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Divorce Recovery in a Nutshell

© 2023 Elinor Robin, PhD

Often, those who want to provide divorcing people with support, love, and protection become emotionally charged themselves.These supportive friends and relatives generally focus on getting a better payout today, missing the long-range unfolding of the

divorce process. Their misguided efforts may serve to fuel the fire and create an emotional drain. So, take what they say with a grain of salt and speed up your divorce recovery by following these ten steps.

1. Accept the end of the marriage.

2. Create a support system of old and new friends as well as professional support from a therapist or divorce coach. A support group can bolster your support system and inner circle.

3. Call a truce with your Ex. (Especially important for co-parents.) Your Ex may not initially agree but will almost always, eventually, come around. Every divorcing person should make their mantra “I want to find solutions that work for you and for me."

6. Clean out the clutter and get rid of unnecessary reminders of the past. Getting rid of the big house and the extra TV is one way to make room for a new life and partner.

7. Live within your means. In most cases, half of your marital income will not support your previous lifestyle. Cut down to reduce financial pressures.

8. Engage in self-assessment. The best thing about divorce is that it provides time to look at our lives, readjust, and decide where we want to go. The worst thing about divorce is that it provides time to look at our lives, readjust, and decide where we want to go. During this time of assessment, figure out what mistakes you made during the current relationship and how you will avoid these mistakes in the future.


9. Post divorce dating? Here is what you need to know:

  • Give yourself time. Everything is temporary. Divorce is a transition; next year will be different; next year YOU will be different. In the meantime, focus on making you the best version of you. The better you are, the better the next partner will be.

  • Don’t rush into the next relationship because you are lonely or feel rejected. It’s OK to look (be a shopper) but don't buy too fast. (Statistically, those who wait five years to remarry increase their chances of remarriage success.)

  • It may be painful to see your Ex jump back into the dating world. However, what your Ex does should not be a factor in your decision to date or not. Instead, honor and work through your feelings, focus on yourself, and assess your own dating readiness.

  • Look at Barbara Field’s article “How to Cope When Your Ex Starts Dating Again.”The title is a bit misleading, in my mind she covers much more and does a great job describing the divorce recovery process.

10. Last, but not least--before, during and after your divorce, do NOT vent, brag, or put your dirty laundry on social media. This is the perfect time to lie low.

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