How To Survive The Pain Of Divorce (Even When It Feels Unbearable)

To put it plainly, divorce feels like death.

And it feels like death because it is a death, of sorts. The life you had (and the relationship you shared with your spouse in that life) are gone forever. Along with the fantasy of the future you once dreamed about together. 

The "you," you once knew, is gone too.

And while you may see glimpses of her in the mirror, once your marriage officially ends, you can never go back to being that exact same woman. The person you'll become moving ahead is a new version of you. She may look the same, but something inside has changed forever and that is the very definition of a death.  

Good, bad,  or ugly — if you see the end of your marriage fast approaching, it's wise to know what's about to come next.

Like all deaths, divorce leaves a mark. For most people, it affects your health, productivity, emotional well-being and in some cases, even your life expectancy. Here are a few facts to consider, during divorce:

  • Anxiety and fear about the future skyrockets
  • Your risk of alcohol addiction rises (this is especially true for divorced men)
  • Your risk of developing clinical depression also rises (this is especially true for women)
  • Your productivity drops at work by as much as 75 percent, putting you at greater risk for termination/probation
  • Along with countless other challenges like: insomnia, weight gain/loss, digestive problems and a weakened immune system

As you consider the fate of your own marriage, remember that giving up because you're unhappy in this moment may not be the right answer.

Being spontaneous with a decision this serious isn't wise. 

Have you gone to therapy or worked with a coach to see if you can work through your differences with support? If it's not possible to go to counseling with your spouse, research shows that even one person in therapy can make a difference on the outcome of the marriage. So if you want to stay and work it out, it's not necessarily hopeless.

And, at least, entering into a breakup of this magnitude, you'll know you personally did all you could to make the marriage work. That is the only way to move into divorce with the least amount of regret.

With that in mind, end the end, some marriages simply can't be saved. Divorce is inevitable.

The question is, can you get through the process unscathed? Or, at the very least, with the least amount of soul damage as possible?

We asked our Experts to share their best insights and advice about what the death of a marriage is really like. We wanted to find out what you can expect to go through and how to prepare yourself for the pain and confusion this journey will inevitably bring to you.  

Our panel included Thought Leader Charles J. Orlando, psychotherapist Dr. Foojan Zeine, counselor Anabelle Bugatti, divorce attorney and advisor Karen Covy and author Patty Blue Hayes

What you'll hear in the video above is a mixture of advice, life lessons and anecdotes about the realities of the divorce experience. Watch the video to better understand some of the common challenges and a few predictable surprises you may encounter along the way.

Divorce is incredibly painful and you don't have to travel this path alone. The panelists can help. 

If you're interested in reading Patty's divorce journey, check out her latest book, "Wine, Sex and Suicide - My Near Death Divorce" or visit Karen's website for divorce advice from an attorney's perspective. Looking for something more healing for your heart, visit Anabelle or Dr. Foojan's websites for support. 

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