Getting Over Divorce: 8 Important Steps Toward Healing
By: Robert Porter
Updated February 27, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
Getting over a divorce is something that is going to be different for each person. Some people will have a more difficult time coming to terms with the end of a marriage. Even so, there are important steps that you can take toward healing. Take a look at these eight steps that you can take that will make moving on after divorce easier. This divorce advice will prove useful and you'll be able to get through this tough time a bit easier.
1. Let Yourself Get Emotional
You're going to get emotional at some point due to what is happening. Even if you are sure that getting divorced is the right call, it's normal to feel sad about losing your marriage. You loved your partner very much at one point and you probably do still love them in some way. Regardless, feeling sad about your marriage being over is not the same as regretting getting divorced.
You need to allow yourself to feel the emotions that you're going through. Cry if you need to and let yourself get angry, too. It's healthy to let those emotions out and you might want to vent to someone close to you. This is a tough thing to deal with and everyone needs to have an outlet for letting their emotions out.
2. Accept What Has Happened
After you've gone through your emotional phase, it's going to be time to accept what has happened. Some people feel like they're in shock for a little while after they get divorced. You might not have ever thought that your marriage could end this way, but the reality of the situation is that it has. Your marriage is now over and you're moving on toward a new period in your life.
If you want to get over a divorce, then you need to first be able to accept it. Try to remember that you got divorced for a reason. You might not have been compatible with your husband or wife. Some people even simply drift apart due to wanting different things out of life. There are many instances where one partner cheats on the other and this winds up being the final nail in the coffin for a marriage.
Whatever it is that happened, you have to be able to accept it. Face what happened and understand that you will be okay no matter what. The end of your marriage does not mean the end of your happiness. This new chapter of your life can be a very happy and successful one. It can take time to get to a positive place in life again, but you will be able to get there. You don't even have to do it alone.
3. Rely on Your Support System
Being able to rely on your support system is also very important when you're trying to get through a divorce. How long it takes to get over a divorce is up to each individual, but it's going to be easier on you when you have people you can count on. Talk to trusted friends and family members when you feel you need support. They can give you strength when you're going through difficult times. You might even simply need someone to vent to about concerns from time to time.
You should never simply clam up or isolate yourself when you're dealing with divorce. This is not going to be healthy and it can just make it tougher to move on. Spend time with your friends and family. They love you and you need this type of support in your life.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is another crucial step toward healing. If you aren't looking after yourself, then you can't expect things to get better. The simple stuff really does matter and you should try to watch what you're eating. Even just eating a balanced diet and trying to get enough rest will help you to get through things better.
It can be tough to focus on self-care at first if you're feeling depressed about the divorce. Even so, it's important that you try. Once you have the time and energy, it will be worthwhile to try to start exercising. This can make you feel better by releasing positive endorphins in your brain. It's a natural way to combat depression and getting into better shape can also help to boost your overall self-confidence.
5. Talk to Your Doctor if Necessary
Speaking to your doctor might be necessary if you're going through certain struggles. For example, you might wind up feeling really depressed or anxious after getting divorced. Your doctor should know about this and he or she will be able to help you to address your issues. Getting through mental health struggles after a divorce might be tough but you can get help. Some people might need to seek treatment for depression so that they can start feeling better.
Don't feel like needing a bit of help makes you weak. Everyone has these problems and so many people deal with depression each year. You're not alone and you don't have to suffer. Things can get better, and your doctor may know how best to help you out.
6. Learn to Love Being Independent Again
Being alone again might feel kind of weird at first. If you're used to always having someone around when you're at home, then it could be strange to suddenly have all of this free time. Regardless, you need to understand that being able to have this freedom isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are many benefits to being newly independent that you will be able to enjoy.
People that were stuck in bad marriages might wind up feeling like shackles have been removed from their bodies. You might not have been able to do the things that you like due to trying to make your marriage work. Now you're going to be able to focus on things that you care about, and you can learn to love this independence. You can cook meals that you love without having to worry about whether the meals are appealing to your ex-spouse. Watching your favorite shows or movies also won't be a problem with no one else around.
Being independent doesn't necessarily mean that you're alone either. You may not have a spouse any longer, but you can spend time with other people that you love. It's a good chance to reconnect with friends and family that you might not have seen as often while you were married. Try to enjoy your independence and learn to love yourself. It'll certainly help you when moving on from divorce.
7. Enjoy Hobbies and Things You're Passionate About
Hobbies can actually be really helpful when you're just trying to get over a divorce. You might have a lot more free time than you're used to now that you aren't married. This can actually be a good chance to get back into things that you were passionate about in the past. You might have stopped playing guitar due to getting married, but there is no reason that you can't pick it back up.
Spending time doing fun and interesting things is great. If you don't yet have a hobby, then finding one could be very beneficial. You can find a hobby that will make your life a lot more entertaining and it can give you something to look forward to. Your life doesn't have to revolve around romance and other things of that nature. It's good to have other things to focus your attention on and there are so many interesting hobbies that you could become involved in.
Some people decide to learn martial arts and others get into playing sports. You might be more interested in collecting comics or playing games in your free time. Don't be afraid to do things that make you feel good. It'll be good for your mental health and it will certainly be helpful when you're moving on after divorce.
8. Consider Finding a New Partner (When You're Ready)
Eventually, you're going to feel like you are ready to start dating again. How long this will take is going to depend on the person. Some people won't want to date again for months after getting a divorce while others might be comfortable with moving on sooner. You could even want to avoid dating for a year or longer if you just want to spend time enjoying being independent.
Dating again isn't a necessary part of the healing process. You can be happy on your own if that is what you want to do. Even so, many people are going to be interested in finding new love. Having one failed marriage doesn't mean that love cannot work out the second time around. You have the potential to find someone really amazing that will help you to move forward in life with renewed confidence.
Just be sure that you're emotionally ready to start dating again. It's very bad to date someone new when you aren't yet over your ex-spouse. You might run the risk of hurting the person that you're dating, and no one wants to be a bad partner. If you're feeling good about yourself and feel like you're ready, then dating again might be great. Just know that this is one of the final steps of knowing that you're truly getting over divorce.
Reach Out to an Online Therapist if You Need To
Please remember that you can always reach out to an online therapist if you are in need of help. Some people are going to feel deeply depressed after getting divorced. Losing someone that you once loved deeply can have a profound impact on you and you might need help to work through many issues. Online therapists are there to help you whenever you need to reach out. This will ensure that you have the support that you need even during the most trying days.
Online therapists also offer couples counseling for those who are in need. If you're trying to save your marriage or if you're working on nurturing a new romantic relationship, this could prove useful to you. Online couples counseling helps couples to work on issues from the comfort of home. You can improve your communication while working on issues that are holding you back. These therapists are always there for you when you need help, so call on them if you're struggling with anything.
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