Many factors influence healing after a divorce and make it a unique experience for everyone.
When you got married the thought of divorce was a million miles away. And yet now here you are, a million miles away from that beautiful day when everything was possible, reading about healing after a divorce.
Getting over the end of your marriage will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Divorce forces you to reimagine your life and create a new one. It forces you to reimagine your family relationships. It may even force you to reimagine yourself.
In other words, healing after a divorce is a very personal experience.
And it’s precisely because it is so personal, that healing after a divorce is different for everybody. Sure there are some common steps to healing after divorce, but how you experience them and how you proceed through the steps will be unique to you.
Obviously, your personality plays a part in how you will get over your divorce and how long it will take you to recover from it. But there are other factors too that can impact your healing and the time it takes.
Some of the other factors that influence healing after a divorce include:
- How long you were together
This doesn’t mean that those who were married for a long time always take longer to heal than those who were married for shorter times. What it hints at is how interconnected your lives were. The more interconnected the longer it will take to disentangle your lives.
- How many birthdays you’ve had
Yes, your age does influence how you’ll react to your divorce. In general, it’s easier to be positive about creating a new life for yourself when you can imagine having a good amount of time to do so. However, that doesn’t mean that if you’re older you can’t be just as positive about creating a new life for yourself.
- How much of a surprise the divorce was
If your spouse dropped the divorce bombshell on you, chances are that it will take you longer to get over your divorce than it will your spouse. That’s because your spouse has been preparing for the end of your marriage and you haven’t.
On the other hand, if you’re the one who has thoughtfully decided to divorce, chances are you’ll get over it more quickly than your spouse.
- Whether you have children together
If you have kids then you probably already know some of the unique pain that continuing to parent together causes. When you’re regularly seeing the person who was once your beloved, it’s typically harder to move on from what was and what you used to hope could be.
On top of that, healing after a divorce is also more difficult when you’re grieving the fact that you no longer get to see your children daily.
- Whether you have a new relationship
A new relationship can be tricky. Sometimes they can help you heal. Sometimes they simply postpone the healing work you need to do.
- Whether your ex has a new relationship
If your ex has a new relationship, it can trigger jealousy, resentment, anger and a plummet in your self-esteem. These emotions can make healing after a divorce more difficult. However, they can also spur you on to heal more quickly because you’re not willing to let your ex be the only one who is moving on.
- How satisfied you were with your marriage relationship
If your marriage sucked, divorce can be a welcome relief. If your marriage was so good that you’re still in a daze over the fact that it’s over, then getting over the end of your marriage can be more difficult. And if your marriage was somewhere in between these two extremes, then the impact of losing your marriage on your healing will be somewhere in between too.
- How your lifestyle changes with your divorce
In general, the greater the difference between the lifestyle and socio-economic status you had in your marriage and the one you have after divorce, the more difficulty you’ll have with recovering from your divorce.
- Your level of commitment to your marriage
Typically, if you took your marriage vows seriously and had a high level of commitment to your marriage, then the more difficulty you’ll have healing.
- How much you continue to focus on your ex
If you’re focusing on your ex and their life or behaviors, you keep yourself chained to them. You’re letting them dictate how you feel. And when you abdicate control of yourself to someone else, you’ll prolong the time required for you to heal.
Healing after a divorce is a complicated and difficult journey for most. Your own journey will be uniquely yours because it’s about you. You get to decide what healing from divorce means to you. You get to decide when you’re healed. No one else can tell you when you’re done.
And because each person who finds themselves on the journey is unique, healing after a divorce is and always will be different for everyone.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. I help people just like you with healing after a divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.