How long does it take to get over a divorce

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Divorce? And 4 Signs You are On Your Way

There’s a saying about getting over someone—that it takes half the time you spent together to truly move on. That means six months of wallowing for a year-long relationship—time that might drag on endlessly, or time that might fly by faster than you can blink. But for longer relationships? Those marriages that have spanned years and possibly decades? The waiting period is a whole other discussion, a conversation we are going to have now.

Because after divorce, you want your life back. But a part of you is still reliving the past, turning your marriage over and over like a skipping stone in your hand. A stone that, at some point, you have to drop. You have to let it go. For the truth of the matter is spending the next decade missing your Ex—and feeling sorry for yourself—is even more depressing than your actual divorce.

So you aim to help yourself, you start researching. You ask friends, you ask family (or maybe they ask you), “How long is it supposed to take to get over a divorce, anyway?” Yet, you get nothing in return, but differing answers leading to more questions.

Now you’re here reading, and we are with you. We know that sometimes arming yourself with knowledge is the best way you can feel in control, especially when it comes to all-things-divorce. So, how long does it take?

What science says

Past studies suggest that it takes a person, on average, eighteen months to move on after divorce, while others simply leave it at “it’s complicated.” And that’s the truth—divorce is complicated, and because of this, science is only so accurate. Some study participants, for instance, might have been separated before getting a divorce, while others had only just broken things off. Other participants may have wanted a divorce, while others still wanted to try to make their marriages work.

What is clear is that even when marriages look the same on paper, their insides are messy, intricate things that can’t be examined like a math equation.

What experience says

What we know, despite what our loved ones tell us or even what science says, is that people often discover they’ve “moved on” almost unconsciously. They wake up one morning, and the sadness they’ve been carrying feels different, less of a weight than a kind of memory. You’re in the middle of a conversation, for instance, or you are out shopping in the grocery store, and you see the latest tabloid announcing another celebrity divorce when you remember your own divorce, what you’re supposed to be grieving, or “missing” or reverberating from. Only you don’t so much. You feel stabilized. It’s not that you’re unaware of the scars you are wearing, but you own them now. And best of all, you no longer care. 

This not caring is freeing! It seems to happen a little sooner when you have distance from your Ex. That means no “let’s be friends.” No late-night, I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself phone calls. No hookups “for old times sake.” In fact, to help with your healing, you must consider your past relationship like a drug, for a certain time at least. You have to cut off your exposure to the drug and to its many triggers.

You have to re-circuit your brain and teach it to do new things rather than reach for the phone to “let him have it” or to beg. (Drink a glass of water every time you want to call your Ex!) Limit your triggers of being reminded of him*. Unfriend him, or better yet, block your Ex on social media. Delete his number from your phone. If you are coparenting with him, only communicate through Family Wizard. This is about creating a buffer for the new and emerging you to grow. It’s not about adding to your confusion and grief by constantly being near the man you once thought you’d spend the rest of your life with.

But what if you aren’t grieving your “Was-band”? But grieving the loss of who you were in the marriage? Who you used to be? The lifestyle you enjoyed? The summer rituals you shared? What about the friends and family who played a role in that former life of yours?

Life after divorce is a whole new way of living, and it means almost by definition … change. A lot of change. You need time to grapple with the changes and the many losses you have suffered, ignored, or even, created. So really, when we ask how long does it take to recover from divorce? We are talking about the time it takes until “You’ve Got Your Groove Back.”

But what if you are tone—or you can’t dance? Getting your groove back does not explain what you are striving for?

In our 46 Steps to Divorce Recovery, A Definition and A Guide, we define this moment in time, post-divorce, as a process, a journey of its own within divorce where the  “emotional and practical restructuring and healing” is a “constant, cyclical process in which you are broken down and built back up numerous times until finally, you are whole again.”

Another way of saying this is, you will know when you are healed when all the shattered pieces come back together in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself.

What you can do to help yourself move on

The very fundamental desire to heal is your beginning. Now you must take steps. Try to avoid doing things that smack of those old familiar patterns and people you miss. At first, fighting these instincts will be hard, because during your marriage you probably did everything you could to bring all these things together—the people, the routines, the joys, the rituals. You tried to make the most of your marriage. But now your challenge is to create your “new normal,” and to do that, you’ll have to rediscover yourself and who you are now.

Some women find that their divorce recovery takes years, while others find that they’ve prepared for divorce so long that within months or weeks they already feel better than they have in years. To those in the latter camp, we say, yes, you may be feeling better. But don’t lose sight of the work and steps you must still be taking to ensure your healthy independence. Doing the work and practicing self care, will ensure you start seeing the signs that indeed, you have started to truly move on.

Here are some of those signs.

1. The idea of going on a date is thrilling

If, after divorce, you say to yourself whenever someone suggests you should get back out there,“What? Start all over? It’s so much work…” this is a sign that you’re not over your divorce. The idea of dating feels like a chore, a series of boxes to check off a list someone else has generated, rather than the adventure it can really be. So, don’t do it. Focus on yourself and what you need to discover about putting your life back together. Until you do this work, you will only be showing up half-heartedly or, damaged.

