How do you emotionally recover from a divorce?
Focus on the Future
1. Take your time. There’s no timeline for grief or processing divorce. Whether you chose it or whether it was not your decision, take the time you need to grieve and process the change in your life, the release of how you thought your life and future would be. Don’t be hurried by others suggesting it’s time you “moved on.” Take your time.
2. Get to know yourself again. In relationships, we compromise, we shift and change in both small and not-so-small ways, to accommodate a partner. That can mean we have lost sight of parts of ourselves or given things we once enjoyed. Date yourself. Rediscover what you love to do. Discover new things you enjoy. Get to know YOU.
3. Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Not everyone will understand what you’re going through. Build a team of supporters and cheerleaders who can be there for you. Have people to celebrate your achievements and accomplishments and hold you in the sad times. Sometimes, divorce means the loss of other relationships and friendships. Let them go, if that is the case for you. Choose to spend time with and share your thoughts and feelings with a select group who have proven they’re there for you.
4. Allow ALL of your emotions. Allow your emotions to rise, be felt, be okay, and be allowed. Anger. Rage. Grief. Sadness. Relief. Gratitude. Envy. Whatever comes up for you, allow it. Feel it. And feel it right through to the end. Often in big life moments, we push away or minimize or disallow certain emotions. We stop ourselves from feeling them, and this can actually block our emotional recovery. Allow all of what you feel to be okay and to be fully felt.
5. Focus on the future. It’s okay to look back and consider the “what ifs” and “if onlys,” and to ask what you could have done differently. There comes a point in time when that kind of questioning and analyzing contributes to keeping you stuck, not empowering or enabling you to move forward. Define your future. How do you want life to be this time next year? In five years? Focus on that and start making small steps towards creating that future for yourself.
6. Get professional help. Whether a coach, a therapist, or a combination, seek the support of trained professionals who can guide you through the healing. Find someone who can point out your blind spots, help you process and reframe your experience, and recognize and heal behavioral or relational patterns that are keeping you stuck. A professional who has resources, skills, and tools to help you process, heal, and guide you to reclaim the future you most want for yourself.
Embrace the Changes and the New You
Know you are not alone. There are many separated couples out there. By connecting with others in the same boat, you will be able to find support, advice, community, and a sense of belonging that may be missing following your divorce.
Emotional recovery from divorce is a process (likened to stages in the grieving process) and it could take a long time. Allow yourself time to go through each stage so that you can process, learn and grow.
Understand that your experiences within the relationship, alongside those when you broke up, will have changed you, and in many ways for the better. It is likely you have more strength, self-reliance, and insight, all of which will make you a different person. Embrace the changes and the new you for the next phase of your life.
Reframe divorce. It’s not a failure but a change in the path. Envisage the new path ahead of you instead of looking back at what might have been. Use this time to reach goals that weren’t possible in your marriage. Is there somewhere you’d like to travel or something you wanted to do that wasn’t possible while with your ex? Do those things!
Mark Rosenfeld, Dating & Relationship Breakthrough Coach For Women. Know more about him at Make Him Yours.
No One-Size-Fits-All Answer
The only thing worse than the acute pain of divorce is the chronic, accumulative pain of a despairing, loveless marriage. As much as it hurts right now, the fact you escaped your broken relationship serves to protect your light, so that in the future it can once again shine brightly for you and your loved ones.
Easy choices make for a hard life. Many choose to stay in marriages that have lost their soul, prioritizing the appearance of togetherness over actual love. You made a hard choice, acknowledging the brokenness so you could both be free of it. And for this, you can be proud.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all magic answer to how to emotionally recover from a divorce. Everyone is different. Remember, you’re not alone. Lots of people go through this. Express your feelings to someone you trust. Take time to care for yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise. Take time to reflect and process.
Make Time for Self-care
It’s essential to allow yourself time to grieve and digest your emotions. Pushing these aside does not serve you. Being vulnerable and seeking help from friends and family (or a counselor or psychologist) is a sign of strength. This is especially true for blokes. Look through the fog by making time for self-care and activities that you enjoy. It’s ok to seek these moments of happiness even as it feels like the world is imploding.
Assess your existing financial condition and develop a budget. This may be boring, but it is essential. Work with a good solicitor to make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations when it comes to property and debt settlements. Wherever possible avoid an adversarial approach; you’ll lose twice (as the legal costs mount, and the experience becomes toxic).
Taking action to recover your financial confidence will boost your overall well-being. You may have a new financial reality and money problems to solve, however, you can begin to feel more confident from day one when you have the plan to follow and support for the journey.
It’s crucial to remember that healing takes time and that everyone’s journey is unique, but you’ll get through it with time, patience, and the correct support.
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