Separation and divorce are two of the most emotionally draining, difficult, and painful life events someone can go through, and many married people will experience these stressors in their lifetime. While every divorce is unique, common themes and feelings are likely to emerge during this transition period.
Regardless of who initiated the divorce, emotions may weigh heavy and feel painful while grieving occurs. Potential legal issues may be time-consuming and can distract from other aspects of life. Anger, disappointment, and resentment may brew, especially if the blame game is being played, and hurt feelings may come to the surface as the loss of the marriage is processed.
Post-divorce is a time to separate from the role of spouse, redefine who you are, and accept a new identity and lifestyle. While emotionally charged, this time can also be exciting and liberating, filled with new beginnings, freedom, relief, and hope for a better future.
You may find yourself in a delicate or confusing situation if you’re dating a man going through a divorce. There’s nothing wrong with falling for a man going through a divorce. However, it’s important to understand potential complications and employ strategies to make dating him feel more easy, breezy.
Here are eight strategies for dating someone going through a divorce:
- 1 1. Let His Marital Past Come Up (In an Appropriate Way)
- 2 2. Look for Signs of His Readiness to Date
- 3 3. Understand the Dating Process May Be New And, Therefore, Emotional for Him
- 4 4. Date Him at a Slow Place
- 5 5. Accept That He Has an Ex-Wife
- 6 6. Accept That He Has Children (If Applicable)
- 7 7. Beware of the Potential of a Rebound or Transition Relationship
- 8 8. View Him Having Been Married Before as a Positive Sign
- 9 Dating A Man Going Through Divorce: Take It Slow and Watch For Signs
- 10 There is hope
- 11 There is peace
- 12 There is joy
- 13 There is comfort
- 14 There is provision
- 15 There is justice
- 16 There is a future
- 17 Coping in Christ
- 18 Gifts for Someone Going Through a Divorce
1. Let His Marital Past Come Up (In an Appropriate Way)
Dating 101 teaches you not to talk about your past relationships or ex-partners with someone new early on, but it’s natural to be curious, especially when dating someone who has been married before.
While you shouldn’t make his divorce the sole focus of every interaction, or let him vent uncontrollably, or trash his ex (all red flags), it’s essential that you give him opportunities to share with you as his marriage was a major component of his life.
Understand that his past is bound to come up, and this is a normal part of dating a separated or divorced man. You can learn a lot about him by listening to what he says of his marriage and his ex-wife and how he views his role in the marriage ending. You can be a supportive listener while also setting appropriate boundaries if you are uncomfortable.
2. Look for Signs of His Readiness to Date
Wanting to be ready to move on post-divorce is different than actually being ready. The difference between the two is based on a number of individualized factors. Consider his emotional availability, the circumstances of his marriage and divorce (Was it amicable? Why, when, and how did it end? Where is he in the legal process?), and his capacity to own and reflect on what happened.
Listen closely as he shares his past with you to better gauge where he is emotionally and if he has truly moved on and is ready to be a partner to you. Rather than focusing on the the length of time he has been divorced, you’ll get much better information by tuning into what he is saying and how it makes you feel. While the length of time he has been single is important to his readiness, it is not everything.
3. Understand the Dating Process May Be New And, Therefore, Emotional for Him
Specifically, the online dating process may be unfamiliar territory, so be gentle with him. No matter how ready he is, getting back into the dating scene may bring up insecurities and anxieties.
He may grapple with his worthiness and deservingness of having love in his life again. He may feel inadequate or insecure, despite really wanting to put himself out there again. Don’t play games with his heart or give him a hard time as he adjusts to dating again.
4. Date Him at a Slow Place
In general, moving too quickly does not breed healthy outcomes in the dating world. Especially when dating someone going through a divorce, it’s in both of your best interests to move slowly, take your time getting to know each other, and determine if you are on the same page about the present and future.
Also, don’t take it personally if he wants to move slow or keep your relationship quiet at the beginning (as long as he is treating you well and engaging with you). These preferences are common and are not necessarily an indication of his feelings toward you. Patience is a virtue!
5. Accept That He Has an Ex-Wife
Having an ex-wife is very different than having an ex, especially if there are kids involved. If you’re truly open to dating a divorced man, you must also accept that his ex will remain a part of his life.
Trying to erase her or ignore her existence will only cause resentment and dissatisfaction in your relationship. Understand he has a past that may resurface, but his previous marriage does not have to bring up insecurities in you.
6. Accept That He Has Children (If Applicable)
Along with him having an ex-wife, this is a fact you cannot change. Wanting him to be childless if he isn’t is only going to form a wedge in your relationship and create disconnection.
Understand that dating him will mean he will have to prioritize being a dad and being there for his children, affecting the amount of time he is available to spend with you. He will have to decide when it is appropriate to bring you into their lives.
Also, bad-mouthing his ex in front of his children is a complete no-no. There is no need to compete with their mother or put her down.
7. Beware of the Potential of a Rebound or Transition Relationship
And know how to tell if you’re the rebound woman. If you’re dating in hopes of a serious relationship, it’s crucial to communicate how you feel and look for signals of him being serious about you as well.
Signs you may be his transition relationship include him telling you he loves you or you are “The One” after just a few dates, him acting hot and cold, him asking to move in with you, and him wanting to make his ex jealous or acting bitter toward her.
These are all indicators that your relationship is not the real deal, and, while this reality stings, it is not about you. It shows he has a lot of work to do to process his divorce, and it’s best to stop dating him if you are looking for a genuine lasting connection.
8. View Him Having Been Married Before as a Positive Sign
The fact that he has been married before shows he is not a complete commitment-phobe, so instead of being intimidated by his ex or previous marriage, view his past in a positive light and as a signal he is comfortable with settling down. He has experience being in a committed relationship and understands what this means, which may make him a better, more attentive and supportive partner to you.
Word of caution: This advice goes out the window if his marriage ended due to him engaging in infidelity, which is a major red flag. Also, be careful with assuming just because he has been married before, he is open to being married again. His relationship goals need to be discussed and not assumed on your part.
Dating A Man Going Through Divorce: Take It Slow and Watch For Signs
You can absolutely find love with a divorced man as long as you are both present and emotionally available. You can decide whether to date someone going through a divorce on a case-by-case basis as there is no need to approach your dating life with rigid rules. What’s most important is evaluating the specific situation and remembering that healing takes time and every situation is different.
Photo sources: housingaforest.com, goodmenproject.com, baba-deda.ru, nytimes.com, theodysseyonline.com
Why give a sympathy gift to someone who is getting divorced? Because it shows your support and love, and helps him or her see that a divorce is a beginning as well as an ending.
A comforting spa gift basket – such as the French Vanilla Bath Gift Set, delivered as a surprise to her work or home, is a thoughtful, caring sympathy gift after a divorce.
One of my most popular New Beginnings articles is How to Let Go of Someone You Love – because that’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. If you know someone going through a divorce, give a gift that symbolizes letting go, healing, and hope.
People with a dark sense of humor may find that The Ex Kitchen Knife Set by Raffaele Iannello is exactly what they need! It’s a knife holder designed not only to hold knives, but to remind people going through a divorce that they’re not alone….and make them smile every time they put their knives away.
Here are a few more sympathy gift ideas for people going through a separation or divorce after years of marriage…
“Often after separation and divorce, significant healing results from re-discovering hobbies and interests that were somewhat sacrificed during the marriage,” writes dineane in Gifts for the Recently Separated or Divorced. “What are their interests? Golf, jewelry making, art? Give supplies to encourage development of their talents.”
This is a really good divorce gift idea – even if it’s too soon for your friend to jump back into his or her hobbies. Just having that calligraphy set or a gift that encourages knitted creations can give them hope and help them look forward to the future.
Books or movies that focus on healing and hope after divorce
As a writer, my first instinct is to turn to books whenever I need help, information, or support! Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser describes how loss and difficult events can bring positive life changes. A thoughtful sympathy gift for someone going through a divorce can help them not only heal, but see the big picture.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodrin is a similar book, but it’s filled with Buddhist teachings about mindfulness, hope, and healing.
“Feel good” movies that soothe broken hearts include Ghost and Legally Blonde. But, I think Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat Pray Love are better divorce movies because the women go on to have adventures! They don’t just sit around and wait for their hearts to heal. If you want to encourage and inspire someone who has just broken up with someone they love, you might steer them towards movies and things that show them that life isn’t over.
