7 Tips On How To Get Through a Divorce Emotionally

how to get through a divorce emotionally

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Wondering how to get through a divorce emotionally? Here is a comment from one of my Divorced Girl Smiling Group members: Anyone else go from one day feeling liberated, excited and ready to take on the world to the next day overwhelmed, lonely and pissed off at how life had turned out? Yeah, I am on the bad day today, at least for the moment.

Divorce truly is an emotional roller coaster. Ups and downs. One day you feel amazing…confident and great about the future, and then something happens and you feel crushed and scared and insecure and hopeless.

I would say that that’s how it is for the first few months of divorce if not longer. What I will say is, as time goes by, the bad days start coming less and less frequently and you get more of the good days.

In the meantime, how do you cope with the bad days?

In other words, how to get through a divorce emotionally? Here are 7 tips:

1. Get your community together.

What I mean by that is, develop your own divorce support community: people who you know love and care about you, who will be on-call and available for when you just need to cry or vent about something; like when you find out your ex has a girlfriend, when you get bad news from your divorce attorney, or when you just put your children to bed and they were crying about the divorce. These people might be your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, your child’s friend’s mom, a co-worker, or a neighbor. Make sure you trust them and thank them for being there.

2. Take care of yourself physically.

Every single woman I know who is going through a divorce loses a ton of weight (and not in a healthy way.) So, make sure you are nourishing your body with healthy food, lots of green leafy vegetables and whole foods. Minimize drinking (I know that’s not easy) and work out and do yoga. You know the drill. Being physically healthy is very important and very linked to how to get through a divorce emotionally.


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3. Try to live your life as normally as possible.

In other words, the whole world doesn’t have to revolve around your divorce. You can still know what’s going on in the news, and still find enjoyment out of life if you let yourself. What I’m saying is, don’t let your divorce define you. I know that’s not easy, but finding joy every single day, whether it’s through your kids or nature or doing something you love-like a hobby or volunteering or your job is very very important in emotional health.

4. Don’t live in the past.

Stop thinking about your regrets and saying things like, “I wish he would have…” “I should have…” “If I was a better wife…” Words like “should have” or “If” are toxic and serve no purpose. The minute you start thinking that way, shift your thoughts to today, and what you can do to make yourself happy today.


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5. Minimize resentment.

Thoughts like “I wasted 10 years with him…” “He was mean to me that one night three years ago…” “He never helped with anything around the house…” Those thoughts are non-productive. Better thoughts are, “I’m in a better place without him.”

6. Be patient.

Getting through a divorce emotionally doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a really long time. That doesn’t mean your life is going to be awful the entire time, it just means that time has to go by. It’s not easy to be patient. I can tell you that firsthand. Just breathe.



7. Have faith.

If you know that you are a good person, have faith that God will get you through this, and that this happened for a reason. Have hope that your future is going to be really, really good. I’m not saying sit back and let God do everything, but rather just let Him help find the courage and the determination to make a really great life for yourself.

Like this article? Check out, “20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    4 Responses to “7 Tips On How To Get Through a Divorce Emotionally”

    1. Angela

      I too had my own pity party tonight. (50 isn’t too far away for me either.) I identified with your post on so many levels. I have much to be thankful for as well. It has been a tough year with some health issues (nothing horrible – just costly) and my divorce was final just a month ago this week. I’m mostly just tired of feeling sad inside. I try not to project it externally and I always try to smile and laugh my way through things. It’s when you’re home alone (no kids and obviously no husband) and you realize that life isn’t quite what you dreamed it to be… that’s when the sadness creeps in. Oh well. I just hope there is a rainbow out there somewhere. And, I guess I have to be the one who makes it happen. Ugh. Thanks for sharing. Your observations are spot on.

    2. mansi

      Hey Jackie,
      M 30 and divorced… I frequently have pity parties and I try to count my blessings… But the fact that I don’t even have kids eats me alive…. M dying all alone is the biggest sorrow of my life…. Cam u say something for me…. It hs come to a point where I cant stand my married friends who have children. I know its bad n i should not be jealous but I just cant stand it

    3. Ally

      Hi Jackie,
      You’re right, it’s all a matter of perspective. I read your story and I was envious!. I’m 51 and don’t even have one home let alone a second home. My ex blew all of our money and ran up huge debt and is now taking me to court to get my father’s inheritance (that I received after we separated) to pay that off. I haven’t had a single date since my divorce and feel like giving up altogether. Married friends avoid me ever since my divorce and I have no family (they are either dead or the living ones are toxic). BUT I have my two gorgeous children who are healthy and happy, I have a great job that pays way better than I would ever have expected to have at this stage, I have my health and I look pretty good for my age. I have single/divorced friends and I’m never bored since I am very active physically and mentally. I have a roof over my head and money is not an immediate issue. It’s good to keep a gratitude diary and write in it every day to remind yourself to keep your thoughts on the positive.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        I think you sound amazing! The life you are living is not easy, and yet you seem to truly have it together. You sound strong and confident. It’s impressive!! Try to enjoy yourself every day.


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