Life After Divorce: 25 Ways to Recover and Restart
In This Article
There are few things considered more devastating than a divorce in a marriage. Life after divorce can be painful and shocking and can make you feel like nothing will ever be the same again.
And quite honestly, it’s true. Things won’t be the same, but that doesn’t mean they must be terrible. Divorce can often be complex and depressing, but the end of the road can be filled with new opportunities and a new life that you can genuinely enjoy.
How does the meaning of life change after divorce?
Getting separated is not a comfortable experience and makes it hard to imagine a life after divorce. It may be difficult for now and different from what you have always pictured it to be but, you can mold it into something better.
Imagining and adjusting your routine without the person you’ve shared your life with in past years can be taxing and requires a lot of strength. You might have planned your goals by keeping your spouse in the picture but all that needs to be changed now.
Life after a divorce for a woman or a man has to be redefined for you now, shifting the focus on your personal achievements, no matter how big or small they are. It’s better to start from the beginning by accepting your feelings and giving yourself enough time to heal your life after divorce.
Your new life after divorce is entirely in your hands; you can work on yourself and turn it into something better. Being in denial and mourning an already broken relationship won’t help in the longer run.
Understand that everyone feels directionless thinking about how to live after divorce, and no one is asking you to immerse right through this. Take your time to heal after divorce.
25 ways to recover your life after a divorce
If you’re going through a divorce or have recently separated, take heart. Though life may seem directionless, these suggestions might help you get back on your feet and find a healthy way to start over.
1. Let yourself grieve
You can get through a divorce and feel happy again, but you’re not going to feel good straight away. The end of a marriage is one of the most challenging things you can face, and it’s natural to feel the whole gamut of emotions, from rage to heartbreak to denial. So let yourself feel them.
It’s okay to take some time out to recover from the pain of divorce. You will feel better – but don’t expect to feel fine by next week. Stop thinking tirelessly about how to recover from divorce. Just give yourself enough time and be patient with yourself.
Related Reading: 10 Things That Need to Happen When Grieving a Relationship
2. Get support
A good support network is an absolute must if you’re going through a painful divorce. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or close family members and talk to them about what you’re going through.
You might even consider getting a therapist to help you work through the more complex emotions and set you on the path to healing. Express your feelings and be open to asking for help.
3. Rediscover who you are
Often, people give up some of their goals or hobbies when they get married in the hope for a better life. While that can be an absolutely healthy part of a marriage, it’s also true that rediscovering the things you gave up can help you heal after a divorce.
How to get over a divorce? Find new things to pursue and reinvent yourself as a person. Take a route that leads to your happiness.
4. Let go of your ex
There is one thing you used to love (or perhaps still love) that you should never revisit, though, and that’s your ex. Of course, if you have children, you will need to work on a healthy co-parenting relationship.
However, outside of childcare, try not to get too involved in your ex’s new life. It will only hurt you and make moving on after divorce harder.
It’s also time to accept that things aren’t going to change. Whether you wish they’d change a particular behavior or you wish you could have one more try, it’s time to let go. It might hurt now, but in the long run, you’ll be much happier as a result.
To learn more about getting over someone you were once close to, watch this video:
5. Embrace change
There are no two ways about it – everything changes after a divorce. You’ll be living individually for the first time in a long time and possibly living in a new place, too. Your relationship status has changed. Even the way you parent or the hours you work could change.
The more you can embrace these changes, the easier it will be to build a good life for yourself after divorce. Instead of resisting change, try to embrace it. So, is life better after divorce? Well, it can be.
How to move on after divorce? Take the opportunity to try out things you’d always meant to try. Visit that place you’ve always wanted to go to or try out a new hobby. Change your friend and enjoy exploring your new life.
6. Take charge of finances
Divorce often heralds a change in your financial life. After all, you’ve probably been pooling your resources and living as a two-income household for a while now. Divorce can be an economic shock, especially if you weren’t very involved in money management.
Recovering from divorce also includes taking charge of your finances as soon as you can and it will help you feel in control and plan for your future. Take a seminar or online course, or invest in some books or money management tools.
Simply reading a few financial blogs will help. Do everything you can to keep yourself in the green and plan how to manage your money.
7. Enjoy being single
There’s always the temptation to throw yourself into a new relationship after a divorce. Adjusting to who you are without your partner takes time, though, and some time spent enjoying being single first will do you good.