But if you feel a twinge of excitement at the thought of meeting someone new, then some part of you might be ready to move on—at least in the romantic department. Check in with yourself. Manage your expectations of self, what you want, what you need, and what you are willing to share.

2. You feel comfortable in your own skin

You’re feeling yourself. Not just feeling sexy—though there’s no shame in that, you feel healthy and fully of energy. You feel a sense of peace and balance. You have planted your feet in the direction you want your life to take. In short, you know who you are, and you like that person.

For some women, this may mean they’ve secured a job (a paycheck!) and routine. For others it may mean understanding at long last their finances, and what their plan is for moving forward. Or maybe the kids are no longer acting out but settling into their new routines at both houses, and this is giving you a chance to ease up in hyper-management of the shifting parts. But that frenzy of survival mode has passed. You are able to look up and consider what else might be possible for you now.

3. You feel positive about you future

Before your divorce and maybe even sometimes, afterwards, it was hard to care much about your future let alone believe there was anything good waiting for you there. But now surprising events or happenings have inspired you. You may be full of hope. Look! There’s so much about your life that’s new and surprising. You never could have predicted or planned for it.

There’s something beautiful about leaning into the unexpected.

Being positive about your future implies that you have taken a hard look at your past and come to a place of acceptance about it, both the good and the bad. It means you no longer carry the past like a weight. You’ve moved past blame. When you are living in the here and now, planning and building your new future, this is another strong indicator that you’ve begun moving on after divorce.

4. Your divorce doesn’t keep you up at night

The end of any relationship generally comes with a certain dose of feeling sorry for yourself. Nights spent crying yourself to sleep and days spent walking around in a daze. But now? You’re tired of being tired. You’re done with being sad. You find yourself making plans for your summer and spending more time with new people and those unbelievably wonderful, stalwart friends. One day you think to yourself, “When was the last time I thought about HIM?” And the fact that you have to think about that puts a smile on your face.

You might never truly “get over” your divorce, but over time, it will become a quieter ache instead of an intense pain. The heartbreak will callus over—you’ll be wiser and more prepared for red flags that may appear again. Experience is a gift that gives you the chance to learn from mistakes and failures. Whether those mistakes and failures are real or simply dancing in your head, time and doing the work you must will give you perspective.

When it comes to getting over a divorce, there’s no rulebook or timeline except the one that feels right for you. If you do nothing about your divorce recovery, you can expect very little to change about the way you are feeling. It will probably become more muddled and less pronounced. But did you grow from it? If you choose to support yourself by finding the help you need to really honor your beautiful life, you’ll discover the time it takes to get over your divorce will be just the right amount of time you need to move forward bravely and with grace.

Since 2012 smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional and often times complicated experience of divorce. We invite you to learn what’s possible for you. Schedule you FREE, 15-minute consultation with SAS. Whether you are coping with divorce or already navigating your life afterward, choose to acknowledge your vulnerability and choose to not go it alone.

*This piece was written for SAS for Women, an all-women website. At SAS we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.

Share these insights


  1. rita on April 29, 2020 at 19:13

    Ever since my husband left me my love life has been a mess. And I always think about and wish we were together and that he would come back to my life — that our love could stay endless. I wanted to fight this war of love without weapons, but then i realized that he has fully made up his mind. He no longer calls or texts, though I stay up the whole night all alone.I was ready to walk through hell to save and restore this marriage. But not him.

    • Nicole on August 9, 2020 at 23:00

      I understand. But, as much as it hurts, if he has made up his mind, there is nothing left to fight for. Now you have to fight for yourself. You deserve it. You are enough.

      • Carol on February 18, 2024 at 06:18

        Very sad. My husband and I are not divorced but he’s gone to live with a woman half his age. We still message. My stomach churns with missing him and I’m so nervous now. We have been married nearly 14 years. I miss him so much. I’m not bothered by my own renewal because I just want him back.

        • Christine on March 3, 2024 at 06:35

          My husband of 18 years left me today and I can’t cope feel to old now to start again he is younger than me he is prepared to go counselling but I feel he just going through the motion I also think has has someone else

    • Dawn on November 10, 2023 at 18:09

      I’m sorry you had to go through that! He doesn’t deserve you, You may think you’ll never be happy again but one day you’ll meet someone who’ll make you smile again!

  2. Lorraine on May 17, 2020 at 17:38

    My heart was completely shattered. My husband gave me false hope and told me he needs to go clear his head. Then he moved in with his ex wife who was single. I felt like dying. It broke my heart and left me feeling a lot of pain. I was deceived by all of them. My two stepdaughter and their Mom. I am angry , hurt, and lied to and they all made me feel that I was the reason for my husband leaving me. I loved him with all my heart and was left all alone and heartbroken.

    • Nicole on August 9, 2020 at 23:01

      I’m so sorry he did that to you. You did not deserve that. You deserve better. Believe that.

