Marriage is often the favorite conclusion for a great love story and is a time for celebration with great hopes for the future. There is anticipation for a lifetime of togetherness and building happy memories.
Separation is obviously farthest from a married couple’s minds, so when it happens, parting brings with it a deluge of shock, despair, and sadness. Some splits can also be particularly devastating. Still, healing from divorce and separation is possible – in time.
Separations happen, for whatever reason, and that’s just a fact of life. Still, far more people get married over the course of each year than those that get divorced.
Divorce statistics indicate that in 2021, a total of 1,985,072 marriages occurred while 689,308 marriages ended in divorce. Data also shows that the average length of a marriage prior to divorce is eight years.
This shows the strength of the institution of marriage, and divorce is a matter that couples do not take lightly.
The decision to renege on a commitment as serious as marriage is a difficult one for all parties, particularly if there are children involved. Healing from divorce requires positive coping skills, and time.
The legal process and emotional and mental recovery from a separation may take a few years, particularly as couples go through this major transition in their lives.
Whether conflicts in the marriage are evident or not, couples often feel like they have been hit by a truck when they acknowledge the possibility and start the process of separation and divorce.
There is a whole host of reasons why couples divorce. Unfortunately, the Gottman Institute states that marital counseling often fails to save marriages since most people get to marital counseling six years too late.
Whatever the circumstances, the wounds and scars of divorce always run deep. Most people will go through an emotional roller coaster of shock, hurt, anger, guilt, and fear.
The pain may be unmanageable and overwhelming at times, and thus healing from divorce is a path forward to enduring this life crisis.
Experts contend that healing from divorce or separation goes through the acute, acceptance, adjustment, and healing phases.
Much like a critical wound, the acute phase covers the immediate threat of divorce, and is all about stopping the hemorrhage of painful emotions. Once the “bleeding” has stopped, then you can begin to adjust to the reality of divorce.
The acceptance phase covers the waves of emotions one goes through in a divorce, which is a normal reaction to a challenging event. The adjustment phase may start when going through the legal process of the divorce.
This gives more clarity to one’s legal and financial situation. When all the legal proceedings are concluded, then one can move on to the final stage of healing from the divorce.
This is obviously a long and painful process, but here are 8 tips to help you get over a divorce:
Talk to someone. Find a trusted family member, friend, or trained professional to discuss the divorce and help you in your journey. They can give you sound advice and help you with the emotional burden of separation, especially when you find yourself in the throes of depression and anxiety.
Remember you are worthy of love. When a spouse files for a divorce, you might start to feel worthless or unlovable. Though this relationship did not work, you might find a more meaningful relationship in the future. Don’t blame yourself for the divorce and focus on self-care and recovery.
Cultivate positive friendships. Challenges such as a divorce will show you who your true friends are. Mutual friends of the marriage may choose to side with your ex-spouse. Evaluate your current friendships and strive to make new positive ones as friendships will help in this transition.
Find your true self. Focusing on one’s self-identity is significant to healing from a divorce or separation. What was your life like before the relationship? Focus on your interests, hopes, dreams, and purpose. Try new things and find what makes you happy. Use this newfound freedom to explore what has meaning for you.
Explore all your options. Without knowing it, your life might have been in a rut prior to the divorce. Use this experience to jumpstart a new phase in your life. Look at all your options so that you can decide on the kind of life that you want for yourself.
Learn to be the best co-parent you can be. If children are involved, figure out how to parent your children in these new circumstances. This will be a lifetime situation, so it is essential to consider how to be the best parents in the aftermath of a divorce.
Celebrate your freedom. Enjoy the advantages of being single! Use this time to reflect, reorganize priorities, and discover and enjoy new experiences.
Take your time. Only you can tell how much time you need to get over a divorce. Relive the good and bad memories, have a good cry, and learn to let go. Try to give a time limit to the grieving process.
Feeling sad is normal but a time limit will help you move on with your life. Also, take your time before moving on to new relationships. Divorce may leave an empty void that some might feel compelled to fill in with a partner.
Work through issues associated with the divorce before getting involved with someone else. And most importantly, remember that time heals most wounds.
Time will lessen the sting, regrets, and bitterness that came with the divorce. Emotional recovery is different for everyone, but healing from a divorce or separation will come in due time.
Certainly, divorce is life-changing and will leave a scar. These wounds will be forever painful reminders of the past, but you will grow stronger and learn to live with them.
Whatever lessons you gleaned from this experience, start over, embrace positivity, and take this knowledge into the new phase in your life.
(Disclaimer: This article is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or opinion. It is strongly recommended to consult with qualified professionals for any mental health concerns or issues.)