4 Important Things To Remember When Moving On After Divorce

By Sparklle Rainne (They/Them)|Updated June 21, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH

Court or mediation is over, papers are signed, and you have taken off your wedding ring. The divorce is final. But where do you go from there? After it’s all said and done, moving on after a divorce is not always an easy thing to do, even if you’re the one who initiated the divorce. That said, it can be a positive experience that you can grow from. If you are moving on after a divorce, there are a few important things that you should remember.

Getting Over Divorce

Getting over a divorce is often difficult, and it will usually take time. But it is a process that you can get through with help and the right coping strategies. It is a process of rediscovery, a process of growth, and a process of transition. You will mostly likely go through the stages of grief. Though it may not be easy,if you follow these tips for getting over a divorce, it could be a fulfilling process and an opportunity for growth.

Let Go

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Though letting go can be a process that varies in length, it’s often a vital step toward acceptance. Bargaining, one stage of grief, is where you might think, What could I have done differently?or,If things were different, could we still be together?You have a new life ahead of you now, and you can build it up to be something even better than what you envisioned. You don’t need to push yourself into that space of optimism preemptively; just know it’s there and start with the process of acceptance. Learning about radical acceptance (i.e.,I don’t like this, but I accept that this is true.) may be a helpful initial step.

Cut Off Communications

To get over your ex and let go of the past, it is often best to cut off communications with them, at leastto the extent that you can. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into lengthy, unproductive conversations or arguments about marriage and divorce. If you have children with your spouse, you will have to communicate with them for their sake. However, you can insist that all conversations revolve around the children and that nothing else will be discussed. If you’re still in the decision-making stage as far as the logistics of the divorce, a professionalmediator might be helpful in this. A divorce therapist could also be helpful in coming to an agreement about the terms of your communication.

Allow Yourself Time To Grieve

We talked about letting go, and acceptance is a major necessary step, but it’s also vital to move through the other stages of grief that come up for you and acknowledge your emotions.

Grieving is a process, and it is one that you must go through when moving on after divorce. Grief is something that you will feel after divorce because you have lost your life partner. It is similar to the grief that you go through when someone you love passes from this world. There are five steps to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each step of the grieving process will be different for everyone.

Distract Yourself

As you go through the grieving process and move on after a divorce, it can be valuable to do something to distract yourself. Start a new hobby or pick up a hobby that you used to enjoy but let go of in the course of your married life. Even if it is just diving into a good book series or binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix, it is important to find things that make the world, and life, feel a little brighter. What can you do in your life that’s enjoyable? Can you reach out to friends, old and new, to catch up? What else?

How Long Does It Take To Get Over Divorce?

The amount of time it takes to get over a divorce varies by individual and the circumstances surrounding the breakup and divorce. There are many factors that could affect this, like a person’s level of social support, divorce-related trauma or complications, and personality or past experiences. Some experience more negative impacts than others. The important thing to remember is that this process of moving on after divorce is unique to everyone, and you need to let yourself experience it in a way that is right for you.

How To Get Through A Divorce

Getting through a divorce is made much easier when you think about your future instead of dwelling on the past. Getting through a divorce should involve taking a present-centered outlook on life, with a forward-looking view, adapting to your changed circumstances, and reinventing yourself and your life as a single person. Here are some ways to reinvent yourself and your life to have an identity as an individual instead of as the couple you have been for years.

Learn From Experiences

It is okay to think about your marriage and divorce critically as you get through a divorce. In fact, it is very healthy and can help you in future relationships. By analyzing your marriage and divorce and what led to the end of the marriage, you will recognize patterns from both yourself and your spouse. It will help you prevent making the same mistakes in a future relationship. If there were things that your ex did that may have precipitated the divorce, looking back on your marriage can help you set boundaries and know what you want out of your next relationship. Challenge thoughts of limitation (e.g., I’m too old;No one will like it if I do that), and ask yourself, What do I want from life and the connections in it?

