Divorce as a Process Over Time

Divorce is a process over time. It’s not an event. Many experts who have studied the divorce process believe that to fully recover from the divorce and see the world through truly renewed eyes may take as much as two years. Abigail Trafford, in her excellent Crazy Time, believes that the worst part of the process occurs in the 6-month period after separation. That’s when people may feel that their world is completely out of control. However, once we get through that wretched stage, while the going is a bit easier, it will still take a long time to: See ourselves as truly separate from our spouse; Be able to even think about committing to another relationship; Stop ruminating about the marriage – what you did wrong, what they did wrong; No longer feel triggered by what our spouse does; Actually accept the notion of our spouse with another partner; Honestly feel happy again. I think the most important message that a divorcing or depressed person can receive is that there will come a time when you will feel good again. It won’t happen tomorrow, next week or even next month – but it will happen in due course. Statements like that may be no more than seeds planted in another’s mind and heart. They will germinate in their own time. It may be the greatest gift we, living outside the world of the suffering, as we do, can offer the dispirited.