10 Critical Ways To Have A Healthy Post-Divorce Adjustment

Happily overcome the challenges of divorce.

Co-parenting cordially for their child. Playing a video game together evgenyatamanenko | Canva

Learning to function after a divorce is a long-term process with both positive and negative outcomes. It is helpful not to view your divorce as a complete "failure," but as a legitimate solution to some marital and family distress that most likely became unhealthy or intolerable. Valuable divorce research and guidance are abundantly available to assist you, and despite the many nightmare divorce stories, there are undoubtedly helpful ways to adjust and move forward post-divorce.


Here are 10 critical ways to have healthy post-divorce adjustment:

1. Accept the end of the marriage

Accept you are not, and will no longer be, married to your ex-spouse. It's time to develop a new identity that is not tied to your ex. Holding on to a lingering attachment will only produce more stress.

Unhappy couple needs tips for post-divorce adjustment fizkes via Shutterstock


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2. Have a "functional" post-divorce relationship with your ex

Make peace with your ex. It’s time to forgive. Separate your role as a parent with the role of a "spouse." It is time to negotiate some new boundaries.

3. Take the time to grieve

Let yourself go through the grief process. The end of this process should have an acceptance phase. Do not get stuck on long-term self-blame, guilt, or anger.

4. Get an attitude adjustment

Work hard to develop a realistic understanding of what happened. Each individual must understand their contribution to the dysfunctional behavior pattern that led to the outcome of the marriage. Accepting responsibility leads to empowerment to do something about it.


5. Firm up your social support system

Find alternative sources of support. It is best to avoid another intimate relationship while you are healing. It is detrimental to become dependent on the children to meet your emotional needs. Get support from a therapist if your alternatives are limited.

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6. Learn to co-parent

Co-parent with direct communication. Regulate your emotions so you are not tempted to behave poorly toward the parent of your child. Avoid overdependence on or competition for the children.

@divorcewithaplan Foster co-parenting success by advocating for your ex partner, nurturing open communication, and acknowledging positive steps for the children's benefit 💝 #josephialaw #divorcewithaplan #divorced #couples #coparenting #communication #divorcelawyer #familylaw ♬ original sound - Divorce With A Plan

7. Help your children get through this time

Parents should discuss the reasons for separation and divorce with children in age-appropriate ways that do not place blame on anyone in particular. Encourage children to express their emotions about it. If you have a child who tends to internalize, a therapist who works specifically with children can be valuable. Children will require even more emotional support from you, which is often hard to give during this time. It is inappropriate to suddenly burden your children with adult responsibilities.


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8. Take advantage of opportunities for learning and personal growth

Often in therapy when helping people post-divorce, there is a goal to help the individual develop feelings of capability and competence as a "single" person, especially after a long-term marriage. You need to find new sources of meaning in your life and create a "new beginning."

@itsjonbonet Healing through divorce, don’t spend too much time replaying the past. You have to accept reality, be appreciative of what he taught you and move forward with hope and expectation for better days to come. I love you, God loves you more 🫶🏾 #saraispeaks #howtohealafterdivorce #howtohealabrokenheart #divorcetok #lifeafterdivorce #godlywomanwithfaith #blackwomenoftiktok #relationshipadvice #womanofgod ♬ original sound - Jonbonét ✨🌱🌻

9. Learn to handle the legal process

The legal process often worsens the pain of divorce. Although it is tempting, do not use the legal process punitively. Learn to be satisfied with the terms of the divorce.


10. Take care of yourself physically

Eating poorly, not exercising, sleeping excessively, etc., can all contribute to your stress level and negative emotions. Physical activity is especially important to activate the natural "feel good" chemicals in your brain called endorphins.

For all of these tips, a competent therapist can help guide the process. An objective third party would be most instrumental in helping you sort through various aspects of post-divorce life. Some issues to bring to therapy might be your grief, figuring out your contribution to the demise of the marriage, developing boundaries with the ex, or co-parenting. It would be beneficial to explore how the divorce might relate to your family of origin or early childhood experiences. It is also is crucial to learn how to avoid another inappropriate or poor choice in a partner again.

Happy woman with flowers has a tip for healthy divorce adjustment Sirtravelalot via Shutterstock


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Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, relationship expert, and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships.