How To Get Through A Divorce Stronger And Healthier
Updated February 27, 2020
Reviewer Karen Devlin, LPC
Getting through a divorce can be extremely difficult for some people. When the separation first happens, you may feel as though nothing can get better, and you are falling apart. Yet with careful consideration, hard work, and healthy coping skills, you may come out of your divorce stronger and healthier than you were before the separation. There are several things that you can do to help you get through divorce stronger and healthier than before.
Getting Over Divorce
When you are trying to get over a divorce, one of the biggest things you have to let go of is regret. If you can let go of regret, you will be able to exit your divorce with a stronger emotional constitution, and you will move on to your new life much more easily. You may have regret for things you did that you think contributed to the breakup, or you might have regret for things you did or your reactions to the divorce and separation. In either case, there are four things you can do to let go of this regret so that you are healthier mentally and emotionally.
Make A List
Start by making a list of things that you regret, both in your marriage and throughout the divorce process. You don't have to show anyone this list. It is just for you. Think carefully about all of the things you regret and make sure that you don't leave anything out. You may realize as you are making your list that some of the things you regret really aren't your burden to bear.
Look For The Good
If you focus only on your regrets and negative emotions from the divorce, you will not be very mentally or emotionally healthy. You need to allow yourself to look for the good in your situation. Look for the good memories to prove to yourself that it wasn't always all bad. Look for the silver lining of the divorce and how it can positively impact your life now and in the future.
Focus On Your Strengths
Feelings of regret often lead to feelings of low self-worth and low confidence. This is because when you regret your actions or reactions, you are placing at least some blame on yourself for the divorce and its consequences. Instead of allowing yourself to enter this downward spiral, focus on your strengths and what you have to bring to the table in your next relationship.
Learn From The Experience
You may have regrets for good reason. Maybe there are some things you did in your marriage that you aren't proud of. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn from the experience. Recognize your mistakes, embrace them, mull them over, and realize what you could have done differently. Retain that information and your new feelings about that situation, and apply it to future relationships.
Getting Through Divorce
The process of getting through a divorce can be weakening to your self-esteem, your self-worth, and your overall strength as a person. When you are tired of the nasty texts between you and your ex, when you are tired of fighting for what you want in the divorce, when you feel as though you are at the end of your rope, that is when you lose your strength and take the first settlement that ends the process. Yet taking a less than equitable divorce settlement just for it to be over can also take away your strength.
You must make sure that you are remaining emotionally and mentally strong throughout your divorce proceedings. Make sure that you fight and get what you deserve in the divorce. Settling for less than you want or deserve will take the wind out of your wings, and you may crash into a depression that makes it more difficult to get over the divorce and move on. Here are some things that you can do to maintain your strength during and after your divorce.
You must try to make your split with your spouse as smooth as possible. The more smoothly the divorce proceedings go, the easier it will be to move on after divorce and come out the other side stronger and healthier. Having a divorce go smoothly requires communication, cooperation, mediation, and taking care of yourself. Psychologists can also help.
Expect A Long Process
While it would be great for your divorce to be over quickly, recognize that it might take longer than you would like. Some divorce cases last for more than a year before they are settled either in or out of court. The mediation sessions will be grueling and very difficult emotionally, and it is a good idea to make these as bearable as possible by wearing comfortable clothing and staying hydrated.
Maintain Your Health
It is easy to let your healthy habits slide as the stress of the separation and divorce continue. You want to make sure that you are eating right, maintaining an exercise routine, and getting plenty of sleep. It will be more difficult to be emotionally and mentally strong if you are feeling tired, worn down, or malnourished.
Don't Think Emotionally
When you are going through the divorce proceedings or mediation, you want to make sure that you are thinking financially rather than emotionally. You may be emotionally unstable and overwrought, but you can't let that affect how you feel about a potential settlement. Talk to a financial planner or advisor about how different settlement situations would look in the long term.
Often a divorce can seem to take over your entire life. You cannot let this happen if you want to come out the other side in a strong and healthy state. You will need to make sure that you incorporate plenty of time with friends and family that doesn't involve a discussion about your breakup or divorce.
Focus On The Future
One of the best things you can do to remain strong during your divorce is to focus on the future. Do not focus on past transgressions or current emotions. Focus on the future and what it will mean ultimately for you to be divorced. This will help you get through the hard days. It will also help you get a divorce settlement that you deserve.
