Letting Go After Divorce


“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ~ Ann Landers

Holding Out Hope

I have a feeling that a lot of you are just like me. Your marriage has become unendurable, yet you still don’t want to give up on it. The divorce process has begun, but you are still holding out hope that things may work out.

I was still hoping for a miracle, right up until the moment I signed the papers saying we were officially divorced. Even while sitting in the courtroom, I imagined him walking over to me and saying, “Let’s just go home and work this out.” …But it didn’t happen.

When It’s Time

Everyone on this journey eventually comes to the unfortunate realization that you have to let go. You cannot make your ex stay in a marriage that he is determined to leave.

Once you see clearly that you have exhausted all of your efforts… given him every chance … and have prayed all the prayers you can muster, and he still wants to leave, you will know it is time to move on.

Hope Amidst The Pain

Fully mourn what you have lost. Cry as many tears as it takes. But let me reassure you that God is working even now, in the midst of your sorrow and pain. Your life can absolutely be full of good things again. Good relationships. Good experiences. Good life. Good love all around.

The midlife divorce recovery struggle is not easy. In fact, it will be one of the most difficult things you will face in your lifetime. But when you emerge stronger, more beautiful and more full of joy on the other side, you will understand when I say that your new life can be beyond your wildest dreams. Hold on to it. You, too, will understand how true that statement is someday.

“See, I am doing a new thing!

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“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.


  1. corrine June 18, 2012 at 5:42 am - Reply

    This was so helpful to me. I know i’ve been stuck and not wanting to let go even though the papers have been signed for 3you months now.mow

    • Donya August 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Claudia:It was wonderful rdieang your message today. Oh, if only I had been smart enough to follow your advice 24 years ago. It was an extreme struggle to raise my 3 young children on my own, with little to no financial help from their dad. I hope this message gets out to every mom out there. You DO have to plan for the possibility, for the ifs that could happen. Life is so much less trumatic if you have a back-up plan.

  2. Vannessa May 18, 2016 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    This is very helpful still in mourning but articles like this give me hope thanks suzy

  3. Angie February 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    So sad and difficult.

  4. Judy Mitchell February 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Suzy… I just want to encourage you to keep on keeping on… God also put a burden on my heart years ago. I led divorce recoveries ( Healing Hearts DR) for 20 years…
    Thank you for using your God-gifts to reach out to the many many hurting women!

  5. Judy Mitchell February 14, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Suzy… I just want to encourage you to keep on keeping on… God also put a burden on my heart years ago. I led divorce recoveries ( Healing Hearts DR) for 20 years…
    Thank you for using your God-given gifts to reach out to the many many hurting women!

    • Suzy Brown February 26, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you Judy for your encouragement! It has become a mission and a passion to help other women travel this road more gracefully than I did!

  6. Tammy February 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I have 2 children that I have raised on my own. I waited until they were grown and gone before I got married. We were very happy together. Our marriage going on for almost 10 years and had some major life changes that completely destroyed it. Been divorced for 2 yrs now and still having a hard time. Once I think Im over it, we seem to end up talking or texting just about every 3 to 6 months. I guess there is always that hope that things would work out. I try not to respond to him but I end up caving in. Sometimes I think I need to pick up and move to another state and change my number just to get over it completely.

    • Suzy Brown February 26, 2017 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Dear Tammy,
      For most women, it’s very hard to move on while you are still in contact with him. Why don’t you set up a time to talk, and maybe we can figure out what is keeping you stuck, and how best to move forward.
      Set Up a Free Conversation

  7. Kelly April 18, 2017 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Play recently ex-husband and I adopted 9 children together. No 3F grown six are still at home all minor children. My divorce has been the most difficult thing for the children especially period as he literally has moved two blocks away makes himself visible to the children daily for one moment at a time. It refuses to exercise his visitation rights. All I asked was that I live in and they grew up in and one vacation home. He got all the annuities no child support no alimony a house that was paid off. Now he is coming after me for the house we raised our children in and our vacation that the children and I were awarded. I was to get an attorney through legal aid period he made contact with them first and took that attorney from me. I feel overwhelmed but I know that I will make it through this I have six reasons

  8. Lanee jordan June 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    I went thru a divorce after 27 almost 28 year marriage. three grown children. Im remarried now and very happy. I struggle with my children and my ex ‘s girlfriend. She was part of the divorce. Do you have anything to help in that area ?

  9. Nate July 6, 2017 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    So good. This was such and encouragement today!

  10. Donna July 18, 2017 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Divorced now for two years and I’m still struggling and haven’t completely let go. Just when I think I’m doing better I seem to hit another low period and it’s still hard to get back up again. Don’t think I’ll ever be “normal” again.

  11. Judy November 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    It’s so true and I never would have believed it! Honestly, the freedom I have because I didn’t want to live under the shroud of sadness, bitterness and anger is a gift from God!

  12. phoenixmen May 16, 2018 at 6:29 am - Reply

    True Confession. I can relate a lot to you. Great Article. Aiming your focus on the positive side of divorce can be a very difficult thing to do. I know, because I’ve been there. Even though I was the one who filed the papers after my ex-husband had left to pursue his new life with his new partner — it took me more than two years to do it. When you split up, you may find it very hard to let go of your ex-partner. This often happens when one partner is keener to end a relationship than the other.

  13. heartbroken September 10, 2018 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I feel like I’m dying. A 20 year relationship just walked out the door 2 months ago on me and my 3 children. I want my dreams, my hope and my life back, but I was with him more than I was without him. I don’t know how to stand on my own two feet. I don’t know how to lift the the shroud of sadness when I feel like I’m walking alone in this.

  14. Why November 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    My husband of just a couple of years just found out that his cancer is back. He’s decided he doesn’t want to put me through the surgeries and chemo treatment again so he’s decided that he wants to be alone. This is my second marriage. I’m so much older now and don’t know how to start over much less let go of him in this difficult time for him. He’s gone to a lawyer and made me agree to an uncontested divorce so we don’t have to pay lawyers and get it over with quickly. I want to be there for him and he still lives here with me, and I’m heartbroken that he wants to go thru this alone. I don’t know what to do. I can’t sleep anymore and feel like my heart is broken.

    • Vickie B Sigmon December 20, 2018 at 5:58 am - Reply

      This must be very difficult for you. Do you go to his doctor’s appointments with him? Does he allow you to take him to treatment appointments for his cancer? If you don’t, then contact the doctor directly yourself. Tell the doctor the things you wrote in your comment above. The doctor could help your husband understand that he will need help during his illness and that you are a willing partner offering that help. I do wonder how your husband “made” you agree to the divorce. Did he threaten you? Did he say things that caused you to feel guilty? I certainly hope you are seeing a counselor who can help you help yourself get through this.

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