The Divorce Advice You Need For Healing After Divorce

Man absorbed in working on his plan for healing after divorce.

These eight tips are the perfect guides for healing after divorce.

Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people divorce each year. Some of these divorcees are able to heal and move forward with their lives. And some of these people become bitter and remain miserable for years and years if not the rest of their lives.

If you’re in the process of getting over your divorce, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between these two groups of people because you want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re not part of the latter group.

The difference between these two groups comes down to whether or not they’re able to follow these 8 key pieces of advice for healing after divorce:

  1. Be Gentle With Yourself. Getting divorced is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can have. It’s exhausting emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. So resist the temptation to put too much pressure on yourself to get things done despite the seemingly never-ending list of things you’ve got to get done. The truth is that if you don’t have the energy or mental capacity to accomplish your tasks, you’ll only be making a bigger mess of things. So take the time you need to recharge and take care of you.
  2. Practice Shifting Your Focus To What’s Good. Sifting through the chaos of divorce is a less than pleasant experience. But that doesn’t mean that everything about your life is bad. By regularly focusing on what’s good and pulling yourself out of focusing on all the negative, you’ll find that you’ll have more energy to go back and deal with the chaos.
  3. Develop The Right “Healing After Divorce” Plan For You. What it takes for you to get through your divorce will differ from what it takes or took for anyone else. That’s because you’re unique and your marriage was unique. So spend some time figuring out what you need to do and what support you need right now to get through your grief and rebuild your life. Then go out and get the support you both need and deserve.
  4. Set Goals. As part of your “healing after divorce” plan, you started figuring out what you need to do. These are your goals so be specific about what you’re shooting for to at least begin creating the life you want and deserve.
  5. Set Aside Time Every Day To Work Your Plan. The funny thing about life is that it’s so easy to get caught up in reacting to whatever shows up. The problem with that is you’ll never move forward to create the life you want if you don’t dedicate time every day to work on and refine your plan.
  6. Work On Your Plan To Achieve Your Goals. This is probably pretty obvious, but now that you’ve got the time set aside, you need to use it for what you said you wanted to use it for.
  7. Keep A Journal. Keeping a journal while you’re healing after divorce and achieving your goals serves three purposes. First, it allows you to remember important information and each day’s events. Second, journaling is an amazing way to process emotions (a.k.a. make yourself feel better). And, finally, it is a great way to develop ideas and refine your plan.
  8. Reflect. The thing about healing after divorce is that it’s not a straight path. There will be twists and turns you can’t anticipate. So allow yourself time every day to think about what’s happening and what you’re doing. Use your insights to refine your plan and celebrate every single win (no matter how small) that you have along the way.

You might consider this advice high-level and in a lot of ways it is. But it’s also incredibly detailed in that it gives you the exact formula you need to follow to get over your divorce and get on with your life.

Challenge yourself to really dig into each of these 8 pieces of advice and you’ll discover just how powerful they are for helping you heal after divorce. And you’ll significantly increase the chances of you healing and moving forward instead of becoming bitter.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are looking for advice and support in healing after divorce. You can join my newsletter list. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more divorce advice? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Healing After Divorce.


How Your MBTI Type Impacts Healing After Divorce

Man looking up thinking about his healing after divorce.

Use your MBTI type to get over your divorce more quickly.

No matter how you look at it, divorce sucks. All divorcing couples battle with the drama and trauma of ending their marriage – even if they do it very differently as individuals. Despite the same basic struggle, we each suffer through healing after divorce differently because as individuals our experience and understanding of the world is different.

Social scientists, philosophers, therapists, astrologers and researchers have striven over the centuries to categorize people in an effort to provide tools for understanding both others and ourselves. Each of the tools developed has its pros and cons along with its adherents and detractors. In other words, none of the tools has been globally accepted as 100% accurate.

Despite the imperfections, one of the tools that’s been in common use for more than 50 years is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a self-assessment tool that categorizes people into one of 16 different personality types. Each of the personality types has specific strengths and weaknesses.

