Angela Lacalamita, LCPC | Article

Recovering from Divorce

Marriage is a union by which two people who love each other legally and/or religiously commit to one another. When you marry your intentions are to spend your golden years and the rest of your life with your partner. The furthest thing from your mind is the possibility of divorce. If divorce were to have crossed your mind, you more than likely disregarded the thought and believed wholeheartedly that your marriage would be different. Like many people, you may not have anticipated your marriage becoming another divorce statistic. An unfortunate and disappointing occurrence is that nearly half of marriages, 50%, will result in divorce. Even more startling is that the likelihood of divorce increases to nearly 60% for second marriages.

Divorce can be an emotionally devastating ordeal and recovery at times can be difficult. As with any loss, you may experience a variety of emotions. Feelings of anger, sadness, failure, loss among other emotions are quite common. Although divorce recovery is one of the most painful and stressful experiences once can endure in life, it also can be an opportunity to get your life back on track and discover a new life that is filled with happiness. Below are some ways to help you in your process of healing.

Work through your negative feelings. The intense feelings such as sadness, depression, and anger can be painful. Understand that all of the feelings and emotions that occur following divorce are normal. Try to remember that these feelings do not last forever and work toward accepting them. Once you have been able to work through these emotions, you are more likely to move toward positive changes in your life.

Identify and spend time with the people in your life who can be supportive. It is imperative that you be allowed to speak your mind as often as you need to. Supportive, non-judgmental and loving people that allow you to express your emotions, allow you to heal. Surrounding yourself around those who will allow you to vent and not try to “fix” things can help you gradually work through your emotions.

Reflect on what happened in the relationship. Part of the healing process is for you to come to terms with what occurred in the relationship. This is a crucial part of healing so that you can gradually come to terms with the divorce and be able to move forward in developing new relationships. Sometime this is the hardest part of healing for it requires you to examine your role. Blaming your ex or yourself will be of no benefit. Understanding how you played a role in the dynamics which contributed to the divorce can help you in future relationships. You don’t want to recreate a similar relationship in the future, so being honest with yourself is very important.

Engage in Self- Care.The stress and pain when going through life transitions such as divorce can be overwhelming. You must take care of yourself. Begin by reconnecting with old friends, develop new friendships and involve yourself in activities that are healthy and reduce stress. Get a massage or participate in an activity that you desired to try or placed aside.

Try to remember that the stages of divorce recovery are complex and different for each person. Allow yourself whatever amount of time you need to recover. If you are confused and hurting, the above approach can help your journey through the divorce process be easier, less traumatic and be on the path of a new life.