    • Elena Clemons on August 14, 2023 at 21:41

      I am absolutely devastated, frustrated, hurt and feel like someone stabbed me in the heart. My husband is a narcissist and constantly plays games with me. He has been mentally and emotionally abusive to me and our children. I have loved this man since i was 13. We got married when we were 23 and have been married for 15 years. He’s now sleeping with other women and does not take care of our 14 yr son or 12yr old daughter. I moved to another state to get away from the pain but im still very hurt. It overwhelming. I know he’s no good for me or my kids yet im crushed and left as a single mother.

  3. Joshua on October 26, 2020 at 09:00

    Thank you for sharing this info on how to get over a divorce. These suggestions will be really helpful for me. I love reading this blog. Keep sharing such informative articles!

  4. Barbara on November 25, 2020 at 13:11

    After 40 years of not seeing my high school sweetheart we reconnected. We were long distance and after 3 years of talking were got married. It was like a fairytale for 9 months, a dream come true. Then he came home from work one afternoon and told me to leave, he wanted a divorce. He refused to discuss it so I was left completely in shock with so many questions. Trying to get over the unexpressed feelings and confusion had been the hardest part for me

    • Kate Higgins on September 2, 2023 at 05:12

      Can my sister marry a married man they were together for 25+yrs. His wife couldn’t be found to have the marriage annulled.

  5. Nicole Walsh on January 19, 2021 at 12:09

    I was married 27 years and had four children. He left me for his high school girlfriend. She keeps him away from his kids and he will not even respond to a text. It’s been five years and I’m still not over it. I built new friendships, I’m dating, working but I’ve lost my ground. No idea how to get it back or how long it will take.

  6. Rebecca E Williams on January 20, 2021 at 17:14

    About ready to face divorce. 2nd marriage. Pretty emotional. 17 years, two grown children, one in spirit.

  7. Belinda Barry on January 24, 2021 at 01:02

    Nicole I was married for 34 years and my ex husband left me for his high school sweetheart.. we have three grown kids together.. he has blocked me on social media he has blocked me from seeing some of my grandkids.. it took every ounce in me to not let him win.. I felt completely apart but then I knew that’s exactly where he wanted me.. I cried when I read your letter. February will be a year that our divorce has final and I never thought that I would have come as far as I have in this last year. Your whole life you feel is just ripped away from you everything you know.. I’ve had to work hard I rebuilding me and knowing that I worth it. And will let you know you are too.. I learned the harder that I fought for him to talk to me or just acknowledge me the more he pushed me away.but in my case I was still giving him all the power and the control and once I stopped that and stopped feeling like I had to talk to him I actually got a lot of my power back when I got to the point where I realized I didn’t really need him for advice for me on my kids or grandkids or anything is when I started too want to live my life again.. you will get through this I promise.I look back at a year and a half ago with all this started and I never thought that I would ever get to this point. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.. hang in there you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. mama on January 29, 2021 at 06:05

    After 12 years of a pretty good marriage (we have 3 children, from 4 to 8 years old) my husband left me because of “fundamental differences” (?!)
    And only 30 days later he started a relationship with a colleague from work who has been present in his life since the first day the two of us met ….
    I know that woman, she was even at our wedding. And that relationship has been going on for almost a year, and for a very long time now they have been in very intensive contact with mine children without being explained what dad and his colleagues really are to each other.
    And now I should to believe that this relationship has existed only since he moved out, of course!
    I no longer have a problem at least not so much with my feelings for him (although he has ruined my whole world) now I am struggling with myself how to stop involving the oldest child in this whole story of his cheating and divorce.

    • Vsev on January 9, 2024 at 03:39

      “After 12 years of a pretty good marriage” – you call it a Good marriage? You lived 12 years of denial and delusion… like there is a complete mismatch of reality and your perception. You ignored the fact he was involved with his colleague since the beginning. He disrespected you since the beginning but you played along. Is it like “I love you so much just walk over me like I’m a door carpet…”?? That’s not love, that sounds like manipulation. Obviously life goes on after divorce.

  9. anAnonymous on March 19, 2021 at 16:26

    Divorce for me was a trauma and 22 years later, after working so hard to get through it and over it, now I’m having issues dealing with the psychological imprints of the massive abuse. I worked on myself and was almost happy, content is more what it was, I dated. At first dating was exciting, then it was nothing more than dating men who had more baggage and only wanted their own comforts. I didn’t talk about my ex, I tried to make things light, but the men I met and went out the more these men passed me over and were only into themselves. I stopped dating 10 years ago. I’m 64 now and realize my life is more about living contently alone. I tried to date. It’s changed so much that now I don’t feel comfortable anymore meeting men even for coffee. I’m sad because I want to give love, support and friendship as I want to receive.

    • Tanya K Gassaway on March 10, 2024 at 03:45

      I’m not as old as you and I can’t seem to date anyone no longer than a week and I pull away. Sometimes I think something wrong with me. I get so sad at times it’s been 6 years since my divorce I can’t seem to move on I’m so lonely I’m 45 only me and my dog kids are grown and gone.