Comforting blankets, pajamas, and fleece throws
A sympathy gift that comforts is the best thing to give someone going through a divorce. When my grandma died, all I wanted to do was sleep. A friend gave me a soft, warm, cuddly fleece throw – and I loved curling up with it. A thoughtful gift is a super soft fleece blanket – along with a movie or book!
If it’s summertime, a nice pair of silk pajamas is a thoughtful gift for someone who is sleeping alone after her divorce. In the winter, warm fuzzy pj’s would be great – or a nice soft pair of slippers.
A pink tool kit for women
How about a power tool for women who now have to “do it themselves”?
Here’s what Elle says:
“Tool sets for women are a fantastic gift for the strong, independent divorcee who is ready to take control when her man has either fallen off or is nonexistent. A woman should always allow a man to help her about the house when he’s available, but it should also go without saying that she knows how to wield a screwdriver, hammer a nail or use a wrench for a leaky pipe as well. There’s nothing wrong with women learning how to use a tool kit; it’s a sign of the times and doesn’t make her less feminine. In fact, it might even turn her next boyfriend on to know that she’s self-sufficient and can handle her business when he’s not around – and even sexier when he realizes she has no problem putting away her little pink or purple tool set (which is super-strong and feminine) to allow the big boys handle the home repair.” ~ from Gifts for Divorced Women – Tool Sets as Gifts.
One last sympathy gift tip for someone going through a divorce…
Your time, your listening ear, your shoulder to cry on. Sometimes the most thoughtful gift you can give someone who is separating or divorcing is a cup of coffee and the question, “Tell me the best and worst parts of the relationship that just ended.”
Listening without judgment can be the best, most thoughtful gift you ever give to someone going through a divorce.
Another sympathy gift idea for someone going through a divorce is teaching them how to manage money after getting divorced. Divorce leaves many people financially devastated.
If you have any thoughts on these sympathy gifts for someone getting divorced, please comment below.
While divorce is shockingly prevalent in our generation—the pain, discouragement, and abandonment of it still hurts. Many people who are divorced didn’t plan for it or even expect it to ever come to their marriage. In spite of the fact that God hates divorce, it happened in Moses’ day, Jesus’ day, and our day as well. As believers you must fall into the arms of Jesus Christ through the comfort of His word to cope with a divorce. Allow these 7 good Bible verses to speak to your heart during this difficult season:
There is hope
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
One of the first and most dominant emotions to struggle with in a divorce is utter hopelessness. You’ve made a covenant with God and your spouse in the midst of family and friends to never part—and yet here you are. Discouragement is Satan’s main weapon against believers in this difficult time. However, there is hope and grace in Christ to make it through the pain of divorce. Put your hope in God to take care of you spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
There is peace
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
In the chaos and calamity of divorce, peace will often feel far away. Yet by trusting in the Lord rather than how you feel brings peace in the midst of stormy days. When you wake up every day with your mind set on God’s goodness—He will get you through it with His perfect peace. It’s not a one stop shop with peace, it’s an ongoing process of learning to trust in God’s faithfulness through unknown territories of life.
There is joy
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
It seems hard to believe that there can be joy through this devastating experience. Yet the Lord knows how to bring joy alive in your heart during this time. Your strength to get through this divorce will be rooted in the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. While you can’t take away the experience and disappointment of a divorce, through Christ the sting of it will eventually diminish in His presence of joy.
There is comfort
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life” (Psalm 119:50).
In a divorce situation, loneliness can creep into your heart and mind. Yet it is possible to be alone and not lonely for those who seek their comfort from the Lord and not the empty promises of the world. The Lord has made many promises to those who love Him and He keeps every last one of them. Search for His promises in the Bible and cling to them all day and night to bring you the comfort you desire.
There is provision
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
For many people divorce can bring financial disaster especially if you weren’t the breadwinner of the family. You could find yourself suddenly having to make major financial decisions in a short period of time. These are days of seeking wisdom from God to lead you to the right people to help give direction with your finances and finding sustainable income. The Lord promises to meet all your needs and to not forsake you nor your family.
There is justice
“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).
There can be great pain for those whose divorce stemmed out of adultery. It’s difficult enough to figure out the needs of your family and your own personal needs; but to also struggle with the betrayal can be overwhelming. Yet if you intend to seek revenge instead of trusting God to repay—you will only end up a bitter and disappointed person. This is a time of casting all your cares on God in order to gain strength so you can forgive the adulterer.
