Stages Of Accepting Divorce

Submitted By A Hall:

After all the pain and the whirlwind of emotion has finally gone and when a fair amount of time has passed since the initial split (at least a few months) acceptance can come. A sense of relief that the worst is finally over and a new phase has begun.

Feelings of loss, anger, betrayal and deep upset can remain long after acceptance but, crucially, they aren’t so overwhelming. They become weaker. They may never go entirely but they don’t overpower you.

It’s important to remember that glimpses of acceptance can occur at any time during the grieving process. As with all stages of a break-up, you can flit from one stage to another. You may therefore accept the break-up one day and feel perfectly fine about it, only to be plunged back into denial, anger, depression and blame.

Feeling better

But eventually, this stops happening and one day you wake up and realise you haven’t felt bitter, furious or desperately upset for some time now. You feel whole again, renewed, able to take on whatever challenges life now offers. At times you’ll have felt that this feeling could NEVER come but when it does – and it WILL – you’ll realise it’s the best feeling going.

Your Questions Answered

How long will it take me to get over my divorce?

There’s no set time. But if you get over it too quickly it’s likely you haven’t really dealt with the strength and depth of emotion. If you’re still heavily grieving several years later, you may have problems letting go. It can take anything up to two years before you feel truly recovered. Sometimes you don’t realise how much the divorce still affects you until, say, you bump into your ex one day or something reminds you of them. So long as the feelings are gradually growing weaker over time, you know you’re slowly coming to terms with what’s happened. If you feel stuck for too long with one emotion like, say denial, anger or depression, it may be worth seeing a professional to ascertain if something in your past is making it difficult for you to move on.

One day I feel fine, the next day I feel really sad again? Is this normal?

Yes. Your recovery is not a linear gradually progression. You will be up and down like a yo-yo. You must accept that sometimes you’ll feel OK. Try to be constructive on those days. Other days something may remind you of your ex, or your relationship, and you’ll feel very low. Just remember, you will come out of it.

What can help me to accept the situation?

Distraction techniques will keep your mind occupied and aid your acceptance. Some people throw themselves into work, others immerse themselves in a new hobby. Holidaying alone can help you accept that you are now single. It is important to take less interest in what your ex is doing.

I’ll never be able to accept what has happened?

Yes you will. It’s normal to feel this way when you’re in the depths of depression or anger. But these feelings will become weaker and less overpowering until you’re start to feel whole again. This may take up to two years, or even longer.

Next Steps

  • Don’t rush! Acceptance will come in time.
  • Distraction activities, such as new hobbies, can aid acceptance.
  • Try to take less interest in your ex’s new life.
  • Celebrate being alone, think of the opportunities it gives you.
  • Try going to the cinema or on holiday by yourself.

Need to Knows

  • Acceptance will finally come
  • You may still feel loss, anger, betrayal and deep upset but they won’t be SO overwhelming
  • These feelings may never go entirely
  • Your emotions will see-saw from feeling fine one day, only to be plunged back into depression or anger another
  • One day you’ll realise that you haven’t felt bitter or desperately upset for some time.

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