Even when divorce is “agreeable” it rips your life apart. It’s been described as an emotional pummeling equal to a spouse’s death. The earthquake of my divorce is 2 years past now, but aftershocks will still sometimes shake me up. But overall I’m doing well. Normalcy has returned and I’m finally okay with who I am as a single man. It took an extreme healing process that at times was as painful as the divorce itself. That’s just how it is. I had a lot of help from friends, family, and counseling. It’s a miracle that I’ve regained my sanity, and miracles should be shared. I hope these ways to heal from your divorce work as well for you as they did for me.
Engage With Friends and Family
When going through a divorce it’s tempting to sequester yourself, to stay home and try to handle the pain and rejection alone. This doesn’t work. Being alone with your thoughts for too long can push you to the edge. Spending time with those who care about you can ease that turmoil and help you heal. There doesn’t have to be deep discussions about your divorce. In fact, I recommend that your divorce be a rare topic. Just reconnect and have fun together even when it feels difficult. This can help get you balanced again and show that your life isn’t over.
A Counselor Can Be Invaluable
My divorce stole my identity; I didn’t feel myself. My sister recommended a certain counselor and I’m not sure I would have healed without his help.
A good, licensed counselor won’t simply tell you what to do. He should be primarily concerned with your emotional well being. He’s trained to lead you to conclusions with questions that you wouldn’t know to ask yourself. You need his training, skill, and objectivity to heal from your divorce.
Pick up Hobbies
Hobbies can be surprisingly therapeutic, but during a divorce they might seem financially out of reach. The good news is that a fun hobby doesn’t have to be expensive. You can hike mountain trails, learn to play guitar, take up drawing or painting, or learn to be a writer. Anything can become a hobby. Even if you’re not sure what you’d like, try something and if it’s not for you, pick something else. For now it’s a way to get your mind off your divorce. And you might enjoy it enough to keep that hobby for years to come.
The hobbies I chose were art, writing, and karaoke. Writing and karaoke are free for the most part so being broke doesn’t matter. Art and writing are two things I’ve done in the past and knew they’d be a good fit for me.
Have Certain Friends to Hold You Accountable
One of the things about divorce is it makes your whole life unfamiliar. You’ll feel like you’re somebody else or that you’re living someone else’s life. This can make you desperate at times. Desperation is a form of fear, and often motivates poor choices. And those poor choices will lead to regret and are often self-destructive. As you might imagine, that can keep you from healing.
Seek out one or two friends that you trust. Make them your confidantes, and have them hold you accountable. My friends happened to be my parents. They called often to check on how I was doing and offered advice that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I wouldn’t have made it without them.
Remain Single for a While
One of the worst things to do is jump into a new relationship shortly after your divorce. Your emotions are erratic. You’ll be angry, desperate, and frustrated, and depression is a possibility. Adding the stresses of romance into that volatile mix can slow or stop your healing. And you probably aren’t over your ex-spouse, so it isn’t fair to someone new anyway.
There’s a lot of advice floating around about how long to wait for a new relationship. Most seem too simplistic or cliché to me but one thing is certainly true; the longer your marriage was, the longer it takes to heal from your divorce. My marriage was 22 years. I am just beginning to feel ready for someone new after 2 years of being single.
These Ways to Heal from Your Divorce are Tools. Time Makes Them Work.
Give yourself time to heal from your divorce. The pain will diminish and your life will be good again. To have complete healing be sure to maintain a social life with friends and family, talk with a counselor, find something you can enjoy doing, be accountable to a good friend, and don’t jump into a new relationship for a while. What it all comes down to is becoming content and complete again with who you are as a single person.
Parents, friends and family who’ve been through their own divorces