Divorce Is Like An Accident; How To Deal With The Divorce Trauma

Divorce | | Expert Author
Updated On: March 22, 2024
divorce trauma

Divorce is like a car crash, and the divorce trauma that follows is the heavy price that needs to be paid. Marriages don’t take place to be dissolved. But when somebody reaches that stage, the comparable word for such an eventuality is perhaps ‘accident.’ Something that’s not planned but it comes into your life, leading to extensive damage.

In accidents, it is damage to a part of the body. In divorce, it’s emotional damage that happens and generally affects a person psychologically. If you don’t come out of it feeling sane and somewhat relieved, a divorce can have many negative long-term effects.

How To Deal With Divorce Trauma?

Now when an accident happens, we see two kinds of response from victims. One who met with an accident and had his hands amputated might feel so tormented that he will give up his life, considering it to be meaningless. He will call himself unfortunate.

Feelings of despair and dejection would go on to the extent that his whole life would look miserable. This one accident has changed the entire course of his life. Naturally, he will lose many years before overcoming the trauma, if at all he comes back.

Another person in a similar situation would naturally feel affected. The damage is irreparable. But after coming to terms with the eventuality, he challenges that state of despondency and helplessness. He will not let one accident take away his entire life. He lost one hand, not his whole life.

His critical faculties are working and running. He takes this as a positive sign. He has changed his life with the right attitude. Similarly, it is in our best interests to learn how to overcome divorce trauma; otherwise, we’d be despondent and miserable all our lives, and this one incident will dictate everything we do going forward.

Related Reading: 9 Important Tips When Moving On After Divorce

How To Overcome Divorce Trauma

Some people choose divorce by mutual consent, and for them divorce is a positive thing that will better their lives, and it may be difficult for them to wrap their heads around the fact that some people never come out of the relationship trauma. They may ask, “is divorce even considered trauma?” And you’re left feeling lost and confused as to what they did to be so happy and confident.

But these people are happy and fulfilled, and you deserve to be happy too. So if you want to learn how to overcome divorce trauma, here are some ways to go about it.

Don’t prolong the agony

My experience as a lawyer dealing extensively with divorce cases (I prefer that to being called a ‘divorce lawyer’) also brought me two parallels when I take on divorce cases.

It’s unfortunate that you are proceeding with divorce. But it is a reality and certain circumstances that brought you to this situation. You could have controlled it or averted it. But in hindsight, all things can be corrected.

Maybe the accident leading to the amputation would not have happened had the victim applied the brake a second earlier. But that’s what an accident is all about. It always leaves you wondering what could have been.

One set of clients takes too much upon themselves. They come with a vendetta, accusing the spouse of ruining their life. Then that client embarks on a journey to highlight the truth.

This client draws the ultimate pleasure from the losses of the spouse. They forget one thing. In that process they are also ruining their own time and life. When you litigate, you have to play according to the rules of the game. But does it make sense to spoil your entire life in waging this divorce litigation?

Do they go ahead and do it because they want to prove themselves right, or create a difficult situation for their spouse, which gives them pleasure? A sadistic pleasure. But you need to be prepared and remain strong, you need to find ways to remain sane during divorce.

How to overcome divorce trauma
Some people crave sadistic pleasure

Find a solution

There’s another type of client who, when faced with sudden divorce trauma, after an initial period of acceptance, find a way to reach a solution. They will work out how to make things easier. They belong to the category of people who understand that damage has been done.

The accident has happened. It’s better not to prolong the agony. Eventually, it’s the attitude of the person that determines the quantum of damage they are going to suffer through. They have the power to change their destiny.

In the recent past, I have seen divorces being fought with some ideological lineage. Some women say, “Decimate men. They are the source of the problem.” Laws meant for their protection are used only to achieve an objective sometimes, not to seek justice, but to win that ideological battle.

And now newly emerging men’s groups, men’s right activists, people pretending to be fighting for the cause of men, also come in on a mission to create legal challenges and fight at a level where the legal case becomes a casualty of this ideological battle.

Why can’t people involved on either side see the reality? The reality is that they are wasting their own lives in these prolonged legal fights. I see both of them losing. The winner is the one who lets the accident harm them least. There will be damage. But how they minimize it will eventually determine the winner in the battle of divorce.

Related Reading: Lonely After Divorce: Why Men Find It So Hard To Cope

Conjure up realistic ways to move on

All the articles and blogs on the Internet will give you a glamorized version of getting over divorce trauma – eat healthy, have wild sex and take a trip with your girlfriends. But this is not a long-term plan. Sure, this serves as a break from everything that you’ve been through, but unless you deal with your emotions, they will come back to haunt you one day or the other.

Think big. Do you need to move cities to start afresh? Maybe a job switch to challenge yourself? Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and ask for their opinion. Moving on doesn’t only mean moving on from the person but also from the relationship trauma. You could even consider divorce counseling. Do what’s best for you.

Bad blood is overrated

Relationship trauma

After a sudden divorce trauma you may feel angry, frustrated, and also may feel like killing someone (specifically your ex-spouse). This anger is justified, but not for too long. The angrier you are, the more bitterness there is in your heart, and this will only make you more miserable.

Don’t expect to becomes besties with your ex, but at least maintain a cordial relationship. A little closure may actually do you good. Your ex-spouse, like it or not, knows you very well, probably better than anyone else, and maintaining a friendship with them can help you grow positively.

Related Reading: 15 Things Divorced People Should Know When Getting Into New Relationships

When you’re finding ways on how to overcome divorce trauma, try to be more realistic rather than idealistic. Life is not a breakup movie, and you’re not going to find your Prince Charming on your doorstep. You need to keep your best interests in mind and do what’s best for you. Only when you learn, grow and love yourself, can others learn to love you.


1. Can divorce cause PTSD?

Yes. If the process of divorce has been highly stressful and some little things related to your divorce or marriage can trigger you to have unpleasant flashbacks, the likelihood of PTSD is possible.

2. How stressful is divorce?

If things are ending on a bad note, it can get very stressful. Try to be as civil as possible and discuss that this divorce is better for both of you as individuals, and maybe even your relationship if going forward you can be friends.

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