Today I want to give you five tips on how to get over a divorce. Before I get into those tips, it’s important to know the seven stages of the grief process:
- Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
- Pain and guilt.
- Anger and bargaining.
- The upward turn.
- Reconstruction and working through.
- Acceptance and hope.
Shock and denial
So shock and denial are the first emotions that we feel after a divorce and that is what is commonly known as the “raw” stage, where you are just a mess. Your emotions are all over the place, you’re in a state of shock and for many, you’ll lose your appetite, have trouble sleeping, think obsessively about the person, that’s all completely normal. There’s a refusal to accept the reality of the divorce, for many, you actually can’t conceive that you have split up from your partner.
Pain and guilt
What follows tends to be pain and guilt. Guilt is often felt by the person who ends the relationship, ie they feel guilty for causing pain for their ex partner, whilst the majority of the suffering and pain is felt by their partner, who will pine and grieve the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, people who end relationships also feel pain, but it tends to be their partner who will go through the gut wrenching heartbreak in the coming months.
Anger and bargaining
Once the reality has set in, it is common to feel anger and bitterness towards your ex and even more common to question how you could have made things different, how you could have saved the relationship if you would have done X,Y or Z. This is the bargaining stage of grief.
As you strive to digest and process all these emotions, it is fairly common to become depressed and this is your way of coming to terms with the reality of the situation.
The upward turn
As time moves on and you begin to heal, you will feel as though a new life awaits you and you start to feel positive and optimistic again. They call this the upward turn.
Reconstruction and working through/acceptance
As you begin to embark on this journey, there is much working through and reconstruction of your emotions taking place, which will then create a roadmap for acceptance and hope for the future.
Ok let’s get into these tips:
Allow the grief to come through
Acknowledge that this is going to be a tough road ahead and allow yourself to feel the feelings. “Feeling is healing”. The more you cry and let it out, the quicker you will get over someone and get them out of your system. And it’s true, when we are with a partner, we do everything with that person, we share our life with them, so they do become part of our identity. And that’s why it’s perfectly ok to grieve. In fact you need to grieve. If you carry all that grief inside of you, imagine what a burden that is on you mentally and physically.
“Time heals all wounds”. Actually it is you that heals the wound, time is just the facilitator of that. Now I am about to make a statement and there will be many people who will want to throw something at me(possibly darts), but just bear with me on this! The average time it takes to heal the raw pain of a divorce can range anywhere between 6 months to a year, but I would say more commonly 9-12 months. Note I am referring to the “raw shock/denial” stage, not the overall state of grief.
And yes, some folks never get over someone and I get that, but I am referring to the majority of people out there, who do transition from grief and heartbreak and come out the other side. This timescale is not set in stone, some will heal quicker than others, the bottom line is that the heart is more resilient than you’ll ever know.
Human beings can get through anything in life and we do. A large proportion of people go on to establish new relationships with partners and some remarry.
Remember this. Whatever you feel is ok. But in time. everything passes, everything shifts, everything heals. It’s just the rule of life.
You will move on
You will heal. You will get over your ex partner. The biggest fear for someone who’s just split from their partner is that they won’t heal and they won’t get over their ex.
It’s estimated that there is a 40-50% divorce rate in the Usa. Sadly, it’s part of life. We meet someone, we fall in love, some marry, some don’t, but breaking up from someone is part of the cycle of life. Relationships are complex, people are complex, but we are also designed to heal and move on. I promise you, you will heal and move on.
Get to know yourself
Many people go on to love new partners. For someone whose just had a breakup, another common fear to have is the fear of being alone. Many will worry about never finding love again. It’s ok to have this fear and it’s normal, but the fact is that many do go on to love again. Doesn’t have to be tomorrow. Get used to being single. Spend quality time with yourself and find a new appreciation for your own company.
The most important relationship you can have is the one with yourself.
When you have healed your loss and moved on and you will move on, get out there, meet people, online date, sign up for a class. There are so many people out there who will appreciate you and love you. You just have to get out there.
It’s hard but necessary
Delete pictures and videos of your ex from your electronic devices and defriend and unfollow on social media. So this is very hard to do, but it’s a must. Social media has become such an integral part of how we communicate and see the world and by de-friending and unfollowing your partner on social media, you are enabling yourself to begin the healing process.
What so many people do, is get drawn into stalking their ex on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it and all you are doing, is tormenting yourself. It is particularity soul destroying, heart breaking and gut wrenching to see your ex move on with their life and to constantly remind yourself of them.
You need to do the exact opposite. Remember deleting pictures from your phone doesn’t mean you can’t back them up to a usb stick and put it in a drawer somewhere, you don’t have to permanently erase everything.
Your phone and laptop is a different kettle of fish though, because you likely use those every day and you don’t need those constant reminders. This requires alot of strength on your part, but you can do it.
The quicker you do it, the quicker the healing can begin. The single most important thing you can do is to allow yourself to grieve. “To grieve is to heal“.
Private counselling and coaching
As you navigate through the difficult emotions, it can be really beneficial to chat to a counsellor or coach, as they can help you cope with your challenging journey.
I will fully support you to feel whatever you want to feel in the counselling session, aswell as show you some useful techniques to help facilitate your recovery. For private counselling and coaching, please use the contact me page to book your free 15 minute telephone/video call.