  10. rebecca on April 14, 2021 at 17:31

    I left a 14 year marriage (15 years together) after realizing he was never going to change. I spent 13 of those years asking him to go to therapy with me and it was always refused. One year before I left I started therapy on my own and then left him a year later.

    The thing is I don’t think he was happy either. He didn’t even try to win me back and immediately went to an attorney. I think that part hurts as much as me deciding to leave. Sometimes I think I made a mistake in leaving and then I remind myself he let me go so easily, so it must be over.

  11. Julie on April 18, 2021 at 03:55

    My husband walked out after 47 years of marriage, leaving me completely heart broken. We have two children and four grandchildren. He was a husband, father and grandfather one day and nothing the next. I found out later he was having an affair which lasted up until two months before the divorce was final. It has now been five months since the divorce became final and I’ve just learned he remarried one month ago, after knowing this woman 3-4 mos. He moved out of state and is estranged from kids and grands. He will not communicate. I don’t think I will ever recover. It is so hard and I have loved him since I was 18 yrs old. I’ve been thru counseling twice. I gave great faith and friends. How will I ever accept what has happened? He is a different man than we ever knew.I am so messed up …. any help appreciated!

    • Sally on March 24, 2023 at 08:51

      Hi Julie,
      I so hope you are better now and know your worth. My husband told me he wanted to be alone after 44 years together. I found out a month later that he was living with the a woman. I was hearth broken. It has been six months and it is so hard to accept it. I am really trying, but at the age of 65 – I feel I have no place. I do have something to be grateful for – is my two great danes who give me comfort and companionship. I hope upon reading this you are so much better and have your life back.


  12. Karen on July 2, 2021 at 10:26

    I feel your pain. I don’t know what happens to men who do this. My own husband has walked out the door on me after 33 years – no warning- abs moved in with a woman he was having an affair with. That was 18 months ago. My heart is also broken, and I fear I won’t ever recover. Other people’s expectations are hard to bear I am such a mess

    • Gina Evangelista on July 9, 2022 at 09:05

      I hear what you’re saying so much. The hardest part Is the expectation other people have of when the mourning of the grief of a divorce will end. The shame comes from the shame of not being over it yet

  13. ell on August 10, 2021 at 14:08

    Separated and preparing a divorce from my bipolar husband, of only 2 years. Im 32, so I hope to heal, and move on with my life. I am more than my husbands illness, and worth being held onto.

    • Liesl Maartens on August 15, 2021 at 05:06

      Dear Ell..
      His mask fell off…such a enormous shock when it happens. I had to do the same..3 weeks freshly divorced.. my ex was a covert narcissist…the secrets and the lies…he almost destroyed me…but God stepped in and saved me. I’m sorry for your pain…find yourself and rebuild your life..You are worth of all the stars in the sky. Be kind and patient to yourself. You are loved.

      • D on June 6, 2022 at 12:55

        I can relate to your story so much. The lies, covert narcissist behavior, but GOD.

  14. Lynette on October 27, 2021 at 18:59

    After 41 years of marriage my husband left me for another woman. Our son had died 1 year before he left. One year after my son died he moved to Ohio where he hunted and got together with a lady he knew who lived there. Three years later I am so unhappy and still want him back. We are divorced. I need help with letting go and moving on. I have tried cutting him off but I end up still texting him. Unfortunately, I still love him.

    • mart on June 21, 2022 at 11:02

      Hey read this as I I’m having a bad day….. split from my ex nearly four years ago… she moved on within days had a new guy… that lasted till dec last year although we had remained in contact during covid…. we talked quite a bit at the start of the year but didn’t meet up, I’d asked but got knocked back…. found out ten days ago she has moved 120 miles to live with a new guy (has serious ca$h so I have no chance as i live on disabilty here in the UK). It’s so hard to move on when being “stuck” and having feelings is all we know. I try to think it through i just get so confused… I also have mental health issues which were part of the break up… Today she rings to talk, I’m back at square one. four years on $20,000 worse off, i’m a wreck.

      • Debora on December 12, 2022 at 10:56

        For every one man posting here, there are a thousand women suffering this pain. It is 99% of the time, men who walk away and are prepared to turn their backs on their children and a whole life if another woman comes on the scene. Most men would cheat if they get the chance.

      • Amanda on October 6, 2023 at 03:26

        Hi Mart. Thank you for sharing and though it’s been over a year since your post I’m hoping you’ve found some happiness and peace in your life. Your words moved me and made me feel some hope in that maybe I’m not alone.

        “It’s so hard to move on when being ‘stuck’ and having feelings is all we know.”
        – Mart (quoted from his June 21, 2022 post)

        Thank you, Mart

  15. Victoria on March 18, 2022 at 19:26

    I found out last night that my ex-husband has married the woman (his therapist) whom he was having an affair with and left me for. One daughter has known for months but never told me or her sister. Her sister just found out by accident, and reluctantly told me knowing it would hurt but thinking it would be best to hear it from a loved one. It’s been almost four years since we separated but my heart feels like a blink of an eye. I’m much better than I used to be but this has really set me back. I feel he’s such a coward to not have told me himself. 35 years of marriage and you’d think he’d never heard of me.