Use this time to get to know yourself and figure out what you want from life. Instead of pouring your energy into a new relationship, pour it into yourself. Rebuild your life after divorce.
You’re your main priority right now, and dating will only complicate the healing process. Look after yourself first so that you’ll know what you want out of it when you do get back into the dating game.
8. Keep your loved ones around
After a divorce, you might want to stay alone and don’t meet people, but eventually, your friends and family will get you through this tragic time. You may not realize it, but you need them the most.
With their help and support, you can rebuild your life after divorce as they will make sure that they are there to pick you up whenever you fall back.
If you keep your loved ones around, they will also keep an eye on you for any addiction you might pick up while grieving. These people will keep anything negative on their radar to prevent you from it.
Related Reading: 21 Tips on How to Keep Your Man in Love With You
9. Do what makes you happy
It would be best to find out what matters in your life and what makes you happy. You have the freedom after divorce, you can do whatever you want, and you can take your life in any direction.
If you have a true sense of who you are, things will be easier to deal with and determine the true purpose of your life. Once you have figured that out, nothing can stop you from becoming a strong, happy person.
10. Write down your feelings
Most people living through a divorce don’t like to express their feelings to others. It would help if you wrote down your distressing feelings. Keeping track of your healing can help you get over the divorce.
Writing your feelings down is a great way to let all your stress and frustration off, and when you read it back, it helps you remember how strong you are to go through all this and work on your life.
11. Make a bucket list
How to restart life after divorce? Make a list of everything you wanted to do but couldn’t when you were married. You can add new things to the bucket list, or you can make a list of new things to do after your divorce.
You will find many exciting things that you have let go of because you settled down with your spouse and will feel rejuvenated.
12. Group therapy
Try group therapy. Join a group where you can share your feelings with others who are going through the same phase you. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone.
It will give you a purpose, and every time you share your feelings with them or listen to their thoughts, it will be relatable.
Sharing your story about how you are building up your life after divorce one step at a time can inspire other people and comfort them. Group counseling can have similar healing effects as that of marital counseling.
13. Cut ties with your ex-spouse
The best thing to get over a divorce and move on in life is to cut unnecessary communication with your ex-spouse. However, this option looks impossible when the kids are involved, but you can still maintain boundaries.
You can simply decide not to discuss anything other than your child and also ask your spouse to maintain the dignity of your relationship as parents.
14. Learn from past
Everything in life counts as an experience. Now that you are making a new life after divorce, you should avoid repeating the same mistakes that led you here.
Sit down and identify where you need to work on yourself, and you might reinvent yourself after divorce. People who tend to follow the same pattern in their life become predictable and obvious.
Maybe you have made mistakes while choosing a partner or getting into a relationship that wasn’t meant for you. You need to break all those bad habits and emerge as a new person who doesn’t make the wrong choices anymore.
15. Try to forget
You know that relationship is over, and it’s not going to change. There is no good reason to take a walk down memory lane every now and then.
Avoid doing the same things and visiting the same places you did when you were married. Take an interest in new things that you like and visit new places, and when the old sites or things don’t bring back the bad memories, you can turn back to them.
16. Think positive
Focus on what kinds of thoughts you have all the time after the divorce. Many people lose hope after divorce and don’t deal with their post-divorce emotions, so they keep focusing on the negative things.
If you want to start a new life after divorce, you need to positively align your thoughts and focus on them. Negative, pessimistic, and depressive thoughts don’t let people move on.
Finding peace after divorce is achievable if you sincerely practice thinking positively and surround yourself with positive people who encourage and uplift you.
It’s a new chapter of life, and you have a second chance at making your life better from the start. If it is possible, relocate. Take a new job in a different city or country, and learn a new culture.
This will fasten the process of making a new life after divorce, as there will be nothing around to remind you of your past relationship. Everything will feel fresh, and you can discover the new you.
18. Help someone else
If anyone you know is going through a similar or another marital crisis, help them out. Helping someone else is not only beneficial for them but will also make you feel better.
When you help someone and see them doing better, it also boosts your confidence and gives you a reason to smile.
The best thing you will do while moving on after divorce will be to move regularly and maintain a healthy body. Regular exercising will not only benefit you physically but also help you emotionally.
It’s not about the sweat, and you have to wake your body every day. You don’t have to do a rigorous workout. Just take a walk or jog; it will make you happy and active if you do it regularly.
The feeling of accomplishment that follows after the exercise is also a reward.
Related Reading: Why Is Exercising Necessary to Married Couples for Better Sleep?
