The Triggers You’re Experiencing Won’t Last Forever
Divorce is a difficult and traumatic life event. In fact, it’s recognised as one of the most stressful you can go through. It’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed with big feelings. Maybe it’s sadness. Maybe anger. Sometimes it’s every feeling all at once – and it’s hard to predict what will trigger you.
You’re having coffee in a café when a sudden wave of emotion leaves you frantically searching for a tissue in your handbag before people notice you’re crying. What set you off? A waiter walking past with smashed avo, the brunch your STBX (Soon To Be Ex) always loved to order.
When the triggers are this mundane, it can feel as though you might never escape them. Divorce recovery takes time. But the good news is that life does get better.
How long does divorce recovery take?
Recovering from divorce is a personal journey and different for everyone. The circumstances that led to your separation can impact how quickly you heal. But it’s important to remember that recovery is never linear. It’s normal to have ups and downs along the way. This is part of the healing process.
Working through the divorce healing stages
First and foremost, give yourself time to grieve. Divorce represents significant loss and it’s very normal to feel immense grief about the end of a marriage – even when the divorce is amicable.
“I’m so lonely, I just want to go home and tell my husband about my day.”
There are five different stages to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Friends, family, a divorce coach, and various other professionals can help you along your journey.
Many people going through divorce experience a range of feelings towards their STBX. Women typically experience emotions ranging from anger, hurt, disbelief, loneliness, sadness, rage, and shame – sometimes even a sense of relief and liberation.
It’s okay to lean on family and friends during this huge life change. Those who love you most will want to rally around you – let them help. However, if your anger or sadness feels overwhelming, or you feel you might be slipping into depression, professional support is available. Your GP or psychologist can assist with your emotional recovery. For assistance with making decisions regarding your divorce and settlement, a certified divorce coach can provide professional support to ensure you make smart decisions even when you’re feeling fragile.
Don’t mistake sadness for regret
Just because you’re grieving the end of a marriage doesn’t mean you’re having regrets. You’re simply giving your mind and body a chance to adjust to the change. If you mistake grief for regret, you may find yourself stuck in a “break-up/make-up” loop – especially if your ex is trying to win you back.
“My STBX is suddenly being sweet as pie, after being a narcissistic jerk for a decade. I know it’s all a lie, but it’s making me question my decision.”
Grief and loneliness make it hard to differentiate. These early stages of divorce healing make you vulnerable. If you find yourself tempted to make that 3am call, consider seeing a psychologist or enlisting the help of a divorce coach. You’re strong enough to do this, and getting support only makes you stronger.
Financial recovery after divorce
It’s difficult to progress with your emotional recovery when your financial future is uncertain. Delaying financial matters like property settlement and child support can increase your stress levels and intensify your fears about the future. Fair and equitable division of assets is not only your legal right but is crucial for you to be able to move on with your life.
“My STBX is driving around in a new Lotus, I am saving up to get my 2001 Honda aircon fixed.”
It’s vital to speak with your divorce lawyer as soon as possible. You’ll know exactly where you stand and can plan your property settlement and financial arrangements carefully.
Dating after divorce
When a marriage ends, it’s extremely common to feel as though you’re permanently unlovable. But that’s simply not true. Relationships end all the time and for countless different reasons – it is not a reflection on you personally. Sometimes a relationship has simply run its course.
“I’m so worried nobody will want me with four kids.”
So when you’re feeling stronger, take a chance. Grab your best girlfriends to help you create a profile on a dating app. Let yourself imagine the best. Sure, you’ll find plenty of reasons to run a mile as you swipe through, but the reality is that couples find each other this way every day. At the very least, you might go out for a nice meal with someone who’s fun to talk to.
Small steps like this can help you return to yourself – and slowly but surely, as your confidence grows, you’ll be reminded that the future is full of possibilities and new adventures.
Coming out the other side
“Today at noon, I have my court date.
It’s been three years. I need closure. I can’t wait.”
The process of divorce can feel never-ending – but you will get to the other side. With the right legal support, proceedings can feel less overwhelming.
Once the divorce and settlement are finalised, the focus on your ex can be wholly replaced with a focus on yourself (and if you have them, your kids).
It might feel impossible now, but there will come a time when you’re feeling stronger. You’ll be comfortable with who you are and excited about what the future holds. And maybe most importantly, you’ll be so proud of the obstacles you’ve overcome.