  16. andres on May 2, 2022 at 14:10

    Was wondering why is it simple to refer to one’s spouse as a male….and what your addendum saying that you care for same sex marriages mean….One cannot help thinking that if you cared enough you may have switched Mal for partner……Since I do not know your motivations I will only stay at the level of a comment without casting judgement. What I know from my own experience, is that when I care enough I do things in line with what I care. Which also leads me to believe that there is a specific need to define the ‘other ‘ as a male…and that it would subvert the spirit of this article to consider that partners come infall shapes and colors…and that is possible that there are as many “bad guys” as there are “bad gal

    Healing from a divorce is an undesired journey that no one signs up for….that in itself is the worst part of it…it is one of those things you are forced to deal with, not looking forward to. But like many other similar things, what you do with it is what will make the most difference……Accept that bad thing scan happen to good peoples is a key way to move on.

  17. SILVER on May 19, 2022 at 18:52

    After 32 Years, I’m Ready to Leave My Wife and Take a Chance

  18. Gina Evangelista on July 9, 2022 at 10:00

    After 32 years of being married to the same man, I have come through a divorce this past January. He continues to tell me that he doesn’t love me and hasn’t for 15 years of our 32 years. Ouch that hurts why didn’t he just asked me for a divorce when I was walking down the aisle with him. He has also had two affairs. And I am ashamed that I still care for this man and I think that’s the problem with me. The shame in still being ashamed of my divorce. Every person that knows me has distance themselves because I cannot get past this and they’re tired of hearing it. Ouch that hurts as well. I am alone all the time because I cannot process moving forward with my divorce and the person whom I have been with for so many years. Not only were we married we also had a two year relationship of running and racing together. We were racing partners and traveled all over the place to enjoy ourselves as athletes. Thank God I have one son who is 22 years old because he is the only evidence that I have been married. My wedding rings were stolen my wedding pictures I have no idea where they are I have not one picture of me with my ex-husband and I cannot find anything that pertains to our wedding. Coincidence or not.

  19. Robin on August 30, 2022 at 21:52

    I feel the same way been married 15 years half my life ruined from it and I want a fresh start so bad 😞

    • Anonymous on September 16, 2022 at 18:01

      I was married for 27 years and out of the blues he wanted a divorce. And then said you know we’ve been unhappy for years. No. I didn’t. I know we raised our kids and 2020 was very chaotic. But, even though things weren’t perfect, I was planning for our future. I could only think in terms of this man I was spending the rest of my life with. The truth is, even if we had some issues, I would never throw away those years without fighting. It’s been two years and I still cry. I have been to non stop therapy and I still cry. He told me he didn’t love me anymore. How do you spend 27 years with someone and they suddenly don’t love you at all. And the worst part is, my tears have mostly been shed all by myself. Everyone thinks I was too good for him and good riddance. And all I want is someone to hug me until I can stop crying. But no one seems to really care but me. It has been horrific. And the fact that somebody would walk away after all those years and not try and could just move on overnight and claim they didn’t love me at all I know I deserve better but it doesn’t make my pain any less

      • Gabby on November 20, 2023 at 18:49

        Hey Anonymous, after 10 years out the other side, I can tell you , ‘It’s on-going but it’s going to be okay! All will be well!!’
        You know that, deep down, right? You won’t reject you, you won’t be hard-hearted to you, and you won’t give up on you. You believe in you, right?
        The toughest parts I’ve faced have made me a braver, more compassionate, wiser woman, who is working hard everyday to overcome the fallout of a ‘failed’ marriage and to give something beautiful of myself to the world .
        My tough trials may be different to yours, but some may resonate with you & others, so I’m including them here: loss of confidence; periods of loneliness when you think you so didn’t sign up for this; financial hardship; low-life men trying to hit on you because they think they can; judgement from a mother who said I’m just like my father (foisting all my foibles on me, aka ‘You’re the one to blame’) & from a father who spoke on behalf of his religious circle who didn’t think it was moral for me to leave (they didn’t get that my husband had emotionally left me at the 10 year mark when he told me he wouldn’t choose me if he met me now as he wanted to come home to a woman who would have a drink with him & chat about his day, you know, like a ‘floosie’ he’s met at the bar, & not the mother of demanding small children who’s just cooked him another meal); no-one, except one sister, saw his outward & passive aggression toward me because I wanted everyone to think I was doing okay – she called him out on his behaviour, & so did I, but some men become nastier when a woman is strong & this nastiness can continue 10 years on even when they’ve re-partnered with the woman in the ‘background’ of your former marriage (sting) & you’re at one of your children’s significant life events & on your best behaviour for your children’s sake (I guess sometimes an ex is not interested in evolving ); alienation from other married women who feel they must protect their marriage from ‘the single woman’;, & so they should; adult child no 1. angry at you for not having what it took to keep a man (what!!) & giving up on 23 years because it was easier to walk away (heart smash, so not true – I made it look easy ‘with Grace’ ); loosing two dress sizes because I couldn’t eat (& ex asked why I lost weight now because I looked so good) & cried every day for 18 months (& was suicidal) & now she has to put up with her Dad’s partner & their children have 3 grandmas (not what I wanted); & child no. 2,3 & 4 wanting me to find another partner so I have financial security (they so don’t get it); & sisters who have re-partnered suggesting that I’m not putting out the right vibe to get another partner (what’s with the status thing about being partnered?); being judged as a failure in my faith community because I mustn’t have read scripture every day to get me through anything I had to face & I must be stronger; & lastly, the thing that I find most challenging, men that trigger me when they shout at me or slander me (new neighbour from hell – I stood up to him strongly on two points & he didn’t like it, & petty payback is reminding me of ex & I’m working hard at maintaining a sense of peace & safety.
        So, to give you hope, I’m still here, still wonderful as ever & still working on being better than the day before.
        I keep my garden beautiful to lift everyone who walks or drives past & I have a forgiving heart that still sometimes huffs & puffs & cries at what I didn’t have, but is healing everyday of the wounds that no longer serve me. They’ve helped me to heal others.
        I hope that helps & I send you encouragement .

