Sometimes, people grow together; other times, they grow apart. So even in a marriage where two partners build a life together, there’s a chance they may want to go separate ways.
Learning how to get over a divorce is unquestionably tough, painful, and sometimes seemingly impossible. But when you realize that maybe life had other plans for you than what you imagined, you understand that any breakup can be a breakthrough.
As relationship coach Julie Lokun says, “Divorce can be a gift of reinvention and a reawakening allowing you to rediscover yourself.” You can take a moment here and decide to choose so.
What Makes a Divorce Painful?
The anger and frustration that builds up through the process can absolutely make divorce painful. Each spouse may develop and then try to conceal resentful feelings, even when they claim it to be a “friendly” divorce.
“Uncoupling is a systematic disentanglement of two lives infused with intense emotions,” says Julie. She points out two key triggers for a quarrelsome break-up: separating finances and child custody.
Getting over a divorce
If you’re wondering how long it takes to get over a divorce, the usual answer is two years. “I always tell clients who are navigating divorce that they will not be like themselves for two years. You are essentially in fight or flight mode because you are losing the reality of what you had planned to be your roadmap forever.”
It’s similar to the grief for death — the central topic in the book, A Matter of Death and Life, where psychiatrist Irvin Yalom talks about how long it takes to process the loss of a dear one. His reflection comes down to the same conclusion: the first year is still a matter of facing the reality that the usual life events won’t be shared with the same person as last year.
Therefore, people go through family gatherings, holiday time, and Christmas dinner on their own while getting accustomed to their new reality. The second year is when things get more familiar. They would have the experience of the previous year to make the transition easier to process.
How Can Spirituality Help?
Spirituality lets you know that there’s a higher force making the world go round. And even when your life is turned upside down when learning how to get over a divorce, believing in the wisdom of the Universe may ease the pain and light up a new perspective.
Julie highlights that “invoking a spiritual practice is a beacon of light that allows us to reconcile the collateral damage of the bomb that is a divorce.” Being in tune with the energy of the Universe will connect you to something bigger, to life itself, and that nurtures peace within. Because life will always happen for you, no matter how difficult it might seem to believe.
We have to stop asking why this is happening to me and start asking why it is happening for me.— Katherine Woodward Thomas, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Uncoupling Quest
Connecting to your spiritual side can take the form of:
- A daily meditation practice
- Nature baths
- Moments of reflective silence
Remember that being spiritual doesn’t mean following a specific discipline that you don’t resonate with. What it means truly is connecting to that essence within yourself that is already at peace.
Some people find that place within through immersing in nature or reading poems. But for others, a yoga flow and a chanting session might do it.
Spirituality gives you the space to find your own practices taking you to an oasis of peace. And as the 18th-century poet William Blake said, “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower.”
In the midst of a raging storm such as a divorce, seeing the beauty in all the small details around you may encourage you to keep healing. Because the painful parts won’t last forever.
In a nutshell, a breakup is nothing short of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a complete spiritual awakening. One that catapults you to a whole new level of authenticity, compassion, wisdom, depth, and — dare I say it? — even joy.— Katherine Woodward Thomas, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Uncoupling Quest
5 Ways to Get Over a Divorce
Knowing how to get over a divorce with effective coping mechanisms to support you will make the process more bearable. Some people would even call it a happy divorce when the decision was mutual and the pain was minimized.
Julie shares five ways from her coaching practice to heal after your marriage ends. “Experiencing a divorce is similar to experiencing grief. The feeling comes in waves.” But when you have a consistent practice of healing, you’ll know how to navigate the waves of pain with more ease.
1. Create positive alliances
Whether it’s healing from a breakup or a divorce, a connection will always support you and bring you out of feelings of despair. Or, at least, create a safe space where you can express those dark episodes you’re going through.
When your energy becomes chaotic, you will need some anchors to keep you grounded and keep you sane. And the caring people in your life are the best anchors to remind you that although you may live through the chaos at the moment, you are supported.
2. Self-care to nurture a broken heart
Julie strongly encourages you to “give yourself the love that you deserve.” It’s essential to gather some self-love techniques that suit your soul to give yourself some grace when you’re not feeling well.
It’s also important to remember that sometimes choosing to love yourself again and again won’t be the easy choice to make. But it will be the one worth the most.
When going through a breakdown, people are more likely to numb away their pain with ineffective coping mechanisms.
And self-love may look like letting yourself cry out all the pain and frustration or opening your heart to someone you trust and sharing your feelings even though you want to run away.
