Why Am I Still Grieving After 3 Years Divorce

Why am I still grieving after 3 years divorce? these are questions a lot of people who have gone through a divorce ask.

By summary definition, divorce is the legal ending of a marriage.

On the other hand, marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman as husband and wife under the authority of religion, tradition, or the law in the presence of witnesses.

Unlike other related forms such as platonic friendships, business partnerships, educational and corporate affiliations, etc.,

Marriage is a sworn oath to commit and be faithful to another person in all ramifications — sexually, financially, emotionally, physically, and otherwise.

13 Reasons Why Am I Still Grieving After 3 Years Divorce

Committing to a marriage contract is one decision that is most likely borne out of mutual love and respect, and the willingness for lifetime commitment, or one borne out of mutual benefit.

These benefits could be physically or financially, or some other factors that benefits one or both of the parties involved. 

Also, depending on the duration of the marriage, prolonged or brief, there is usually intimacy, acclimation and familiarity with the spouse.

A definitive end to such a relationship is sure to bring about some level of discomfort, ranging from mild to intense.

Methods of emotional and psychological management after a divorce differ from person to person, as well as take different duration for persons to achieve stability. It is completely normal for one to still be grieving, three years after a divorce. Some of these reasons include:

1. Instability

When one gets married, his or her spouse becomes many things to the person: a roommate, a best friend, a gossip partner, a co-parent, a lover, a sexual partner, a sister/brother, a mother/father, a business partner, etc.

Having such a figure in your life as a constant feature for some time makes you automatically adjust to the life and lifestyle of the person.

When that spell of mutual dependency is broken in divorce, one or both parties get affected in one way or the other.

Just like a boat rocked at sea, it will take some time to readjust, including back-and-forth movement and tethering to the edge, before stability is achieved.

Three years is a perfectly normal time for these to still be in progress.

Why Am I Still Grieving After 3 Years Divorce

2. Delusional Speculation

Marriage, especially one borne out of deep love, which is further enforced by the time spent together, will surely cause severe emotional damage when one party thinks about, speculates and tries to project into the future what could have been had the divorce not happened.

This becomes even worse when the marriage lasts only a relatively brief period.

One might manage the mishap by living in a daydream and creating delusional speculations of them still being married happily to their previous spouse.

This delusional thinking is a wrong step in healing, as it opens up scars and leaves the heart vulnerable to grief.

3. Love-Hate Switch

A typical divorce process is usually very rough, especially for the spouse who was innocently seeking reconciliation or sought divorce as a last resort for the greater good.

In either case, whenever the divorcee takes a trip down memory lane to the untoward behavior of their ex (who was once a loving spouse) during the period, the heart may be broken over and over, and it might take more than three years to get over it.

4. Financial Burden

In a normal marriage setting, there is always a form of financial synergy at play — symbiotic, parasitic or commensal —between the spouses and the parents and the children.

The financial and psychological readjustment period after a divorce is always difficult for one to handle alone, especially if the burden is heavy. It might take more than three years to come to terms with.

5. Withdrawal Symptoms

Usually, when one interface with a loved one for protracted periods, there is some form of chemical dependency in the brain on the presence and essence of the person.

This dependency is similar to that of substances such as cocaine, caffeine and even electronic devices.

It is normal that after three years, one has not fully withdrawn and broken the “addiction” to their spouse and still grieves.

This is even more difficult when the immediate environment of one spouse still has indelible imprints of the other.

Why Am I Still Grieving After 3 Years Divorce

6. Wrong Coping Mechanism

Divorce proceedings and processes usually leave emotional injuries on the psyche.

Three years might not be enough to affect the healing process, scarring, forgiving and forgetting, letting go and moving on.

They might lock up emotionally and become externally stone-hearted while internally mismanaging grief.

As a coping mechanism, a divorcee might even conclude that all men (or women) are the same, and when you tell this to yourself long enough, you believe it and live it out.

7. Societal And Family Readjustments

When one has lived most of their life married to another, subconsciously, society identifies them as a pair.

If the divorce was privately handled and one still works and lives in the same environment post-divorce.

