How Long Until I Stop Hurting After Divorce?

When Will It Stop Hurting?

The #1 question I’m asked about healing from a divorce is along the lines of “When will it stop hurting?”  Well, that’s a tough question to answer because the only honest answer is… it depends.

It depends on a lot of things:

All of these will contribute to how long it takes to heal after your divorce.

Relationship Length:

The biggest factor in how long it takes to heal after divorce is how long you were married.  The longer you were married the more intertwined your lives were and the more time it will take to heal.  Experts disagree on exactly much the length of your marriage effects your healing time, but from my experience the time frame that seems to work for most people is 1 year of healing for every 4 years of marriage.

Does this mean you will be an emotional basket case for the entire time?  No, but it does mean that you need to take the losses y

ou’ve experienced seriously or you will more than likey repeat your past mistakes.

I was married for nearly 13 years but had an extended dating/engagement period.  The total relationship time was 18 years.

18/4=4.5 and it was somewhere between the 4 and 5 year marks that I was truly healed.

Who Initiated The Divorce?

If you intitiated the divorce your healing time will most likely be shorter.  This isn’t because it effected you any less, but

simply because you did much of your grieving before making the decision to divorce.  This is why the person who decides to end the marriage often seems cold and uncaring during the divorce.  They have already distanced themselves from the relationship.

Are There Children Involved?

If there were no children as a result of the marriage your healing time may be shortened.

The issues of split custody, child support, and grieving children can delay your healing process.  And honestly, if you have children together you will most likely never be completely free of your ex-spouse.  There will always be things bringing you together: birthdays, school programs, athletic events, graduation, marriages, grandchildren, the list goes on….


Finances can also play a role in how long it takes you to heal.  If your standard of living decreased significantly beca
In summary, each person is different, but don’t expect the pain to go away overnight.  It takes time to heal after a divorce.  You wouldn’t expect a person who was widowed after many years of marriage to function normally within a few months of their loss.  Neither should you expect to function normally for some time after your divorce.use of the divorce your financial situation can serve as a consant reminder of how things were previously.  Some people better themselves financially after a divorce, but for most this is not the case.

Related Posts:

How Soon Should I Start Dating After Divorce

 5 Stages of Grief

Dealing With Anger

Dealing with Depression


What is your experience with healing after divorce.  Leave a comment below.

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God Bless,


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G.D. Lengacher is a life coach focusing on helping people heal after divorce. He produces the Surviving Divorce Podcast weekly.

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About gdlengacher

G.D. Lengacher is a life coach focusing on helping people heal after divorce. He produces the Surviving Divorce Podcast weekly.



  1. […] Soon Should I Start Dating After Divorce April 20, 2011 By gdlengacher Leave a Comment In my last post I addressed how long it typically takes someone to heal after experiencing a divorce.  In this […]

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