Maybe "lies" is a bit strong. Maybe you're more comfortable with the words "myths" or "stories". I was, when I originally titled this article, but the truth is, there are divorce lies out there. And many people suffer needlessly when they're trying to recover from divorce as a result of believing these untruths.
I suffered from divorce recovery lies when I went through my divorce. I believed that all divorces were basically the same. I believed that I'd get over my divorce more quickly if I didn't think about it or allow myself to feel much anger about it. I believed that if I started dating that meant I must be over my divorce. I didn't understand they were lies then; I had to learn the hard way. I want to make sure that you don't fall for the lies like I did. I want to make sure that you're aware of them so you can call them what they are when they appear, and choose a different belief for yourself — your truth.
The difficulty is that the lies about divorce recovery are so pervasive, they can be hard to identify and avoid. That's because they are used to set our expectations for what divorce recovery should be like. They become our guide for understanding how well we're doing with our divorce recovery. They can also dictate who we expect to get help from in working through our divorce.
Before I start listing the lies about divorce recovery, I want you to know the list isn't all-inclusive. These are just some of the ones I'm familiar with, but if someone's telling you a divorce fact that feels untrue, trust your intuition.
- All divorces are basically the same.
- It takes one year to get over your divorce.
- It takes one year for every four years you were married to get over your divorce.
- Everyone going through divorce has the same emotions in the same order.
- The pain of divorce decreases linearly over time.
- Once you think you're over your divorce, it never comes up again.
- Your family members will always help you as you go through divorce.
- It's not okay to feel sorry for yourself.
- You'll get over your divorce more quickly if you just avoid thinking about it.
- You should be really angry at your ex.
- Everyone gets depressed when they go through divorce.
- If you haven't been married for very long, you should get over it more quickly than someone who was married for many years.
- There's a reason there's no divorce ritual/celebration or marriage funeral — they aren't needed!
- The intensity and length of your anger, depression and loneliness are directly proportional to how much you were invested in your marriage.
- There is something wrong with you if you feel like part of you died when your marriage ended.
- Every divorce attorney only has their client's best interests at heart.
- You attorney is also going to be able to help you recover from your divorce.
- Everyone takes anti-depressants when they get divorced.
- Your ex is always the reason your marriage failed.
- You should feel really sad when you get divorced.
- You don't need any time to adjust to your new single life; you should be able to continue doing everything you were doing before, just fine.
- You should start dating right away.
- The sooner you get into another relationship, the faster you'll get over your divorce.
- Getting divorced means that you are a failure.
- Your friends will always support you.
Be honest: how many of lies on this list do you believe? If you're like most people I work with, you probably believe a majority of them. Heck, I believed most of them when I got divorced!