Your divorce is finalized, and you are starting to reconstruct yourself. You may be wondering how long it is going to take before you start feeling like your old self again.
This is probably not something you want to read, but it is the truth. You’ve just been through one of the most traumatic experiences an adult can have, so it is best to be prepared. Getting over a divorce is a long and winding road.
So, how long does it take to get over a divorce? Well! You can expect to have ups and downs for at least two years following the end of your marriage.
It’s going to be unpredictable
Your emotions will not follow an upward path.
You will have days where you will start to feel more normal, and then something, like seeing an old picture of the two of you when you were in love, can pull you back down to level zero of depression. This is perfectly normal and expected.
Just like mourning, your grief for what once was will come in waves. As time goes on, you will have better days, but you cannot force your healing. “Time heals all wounds” as the saying goes, and while the wound of divorce may linger for years and years, it will become more tolerable as you move forward.
So, to answer your question, how long does it take to get over a divorce, give enough time to yourself and soon you will feel the pain becomes bearable. Be prepared, however, for lots of ups and downs!
There are things you can do to speed things along and limit the emotional mood swings. Do realize that it is entirely normal for you to be hurt. You were in love, you shared a life with a special someone, and now that is over. It would be worrisome if you didn’t feel sad about this.
The pain you are experiencing is proof that you are a human and caring person. It’s actually a good sign! But it is also natural to want to smooth a little off of the rough edges of your sadness.
Here are some tips from those who have been there before you that will help you get through the trying times easily –
1. Get a good support system going
Reach out to your friends. Let them know what is going on, and that you will be needing their shoulders to carry you for awhile. Good, true friends will be there for you. Take them up on their offer to share a coffee, a meal, go to the moves, or just hang out. Don’t feel shy about ringing them up and asking if you can come over and talk.
Isolation can increase your feelings of despair.
Try and maintain your friendships through this tough moment! And this is how you get over a divorce.
2. Seek professional help
Rare is the person who goes through a divorce without one or several therapy sessions.
These are especially helpful if you get the sense (whether true or not) that your friends are getting tired of listening to your breakup story. Consulting with a mental health professional with expertise in helping clients get through a divorce is some of the best money you will ever spend.
They know how to guide you through your anger and sadness and they can be instrumental in your process of reconstruction.
3. Be kind to yourself by staying on top of your health
There are two ways things can go after a divorce – either you can throw yourself into a bowl of ice cream, or you can be kind to your body and mind by eating healthfully.
Guess which method is best for your recovery? While trying to buffer your pain by indulging in sugary snacks and fatty foods may take your mind off of things temporarily, it only creates another problem in the long term.
At the end of your healing process, do you want to have to attack those additional 20 pounds you’ve put on? No! You want to walk into your best life feeling healthy and fierce. So make it a point to shop for nourishing foods, foods that will enhance your feelings of taking care of yourself, and help you end each day knowing you’ve done right by your body.
4. Decide what your “fresh start” is going to look like
Some people like to change everything post-divorce.
When questioned on how long does it take to get over a divorce, the answer is pretty quickly. For them, the change helps them get over the divorce more easily and quickly. They move houses, neighborhoods, even countries so that their environment is completely different and the memory of their old life is not surrounding them.
This is really an individual decision.
If you are staying in the home where you lived with your spouse, you may benefit from changing the décor. One woman had always dreamed of having her own sewing room, so she took over her ex-husband’s office, painted it a soothing rose color, and set up her sewing machine there.
Whatever you do, make sure you make space for a haven. It could be your bedroom. Anywhere where you can just be calm and reflective, and where you feel like this is your safe space, thereby helping you get over a divorce easily.
How will you know that you are over your divorce?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a flashing sign that indicates “Game Over” when you are done with your grieving process. But there are more subtle indicators that you are coming out of the woods. Among these are –
- You good days outnumber your bad days, and you have longer stretches of good days.
- You start feeling a renewed interest in life.
- You feel less and less the need to tell your divorce story to anyone who will listen to it. In fact, you start becoming bored with the story, yourself.
- You are actually happy to be on your own. There’s no fighting, no need to ask your spouse’s input on how to spend your money, no suspicions that he is cheating on you, and no more disappointment in his actions. You’ve learned a lot of skills that have you feeling strong and capable.
- You start actually considering dating again. Baby steps, of course. But now that you are over the divorce, it’s time to think about what kind of partner you want and deserve for this new life.
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.