Why Does Divorce Seem To Take So Long?

hourglassMany people undergoing divorce feel as if time is just standing still and they aren’t getting anywhere…but they are. Even those who are in the midst of the divorce process and faced with some very big decisions (such as: will it be possible to stay in the family home, should the move out happen before or during the kids’ school year, how will we divide our belongings, etc.) might feel that nothing is happening. Why is this? There are many reasons why time seems to drag when a divorce is happening and these can include:

It’s A Shock To The System!

When we are experiencing major shifts or life changes, it is a shock to the system. This can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, appetite, energy level, etc. and distort your sense of time. Minutes, hours, and days may seem eternal when there is a crisis as you can become hyper-alert to everything or even, conversely, you can ‘numb out’, temporarily.

The Idea Of Change May Seem Overwhelming

Some people handle change better or worse than others. Some of us thrive on sameness and routine—we like to eat the same things for breakfast, drive the same way to work, make the same gym class week after week, etc. If life changes have always been particularly stressful to manage, not seeing progress can be a way to deny that changes are taking place and make life feel more familiar, stable, and safe. (Eventually though, reality will break through, and changes and progress do become clearer).

Time Is Needed To Mourn The Loss

Not seeing progress or not moving ahead can be a way to slow life down and create time to digest what has happened, is happening, and may happen. It can help create a space in time to mourn the loss of the life you knew or the future you thought you would have and process what this means to you and to your family, going forward.

Take Time To Catch Your Breath

It is important to hit the ‘pause’ button once in a while and catch your breath. No one runs the marathon at the same fast speed the whole way through–they take moments to slow down a bit and catch their breath before charging forward again. When you are going through divorce, the same pauses are needed so you can process and replenish and prepare to move forward. Again, during these ‘breaks’ you may feel as if you are wasting time or not making progress, but rest assured, you are!