  20. Anonymous on September 20, 2022 at 01:12

    I had been married for 8 wonderful years. Then one day he told me that he didn’t love me anymore. I was in complete shock! Three days later he bought a RV, sold almost everything in the house and hit the road. He told me he needed to find himself. We are in our 50’s! I thought this was what we both wanted. That is what we always said to each other. It’s been a little over a year and I still feel lost and hopeless. I never thought this would happen to us. We got along so well and we were always so supportive of each other.

  21. Sher on October 9, 2022 at 09:20

    After an 8 year marriage, my husband tells me that we are not compatible. So he files for a divorce. We moved out of state together, we had so much fun together, so I thought. I feel like I lost my best friend. Daily he would tell me that he loves me, that I’m his heart, that he doesn’t know what he would do without me. He would constantly stare at me because he said I was beautiful. Every morning he would say good morning sexy and beautiful. Just like that it changed. That was a year ago. I try not to think of the good memories we had together because I burst out in tears, even while typing this. There are so many books out there on getting over a breakup. I’ve never had a spouse leave me but one thing I’m learning is, only time and accepting the fact that it is over is what’s helping me to slowly move on. Yes, I’m still hoping that he comes back but in reality I know he won’t and to be honest, after the hurt, tears and pain I’ve shed in the last year, I’d rather continue through the grief than go back to him because just seeing him will remind me of the pain. Eventually my love for him will dissipate. And that’s what I’m looking forward to with each passing day. He is the one that wanted to leave. So
    for me, there is no going back to him because most likely, the same reason why he left in the first will resurface. To all of you, take it one day at a time, try not to get stuck on the good memories. One day we all will look back I and say, there’s a reason why this divorce happened and I’m glad it did. In hindsight, I can see the difference we had. I love the beach and like spending time there, he never did. Our taste in movies or TV shows, food, cars, entertainment, different. I guess for me, the love I had for him made me accept the difference because it’s always said that opposites attract. That may work when it comes to magnets but not marriages. Let go and let God.

  22. James on December 3, 2022 at 21:19

    My wife filed for divorce after 9 years of marriage, for the past 2 years she has pulled me back and forth breaking my heart over and over again, now she’s in a new relationship literally days after the last time we were together, makes me think she was seeing us both at the same time, I cry every night and I’m in constant pain, I hope I can move on soon, the heartache is unbearable.

    • SAS for Women on December 4, 2022 at 11:27

      Dear James, thank you for writing and sharing your pain. Please enforce boundaries between you and your EX wife. You cannot play in the gray zone with her.
      You must go cold turkey for a long time until your heart is healed. This will be hard for you as you’ll have to teach your brain to react differently, but you know what is happening. You see the pattern, you feel the pain, the confusion. You are the only one who can protect yourself. Stay committed to you.

  23. Cameron on January 8, 2023 at 18:58

    My wife divorced me after 22 years. I suffered from major depression. She chose her career over me. No separation just straight to divorce. I struggle so much — the pain, sadness is so great. My ex still is in communication with me daily and I have been trying to set boundaries. She is trying to play the victim. I loved her for all her flaws and I am pretty sure she has cheated on me, more than once. Recently I have been communication with an old friend, and she is also recently divorced. When I get a chance to talk to her, I feel happy again. Problem is she is recovering from her divorce as well and she is in a different country. She is also happy when we talk on the phone. This was not something I planned on. Now I have a double whammy, divorced sadness and someone I care about deeply who lives far away.

