Board Certified Counselor
Love is a wonderful feeling that two people can share together, but when looking for advice on divorce, how does one decide when it is right to love again after a painful divorce?
There are exceptions but in most cases it is strongly encouraged that people wait at least a year after the divorce is final to engage in a serious relationship. Why is this?
The main reason for allowing some time to heal is that it is easy to fall into the “rebound” trap after the marriage is over. Rebound relationships can stall or even prevent one’s full recovery.
I tuned into financial guru Suze Orman’s show the other night. A female viewer had called in with a question looking for financial advice on divorce.
Suze had stated that she believed divorce was worse then death in some cases when it comes to money. She advised this particular viewer to keep her finances safe and sound for a minimum of 6 months to a year. Why?
The clinical interpretation of this would be that it is never a good idea to make any big decisions for an extended period of time until after a certain amount of healing has taken place.
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Most everyone is on their own time schedule in terms of healing from a divorce. Some people choose to jump into a relationship right after the divorce is final and then there are those that need to fully come to terms with the divorce before feeling ready to commit to another relationship. Depending upon the length of the marriage, more time may be necessary for some.
The decision to enter a new relationship is something that requires a lot of thought and planning. When divorced dads enter a new relationship they want to be sure they are doing so because it is about love and not about running from the pain.
The “elephant in the room” must be acknowledged in order to facilitate a full recovery. No matter how amicable the divorce may have been there are still feelings and emotions that need to be addressed before moving forward in a healthy relationship.
It is perfectly normal to feel lonely after divorce. Loneliness can be unbearable at times but it is definitely an intricate facet of the healing process.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the painful feelings that you may experience are actually facilitating your recovery.
In addition to reconciling with the residual effects from the divorce, it will also be important to re-establish your identity as a single person.
Feeling whole again before choosing a partner can be very empowering. The idea of “wanting” someone and not feeling like you “need” someone allows you to have options.
Loving again is an act that requires a tremendous amount of courage and I commend those that have been able to reach that milestone.
Remember you are on your own journey and there is no set amount of time to which you should be “cured” of the pain from a divorce. Each day, little by little, the light will start to shine again…when you are ready for it to.
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Lisa Brown, MA, LPC, NCC, is a practicing therapist who helps people overcome life transitions specifically related to loss. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lisa Brown.