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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

6 Reasons You’re Struggling to Move On After Divorce

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One of the most difficult parts of divorce is that at the same time you’re mourning your past and present, you’re also grieving the loss of the future you thought you would have. Maybe you’re lucky and you’re life is relatively untouched. Or, maybe you’re like me and you were left with only the clothes on your back.

Regardless of your situation, it is important to not try to recreate what you had. You’ll fail. My situation was unusual in that I never spent time in a decaying marriage. So, after he left, I stated I wanted to same thing again (well, without the bigamy and hidden life!). Only there were two problems with that. First, I would always be disappointed because no person and no relationship would exactly fill the shoes left behind from the first. Secondly, I was no longer the same person and so my desires and needs had shifted.

Just because something is different, does not mean that it is worse. Rather than fight against change, learn to be grateful for the hidden gifts within.

Just because your future isn’t the one you wanted, doesn’t mean you can’t make it beautiful.

Dream it. And then do it. You’re worth it.


This is more of a problem for us introverts, but anyone can fall sway to the call of isolation after divorce. We’re wounded and often ashamed, wanting to hide our vulnerabilities from the rest of the world. Our self-esteem may have taken a blow and further rejection is too scary to risk.

It seems safer to tuck away from prying eyes until the new skin has formed over the exposed rawness. Safer in the short run, perhaps, but deadly in long term. When you isolate yourself, you lose out on the important perspective provided by others. Your social anxieties grow, making future connections even more difficult. And perhaps worst of all, you give up on the support that others can offer.

It’s scary to put yourself out there, to risk being hurt or rejected. But connection with others is what life is all about. You’re too special to hide.

Take the chance on opening up to others. It’s worth it.

Self Care

This is often the biggest struggle for single parents. You may now bear the sole burden of your children’s well-being and so you push your own care to the side. You know that your oxygen mask comes first but no parent can watch his or her child suffer while standing by.

But part of your responsibility as a parent is to teach your children how to take care of themselves. If all they see is you sacrificing yourself for others, they will emulate that in their own relationships. It is okay to be both a parent and a person; they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Furthermore, in order to be the best parent you can be, you have to be the best person you can be. And that means taking care of yourself and your needs. Make your diet, your exercise, your sleep and your social time a priority.

You’re worth it.

You can move on. The bindings holding you back are the excuses kicked up by your own mind. And they only keep you bound if you let them. Moving on doesn’t happen when the calendar cycles to a certain date or when a certain event transpires.

Moving on occurs when you take the responsibility to make it happen.

Just because there are some things you don’t simply “get over,” it doesn’t mean you have to let them hold you back.

Are you struggling to move on? My complete, 12-part coaching course will guide you through and help you find your happy again. Learn more!

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17 thoughts on “6 Reasons You’re Struggling to Move On After Divorce

  1. Great advice, Lisa. I like to say moving on is done is small ways, a little bit each day. Until one day you notice your life has changed for the better and you’ve made that happen. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day of ‘wallowing’. It doesn’t mean you’re not getting there, slowly.

  2. Thank you, been there for three years, three months and ten days. Just messed up really big at work, did something stupid, out of character. Finally going back to therapy, and will tape this post up on my mirror. I have been feeling like a zombie, alive but dead inside. I owe it my kids, coworkers and to ME, to change things. Can’t keep living like this, thanks again for the wake up call

  3. I see my ex 2 or 3 times a week. We have a son who has autism and needs us both to work together. My ex is stepping up in a way he never did when we were together. He is turning into the man I wanted him to be. Logic tells me that all this is an indicator that being apart is good for us both. But my heart sees it as a reason to mourn further. I’ve started dreaming of him at night again. We’re less than 2 years out from the marriage. This may take awhile longer :/

  4. Thank you for this – sadly after 20 years and 2 young kids we split 3.5 years ago. He moved on quite quickly and as soon as got his girlfriend dropped our kids. He sees them now as we live 5 minutes away. I still cry daily for my marriage but also as a single parent of an autistic son and tween girl life is tough. I have no support. I do all the things Im supposed to do, exercise, hobbies, friends, family and faith but still have that huge emptiness. I keep my barriers up with men as I just cannot afford to have emotion and get hurt – not when i’m responsible for my kids. He hardly sees the kids 3-4 nights max a month if that. It’s been very difficult.

    1. That sounds extremely difficult. You have quite a bit of responsibility and little help. I am sorry that he took the easy way out of a challenging parenting task, leaving you holding it all. It’s not fair. In between the eye rolls and the tantrums, savor those moments you have with those amazing children. And find comfort that they will grow up:)

  5. I know this is a old post. I am 9 months post split and three post divorce. We were together 14 years. The last three were particularly difficult as he suffered with depression. I gave everything to try and help him. In the end he announced he was moving in with a girl he had been seeing and shattered my heart to pieces. I find the pain comes in waves. I am on anti depressants and have had counselling, my work also suffered. I am slowly getting there but still get these un expected waves of grief. Hence my post. I miss him and mom lonely.

    1. My heart goes out to you. It’s SO difficult to deal with a partner’s depression. I would expect that you feel like you gave all of yourself to him and maybe even lost yourself in the process. It’s hard accepting that you alone couldn’t fix him. Hard, and also a freeing lesson in what you can control.

      The waves of pain are totally normal. In time, they will lessen in intensity and you’ll become more confident in your ability to ride them out when they do come.

      I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. Keep taking those baby steps forward.


    2. Rachel, this sounds so familiar. I am 4 months post split and 1 month post separation agreement. We were together 13 years. He had many health issues and had also been on an antidepressant. I learned about his 9 month affair from his girlfriend. He lives with her now. I too am overwhelmed with the grief and the feeling of rejection. It didn’t matter how I tried, it just wasn’t enough. I’m trying to breathe and be kind to myself, thankful for my friends and family’s support.

  6. Well I read all the posts here and your site and I am different in the sense I am a maie. I am also different in the sense I was cast away like a unwanted Christmas toy. I was abused in our relationship although she would never have realised it. I had/have 3 beautiful children who are/have turned out to be fine young people. I was a good father up until I was not needed to be there. I wast ousted from the family home, ostracised. Emotionally targeted. I was driven to a sense of mental depression and self worthlessness. I left and month’s later meet some. A rebound of sorts. And since the moment of leaving I have been cast as the devil. My children blackmailed, alienated against me. I sit for hours now on my own and mourn the life I thought I had, the fake life I thought I had. It will not break me, I vow that. My biggest hurt is not losing my partner its losing 20 yrs odd and my children due to the alienation. I know one day they will return. But who knows what will happen in the meantime. I may be six feet under by then. The heartache and pain and abuse I have been through in the last 5 years knows no bounds and it does not get easier. I am kept from my grandchildren, my own offspring. But I refuse to give in. I will build my own life and hopefully one day my children and grandchildren will come looking for me. Right now I need to look after me. Might sound selfish but up until now I put everyone first. including the pet cat.

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