Accept Change

The more you fight against change, the harder it can be to get through a divorce. Accept the changes that are occurring in your life. Embrace the change and go with the flow. Allow things to happen in their own time. Let go of the past and look to the future, with a primary focus on the present and how you can embrace this time of change to help you grow for the better. Again, you don’t have to love or like change yet — it’s more about internalizing that it is there without judgment.

Reinvent Your Life

For your entire marriage, you and your spouse were like one entity. You were a partnership. You might have identified yourself as a spouse or a parent, with less of a focus on who you are as an individual. Now that your marriage is over, it is time to reinvent your life and arrange it to your liking. If you married young, you might feel as though you don’t know who you are outside of the spousal relationship. This is a time and process of self-discovery that is very significant.

Moving On From Divorce

You have an excellent opportunity to reinvent yourself whenmoving onafter divorce. It can be a helpful cognitive reframe to think of it this way: Rather than divorce being a loss of identity, it is a chance to explore who you are outside of your marriage. Here are some additional ways that you can work on reinventing yourself and your life.

Learn To Like Yourself

If you feel as though you are unable to move on after divorce on your own or feel that the process is taking longer than it should, it can help to get outside professional help in coping with your divorce and moving forward. A therapist can go a long way toward helping you achieve this.

You may have some guilt and resentment built up from your marriage or from going through the divorce. You might have come away from the divorce with low self-esteem and less self-confidence than you had before. If this is the case, learning to like yourself again is important. Of course, before you can like yourself, you have to know who you are. As you go through self-discovery, take the time each day to think about the qualities you like.

Rediscover Who You Used To Be

You had an individual identity before your marriage. Do you remember what that identity was like? What did you change about yourself during the course of your marriage? While you are older now than you were before your marriage, many aspects of who you were before marriage could be the foundations of who you really are. While you may not be the same person you were before your marriage, rediscovering that past identity is the first step in reinventing your new identity. What do you like? What do you want to change? Is there a way you weren’t true to yourself back then? What would it feel like to be truer to yourself now?

Be Single ForA Time

You might not want to jump into dating right after the divorce. It is okay to be single for a time. Embrace being alone and focus your energies on yourself and your immediate family. When you do start dating again, you can think of it as transitional dating. Consider dating outside your comfort zone and spend time with different people. This gives you the ability to date and have fun without the risk of jumping into another serious relationship.

Things To Remember When Moving On From Divorce

Besides knowing how to get through a divorce, it can help to remember the following things while moving on. Remembering these things and acting on them may help you get over your divorce and move on much more quickly and easily.

  1. Grief And Sadness Are Normal

Remember that grief and sadness are a normal part of getting over a divorce and moving on. It is difficult to truly move on if you have not processedall of your emotions and allowed them to run their course. Even if you wanted the divorce, you have ended something that you probably never intended to end. This is going to cause a fair amount of intense emotion on your part. Allow yourself to feel these things, embrace them, and then let them go when they no longer serve you.

  1. This Is A Learning Experience

Use your marriage and divorce as a learning experience. What mistakes did you make that you want to avoid in future relationships? What mistakes did your spouse make, or what qualities did your spouse have that you may want to look out for in future partners? Examining these things and taking note of them can help you move forward, improving your relationships in the future.

  1. You Are Not Alone

Divorce is actually very common. Though divorce rates have been declining, almost half of marriages still end in divorce. You are definitely not alone as you go through this process. If you feel alone, disconnected, or as if no one understands what you are going through, it can help find an emotional support group for divorcees. You can also talk to a therapist or counselor if you lack a support network.

  1. You Will Be Okay

It may not seem like it right after your divorce, but you will be okay. You can adjust to this transition and your new roles in life. You can move on and eventually have a healthy, normal relationship that could last longer than your previous marriage. Having faith that everything will work out is important to your well-being and emotional outlook.

Getting Help

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If you don’t have the time or resources for in-person therapy, there are additional options to get help. Online therapy platforms such as ReGain are great for allowing you convenient access to a therapist. ReGain counselors and therapists specialize in relationships and divorce. They can give you the tools and support to help you work through your divorce and move forward. Contact them today to get started.

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