Life After Divorce

We live in a broken world full of broken people and broken relationships.

It’s a sad fact of life.

There’s not one person on earth that hasn’t been affected by divorce. Maybe it was your parents, or your siblings, or your friends, or you. But, the stark reality of divorce has left its mark on your life…and mine too.

We know that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

But He doesn’t hate those who have been through a divorce. He loves them deeply.

In fact, I believe the love He has for those who have been through divorce compels Him to hate divorce. He knows the pain it causes. Whether the divorce was your choosing or not, it’s always painful.

So, you’ve been through a divorce. Now what? Here are some next steps for you to take:

Feel all the Feelings

While you want to move toward a place of acceptance, it’s also important to give all of your feelings space.

Much like the death of a loved one, divorce brings with it a complete range of emotions.

Everything from:

Shock and Denial
Guilt and Bargaining
Physical or Emotional Distress

And you probably won’t feel each feeling in isolation. For example, if your spouse left you for someone else, you’ll feel plenty of anger and resentment. But you also might still love them and miss them very much.

Or you may have sought divorce from an abusive spouse. While you may feel relief and comfort in knowing you did the right thing, you also may feel great sadness and loneliness.

Avoidance is no solution. The more you avoid these feelings, the more intense and obtrusive they’ll become.

As you sort through your feelings:

Make prayer and Bible study a regular, daily activity. You’ll feel so much more grounded and reassured as you navigate your feelings.
Seek out a trusted Christian friend or therapy group. DivorceCare is a national organization that specializes in helping people cope with divorce. We host these groups at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA, where I pastor. You can also find a group in your community by going to
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the array of feelings, or you’re having a hard time eating, sleeping, or parenting, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor.

Practice Acceptance

No one thinks their marriage will end in divorce. Until it does.

The shock of the whole situation can feel almost impossible to accept.

What if I had only….?
Why didn’t we try to….?
But we were so in love at first…

Living with regret over the past, or obsessing about a future that never will be makes it nearly impossible to move forward.

As difficult as it may seem, you have to find a way to make peace with the situation and move on. It won’t happen overnight. Give yourself grace. But make sure you’re moving toward a place of acceptance.

Try New Routines

While you may find comfort in your normal day-to-day routines, it may be a good time to try some new experiences.

Maybe switch up your usual coffee shop, grocery store, or lunch spot. These places may carry with them lots of memories of your life with your ex, and switching up your routine could bring some measure of healing.

And don’t forget self-care routines. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. A few ideas:

PHYSICAL: Invest in new skincare products or bath products. Take time each night to pamper yourself so you feel good as you head to bed. Join a new gym, take walks or go biking. Exercise is a proven way to fight depression and build up endorphins in your system.

EMOTIONAL: Be sure to press into healthy relationships as you recover. You may have to carefully navigate your friend groups post-divorce (we split the belongings, do we split the friends too?) Find the people who are truly there for you and rely on them when things feel too heavy. (It can be tempting to rush into another romantic relationship, but you’ll need some time before you’re ready to take that step in a healthy way. Proceed with caution.)

MENTAL: Now is a great time to join a book club, or take a college course, or learn a new skill or hobby. It’s all too easy to use cell phones and TV as distractions to your situation. But be sure to keep your mind fresh and stimulated with new information.

SPIRITUAL: Don’t do yourself the disservice of disconnecting from your faith community during or after a divorce. You will find so much encouragement, support, and care in a family of faith that will come alongside you as you find your way. The Lord wants to minister to your spirit through pastors and leaders who can present the truth of who you and who God is in a way that is relevant and inspiring.

There is life after divorce. Never stop believing or hoping in a life that is joyful and full of love, peace, and contentment. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

3 Responses to “Life After Divorce”

  1. Finntastic advice that I have applied in my life and am joyfully, happily remarried. It’s quite a process but entirely doable with the Holy Spirit’s help. The acceptance part was really hard. All the woulda, coulda, shoulda ofs. I really had to learn to capture my thoughts and renew my mind. I forced myself to believe that our Daddy had a good plan for me even though I couldn’t see how that could be. I must admit I was mad at Him for a while and did have a great big pity party for myself inviting others to join me. And join me they did because a divorce after 20 years (to the day) and being left for the younger woman is an understandable invitation to feel sorry for myself. I had to learn to stop sharing my story for pity and turn to our Daddy for healing. I am living proof it can be done! Thank you Pastor Daniel for your spot-on advice! Bless you and yours! May our Daddy shower favor upon you!!!

  2. Aimee V.

    Though I appreciate the advice given about how to recover from a traumatic life event, such as a divorce, where is the relevant Scriptural passages that speak on how divorce is NOT allowable by God for any reason other than adultry (and abandonment by an unbelieving spouse)? God does not just hate divorce, He explicitly commands against it. For example, if a married couple are divorced because they have unresolved disagreements and feel as though they will be happy with other partners – that is a sin. Beyond that, if the couple marries different spouses, they have now committed adultry – another grave sin. Have many people followed this sinful route of non-allowable divorce and subsequent remarriage/adultry? Yes. Now what? God doesn’t command for the second marriage to be ended, because that would simply be a continuation of the pattern. Although they need repent of the sinful behaviors and seek forgiveness from God himself. From a human standpoint, learning marriage-strengthening techniques and Scriptural marriage commandments would also aid in future times of trial within the marriage.

    As this article is published from a Christ-seeking ministry, I am displeased that it has been delivered from such a worldly angle, simple dropping a few “God” comments and a verse along the way to make it sound Biblically-based.

  3. Shelby Seely

    Pastor Daniel

    Just know that your advice, exactly the way you write it, is helping more people than you can possible count. Keep up the sustained high effort for Jesus, which among all of the people I know, you do the most for.
    Love you brother.