Recovering from divorce is not like recovering from a dangerous and distressing illness. With recovery from illness you know you are being cared for, your progress is being monitored and the medics will know the course of your recovery from past experience of other patients.
What things influence the divorce recovery time?
With a divorce the variables are much greater and the time to recover will vary enormously. So what are the factors that will influence the length of recovery and the quality of your life after divorce?
Basically, every aspect of your marriage, the two of you as individuals and the divorce process you went through will have a bearing on the time it will take for you to feel OK about the divorce itself, the process of getting there and its all its consequences.
The 'better' the divorce, the quicker the recovery
Ranking these factors in some sort of order of importance is a tad tricky too as this will not hold true for all people.
However it's worth taking a look at these and understanding their role in the recovery process. The overall determinant of the time and difficulty of the recovery will be just how bad the divorce process was and how crap the whole thing was for you.
Clearly the ‘better' the divorce the more easily you will get back to a stable and fulfilling life after divorce. Even if you were doing the divorcing and moving straight into a new relationship there will be some grieving for your former life and you will need time for the recovery from the divorce.
So apart from the divorce experience itself the other important factors are:
How committed you were to your spouse
How long you were together
How good the relationship was
Whether the divorce was a surprise to you or not
Whether you have children together
Whether you or your spouse is involved in a new relationship
Your age, personality and socio-economic status
Some helpful advice
Maybe that's all a bit obvious. If you had a great marriage for a long time and suddenly your spouse says "I'm leaving you for another man/woman" then that's going to be a long and difficult divorce recovery. However, there are some coping strategies to help you reduce the pain and speed the process of recovery.
Ask for help
You are not alone in all this. There are people who can help, be they trusted friends or an organisation with specific help and advice for people recovering from relationship breakdown.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Realistic support and encouragement is what you need not a friend who always agrees with you and just fuels your mounting anger and frustration over the divorce. Constructive help and support to guide you through that and into a more stable life is what you really need.
Resist pessimistic imaginings
Your imagination can run away with you. Resist falling prey to over doing it and beginning to believe that you will be alone forever or end up homeless on the street. It's not going to happen. Realistic optimism and the will to survive whilst keeping your thoughts and feelings tightly focused on the day to day business of recovery is the simplest and best advice. You will recover from this and life after divorce will be a whole lot better than you might have imagined.