Every instance where you would have to explain that you’re no longer addressed as “Mrs XYZ” but as “Miss. ABC” will prick your heart and prolong your grief.

Furthermore, masking the pain, making a brave appearance and explaining to your children why daddy isn’t coming home anymore will weaken the resolve to make peace with oneself.

Lying to oneself is a sure way to remain in perpetual agony.

8. Picking Up The Pieces

In addition to the explanation and countless reassurances, you’re obligated to give to your children.

Something that makes most divorcees get salt poured on their wounds is whenever they encounter a situation where their partner is supposed to be present, physically, financially or otherwise, in the grooming of the children.

Being a single mother in a situation or milestone period involving your child, where a father figure is needed or is ideal and vice versa, will sting.

Sitting alone in the PTA meeting, a single father having to teach his young daughter about menstruation, going to your child’s school’s Father’s Day as a single mother, etc.,  will surely leave a burn mark.

Why Am I Still Grieving After 3 Years Divorce

9. Sexual Attachment

For the average person, marriage entails sex. Lots of sex. Consensual, lawful, pure, passionate, intimate and, most importantly, exclusive sex.

The marital bed is where the actual consummation of the marriage occurs, where “the two are made one flesh”.

Especially for those who had negligible sexual experience before marriage, marital sex is always a time of total trust, vulnerability, uncertainty, excitement and wonder.

When you, as a spouse, become “naked and unashamed” with your partner, it creates a special, almost spiritual bond with that person.

You expose your humanity, flaws, and “good and bad and ugly”, primal, feral urges and instincts, with reckless abandon, to your partner who also does the same.

You trust enough to leave a piece of you with someone else that can neither be unseen nor un-felt. It’s nigh foolishness.

When the reality of such a connection being permanently broken sets in, it can be wildly traumatizing for many. Whenever there is a spark of hormones, an intimate flashback or some sexual trigger, the heart will begin to bleed.

10. Peer/Environmental Pressure

It’s quite unsettling seeing others achieve what one could not achieve. Jealousy is a completely normal and natural human feeling.

When surrounded by people with thriving marriages all over, testimonies of their pastor’s marriage golden jubilee and the like, one begins to ponder on what exactly went wrong with their case.

Behind the smiles and applause is always a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that you’re a divorcee. You roll over and the bed space next to you is empty. It can be quite disturbing.

It may be considered selfish, but one might need to isolate oneself from the issue of marriage, positive or negative.

11. Lack Of A Distraction

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Emotions such as grieve tend to set in when the noise of life is down and it’s just you against the world. If these periods of idleness become protracted, it will, of a surety, hamper the healing process. 

Importantly, preserving artifacts of the dissolved marriage such as rings, photos, gifts, rooms, etc., and keeping it within sight and reach will bring about negative side effects.

The grieving period is often expedited when one is in isolation and from all fossils of a dead marriage.

12. Unhealthy Or Absence Of Therapy

As the saying goes, it is okay to not be okay. If you desire to move on completely but the achievement of the goal seems elusive.

It’s okay to go for counseling or straight up therapy. 

You could never tell, maybe the reason you’ve not been able to move on from a failed marriage is because you’ve been bottling your feelings, having your emotions pent up, with the lack of an outlet.

Maybe, just maybe, all it will take is for you to open up and speak to a third party about it. 

13.Unhealthy Communication

If there’s one sure thing that forestalls the end of the grief period is the lack of closure. It is pertinent that a complete disconnection between both parties precedes the legal ending of the marriage. Out of sight, out of mind, as it’s been said.

As much as possible, avoid a situation whereby the marriage is dissolved, but you and your ex-spouse still meet based on the wedding.

If you as a divorcee still sleeps with your ex-spouse, still meet up for dates, and engage in certain things together, especially a couple of months to a year after the divorce, it will open up the heart to further abrasion.


The reasons listed above are not exactly exhaustive. It might differ from person to person, depending on the unique intricacies of the marriage contract.

Noting these points and taking a step in the right direction would shorten the grief period and save you years of emotional battering and mental grief.



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