3. Exercise to self-medicate
By releasing endorphins through exercise, you will get a boost of energy and clarity. Through regular movement, you’d also instill a routine of discipline and a habit for your brain of secreting your feel-good hormones.
Exercise doesn’t make the troubles go away. But it can support your journey of caring for yourself, keeping a healthy body, and having a strong immune system.
There’s no surprise by now that your mind and body are connected. Finding a type of movement that you enjoy regularly will not only promote your overall well-being but will also create a space for you to release the build-up of your emotions when necessary.
4. Seek support through therapy
Therapy can be a helpful way to connect to yourself again and put back the pieces of your life that might have fallen off.
It can help you understand and accept why your life took this turn. And how it happened for you. Therapy is a wonderful means to cultivate more compassion, acceptance, and resilience.
It can also support you when dealing with feelings of anger, resentment, or frustration that you may either try to repress or lash out. It’s a guided journey into your inner world while you process your loss and design a new life for yourself.
5. Release complex experiences through journaling
“Journaling is a transformative tool that digs deep into the psyche to release the complex human experience on paper,” Julie explains. She emphasizes the use of journaling when having a hard time finding clarity and purpose again.
When exploring how to get over a divorce, you could start feeling overwhelmed and in need of answers. Writing everything down in a journal, no matter how horrible you think it sounds, may make more space in your mind. And this can enable your intuition to have the space to arise and guide you through.
How to get over a divorce after a long marriage
Divorcing after a long marriage sometimes ends in a loss of identity. You’ve been together with someone for so long that your whole sense of who you are is tied to another person.
According to Julie, “uncoupling after decades of marriage is particularly challenging for women who feel a loss of beauty and purpose. Again, it is important to implement a healing strategy and surround yourself with supportive humans.”
How to get over a divorce as a man
During her coaching practice, Julie noticed a difference between how men and women heal after a divorce. Usually, men express a lot of anger, while women are more vulnerable and emotional.
The problem is that “men are taught to be tough and suck it up, so the masculine energy often emits as explosive outbursts.” She explains that anger is a secondary emotion that stems from fear or sadness, so “it is important men have the underpinnings of support and make a commitment to healing.”
3 Powerful Stories of Healing After a Divorce
Julie shared one of her client’s stories that successfully healed after her divorce.
“Kathy, aged 37, was a client of mine for two years. She had quite possibly the most contentious divorce I have ever witnessed.
Her ex-husband caused her unimaginable pain. He systematically maligned her to everyone who would listen, caused a deep divide between her and her children, and kept her in a court battle that topped over $120,000.
Kathy always had a smile on her face, even through parental alienation. She poured all her energy into making her painful journey of divorce her purpose. She became a legislative advocate for parental alienation, started a podcast on the topic, and is now writing a book to help others heal.”
Additionally, here are a couple more powerful stories of learning how to get over a divorce from Mindvalley members enrolled in the Conscious Uncoupling Quest.
- “I was living my life full of bitterness for the man whom I first thought was my soulmate. Before this program, all I did was destroy his image of every person I met because of what he did to me two and a half years earlier. I played the victim as the poor wife who was cheated on. I took this Quest with the intention of wanting to give myself the chance to find another man to love. But the Quest did far more than what I expected; it freed me completely from the bitterness toward my ex-husband.”
— Kit Jotie, from Surrey, Canada
- “After my marriage of 17 years broke up, it helped me to make a conscious decision to become better, and not bitter. The process guided me not to play the victim but to self-reflect on the ways that I needed to grow and evolve in order to have happier relationships moving forward. I am now empowered and excited about life, and on a mission to help create a ripple effect in our world of how we can learn to end our relationships with love, dignity, and respect.”
— Paulina Young, from Sydney, Australia
Great Change Starts With Healing
Healing starts with you. You can learn how to get over a divorce and live happily even after.
For learning to live happily even after, finding a way to forgive the unforgivable, and to move forward in life graciously with hope in our hearts and goodwill in our gestures and in our words, may very well be the essence of what it is to truly love each other.— Katherine Woodward Thomas, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Uncoupling Quest
If you need guidance on your healing journey, Mindvalley can be the right first step for you. With transformational Quests, such as Conscious Uncoupling with Katherine Woodward Thomas, you can process all of your pain and open up your heart for love again.
And by claiming your free access, you can try out sample classes from this program and many others. What’s more, you can benefit from the wisdom of other teachers on how to heal, find the love you desire, and create a healthy romantic relationship.
The best part of it all is that your healing journey doesn’t have to be a lonely one. You can connect to a like-minded community of people who may share the same hopes and struggles as you do.
Don’t be afraid to take the first step. Welcome in.