20. Eat healthily
You may think this is absurd, but the truth is what you eat is what you feel and how you look. Food nourishment is directly related to your mood and emotions. You have to be conscious about what you are eating.
The healthier you eat, the healthier you look, and when you look good, you feel good. Most importantly, if you binge on processed food or junk food, you will put on weight and add another reason to be upset about.
Watch psychiatrist Drew Ramsey explaining how food affects your mental health here:
Many people face challenges in starting a new life after divorce, and most of it is because they feel guilty about what happened.
Even after accepting that the relationship has ended and making peace with their ex-spouse, they continue to consider themselves at fault.
Forgive yourself, and look forward to life. Forgive yourself for everything you think you did wrong and decide that you will not let the past repeat itself.
Make peace with yourself, and you will realize there is hope after divorce.
22. Be patient
Recovery is not an easy process, and it takes time to get back on track after divorce. If you think that it’s been a long and you still can’t get a hold of your feelings after divorce, take deep breaths and relax.
Take small steps toward a positive direction and allow yourself to feel okay. Be patient with your emotions, and let yourself heal.
Related Reading: 15 Ways to Have More Patience in a Relationship
When you are married and have too many responsibilities to handle, you can miss out on productive habits such as reading. It’s an incredibly great way to brain the mind.
Over the years, you lose the sense of what’s happening globally, new stories, emotions, thoughts, etc. Read about the things you like or a topic you were following but stopped because you got married.
Just read and get in touch with the literary world. It will give you many things to think about and distract you from thinking about your divorce.
24. Be grateful
Things could have been worse. You may still have been in that unhappy relationship but you are not. Sure, it hurts right now but once you assess all the good things that came out of that event, you will stop regretting it.
Be grateful for everything on a daily basis, it will make you and everything around you feel better.
Meditation results in the long run. It’s a long process that benefits after some months of consistent practice.
You can start with 5 minutes and then increase the time as you get a hold of it. Just make time to be alone and shut down everything, close your eyes and focus on breathing.
At first, your mind will wander, but you can focus it back by concentrating on your breathing. Meditation will keep your thoughts calm and help you get a clear perspective of life after divorce.
Related Reading: 10 Ways Meditation for Relationships Can Help Couples
5 reasons why people start dating soon after divorce
Once you’re out of your relationship, there can be a void left by the person you were with. Many people feel the sudden urge to fill that void immediately after divorce and they start looking for a fresh romance.
Some of the reasons why people start dating soon after divorce are
Sometimes, the pain of separation may drive a person to begin their next relationship in a jiffy without much consideration. They might think that a new partner will surely help them get over their ex and lead to a fresh start without wasting any time in between.
2. Correction of mistakes
A broken relationship might lead a person into thinking that they were somewhere incapable to keep their partner happy. In such a case, they might see a new relationship as an opportunity to not repeat whatever they thought they did wrong the last time.
3. Hope for a better future
A failed relationship doesn’t mean you can’t find your true love. Some people strongly believe in this idea and start looking for their soulmate as soon as they are out of their marriage. Meeting someone they happen like can be a ray of hope for such people.
Related Reading: Planning for the Future: The Marriage Financial Checklist
4. Existing connection
There may be chances that a person already had a fondness for someone out of their marriage and was waiting for the right time to start seeing them officially. Divorce is a time-taking process and it’s possible for a couple to start moving on right after they decide to separate.
5. Genuine feelings
It’s not always a farce if you start dating someone right after a divorce. Life is unpredictable and there are chances you don’t have to wait long till you find someone that you genuinely like. It’s okay if you don’t want to take a break and try your luck ahead.
Related Reading: 26 Signs He Has Strong Feelings For You
Some common questions
Life after divorce is not a cakewalk. There can be multiple insecurities and endless questions. It is okay to take them one at a time and process a good answer to them.
How Long does it take to start the first relationship after a divorce
Whatever time you want to take before considering your next relationship, just make sure it is enough to let you heal from your trauma. There should not be any unaccepted emotions and unanswered questions.
Process your reality and take logical decisions step by step. It’s fine if you want to approach your next relationship more practically and less emotionally at first. Remember to make it a decision you won’t regret in near future.
There’s life beyond divorce
Divorce can be a painful process, but it can also lead you to a better relationship with yourself and your life. Take care of yourself, be gentle as you go through the recovery process, and when you’re ready, step out and embrace your new life with full confidence.
Share this article on
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.