What does the MBTI have to do with healing after divorce? Well, LOTS! Maybe.

By knowing the specific strengths and weaknesses of your personality type you can prepare for and mitigate what will be the most difficult parts of divorce recovery for you. Yes, the MBTI has the potential to help you predict what will be most difficult for you in healing after divorce, but remember it’s not 100% accurate.

If you already know your MBTI personality type, all you need to do is find your type in the list below-. You’ll see your strengths, general weaknesses and the most likely ways you’ll experience difficulty in healing after divorce.

If you don’t already know your MBTI personality type, you can take either a full MBTI assessment or a free MBTI assessment online.

ENFJ: The Teacher

Strengths – communication, loyal and affectionate, honors commitments

Weaknesses – harbors hurt feelings, tendency to manipulate and/or smother because they know what’s best for others

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Must move past the hurt feelings of divorce or run the risk of becoming bitter.
  • Avoid urge to manipulate ex (and kids) to get what you want.
  • Avoid urge to smother children now that you’re a single parent.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Find a support group, divorced friend, counselor, therapist or divorce coach to help you process the emotional turmoil of divorce.
  • Develop the skills you need to become more independent to help you avoid the urge to manipulate your ex.
  • Know when to ask for help and then accept it graciously when it’s given.

ENFP: The Champion

Strengths – fun, optimistic, can read others well, great communicator

Weaknesses – has trouble with conflict, can be manipulative, easily bored

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will avoid conflict and instead try to manipulate their ex (and kids) to get what they want.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Use your skills of communication and explore being direct (with compassion) with your ex and kids instead of beating around the bush or manipulating them.
  • Work with an attorney who will be efficient and finish the legalities of your divorce as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life.

ENTJ: The Field Marshall

Strengths – excellent with money, takes criticism well and sees it as an opportunity for growth, can set and achieve goals

Weaknesses – can be controlling and intimidating, appears angry, tendency to be impulsive to stay ahead of their competitors

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will attempt to control the divorce process and co-parenting relationship after divorce.
  • Will have difficulty focusing on the long-term impact of their decisions because of the need to win.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Pay attention to both the long-term and short-term impacts of your decisions and actions because no one ever truly wins a divorce.
  • Divorce is an opportunity for long-term growth. Use the knowledge gained from your failed marriage to improve your life. Set yourself the goal of pausing before making decisions and taking actions that impact others during your divorce recovery.

ENTP: The Inventor

Strengths – communication, quick, alert, resourceful in problem-solving, generally laid back

Weaknesses – poor follow-up skills, easily bored, argumentative, indecision

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Tendency to argue with ex instead of resolving the issues that come up.
  • Will have a difficult time finishing the tasks required to get divorced.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Hire an attorney who is as quick and communicative as you are or can at least keep up with you.
  • Use your resourceful nature to overcome your tendency to procrastinate and get what needs to be done so you can complete the divorce and move on with your life.

ESFJ: The Provider

Strengths – focuses on other’s needs, excellent at money management, honors commitments

Weaknesses – dislikes change, takes the blame for others, has trouble with conflict

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • May take a disproportionate amount of blame for the end of the marriage.
  • Will avoid conflict and may choose to follow the rules rather than stand up for themselves – even if the rules are being made by their ex.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Instead of automatically taking the blame for the divorce, know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to allow it to fail.
  • Get clear about what’s important to you without input from your ex and then work with your attorney to make sure your divorce agreement allows you to take care of you and your kids.
  • Make your needs a priority so you can have the strength and resources to continue focusing on providing for your loved ones.

