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3 common emotional consequences of divorce and how to heal them

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce sometimes comes as a shock to people who thought their marriages could weather the test of time. Other times, both spouses agree that the end of a marriage is the best option. Whether a divorce occurs due to an amicable mutual decision or one-sided abandonment, it takes time to heal after the end of a marriage.

Particularly when someone has responsibility to minor children or wants to date again, they need to focus on healing themselves during and after a divorce. There are often certain specific challenges that people have to prepare to overcome if they want optimal mental health following a divorce.

Taking accountability for personal shortcomings

Even in cases where one spouse clearly did something that violated marital vows, both spouses may have contributed to the degradation of the relationship. Talking with the therapist about how personal behavior may have contributed to marital issues can help people identify changes that they can make to ensure a healthier and happier relationship the next time they fall in love. From working on their communication skills to learning how to properly establish personal boundaries there are many small adjustments that people can make after a marriage fails to improve their satisfaction in their next relationships.

Processing grief and anger

People tend to hang on to the negative emotions from divorce for months if not years after the marriage technically ends. Whether they grieve the future they wish they had or feel angry at their spouse for damaging the marital relationship, people often need a healthy space in which to process and feel their intense negative emotions. For some people, that process may involve talk therapy or support groups. For others, artistic outlets can be a means of healing from the negative emotions related to a failed marriage.

Learning what matters for relationship satisfaction

Thinking about ways that a marriage left someone feeling dissatisfied or frustrated can help them identify unmet needs or expectations. They can then potentially use what they learn about their needs in a relationship when developing a bond with someone else or adjusting to life on their own. Whether someone wants to meet those needs with friendships and family relationships or a new romantic partner, it is valuable to identify what forms of support and connection are the most meaningful for them.

It can take several years, in many cases, for people to truly heal emotionally and mentally after a divorce. Those who give themselves plenty of time and space and forgive themselves for the mistakes they made during their marriage or during the divorce process may be able to move on to a healthier and happier future. Additionally, people who have the right assistance during the divorce process can focus on healing instead of on trying to navigate the legal system.