Divorcees [and equivalents]: How long did it take you to get over it?

“Equivalents” here simply means anyone who was in a long-term fully committed relationship, whether the state officially recognized it as such, or not.

So-how long did it take you to get over your breakup/divorce? I have a friend and she is still pining for her ex-, 6 years later, which doesn’t seem quite right. I myself am sensitive and know I wouldn’t heal overnight, but 6 years seems a bit excessive.

I think the length of time primarily will depend upon a variety of factors including the length of time of the relationship, whether you are the dumper or the dumpee, the circumstances surrounding the break, number of past relationships you may have had, etc.

The emotions one experiences in a divorce are very similar to grief experienced upon the death of a loved one. Which include various stages and one needs to work through those stages to ultimately “get over” it. Plus many people process emotions at varying rates than others.

For me personally, I was the dumpee, it took me about 6 months, we had been married about 15 years. I also highly recommend people see a therapist to help work through the emotions, and determine what you personally did wrong to contribute to the failure of the marriage…it not always just one person’s fault. I didn’t start dating again until about year after the split. We also had 1 kid together who was 6 at the time.

Like most emotional traumas in life, you rarely ever get completely “over it.” You simply have to move on with your life. You were in a loving relationship (or what you thought was one) and that ended for some reason, usually acrimoniously.

While it’s been almost 30 years for me, there are times when I think about my marriage even today. The good times stand out in stark relief as do the bad times. I don’t cry over her picture and I’ll be damned if I ever could consider doing anything else with her beside having a civil conversation. But also don’t dwell over what happened or compare my later relationships with that one.

I think you need to define specifically what it is that’s being ‘gotten over’.

The loss of the family unit?:
For me it was very quick. I was always going to be a father. My kids would always be my kids. I would never allow that to be lost. But cutting loose my ex was a self preservation decision.

The loss of the friendship and all that entails?:
Quicker than the family unit thing. Betrayal will do that to you.

The betrayal?:
Yeah, pretty much never. There are things I do not forgive.

Those various things that you either accept or consciously ignore as a package deal because neither one of you is perfect?:
That takes a bit longer because you’ve got to look back and examine why you just rolled with it and if that contributed in some way to the ultimate breakdown.

21 years married, I checked the 1 year box because thats how long it took for the pain to ease up and life to get back to 75% normal. Maybe 5 years for 90% normal. I went through a lot of changes after the divorce, I became a lot more emotionaly tough, virtually nothing seems to hurt me or even anger me anymore. I have to admit that even after 25 years I will still often reflect back on the family we had and the stability that I have not experienced since. My ex and I have remained close friends and talk daily.

One day.

Seriously, the bad relationship had become such a millstone that having it lifted from me was just breathtakingly liberating.

^ What he said.

Hmmm…my marriage ended in October 2010, and I’m not sure I’m really over it.

Our relationship was terrible, and leaving was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. I’m far better off now than I was when I was married. But I now know some very unpleasant and saddening truths about myself that I’m still trying to accept and come to terms with.