When you got married, you had your whole life ahead of you and now that your marriage is ending, the pain is immeasurable. Whether you were married for five months or 50 years, losing someone you thought you would be with forever is a tough pill to swallow.
Divorce can trigger terrible emotions. Stress, nausea, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on and on. This is completely natural. The person who was once your rock and your partner is no longer in your life, and that’s not something that’s easy to get over.
Starting a new life after a divorce is difficult. You may feel lost and hopeless – but not all is lost! That’s why we’re looking at 7 tips for getting over the heartbreak of divorce.
1. See a Therapist
Losing a spouse in a painful divorce is somewhat similar to experiencing a death. Someone you loved is no longer in your life anymore. This can leave you with many conflicting feelings such as guilt, depression, grief, loss of self, fear, and anger. Working through these complicated emotions can be a lot easier when done in therapy.
A therapist or counselor will help you see your thoughts from a different perspective. It can also be cathartic to vocalize your feelings. Your counselor can also help you learn how to cope with your problems and develop a plan for the future.
2. Journal for Your Sanity
Are you a private person? If so, the thought of revealing your deepest insecurities to a stranger in therapy may not be the most appealing choice for getting over a divorce.
Even if you are in therapy or are able to talk to close friends or family members about your divorce, there will be times when you don’t feel like verbalizing your pain. In these situations, journaling or keeping a diary is the perfect solution.
Leading divorce coach Adele Theron advises her clients to keep a journal of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions during their recovery. Being able to reflect on previous emotions, and to see the transition and progression over time can be very encouraging and valuable.
Similarly the University of Texas at Austin psychologists Joshua Smyth and James Pennebaker found that journaling can have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. Their research shows that writing down your feelings not only reduces stress but also boosts your immune functions.
3. Rely on Trusted Loved Ones
If there is ever a time to surround yourself with friends and family, it is now. Studies show that individuals who receive support from loving friends and family show significantly lower psychological distress after a trauma has occurred in their life, such as a divorce.
Going through a painful divorce can make you start to doubt yourself. Were you not good enough for your spouse? Not attractive or fun enough? These insecurities can be like a terrible poison that seeps into other areas of your life.
Not only will having your friends and family around make you feel happier, loved, and respected, but it will also help erase these insecurities.
4. Draw on Your Faith
If you are a religious or spiritual person, going through a painful divorce is the perfect time to rely on your faith.
Many find comfort from the words of the scriptures and the promise that God is with them during tribulations.
Spiritually inclined individuals or religious persons should throw themselves into their faith. Pray, participate in congregational activities, and do personal study.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that not only does religion improve your mental health and lower anxiety, but your physical health benefits as well. The research shows that religiousness is often positively correlated with decreased drinking, smoking, suicides, and that “religious commitment and participation seemed to affect longevity” particularly in men.
5. Allow Yourself to Mourn
There is no set time limit for how long or short is appropriate for mourning the end of your marriage.
Losing a loved one in a painful divorce is one of the hardest things you can go through. The heartbreak, anger, and confusion can make returning your normal daily routine seem like an impossible task.
While you would not want to spend an extensive amount time putting your life on hold (as this can make it difficult to get over your separation) it is definitely important to mourn your relationship. Cry, wallow, be angry, and spend a day in bed.
6. Be Good to Yourself
Getting over a divorce is a difficult process. It can take years to fully get over the devastation it leaves in its wake. In the time it takes you to recuperate, be kind to yourself.
You may feel that you’re not getting over the breakup as quick as others might. You may be left with feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
If you want to get over a painful divorce, you need to be kind to yourself. This Berkeley study found that self-compassion can work wonders for your mental and physical health post-divorce.
Do things to treat yourself. Go on a vacation, have a spa day, and make a list of the positive qualities you possess. Spoken affirmations can also have a good influence on restoring self-love.
7. Build Yourself Back Up
Divorce is hard, but at some point, you need to start picking yourself back up.
Part of building yourself back up is about finding out who you are. Remember the things you used to do before you were married. Find hobbies and dreams that inspire you and allow you to get out an be social gain.
Devote more time to your work. Maybe this was the push you needed to climb the ladder at your work or change careers.
Getting over a divorce is much easier said than done. It often takes years for the pain to subside if you are relying on traditional therapy, or self-healing. Journal out your feelings, speak to a professional divorce coach if you can and loved ones, and find things in life that inspire you. These are the things that will help you get through a painful divorce.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.