm.

For individuals who feel the urge to make large purchases on the heels of a divorce, the best possible advice is to work through one's post- divorce financial scenario and create a budget. Doing so will not only help inform one of their current financial standing, but will also provide guidance as to how much disposable income is available for unnecessary, self-soothing purchases. In this way, individuals can make decisions about spending that reflect the realities of their financial standing, and can clearly identify when an expense is not warranted.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with making a decision to spend on an item or activity that will help to soothe the emotional response of going through a divorce. However, such expenses must be in line with a Washington resident's overall financial outlook. After all, the purpose of a reasonable splurge or reward is to gain a positive benefit, not to lead to additional stress in the weeks and months to come.