None of us goes into a marriage — expecting to get divorced, right? Right. However, marriages that end in divorce become the reality for many of us. So what do we do when we discover that we aren’t going to be spending the rest of our lives with the person we loved enough to marry? The psychological effects of divorce can feel devastating at first. This is especially true if we don’t have a built-in support system to help us rebuild our hearts and minds as we struggle to find our way.

The following are examples of some psychological effects of divorce that we can experience after we’ve gone our separate ways.

Guilt and Inconsistent Emotions

It’s common for both people involved in a divorce to feel guilty that the marriage ended or didn’t work out. Both partners in the marriage may suffer from the guilt of feeling that the breakup of the marriage is their fault, or that they should have done more to keep the relationship alive. In reality, there is only so much we can do inside relationships without a strong foundation. It’s not uncommon for inconsistent emotions to come up and sometimes confuse the process. You may find yourself cycling through a range of emotions including those listed below, as you struggle to make peace with your divorce.

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Learning how to live your life as an individual again after a divorce can be stressful. During the course of the marriage, we’ve learned how to depend on our partner for support in managing our households, our emotions, and our everyday lives. Heightened feelings of stress can take hold when we realize that we don’t have a partner to depend on anymore. Prolonged exposure to stress can aggravate chronic mental health issues and trigger other physical responses. If you’re looking for mental health support or therapy online for managing the emotions associated with the pain of divorce, online therapy providers like BetterHelp provide 24-hour access to live therapy professionals that can help. Follow the link to start your recovery:

Being uncomfortable and afraid of what’s going to happen to your life without your partner is another common emotion people experience as they go through the divorce process. Getting divorced means that we have to learn how to tackle life’s challenges again — without our partner. Knowing this can bring up feelings of uncertainty and confusion that can become overwhelming over time. People who already suffer from chronic mental health challenges may have a harder time coping with the psychological impact of divorce.

Depression and Grief

Feeling depression and grief are common for people who are experiencing a divorce. The feeling of loss that comes with losing an important relationship can feel like a part of you or someone you love has died. Realizing that there wasn’t anything you could do to salvage the relationship can lead to grief and depression which often go hand-in-hand.


After spending years with a partner by your side, many people who are experiencing the loss of divorce often suffer from insomnia. It can take time for you to learn how to go to sleep and wake up without your partner by your side. As a result, many people going through a divorce spend sleepless nights and days trying to replay the marriage in their minds and wondering where things went wrong. The effects of insomnia can cause issues in your everyday life when you feel sluggish or unable to take on your daily challenges.

Physical Effects

We briefly touched on some of the psychological effects of divorce which include mental health concerns, insomnia, grief, and depression.  As your body learns to heal from the loss, below are some physical manifestations of divorce:

  • Aches and pains including headaches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of motivation
  • Disruption in immune system
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

In most cases, the physical effects of the pain of divorce will dissipate over time. When you’re unable to find relief on your own or if symptoms are showing no signs of improvement, it’s time to seek the help of a medical professional.

Seek Help

Now that you understand what some of the physical and psychological effects of divorce are, the next thing to understand is that there is help. Talking to a licensed mental health professional can help you deal with the negative residual emotions you feel from your divorce. A therapist can help you learn coping strategies and skills that make it easier to handle the events surrounding the divorce and is the first step to healing your life and learning to become whole again.

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