I wanted the divorce. Why am I so sad?

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Psychologistℹ️
Updated On: March 19, 2024
I wanted the divorce why am i so sad
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I asked my husband for a divorce after 8 years of marriage. We were so unhappy together and it felt like there was no love left between us. At first he didn’t want to get a divorce but then he agreed. Now that is actually happening, I feel sad and I don’t understand why. How long does it take to get over a divorce? I didn’t think my divorce would be so hard since I am the one that wanted it and I was so sad before. I’m just feeling so many emotions at the same time like sadness, anger, loneliness, and pain.

I feel like I can’t talk to anyone about this because everyone thinks I was the bad one for asking for a divorce. If I tell them now that I’m divorced and depressed, they’ll just tell me ‘I told you so’. I just feel so alone. Please give me some advice on how to deal with a divorce.

Related Reading: My husband and I are about to divorce because of his mother

Answer

Divorce isn’t just the end of your marriage. It is a loss – of someone you once hoped to love for a long time, of a future you dreamed of together, of the life you live with him. It is unfortunate that you felt sad and alone in your marriage, and that the marriage felt loveless. In that case, walking away from that marriage was the right thing to do. However, it is not surprising that you’re experiencing this mix of intense feelings.

As a therapist, I have seen people handle loss, grief and separation in many different ways and that has cemented the fact that there really is no right or wrong way of feeling and dealing with separation or divorce. Here are a few things that can make this easier for you to deal with:

  • Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to authentically experience any emotions that come up. Your emotional experience is valid. Just because you wanted this divorce, in no way means that you cannot express sadness and feel grief over ending your marriage. Don’t deny your emotions.
  • Don’t try to find a “solution” or immediately jump into making yourself feel better. It’s crucial to give yourself time to sit with this emotion and experience it as it comes up. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stay stuck here. Continue to take care of yourself, especially when you don’t feel like it.
  • Speak to someone you trust not to dismiss your feelings about what you’re going through. I understand you may be facing a lot of criticism from your loved ones for this decision. However, not everyone will judge you the same. I would recommend reaching out to a counselor or therapist to help you navigate this situation, so that you don’t feel so alone in the process.
  • Divorce throws you into uncharted territory, which overthrows your normal routine. In such times, try to establish and maintain a small and simple routine to follow. This could be anything, ranging from a short morning routine, to a cleaning routine, or something you ritualistically do which is familiar and comforting. This familiar routine acts as an anchor in turbulent times.
  • Remind yourself that you still have a future to look forward to. While it is important to acknowledge and experience your emotions, try not to dwell on them. Moving on is the ultimate goal. So while time does its job, work on building a life you look forward to.
  • Cultivate connection with others and with nature. If you’re finding it hard to connect with people in your life due to fear of judgment, meet new people through communities of shared interests. Ensure that you work on building a connection with nature and by extension, with yourself.

Related Reading: Divorce Is Not the End of the World

The end of a relationship, no matter how bad, is still loss and it is okay for you to have complex feelings about it. Be patient with yourself and make time every day to do something that brings you joy. Avoid relying on alcohol or other substances as a coping mechanism. Instead, invest time and effort into nurturing curiosity, creativity and connection.

FAQs

1. Why does divorce hurt even when you wanted it?

Divorce is more than just the legal end of your marriage. It signifies a loss – loss of someone you once hoped to love and be loved by, loss of a shared future and loss of possibilities. It is also bound to bring about some change to your life, which can be uncomfortable to go through. People don’t enter into a marriage with the plan of eventually ending it. There is always the hope of making it last a lifetime. In life of all that, it’s only natural to feel hurt and saddened at the idea of divorce – even when you want it. 
Additionally, leaving someone doesn’t always mean we stop loving them. Sometimes, we need to leave people we love in order to protect our own well-being. It’s okay to feel sadness, anger and even grief in this situation.

2. How long does the pain of divorce last?

While it isn’t possible to fix a timeline on such things, if you continue to experience pain and discomfort to the point of it interfering with your daily life and well-being after several months of divorce, reach out to a mental health professional for help. 
For the time being remember to:
-Be patient with yourself
-Make time for things that bring you joy
-Reach out to people and prioritize connection
-Get help when you need it

3. Does divorce ever stop hurting?

Yes, with time, you will learn to live with your choices and overcome the pain. However, in order to do that, you need to allow yourself to authentically experience everything that comes up right now. The only way to overcome emotional pain is to go through it instead of running away from it. Practice radical acceptance of yourself and have faith that it will get easier one day.

4. Is divorce the most painful thing?

Divorce can be incredibly painful for many people, and it could very well be the most painful thing you have been through, as it involves the dissolution of a significant relationship, the loss of shared dreams and plans, and often the upheaval of one’s life. However, whether it is the “most” painful thing can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and experiences. Other life events such as the loss of a loved one, serious illness, or financial hardships can also bring immense pain. Each person’s journey and perception of pain are unique, so it’s essential to acknowledge and address one’s feelings with care and support. Make sure to not brush your pain off simply because there is greater pain in the world.

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