- Years old:
You may begin to feel as though you have somehow lost control of your life because you had virtually no say in such a life-changing decision. You believed that when you exchanged vows, you were in the marriage for the long haul, but unfortunately, your partner decided that they wanted out and you are now left to deal with the aftermath. You may have tried to contest the divorce or get your partner to change their minds and fight for the marriage, only to be rejected over and over again. Now that you have accepted that things are over and your divorce is finalized, you may be wondering how you can begin to put your life back together and heal from the unkind curveball that life has thrown your way. What you thought was going to be true for the rest of your life is not true.
That means six months of wallowing for a year-long relationship—time that might drag on endlessly, or time that might fly by faster than you can blink. But for longer relationships? Those marriages that have spanned years and possibly decades?
1. give yourself permission to mourn
The waiting period is a whole other discussion, a conversation we are going to have now. Because after divorce, you want your life back. But a part of you is still reliving the past, turning your marriage over and over like a skipping stone in your hand. A stone that, at some point, you have to drop.
What experience says
You have to let it go. For the truth of the matter is spending the next decade missing your Ex—and feeling sorry for yourself—is even more depressing than your actual divorce. So you aim to help yourself, you start researching. We know that sometimes arming yourself with knowledge is the best way you can feel in control, especially when it comes to all-things-divorce.
So, how long does it take? Some study participants, for instance, might have been separated before getting a divorce, while others had only just broken things off. Other participants may have wanted a divorce, while others still wanted to try to make their marriages work. You feel stabilized. And best of all, you no longer care. This not caring is freeing! It seems to happen a little sooner when you have distance from your Ex.
You have to cut off your exposure to the drug and to its many triggers. Drink a glass of water every time you want to call your Ex! Unfriend him, or better yet, block your Ex on social media. Delete his from your phone. If you are coparenting with him, only communicate through Family Wizard. This is about creating a buffer for the new and emerging you to grow.
But grieving the loss of who you were in the marriage? Who you used to be? The lifestyle you enjoyed? The summer rituals you shared? What about the friends and family who played a role in that former life of yours? Life after divorce is a whole new way of living, and it means almost by definition … change. A lot of change. You need time to grapple with the changes and the many losses you have suffered, ignored, or even, created.
So really, when we ask how long does it take to recover from divorce? Getting your groove back does not explain what you are striving for? Another way of saying this is, you will know when you are healed when all the shattered pieces come back together in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself. The very fundamental desire to heal is your beginning.
Your session is about to expire!
Now you must take steps. Try to avoid doing things that smack of those old familiar patterns and people you miss.
At first, fighting these instincts will be hard, because during your marriage you probably did everything you could to bring all these things together—the people, the routines, the joys, the rituals. You tried to make the most of your marriage. To those in the latter camp, we say, yes, you may be feeling better. Doing the work and practicing self care, will ensure you start seeing the s that indeed, you have started to truly move on. Start all over?
The idea of dating feels like a chore, a series of boxes to check off a list someone else has generated, rather than the adventure it can really be. Focus on yourself and what you need to discover about putting your life back together. Until you do this work, you will only be showing up half-heartedly or, damaged. But if you feel a twinge of excitement at the thought of meeting someone new, then some part of you might be ready to move on—at least in the romantic department.
Check in with yourself. Manage your expectations of self, what you want, what you need, and what you are willing to share. You feel a sense of peace and balance. You have planted your feet in the direction you want your life to take.
In short, you know who you are, and you like that person. For others it may mean understanding at long last their finances, and what their plan is for moving forward.
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Or maybe the kids are no longer acting out but settling into their new routines at both houses, and this is giving you a chance to ease up in hyper-management of the shifting parts. But that frenzy of survival mode has passed. You are able to look up and consider what else might be possible for you now. Before your divorce and maybe even sometimes, afterwards, it was hard to care much about your future let alone believe there was anything good waiting for you there. But now surprising events or happenings have inspired you.
What science says
You may be full of hope. You never could have predicted or planned for it. Being positive about your future implies that you have taken a hard look at your past and come to a place of acceptance about it, both the good and the bad.
It means you no longer carry the past like a weight. The end of any relationship generally comes with a certain dose of feeling sorry for yourself. Nights spent crying yourself to sleep and days spent walking around in a daze.
But now? You find yourself making plans for your summer and spending more time with new people and those unbelievably wonderful, stalwart friends. Experience is a gift that gives you the chance to learn from mistakes and failures. Whether those mistakes and failures are real or simply dancing in your head, time and doing the work you must will give you perspective.
2. reclaim control of your life
If you do nothing about your divorce recovery, you can expect very little to change about the way you are feeling. It will probably become more muddled and less pronounced. But did you grow from it? Since smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional and often times complicated experience of divorce.
Whether you are coping with divorce or already navigating your life afterward, choose to acknowledge your vulnerability and choose to not go it alone. At SAS we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.
Ever since my husband left me my love life has been a mess. And I always think about and wish we were together and that he would come back to my life — that our love could stay endless. I wanted to fight this war of love without weapons, but then i realized that he has fully made up his mind.
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He no longer calls or texts, though I stay up the whole night all alone. I was ready to walk through hell to save and restore this marriage. But not him. I understand.