ESFP: The Performer

Strengths – working with others, using common sense, adaptable

Weaknesses – long-term commitments, takes criticism personally, needs approval

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will take the divorce personally and tend to think of themselves as a failure instead of realizing it’s the marriage that broke down.
  • Will back down from standing up for themselves during the divorce negotiations.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Accept that you are not a failure because the marriage failed. It takes two to make a marriage work and two for it to fail. Work with a helping professional to support you in moving on from your divorce especially if you have a difficult time shaking the belief that you’re a failure because your marriage failed.
  • Work closely with your attorney during the negotiations so they can support you in standing firm in the face of any demands your ex makes that would be detrimental to you and/or your kids.

ESTJ: The Supervisor

Strengths – born leader, loyal and committed, social and enthusiastic

Weaknesses – expressing feelings, tendency to be blunt and insensitive, likes to be right

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will be especially frustrated with your ex for not seeing things your way and be blunt about your frustration.
  • Believe that your view of the divorce and what needs to be done is the only correct way to view it.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Your ex is not your spouse any longer so stop judging them for having an opinion that’s different from your own. You may be 100% right, but that doesn’t mean your ex has to agree with you.
  • Learning to compromise with your ex will be an extremely valuable skill if you’re co-parents.

ESTP: The Promoter

Strengths – flexible and tolerant, focuses on the present and therefore makes quick decisions, learns best by doing

Weaknesses – impulsive, easily bored, unknowingly insensitive

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • >Will tend to not want to think about the details of the divorce agreement and therefore agree quickly to a settlement instead of choosing what’s in their (and their children’s) best interest.
  • May inflame the situation because of insensitivity.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Temper your ability to make decisions quickly with examining what’s the long-term impact of your decisions when it comes to forging your divorce agreement.
  • Look for an attorney who is efficient and who explains to you the long-term impact of your decisions. This is one agreement you want to reach with a full understanding of the long-term consequences.

INFJ: The Counselor

Strengths – good listener, good communicator, insightful because seeks meaning in all things and wants to understand what motivates people

Weaknesses – analysis paralysis by attempting to seek out the most perfect situation and refusing to take a chance on anything less, trouble with conflict, can be manipulative, easily bored

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will be uncomfortable with the conflict of divorce.
  • Will search for the perfect solution and have difficulty compromising to reach a divorce agreement.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Agree to ideal little wins instead of looking for the perfect solution for your entire divorce settlement.
  • Avoid manipulating your ex and kids as a way to avoid conflict. Instead be direct and compassionate in requesting what you want, be willing to compromise.
  • Be careful about second-guessing yourself after an agreement has been reached because it will only cause you torment.

INFP: The Healer

Strengths – seeks to understand people and help fulfill their potential. Curious and quick to see possibilities. Loyal, loving and caring, reading other’s feelings

Weaknesses – idealization of others (urge to distort reality with fantasy), reacts emotionally, extreme dislike of criticism, blames themselves

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will blame themselves for the divorce.
  • Will find the emotional upheavals of divorce especially difficult.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make one fail.
  • Find a divorce support group, a friend who’s been through divorce, a counselor or a divorce coach to help you navigate the normal emotional turmoil of divorce.

INTJ: The Mastermind

Strengths – Strong drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. highly intelligent, honors commitments, independent

Weaknesses – sociality, unwilling to take blame, arrogant, insensitive

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will blame their ex for the divorce and not accept any responsibility for their own part in the demise of the marriage.
  • Will blaze their own trail through the divorce and on with the rest of their life without much concern for others along the way.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • It takes 2 to make a marriage work and 2 to make one fail. You’re both culpable for the failure of the marriage.
  • Your divorce impacts your entire family and not just you. So take this fact into consideration as you progress through your healing.

INTP: The Architect

Strengths – Seeks to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Quiet, contained and analytical. Laid back, not demanding, imaginative and creative

Weaknesses – inaction, explosive, distrusting of others, critical of others

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will blame their ex for the divorce.
  • Will tend to explosive anger when things get tough during the divorce process.
  • Runs the risk of getting stuck instead of completely healing from their divorce.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make one fail.
  • Channel your anger about your divorce into positive action.
  • Find a book, a divorce support group or a helping professional to assist you in moving through your divorce so you can move on with your life.

