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The divorce shock – Getting through the first 24 hours

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Newly Divorcing?  Here are some tips to get through the first 24 Hours

Let’s face it, none of us expected to get divorced. Getting married involved some pretty major vows, a lot of romance and the serious intention to stay with this person for the rest of your life.

It didn’t work

Then for some reason it didn’t work out.  Either one or both of you came to the decision that it’s the end of the road and now you are on the way towards becoming a divorcee.

Despite the fact that 1 in 2 marriages now end in divorce, it is still staggeringly surprising when it happens to you.  For most people it will also be very painful…  and a big dollop of that pain is going to come at you immediately after you/ your partner has made the decision that you should separate.

How it might feel

“To say that I felt like I’d been hit by a truck in those first 24 hours doesn’t even cover it.  I was a wreck.  I couldn’t stop crying, didn’t eat.  I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach again and again and again.”   Lucy, 35

“I was pretty sure it was the right thing to do before I made the decision and I’m completely sure now.  But in the first few days, I wasn’t sure of anything.  I just had this awful sinking feeling that I was f***ing everything up spectacularly”.  Ollie, 42

“It just felt awful. This crushing sense of failure…”  Steph, 40

While there may be a fortunate few who feel nothing but relief to be separating, for those of you who are reeling from the immediate shock of it, here are a few things to bear in mind:

Hand writing Hope concept with black marker on transparent wipe board. Hold On, Pain Ends.

Remember – Hold On, Pain Ends!

  1. You won’t feel like this forever. It really mings. But it will get less awful… lots of people on this website can guarantee it.
  2. Remember to eat.  Simple.  However much you don’t fancy it, get some stuff down your neck – it really helps.
  3. IF you go down the “stiff G and T please” route (many of us did), get a mate to keep your phone for the night and stay off the emails…
  4. On that note, don’t make any major decisions either concerning your partner, divorce, money or anything at all… just put it off for at least 24 hours, as you may not quite be yourself.
  5. Try not to be alone.  Company is good – if only to help remind you of (1) get you to do (2), help with (3) and warn you about (4).
  6. Don’t tell too many people just yet, don’t announce it on Facebook or Twitter (you may scoff it’s not unheard of…) and don’t do the phone rounds.  There’ll be plenty of time to do that.
  7. There may be a lot of bad, bitter feelings flying around.  Don’t act on them while you’re in the white heat of the moment.  It could come back and bite you on the bum and if you really need some form of vengeance, then you might as well plan it when you’re thinking straight because you’ll probably do a better job of it.

Here are how some of our Divorce Clubbers got through it…

“I took a day off work. There was no way I could have let anyone at work see me in that state. I was really lucky because my two best friends dropped everything and came round.  It was like divorce 999… they made tea, food, hugged me and hung out while we watched rubbish telly together.  I wasn’t great company as you’d expect, but they were amazing.”

“I shredded our wedding photos.  I really wished I hadn’t now, but it felt good at the time!”

“I got very drunk.”

However you get through the first day, remember, you are now on quite an unexpected and long road towards being a single person again… and you aren’t the only one who has been here.  You’re going to need to find out some info about what to do next, you’re going to need a lot of support and you’ll probably have quite a few questions at some point.

So hang on in there… we can help with a lot of this stuff!


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