  24. Niels on April 10, 2023 at 11:29

    I was married for 25 years. It was always my understanding that marriage takes work, and I put the work in, with varied results and was still willing to do so, even harder if need be. I had a goal of sticking to someone I had made a promise to, and was determined that if I kept my eye on the road ahead (motorcycle reference) instead of directly in front of me, things would eventually work out. I was wrong! A year an a half ago a mutual family friend lost his wife to sickness. We put him and a couple of his then minor children up in our home while they got everything sorted and back on their feet. Our kids then started to notice inappropriate behavior from my ex and this man, and brought it to me. I took it to my ex, and although quite hurt, tried to get her to stop her behavior and reconcile with me. It only pushed her further, and she tried to gaslight us that they were “just friends.” I wouldn’t accept that and tried multiple times to get her to at least stop doing what she was doing for the sake of the kids. It didn’t work, and several months later I was served with divorce. I begged, I pleaded, I tried to get her to reconcile. Although I was extremely hurt, I wanted to repair things and save the kids the tragedy. She only doubled down further. The divorce was finalized two months ago. She drove our children away from herself, but the smear campaign about how awful and “narcissistic” I am is in full swing. She even had me questioning myself enough that I went to my counselor, asking him to test me and see if I was a narcissist…

    Our whole world is gone. The kids and I are trying our best to get to some semblance of normalcy. Thankfully, with great sacrifice on my behalf, I was able to keep things stable enough for the kids. I never let them see me soaking the pillow at night in tears. I even tried to tell them that their mother still loved them, but they would always tell me to stop lying to them. It hurts me exponentially so seeing them have to deal with the reality that someone we all trusted and loved deeply quite literally abandoned all of us for another family. All I have in this world now is them (kids). I have lost every dream, hope, goal that I ever had. I’m absolutely devastated. I can’t even think forward about finding love again, nor even feel worth anything enough to believe that I have anything else to give another. I really don’t know what to do. I am seeing a counselor, but that only helps marginally. He keeps telling me to take care of myself, re-explore myself, find what I want and such… But I just can’t. I’ve literally focused my whole marriage on everyone else, and I don’t even know who/what I am anymore.

    I know this article was written mostly with women in mind, and the things that men have done to women are horrific. I just felt that I could also identify with what so many women have suffered, and yet I’m a man.

  25. Lucy on April 15, 2023 at 16:20

    I was with my husband for 14 years married for 4 years , my first son is nearly 11 and was born with a rare genetic disorder went through genetic testing and had our second son he is 15 months , when my baby was 6 months old he started treating us vile and his temper was unbelievable he went in a stag do and did not come home I went to the stage house to find he never went and the police was called as a missing person he then sent a message how he was going to end his life but couldn’t go through with it and it was all a cover up because he fell asleep and was having an affair for 5 months we have been separated for 8 months now divorce is on going I am such a mess I gave everything to him respected him and loved him with everything I had in me not to mention took on all the care and pressure of our eldest with no support from him , I am now a single mum to a young baby and disabled child struggling to make ends meet he pays the bare minimum support and has been completely vile I have been to therapy started anti depressants in January I am just about holding it all together for the kids it’s destroyed everything inside of me I don’t sleep , I am so emotional, anxiety is unbearable lost 3 stone and that’s the only perk x

  26. Krista on July 14, 2023 at 04:58

    Last year, on Father’s Day I had my husband’s phone in my hand to take a photo of him and the 3 kids when a message popped up: It said “I’m so sorry, it will be hard to tell the kids about the divorce”…. What a shock! I went through the motions for the day in utter disbelief having to act like everything was awesome for the sake of the kids.
    I still can’t believe that after nearly 20 years of marriage this is how I found out! My husband was such a coward he never told me he’d been to talk to a divorce lawyer. He’d initiated the divorce in secret almost right after his parents passed away and he got a sizeable inheritance. I’d been the breadwinner through our marriage while he’d been “Mr Mom”. This arrangement made sense to both of us since I had much higher salary than him. Once the youngest kid started school (6 years ago) there really was no real need for him to stay at home but I didn’t pressure him to look for a job because I made enough for the family and he seemed to be enjoying taking care of the house, cooking etc. Apparently he was unhappy and wanted out and once he got his inheritance he felt financially secure enough to leave. What irony: just when I was relieved he’d finally be able to contribute to family finances and reduce the stress/load on me and the 50+ hour weeks I worked! The added irony is that even though he’s now effectively a millionaire in land and cash, inherited property is his sole property while my 401K and the house and everything else I’ve saved or paid for is “common property” and is due to divided 50/50. Incredibly unfair! And as insult to injury, because he doesn’t have a lot of income (won’t look for a job, won’t rent his parents house) I’ll be on the hook for child support and alimony too.
    Even though he’s been the sly one (he’s continued to hid moves during the divorce… thank God I was finally able to convince to go through mediation vs divorce to save $$$) he accuses me of dishonesty. For example he hadn’t paid taxes on inheritance related income and when I told him what he owed IRS (after doing our taxes like I’ve always done them) he accused me of cheating. He’s so irrational he thinks I’m in cahoots with the government on taxes?! Just one example of him thinking I’m out to screw him. Meanwhile I’m trying to figure out how he and the kids (half the time) could stay in the house since keeping the house is super important to the kids, the house is great and more affordable than rentals here and I can’t physically do all the house maintenance.
    This unfairness and his lack of balls to discuss issues and divorce related moves has left me feeling bitter. Who is this person I wasted big chunk of miy life with? I don’t even know. And the worst part is that the all the anger and fighting poison the good memories. I despise him for ruining my memories and now making me feel like years with him were a waste! The only consolation is our 3 wonderful kids, all of whom are smarter and have more integrity and kindness than their father. I’ll have to get over the bitterness I feel over their freeloader dad to be a better mom to them.