If you don't have a lot of friends and family to turn to, of it you don't want to involve them in your divorce, it can be very helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor. Getting emotional support and having someone to talk to about your feelings and frustrations through the divorce process can help you process your feelings and thoughts so that when the divorce is over, you are ready to move on with your life.
How Long Does It Take To Get Over Divorce
How long it will take for you to get over your divorce and come out the other side stronger and healthier will depend on many factors such as how long you were married, whether or not you have children, whether or not the divorce was a surprise, whether or not your partner was unfaithful, who initiated the divorce, and others. However, the average time to get over a divorce according to most psychologists is one year for every five to seven years of marriage.
Moving On After Divorce
Moving on after divorce is difficult, but it can be done, and you can come out of it healthier and stronger than before. One of the ways that you can come out of this stronger is by figuring out who you are as a person. Embrace yourself as an individual rather than just as a homemaker, wife, and mother. You are more than what you are to other people, and you should not define yourself by your roles. When you are focused on who you are as a person, it will help you move forward with your life with a much stronger personality.
Treasure Your Gifts
Throughout a marriage, you tend to lose your identity as a person and begin to identify as a couple. This can often make you begin to overlook the gifts that you have naturally, such as all of your great qualities and how they impact your life and the lives of others. When you have a full appreciation of what you have to offer the world, you will find it much easier to move on.
Do something for yourself every day, even if it is just for 10 minutes. Read a book, take a longer shower, take a bubble bath, get a massage, have a soothing cup of tea, or do something that you truly enjoy for 30 minutes. Whatever helps you relax, make sure that you do something for yourself every day so that you do not become emotionally and mentally worn down from dealing with the divorce.
Let It Go
Moving on depends on letting go. You have to let go of your resentment, your judgment, your bitterness, and other negative feelings and embrace the good things that are coming out of the divorce. If you focus on the negative, you will not be able to move on easily, and it could make you a weaker person before it is said and done.
Find What Makes You Happy
What truly makes you happy? Beyond what you do for your friends, family, and children, what makes you happy to do or be? Find those things that make you happy just for you and embrace them fully. Do things that will make you happy every day. Focus on your happiness, not just the happiness of others. Now is the time for you to begin living your life as much for yourself as for your family.
Moving On From Divorce
In the end, divorce can make you a much stronger person than you were in your marriage. There are a lot of ways that divorce impacts your life, and how you handle those changes will determine how strong and healthy you are when it is all said and done. Here are four ways that divorce can make you a stronger person.
As you go through your divorce, you will find that you have to relearn how to make decisions on your own as an individual rather than as a couple. At first, you may not feel comfortable with this, and you may have difficulty making decisions or trusting your instincts. However, once you embrace the idea that you know what is best for you, you will be able to have a big boost to your self-confidence. This can help you in many areas of your life, including future relationships.
Going through a divorce gives you a profound sense of loss, and it is something that has to be grieved fully to move on and be stronger for the experience. You will need to make sure that you practice thankfulness very consciously and mindfully. Look hard for the things you have to be thankful for in life, even if it is something small. Find at least one thing to be thankful for every day, and it will make you a stronger and more optimistic person.
Embrace Your Individuality
When you get married, you often lose your identity as you become a couple instead of an individual. If you married young, you probably really never got the opportunity to figure out who you were as a person before you became a couple. Now is the time to find yourself and embrace your individuality. Do so unapologetically, without excuses or explanations, and without feelings of guilt. You deserve to be you that makes you happy and strong, and no one can take that away from you unless you let them.
If you look at divorce from the right angle, it can help you learn empathy. When you can feel empathetic for your ex-spouse and what they are going through, you will find that you are also more easily able to show empathy to friends and family going through similar or other situations. Having a high sense of empathy can serve you well throughout your life.
What You Can Do
If you are struggling with your divorce and you feel that you are not able to gain strength and happiness on your own, it can help to talk to a therapist or counselor to get you through this trying time. If you do not feel that you have the time or resources to see a therapist or counselor in person, you do have some other options. Online counseling services, such as ReGain make therapy and counseling much more convenient and easy to maintain. Regain therapists and counselors specialize in relationships and divorce, and they can help you through this process so that you come out stronger and healthier. Get started today.