How long does it take to get over the end of a long-term marriage? The answer is that it depends on who you ask.
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Divorce is hard. The unwanted divorce I went through after 37 years of marriage was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. The process of recovery is a long, confusing, and painful road. People who have not had this experience may say or think, “just get over it.” If it were only that easy.
Here I sit, wondering what the typical recovery time is for those of us going through a divorce. I was left in 2013 and divorced in 2017, and I count the years of recovery starting on the day I found out he was leaving in 2013. It has been nearly 10 years. I can honestly say I quickly recovered from him, but I have not recovered from the scars he left. I have not recovered from the dissolution of our marriage and our family, and that is where the pain remains.
The first article I read was an article I found in Regain Us that said, “Most psychologists and therapists’ general rule of thumb is one year of healing and recovery for every five to seven years of marriage…” That means I should be totally recovered by now. I should have been doing the happy dance in 7.4 years. Well, that is not true for me because of the aftermath that was left behind. You just don’t heal from that type of pain easily or quickly. Not that 7.4 years is quick.
The second article I found was on a site called SAS For Women. The article is entitled How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Divorce? They mention two-time frames that are possible for getting over a divorce. One study says 18 months which for me is totally untrue. Then they mention a saying “that it takes half the time you spent together to truly move on.” To me, that is just depressing because that means it will take me about 17-18 years to recover. I sure hope that is not true. I will fight that statistic with all that is in me.
I think the time variations depend on the situation and the people involved. I think it also depends on your financial situation. In many grey divorces, a spouse is left with no money and lacks a career, and it is difficult to start over when you are in your senior years.
They mention two things in the article that stand out to me, which are situations that can make the healing process longer. These are The length of the marriage and the element of surprise. Sadly both of these apply to me because I was married for 37 years, and I had no idea he was leaving. He had been meeting with an attorney, and I had no idea. Many of the other things they listed applied to me as well, but I think the top two for me were the ones I mentioned.
In conclusion, the suggestions on how long it takes to recover from a divorce are widely varied. I think because no one really knows. I don’t think you can place a specific time on recovery because there are so many variables.
Now knowing we have no idea how long it takes, I am going to research how we can speed up the healing process. I am hoping to find ways to come out on the other side of the pain a bit quicker. I hope this is possible. I will let you know what I find soon!
God Bless You On Your Journey!