Getting over ‘divorce grief’

Whether you initiated your divorce or your spouse did, it is natural to feel emotional about the end of your marriage. The loss of such an intimate relationship, even one that was flawed beyond fixing, can feel like a kind of death. Just like we grieve the death of a loved one (even if our relationship with that person was not the best), we might go through a similar experience over getting divorced.

Five tips for getting through the grief process

You cannot control the feelings of sadness, emptiness, anger and other emotions that will come up periodically in the first several months after you split up. But you work through them and reach a place where you can adjust emotionally to the next chapter of your life. Here are five strategies.

  • Give yourself regular breaks from working on divorce-related things by doing things you enjoy and relax you.
  • Be open and honest about your feelings and needs, both to yourself and with your friends and relatives.
  • Keep track of your feelings. Consider keeping a journal or just naming your emotions as your experience them.
  • Consider seeing a therapist to help you process your grief.
  • Find new meaning in your life. Focus on what makes you happy, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

While you did not plan to get divorced when you got married, life had other plans. You cannot control everything that happens to you or the feelings that arise as a result, but you can control how you react to these things. A healthy grieving process can help you heal and move on.