When It Comes to Divorce – Getting On With It Beats Getting Over It

Although they may sound as if they are the same thing, there’s a difference between getting over a divorce and getting on with your life. The first depends on so many intangibles, the second on practicalities over which you have some control.

When is it Over? – It Takes as Long as It Takes

Some people (granted, a minority) after an initial period of anger and hurt remain close friends. I know a couple that attended their divorce hearing then went out for dinner and a movie. Others may never get over it. For most of us it just takes as long as it takes. There are all sorts of timelines for estimating how long it will take to get over a divorce, a year of recovery for every decade of marriage, for example. And, of course, you know about the stages of grief and the concept of closure. But people heal differently, in fits and starts, particles and waves. Years from now, you may be ambushed by a sound or sight or scent that brings the past flooding back. Or, believe or not, you and your ex may share a pleasant meal with your new partners. I’m not sure there’s ever a complete “closure” after you’ve opened your heart to someone. But that’s okay; it’s what makes us human and capable of loving again. As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote:

‘Tis better to have loved and lost.
Than never to have loved at all.

How Do You Get Over It? –Take Some Small Steps and an Occasional Leap

We can, however, rest assured that we will survive divorce and take comfort that our survival is something we can facilitate. No matter whatever traumatic event capsized us and turned our world upside down, we can begin by righting ourselves and begin bailing out. Every step you take to sort out the wreckage is empowering, whether it’s hiring a divorce mediator, signing up for a dance class or cleaning out the attic. Each and every thing that you to do find your balance, make it through the days or reclaim your life is a palpable, concrete measurement of progress, however grand or incremental. You’re moving on. And that, my friend, is the very definition of survival. Do whatever you can now to get on with it now instead of waiting to get over it. As the saying goes “the only way out is through.” One step at a time.

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