Divorce recovery is not a rushed process. Healing does not lend itself to a cost analysis, and the length of your marriage does not determine the speed of the recovery. Every person is different, and every situation brings its own set of obstacles. Time is a variable, not something to aspire to.
Dr. Andra Brosh, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist, likens the recovery to a rollercoaster ride “that will be over once you have fully experienced every curve, peak and drop enough times to warrant getting off the ride.”
She warns against “self-help ‘gurus’ promising … a quick fix or time limited recovery program guaranteed to get you over the heartbreak of divorce [because] there are no magic pills or fast remedies that will legitimately catapult you to the other side of this transition.”
According to Dr. Brosh, four channel markers keep a person on the “path to healing.”
First, pain means growth. Pain and suffering indicate a person is changing and expanding.
Second, going through is better than getting over. Getting over something is not the same as going through. Flying above a forest filled with majestic trees or walking through it completely different experiences. Only on foot is its beauty visible. “When you travel through your divorce … on foot you take in the sights, smells and sounds of your personal growth in a deeply profound way. You are in it, not outside of it, and nothing gets missed including the things that will change you for the better. Rushing to get out could mean missed opportunities to learn, leading to a higher risk of repeating any mistakes.”
Third, no finish line. The death of a marriage stays with someone forever. People recover from a divorce, “but relationships have a way of sticking in your psyche for the long haul. Setting deadlines … like “when I sign my divorce papers,” or “when I start dating” create the illusion of progress. In this, a divorce and the end of a marriage are separate, “each with their own timeframe and process.”
Fourth, be the Change. Divorce is “painful, yet transformative,” the end of a marriage, not a life.