According to a recent article in Psychology Today, how quickly and well you recover from a divorce depends largely on these 10 factors:
1. The length of the marriage.
The longer you and your spouse were together, the more entwined your lives became — which makes it more likely that it will take longer for the two of you to become used to functioning as a single person rather than a couple.
2. If the divorce was a surprise.
If you had no idea that your spouse was going to ask you for a divorce, the surprise element can make it harder for you to recover.
3. Whether you were the initiator.
While divorce is hard for both the spouse who wants out and the one who is taken by surprise, it will take longer to recover if you are the one who did not want the divorce.
4. Whether your spouse cheated on you.
Being left for someone else adds feelings of rejection, which deepens the pain of divorce. The degree of additional pain will depend on whether your spouse was a serial cheater and you knew about it, or if he/she actually feel in love with another person and is leaving you to be with that person.
5. Whether or not children are involved.
Divorcing when children are involved is harder because you have to sometimes stuff down your own feelings in order to deal with theirs. Plus, if you are the spouse leaving, it can be harder to recover from leaving your entire family rather than just your spouse.
6. Your income level.
In the context of divorce, having money gives you more choices and can free you from financial worry — one of the main stressors in divorce. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck as a married couple, your worries compound when trying to sustain individual households.
7. Whether you have a job.
Work can be a great help in recovering from a divorce. You have a work “family” to support you and a steady source of income to support yourself. If you haven’t worked for a long time or have no job skills, it is going to be tougher to recover from a divorce when you are stressed about making ends meet.
8. Whether you choose alternative dispute resolution methods over litigation.
Mediation or collaborative divorce allows you to resolve your case outside a courtroom and gives you better control over the final outcome at a lower cost than litigation. Engaging in a form of alternative dispute resolution will allow you and your spouse to hash things out with the help of a neutral third party — the mediator — in a private setting or with the help of a collaborative team. If you go the litigation route, not only will you be spending a lot more money that could have gone to both of you in a mediated or collaborative divorce settlement, it will also be more draining emotionally — making it more difficult for you to recover from the divorce.
9. Whether or not you are resilient.
Some people are optimists, seemingly born with a positive outlook and the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity. If you are one of these people, you will have an easier time recovering from your split. If not, consider working with a therapist to increase your ability to cope.
10. Whether you have a good support team.
A good support team is crucial in a divorce. This consists not only of your divorce attorney, financial advisor, and therapist, but also a network of friends and family to support you emotionally.
For over 40 years, your legal team at Koenig|Dunne has advocated for thousands of clients through their divorces – schedule a consultation to obtain meaningful answers to the questions that matter the most to you.