Yes, You Can Find Happiness After Divorce — But Only If You Accept These 4 Truths

Photo: Martin Novak / Shutterstock
woman dancing in sunlight
Heartbreak

Everyone deserves happiness, whether your relationship status is single, married, “it’s complicated,” or mid-divorce. But it can be hard to remember that you have a right to happiness when you’re facing the end of a relationship.

Divorce is not a fun experience. For most people, it’s messy, complicated, and ridden with uncomfortable feelings like grief, anger, and sadness.

As you face those difficult and challenging feelings, it’s common to struggle to find a sense of happiness in life.

These four truths will remind you that what you’re experiencing is normal, that your life is not over just because your relationship ended, and that happiness is something that you will find again in your life.

RELATED: You Can Be Happy After Divorce — Just Don't Do These 13 Things

Here are 4 truths to help you find happiness post-divorce.

1. Divorce is a finite process.

When you’re grieving the end of the relationship, it may feel like the dreaded D-word (divorce) is a permanent fixture that will be in your life forever. However, that isn’t true.

Divorce is a process that has a specific beginning, middle, and end. Once the divorce is final, it’s over. Done. Finito.

Though it may not feel like it, this finite process is actually a gift. Having a specific date on which the divorce goes into effect gives you a moment in time that can prepare you to hit the reset button on your life.

It’s true that uncomfortable feelings like grief, anger, and sadness don’t automatically go away once the divorce is final, but that’s okay. You can hit the reset button even when you’re still working through all those emotions.

Depending on the circumstances with your ex, you may find that you have to continue some sort of (hopefully congenial) relationship with them once the divorce is over. This is especially true when kids are part of the equation.

But just because your ex may still be in your life doesn’t mean that the divorce process will last forever — it won’t. And if you are in a position that requires you to have continued contact with your ex post-divorce, you can still look at the finalization of the divorce as a time to hit the reset button on your relationship with your ex.

You can mentally move them from “ex-partner” to “co-parent” in your mind and start to develop a new way of relating to them.

2. Grief is a normal, but temporary, emotional state.

We tend to think of grief only as it relates to death, but the fact is we can grieve any loss. In fact, grief is a normal human experience, one that nobody can escape. Therefore, it’s absolutely normal to grieve the loss of your marriage.

You committed your life to your ex — of course, you would need time to be sad about the end of that commitment. But grief is not a permanent emotional state. It’s a process, a journey that you go through that tapers off and winds down over time.

Though it may not feel like it now, there will be a time where you realize that your grief is not leading your life anymore.

Without realizing it, you’ll find yourself enjoying your favorite song, savoring the first sip of coffee in the morning, or basking in the sunlight on your face. And, in that moment, you’ll realize that your grief has dissipated, that it doesn’t have a stronghold on you anymore, and that you’re in the process of moving on.

(In my course, Rebuilding Life After Divorce or Relationship Break-Up, I do a deep dive into the grief journey and the healing process that occurs during and after your grieving period.)

RELATED: 3 Ways You Sabotage Your Quality Of Life After Divorce — And 5 Ways To Take Charge Of It

3. Life after divorce exists.

When you first start the divorce process, you might have felt like you can’t exist without your partner. You can’t even begin to imagine what life as a single person will be like.

But as you work through your grief and get used to this new reality, you’ll find yourself opening up to new experiences and new ways of being. This transformation doesn’t have to be big... it can start as small baby steps, like going to a restaurant by yourself or completing a task that your ex always used to handle.

As time goes on, you can work your way up to bigger, more significant steps (treating yourself to a solo weekend getaway is always one of my favorites).

Though this chapter may have ended, there is still so much to your life story that you have yet to live. You may not feel ready to turn the page yet, but when you do your new life will be right there waiting for you.

4. Post-divorce is a time of creation, not destruction.

Divorce can feel like a construction zone in which everything that you know and love is destroyed. Along with the end of your relationship, you may also experience the destruction of things like family traditions, your social circle, or even your housing situation.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Hey You! Want more of YourTango's best articles, seriously addictive horoscopes and top expert advice? Sign up to get our free daily newsletter!

While all of those things may feel like an ending, they open the door to something new and exciting — a clean slate to create exactly what you want in life.

After your divorce, you have the opportunity to rebuild your identity, your relationship patterns, and your day-to-day experiences. You don’t have to consult with anyone else or compromise with a partner.

Everything from how your house is decorated to what you do for three-day weekends to which toilet paper you use is your decision to make!

Divorce is hard, but don't get stuck there.

I’m not going to lie or try to convince you otherwise — divorce is usually a challenging and difficult period in your life, whether you initiated it or your ex did. But that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in grief and sadness.

You should work through those emotions and give yourself adequate time to accept the loss, but then move on into the next chapter of creation and the new “you.”

When you’re going through a divorce, you’ll probably find that you need extra support. That could be turning to your friends more, seeing a coach or therapist, or even working through an online course.

Whether you’re newly single or have been divorced for quite some time, remember that you do deserve to find happiness again and that there are plenty of resources to help you with that.

RELATED: How To Embrace The Journey Of Finding & Creating Happiness After Divorce

Babita Spinelli is a psychotherapist, CEO of Opening the Doors Psychotherapy and Embrace Coaching, and designer of Rebuilding Life After Divorce Or Relationship Breakup: Creating Your Meaningful New Future, a self-guided eCourse for people going through divorce or breakup. To learn more about how she can help you accomplish your goals, visit her website.