ISFJ: The Protector

Strengths – Quiet, friendly and responsible. Notices and remembers specifics about people they care about. Good listener, eager to serve, great organization

Weaknesses – self-sacrifice (adopts external problems as their own), neglects own needs, dislikes change, takes criticism personally

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Very difficult to make the decision to divorce if able to make it at all.
  • Will feel the guilt terribly especially if ex blames them at all.
  • Will have difficulty adjusting to all of the change divorce brings and may neglect their own needs as a result.
  • May attempt to help their ex solve all their problems post-divorce.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make it fail.
  • Be careful about helping your ex post-divorce and make sure that you’re not hurting yourself by doing so.
  • Take time daily to take care of you because if you don’t take care of you, you will burn out and won’t have the capacity to continue caring for others.

ISFP: The Composer

Strengths – quiet, friendly, sensitive and kind, enjoys the present moment, loyal and committed, laid back and adaptable, good listener

Weaknesses – sensitivity (aversion to criticism or conflict), shies away from conflict, hard to get to know, withdrawn

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will withdraw even further when marriage ends.
  • Will avoid conflict and criticism which will make the divorce process even more difficult and draining.
  • Will remain in an unhappy marriage out of loyalty and commitment.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Find a divorce support group, a friend who has been through divorce, a counselor or coach to help you navigate the changes your divorce is bringing with it.
  • Know that the conflict and criticism levied at you by your ex is more about them than you and develop the skills to not take it all personally.

ISTJ: The Inspector

Strengths – quiet, serious and very responsible, values traditions and loyalty, orderly & organized, handles criticism well, good listener

Weaknesses – too rigid, needs to be right, not in tune with feelings, change – they’re all about quality and want to use the tried and true method of getting things done, has trouble believing without seeing

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • They want to follow the best path for getting divorced.
  • Will fight bitterly to have things their way because they need to be right more than they need to move on with their lives.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Divorce is about learning to compromise and moving on with your life. Keep your focus on being responsible for reaching a workable divorce settlement and parenting plan so you can put your life into a new and improved order.
  • Admit that you had a part in the failure of the marriage – even if that part was only agreeing to marry your ex.

ISTP: The Crafter

Strengths – analyzes what makes things work and can organize large amounts of data, orderly and organized, handles criticism well, good listener

Weaknesses – passiveness, prefers analysis over action, emotionally uncomfortable, long-term planning

Specific Divorce Challenges:

  • Will avoid emotional processing of their divorce.
  • Will plan more for the short-term than for the long-term.

Tips For Healing After Divorce:

  • Find a divorce support group, divorced friend, counselor or divorce coach who will help you process the normal emotions of divorce. You need to process these emotions so you don’t become bitter or even physically ill.
  • Choose an attorney who will help you plan identify the long-term impact of your divorce agreement for both you and your children.

No matter what your personality type, moving on from the end of your marriage and healing after divorce is difficult. Use the information here as a starting point to help you anticipate the pitfalls you might encounter along the way, but don’t be surprised if other challenges show up too.

Looking for more help with divorce recovery and moving on with your life? Read more advice in Healing After Divorce.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who want to heal after their divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly adviceAnd, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

The Most Important Skill You Need For Healing After Divorce

Bearded man looking down and thinking about his healing after divorce.

And it’s fun to learn too!

Healing after divorce is really challenging because the end of your marriage itself is so traumatic. Your life gets ripped apart all at once and again and again as you struggle to find a new equilibrium, a new way of living – on your own.

It’s kinda like divorce is this huge, catastrophic earthquake. And then it’s followed by all these aftershocks of varying intensities (e.g., a nasty gram from your ex, selling your home, paying child support instead of living with your children every day) until you are able to complete your healing and move on from the end of your marriage.

You might believe that your divorce recovery is subject to the whims of others like your ex, your attorney, the judge, or even your kids. And you’d be right, but only partially and only slightly.

