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Life After Divorce

How Long Does It Take To Be Happy Again?

Being happy again isn’t a time thing. It’s a you thing.

One of the most frequently asked questions about divorce recovery is “How long does it take to be happy again?” It’s asked not only as a reflection of what seems like interminable pain, but also because there is so much conflicting information out there about how long it takes! For example, back in 2010, the Daily Mail reported that it takes EXACTLY 17 months and 26 days to get over divorce. Others report that it takes 2 years and still others say that it will take 1 year for every 4 years of marriage.

And you know what? All of these numbers are horribly wrong – at least when it comes to you.

Why? Because no one else has gone through EXACTLY what you’ve gone and are going through and no one else has your EXACT personality.

Yup, your personality has a lot to do with how long it takes you to feel happy again post-divorce.

Are you someone who carries a lot of negative emotion? Do you dwell on unanswerable questions about the past: “What if…” or “If only…”? Are your fears controlling your life? Do you doubt that you’ll ever be happy again?…

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Be Happy Again?

3 Post-Divorce Resolutions You Should Make (And Keep)

Woman who’s serious about making resolutions to ensure her life after divorce is fulfilling and happy.

Resolutions are definitely not just for the New Year.

Obviously, you’ve heard of New Year’s resolutions. They’re those little promises you make to yourself on January 1st each year that you rarely follow through on. You have great intentions, but they tend to evaporate toward the end of January or beginning of February when life goes back to “normal” again.

But that’s one of the really great things about divorce. Your life doesn’t go back to “normal.” In fact, it will NEVER be that “normal” you had while you were married ever again.

And that’s exactly why making post-divorce resolutions is so powerful. You already have to change how you live, so you might as well make your life after divorce as great as you can make it right?

What resolutions should you make?

Well there are the typical New Year’s resolutions:

  • Lose weight – You’ve probably already lost enough weight because of the “divorce diet,” so this resolution won’t work.
  • Stay fit and healthy – Staying fit and healthy is never a bad idea and might even be extra important if you lost too much weight on your “divorce diet.”
  • Enjoy life to the fullest– Absolutely! This is one of the best resolutions you can…

Read more: 3 Post-Divorce Resolutions You Should Make (And Keep)

What Makes Gray Divorce Especially Difficult

Unlike divorces that happen earlier in life, it’s not the kids.

Every divorce is full of challenges, frustrations and problems. But gray divorces (those that occur when people divorce in their 50s and beyond) has a unique set of issues.

Most couples who divorce later in life are empty nesters. Their kids are out of the house and living their own lives.

You could say this simplifies a gray divorce because you don’t have to worry about child custody or child support or visitation. (But just because the kids are out of the house that doesn’t mean they won’t have difficulty with their parents’ divorce.)

But this seeming simplification for gray divorce is offset by a major complication – retirement.

When you’re over 50 and divorcing you’re at most 15-20 years from retirement. And all those retirement plans you’ve been making for the decades you’ve already been working? They dissolved along with your marriage.

It’s this decreased time to recover financially from divorce that makes gray divorces so challenging.

So what do you do? You think carefully about every decision you make.

After years of marriage, a couple’s shared assets are much greater and probably more complicated than those of couples who have shorter marriages.…

Read more: What Makes Gray Divorce Especially Difficult

Some Promises Are Meant To Be Broken

When you divorce, you’ll make promises to yourself that don’t make sense to keep for the long haul.

Last May my husband (he’s my second) and I (I’m his third wife) celebrated our anniversary. But it was an event that almost didn’t happen because of a promise I made to myself after I divorced.

When I got divorced in 2002, I hurt. The pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure I’d survive it.

I kept having fleeting thoughts of suicide, but I was assured that those thoughts were pretty normal. I was still worried though. What if those thoughts started to stay around longer? What would I do then? How would I stop them? I was terrified by the unfamiliarity of these self-destructive thoughts that kept popping up. Was I losing my mind?

I also wasn’t taking very good care of myself. I mean we all have trouble sleeping when we’re going through divorce, and I was doing my best to try to get better sleep. But that wasn’t eating either. Food had mostly lost its appeal.

But I was also withholding food from myself for two other reasons. First, I didn’t want to get fat. In my mind I associated being fat with…

Read more: Some Promises Are Meant To Be Broken

11 Tips To Feel Confident Dating After Divorce

A couple having a great time dating after divorce.

Yes, feeling confident is possible as you embark on your adventures dating post-divorce.

Dating after divorce is both exhilarating and frightening!

One the one hand, the thought of having someone find you attractive and interesting again can make you positively giddy.

On the other hand, the thought of putting yourself out there and kissing a lot of toads along the way is enough to make anyone think more than once about dating after divorce.

What if you could position your foray back into the dating world as something you were doing with confidence? What if you could look at whomever you go out with from the standpoint of whether you liked them without worrying about what they think of you?

I know I would have been pretty excited to have started dating post-divorce from that point of view instead of as the unconfident person that I was. My initial focus on dating after divorce was all about pleasing the people who asked me out instead of just being me and evaluating whether I liked them. (And, yes, that did get me into some trouble.)

Choosing to begin dating after divorce is a big step.

It’s natural to feel at least a bit tentative about…

Read more: 11 Tips To Feel Confident Dating After Divorce