    • Emmy on October 4, 2023 at 11:08

      When I read your story, I thought someone just wrote my story …

      The unfairness is the worst to swallow. The only way I can reframe the situation is to realize I no longer need to share my hard earned income with this man. We are completely different people living different parts of the world yet human nature of selfishness and greed has no borders.

      I really feel your hurt and anger.

  27. Dani on July 14, 2023 at 10:54

    I finally found the strength to leave and I’ve been separated for almost a month from a very emotionally abusive husband. I thought that once I was out, I would be okay, but there’s so much pain from what I was put through that I just now realize this will be a long process of recovery. It’s hard when you love a man with all your heart, you give the best of yourself, you help him succeed in his career, you hold his hand in the toughest moments of his life, you help him raise his kids and love them as if they were your own, and then one day, you wake up and realize you no longer recognize yourself. You realize in the process of trying to make your marriage work you completely forgot about who you were and who you are. You’re a shadow of yourself. You realize you were always alone. All for a man who has been bringing you down since the day of your wedding. We were married for 13 years, I was accused of having affairs (more than 30, can you believe that? It’s more than one a year). They even “climbed the roof of our house” to see me (yeah, he invented that). I always felt like I was in a bad horror movie I couldn’t get out. I finally realized those were projections of a man who was probably cheating on me. He isolated me from friends and family. He did everything he could so I wouldn’t progress professionally and at the end he forced me out of the house and invented lies to everyone in town of why the marriage ended. It was all my fault. I was the taker, I was the “cheater”. I lived with cameras and listening devices controlling my very move. So when he found nothing, he fabricated stories. I was in a such a survival mode, I was numb. He told horrible lies to my child about me. He had a divorce lawyer on retainer a year before I found the courage to file. He wanted me out and he did everything to push me out. He is still on a quest to destroy me financially. He even had a party with his family and friends at his house two weeks after I left to celebrate and made sure to tell my child so she would tell me. It hurts to know I was married to such a bad man. It hurts to know I fooled myself in believing he was a good man and I was going to bring the best in him. Isn’t what marriage is supposed to be? We’re there for each other! He used his childhood traumas and past relationships to justify why he hurt me.

    I still cry and get mad at myself, but if I experienced one thing after I left is that I’m strong. Gosh, If I’ve taken that emotional abuse for so many years and I’m still standing, I can get through this new phase and rebuild myself. He doesn’t control me anymore. He can take all the money, but he can’t take my dignity. I’ll tell you all, no matter where you are in your journey, I know it’s hard and it’s VERY painful, but taking the first step to choose you, one little action at a time, it’s a already a big step. We need to remember we deserve better. Whatever they did, it’s a reflection of who they are, not of who we are. There’s this saying from Nelson Mandela that I say to myself every time I feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry that helps me center myself and take back control of my own feelings and emotions: “You are the master of your fate, you are the owner of your soul.” I wish you the best on your healing journey. Remember you’re not alone. We ARE strong. Never forget that! We can find ourselves again.

  28. on September 14, 2023 at 19:56

    my ex husband filed for divorce
    im so sad I could die

    • Amanda on October 6, 2023 at 03:42

      Susan, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. Many times. I’ve been divorced now for almost three years. It’s hard and it sucks but you will get through it. One day at a time. Sending you lots of love, hope and strength.

  29. Annonymous on November 10, 2023 at 12:25

    We were married for 26 years, his parents lived with us. They were from a background where servants used to do everything for them. They came to live with us with that “mindset”. I was working full-time, looking after them, cooking, cleaning, raising our son while my husband was heavily involved in volunteering within our community. I supported him in all his volunteer activities. My father-in-law had mild dementia. Unfortunately, during COVID it became worse and he would lash out at me at 2 times a day. My nerves were shot, with everything closed there was nowhere to go. I had also retired during COVID so I could devote more time to looking after my in-law’s. Our son was home from university and the constant conflict was impacting him – he started losing weight and was uninterested in doing other things. So I left to go to my family for a few days. While at my family’s home, our son’s health started improving. My husband then asked me for a separated agreement and refused to allow us to return home. It was devastating. My family reached out to him, he refused to communicate. Unfortunately, I went to a lawyer and the lawyer escalated the matter. My father in law passed away six months after our separation. I asked our community leaders to help us to reconcile but my husband has already started dating other women and refuses to communicate at all. This is my husband’s second marriage. We’re at the lawyers spending thousands of dollars and it’s so senseless as we’re getting older. It’s been so very difficult. If I had to do this all over again, I would never approach a lawyer. They escalate matters and it puts the other person on the defensive. I would try reconciliation at all costs. This process has really opened up my eyes on the part I played in all this. I really believe in keeping our family together, unfortunately for me – my husband refuses to communicate at all and lack of communication is the silent killer of any relationship. God bless you all.

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