The length of a marriage does not always predict the amount of pain.

How to Deal With the End of a Short Marriage

by Elise Wile

Whether you got married in a whirlwind or after a five-year engagement, the end of a short-lived marriage is almost always a painful surprise. Dealing with the fallout from the failed relationship can be difficult, especially when some people think you aren't entitled to your grief because of the short duration of the marriage. You must address the heartache just as you would any other and allow yourself the time and space to adequately heal.

Accept Your Feelings

Although you -- and others -- might be tempted to discount the pain of your divorce because of the short duration of your marriage, the reality is that pain cannot be quantified. You might feel as distraught over the demise of your six-month marriage as another person might after the end of a 10-year one, or you might feel nothing more than a sense of relief. Whatever your feelings are, allow them to come to the surface and let yourself feel them, says Psychology Today columnist Susan Pease Gadoua. Only then will you be able to heal and move forward in a positive direction.

Seek Support

Don't hesitate to discuss your grief with others, says Gadoua. Be choosy about who you share your pain with, however. A parent or friend who says, "I told you so," can make things tougher. Stick to confiding in people who are non-judgmental and supportive. The last thing you need is a friend saying, "I told you I knew he wasn't any good from the moment I laid eyes on him. I wish you'd listened to me instead of marrying that creep."

Let Go of Resentment

Getting stuck in resentment will prevent you from moving on, notes the non-profit Even though you may understandably be devastated that your husband turned out to be a different person than you thought he was, falling prey to thoughts of revenge, victimization and other dark speculations will not only destroy your sense of well-being, but keep you from healing from the relationship. If you're having a difficult time moving past these feelings, seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional.

Move on When You're Ready

Just because your marriage was short-lived doesn't mean you'll be ready to move along to another relationship right away. Take the time you need to learn the lessons taught by the marriage, so that when you do meet another person, you'll avoid repeating the same mistakes. Ignore advice to "forget it" or "pretend it never happened." It did happen, and like any other important relationship, you need time to process your pain and recalibrate your emotions.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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