The biggest determining factor in your healing after divorce is your peaceful core.

A peaceful core is that place you can go to on the inside where you feel calm and powerful. Nothing can shake you when you’re at this place of peace. You can often discover new ideas to help you on your healing journey when you regularly spend time with your inner calm.

In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale writes “A peaceful mind generates power.” And I completely agree with him. It’s only when you remove yourself from the distractions of all the aftershocks of your divorce that you’ll find the powerful thoughts that will help you speed your healing after divorce.

Worried that you aren’t sure how to reach your peaceful core or if you even have one? Here’s a great exercise I learned from John Addison of Success Magazine that will help you get in touch with your inner calm:

Close your eyes and picture a moment when you were at complete peace. It could be a time when you were 5 years old or just last week. The when doesn’t matter. What does matter is the experience and how vividly you can remember it.

Now, I’ll bet that if you really let yourself fully relive just that moment of complete peace you’ve got a smile on your face. This place of pure contented peace is your peaceful core.

Since you now know what your peaceful core is, you can purposefully build it. By doing so, you’ll find it to be the bedrock of strength you can call on to help you recover from your divorce and move on with your life no matter what challenges you face along the way.

You’re probably wondering “How do I build my inner bedrock of strength?” You do it by creating more experiences of complete peace.

Here are 5 tips to help you have more peaceful experiences:

  1. Regularly spend time enjoying a hobby that’s calming and rejuvenating. Some hobbies are stressful or frustrating. If you have hobbies like this that you enjoy, that’s great because you stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. Participating in hobbies like this usually lead to improved your self-confidence when you become proficient at them.But they’re different than the hobbies I’m talking about. The recreational activities I’m talking about are the ones you can lose yourself in and feel completely at peace doing. Gardening, dancing, stamp collecting and writing are examples of hobbies that I’ve heard some people say they can lose themselves in. (Dancing and gardening both work for me.)

  2. Enjoy nature. Spending time outside listening to the birds sing, watching the clouds move leisurely across the sky, or feeling the grass beneath your feet are all ways to disconnect form the hectic pace of divorce and slow things down.
    Nature has a way of healing bodies, minds and souls that most of us don’t take advantage of often enough. Who knows, you next experience of calm could be waiting for you right now just outside your front door.
  3. Meditate or pray. These practices are all about creating peace and have been advocated as doing so for thousands of years. (If you don’t believe me, there’s plenty of current research you can take a peek at.)If you need some suggestions for how to get started with meditation check out YouTube or listen to this 2-minute guided meditation I’ve put together.

  4. Listen to a particular song or type of music. Music can completely transport you. I’ll listen to music to help me express emotions or just to relax. (I love to listen to Mozart when I want to happily relax.)What music can you completely lose yourself in? Listen to more of it to build your peaceful core.

  5. Develop an attitude conducive to peace – genuine happiness, gratitude and perspective. It’s really hard to be peaceful if you’re consistently feeling attached or miserable. However, if you can shift your perspectives to ones of happiness, gratitude and thoughtful responsiveness instead of reactivity you’ll discover that peace comes more naturally to you.Yes, I know I might be starting a bit of a chicken-or-egg discussion here, but does it really matter? I don’t think so. The goal is to increase your experiences of peace. So do what you can whenever you can to shift your attitude toward peace. (Once I got past the chicken-or-egg nature of this suggestion, I was able to create a whole lot more calm in my life by shifting my attitude.)

Just because you develop the skill of experiencing your peaceful core doesn’t mean that you’ll never lose touch with it again as you continue your healing after divorce. What it does mean is that the inevitable aftershocks won’t throw your equilibrium off as must. You’ll find it easier to deal with and move forward from whatever challenges you face. And before you know it you’ll be living a new life as a confident, calm recently re-singled person instead of a frazzled recently divorced one.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach and advisor helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly adviceAnd, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

If you’re looking for more help in recovering from your divorce, you’ll find it in Healing After Divorce.