Divorce Grief: A Single Mama’s Survival Guide
We know it might not feel like it now, but it is possible to heal after your divorce and move on with your life. It is POSSIBLE that you can chart a new path after your divorce that helps you create a happier and more stable home life with your kids.
First, take a deep breath and try to remember that all of your experiences, even this painful one, can be used to make you stronger and wiser. And the sooner you begin leaning into your pain, the sooner you can begin to heal. With a little self-care and a lot of love and support, you can begin to feel like yourself and hopefully, overtime, you will begin to dream again. So, here are some tips for overcoming divorce grief so that you can gather your strength and begin building anew with confidence. A couple of things to remember before you dive in:
- Change doesn’t happen overnight…give yourself grace.
- If through divorce you are entering single motherhood, we know that it can feel like you are in uncharted waters.
- Even with everything you have been through, you are still YOU.
- Gather what matters most in the world to you: your children, your family and your friends. Hold them close and show them you love them.
Divorce Grief: 8 Tips To Aid the Healing Process
1. Don’t fight your feelings.
The first step on the road to recovery is acknowledging and accepting your feelings. This can be difficult, as many women are taught to bottle up their emotions and suppress them. But it’s essential to allow yourself to feel the pain of the loss to begin healing your divorce grief.
Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. None of your emotions are off-limits. Pick up a pen and a piece of paper and write whatever comes to mind. Stand in front of the mirror, say what you want to say to your ex, and get those feelings out of you.
After a while, those emotions will take up less and less of your emotional energy.
2. Practice meaningful self-care.
The next step is to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. This means eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. It’s not about getting a “revenge body” – it’s about doing what you can to feel good again.
The stress, anger, and sadness accompanying the grieving process can take a toll on your mind and body, so anything you can do to counteract the nasty effects of your divorce will prove to be time well spent.
Taking care of yourself also means taking care of your mental health. Seek help from a therapist or counselor if you’re feeling overwhelmed. They’ll help you contend with the fallout so you can begin healing your divorce grief.
And don’t forget to take time to relax and rejuvenate. This might mean getting a massage, reading a great book, or taking a long bath. If you’re a single mom, you would probably benefit from spending some quality time with yourself, and the healing effects of “me time” are an important antidote to the anger and sadness you may be feeling.
3. Talk about your feelings.
Talking about your divorce can be therapeutic. It can help you process your emotions and make sense of what has happened. So call your friends and family. They’ll be happy to offer a shoulder to cry on and some encouraging words, and as you talk through your experience, you’ll find clarity.
You might also want to consider talking with a therapist or counselor. They’ll listen to you, help you understand your feelings, and guide you on how to move forward.
You should also consider talking to others who have had a similar experience. Many support groups, both in person and online, will connect you with other women who have experienced what you’re going through.
4. Seize the opportunity to grow.
While divorce can be a painful experience, it can also be an opportunity for growth. This is your chance to start fresh and create the life you want for yourself. You can’t go back in time, but you can leverage your experience to catapult yourself into the next stage of your life.
So use this time to rediscover who you are and what you want out of life. Experiment with new hobbies and activities. Take some risks. Go on a girls’ trip with your best friend. Remember, when one door closes, another opens. So take advantage of your new status as a single woman and see where life takes you.
5. Stay positive despite your divorce grief.
It’s essential to stay optimistic during this time. Remember that you are strong and capable of handling whatever comes your way. Believe in yourself and have faith that things will work out in the end.
This isn’t the end of your story. It’s a new beginning. So even as you grieve, try to remain positive and find the silver linings in life. Keeping a gratitude journal can be especially helpful when healing your divorce grief. Positive affirmations can also be a good weapon against negativity.
6. Learn to let go of the past.
One of the most important lessons to learn after divorce is how to let go. Of course, this doesn’t mean forgetting about what happened or pretending it didn’t hurt. And the truth is, a part of you may always mourn certain aspects of your relationship.
You can hold space for anger and sadness while still remembering the good times. Just remember that you made the decisions you had to make for yourself and your family. So give yourself permission to move on.
Forgive yourself, your ex-husband, and anyone else involved in the divorce. Let go of the anger, the hurt, and the resentment. And make a conscious decision to focus on the positive aspects of your life.
7. Give yourself time and permission to heal your divorce grief.
Healing divorce grief takes time. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for getting over a divorce. It’s different for everyone; it can take months or even years to recover fully. So be patient and allow yourself the time you need to grieve the loss of your marriage.
8. Build Community
Your life has changed dramatically. Divorce has probably impacted your friendships, relationships with family and of course, most importantly, your relationship with your children. As you are moving forward and taking steps to heal, adding supportive women to your community and building authentic friendships is one of the most important things that you can do. Authentic connection can be hard to find, especially in the age of social media. Single Mom Spot has created a forum where we really hope to help create a safe, more private space for women to share their feelings, exchange advice and support one another. The forum is NEW so your participation is necessary to get it moving. If you have a question, post it! We would love to reply and other moms will appreciate your bravery in sharing your struggle. Check out the divorce forum HERE.
Divorce is a complicated process, but it can also be a time of growth and positive change. If you’re feeling lost or struggling after your divorce, know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you through this tough time.
The most important thing is to accept your feelings and take care of yourself. Commit to your growth, stay positive, let go when necessary, and give yourself the time you need to heal.
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For Newbies…Welcome to Single Mom Spot!
Single Mom Spot is an online community for single moms. We are here to support single moms in living their best lives as women and mothers, right now. If you are a woman struggling with divorce that needs prayer please send us your request. Here’s how you can get connected:
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