There is a future
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Divorce will feel like it’s the end of the world. In many ways, it is the end of a relationship and everything that was promised in it. Yet the Lord is above your divorce and is able to make all grace abound towards you to move forward in faith. Your future isn’t limited or restricted because of a divorce; rather through Christ you have a calling and purpose to fulfill in spite of it.
Coping in Christ
You may feel that you will never get through this divorce. However, in Christ all things are possible and you can move past it towards God’s purpose for your life. The Lord will never leave nor forsake you in the season of suffering. He will make His presence known to you when you seek after Him with all your heart, soul, and mind. You will move beyond just coping and begin to live victoriously in Christ.
Related reading for you: Bible Verses About Divorce
Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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When you’re getting divorced, you feel like the wind has been knocked out of you. These gifts for someone going through a divorce will help her regain strength, energy, hope, and faith. Most of them are interactive (you’ll see what I mean as you scroll through), but some are simply relaxing and inspiring.
The French Lilacs Ceramic Travel Mug is the first on my list of gifts for someone going through a divorce because of the “escape” theme. Getting divorced is a long, painful process, and your loved one is probably dreaming of escaping to somewhere like Paris, Tahiti, or Australia! Give her a beautiful multicolored ceramic travel mug – the one pictured comes with a lovely matching gift box that can be re-used. The design is a work of art.
Below are nine more gift ideas for people getting divorced. If you’re shopping for a woman who is approaching the age of forty, read 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her – Creative and Thoughtful. Give her gifts that pamper and inspire, comfort and encourage.
Gifts for Someone Going Through a Divorce
The best gift ideas for someone getting divorced depends on their personality, lifestyle, and even her health. But no matter how old she is or where she lives, she needs to be pampered with beauty, music, support, and messages of faith, love, hope, trust, and peace.
A beautiful hand-painted handbag
An Anuschka Ocean Treasures Satchel is my favorite gift for any woman – even ones who don’t carry handbags all the time. Most women have several types of purses, handbags, and satchels in their closet. After a divorce, they may not have the disposable income they need to buy pretty new things like the Ocean Treasures purse by Anuschka.
I always include these gorgeous hand painted purses on my gift lists because they are both works of art and practical items that she can use every day – or for special occasions. Women need to surround themselves with gifts of beauty and vibrant colors while going through a divorce.
Aromatherapy gifts for someone getting divorced
The Essential Oil Sampler Gift Set includes several beautiful scents with soothing names such as Breathe Easier, Good Night, Hope, Relaxation, Stress Relief and Sunshine Spice. The scents are eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, orange, peppermint, and tea tree. Each oil in this sampler set is GC/MS tested to ensure 100% certified pure therapeutic grade quality.
Essential oils and aromatherapy is my first gift for someone going through a divorce because natural scents increase oxygen flow to the brain, which improves energy, immune function, attitude and positive emotions.
A gift certificate for massage therapy or acupuncture sessions
Massage and acupuncture sessions are healthy ways to relax the body and soothe the soul. And, these therapies do more than alleviate sore muscles. Emotional struggles, such as depression and anxiety, can be reduced by massage because it reduces the amount of cortisol in the system and promotes an overall sense of well-being. Both massage and acupuncture elimination of waste products, improves flow of nutrients to body tissues, and increases circulation to all parts of the body.
Are these gifts for someone going through a divorce too tame? Read 8 Gift Ideas for a Friend Getting Divorced – it starts with an “Ex” Skewer for shish kebobs.
A tool kit for “handy” women
The 135-Piece Apollo Precision Pink Household Tool Kit is an ideal gift for women going through a divorce who have their own homes to maintain. Even if the’re renting an apartment, they’ll need to occasionally get under the sink to tighten a pipe or crawl up towards the ceiling to hammer a nail!
Need encouragement? Get a beautiful FREE “She Blossoms” 2019 calendar when you sign up for my free weekly Blossom Tips!
A handy all-in-one tool kit ensures she has all she needs to take care of her home after the divorce. A lovely related gift idea would be to start a project with her that uses this tool kit. Build a bookcase, take off the old wallpaper, put up a complicated collage of paintings. Break in the tool kit with her.
A hand-painted kimono
The Old Shanghai Women’s Silk Kimono Short Robe – Cherry Blossom Black is another one of my favorite gifts for someone going through a divorce, because it’s both creative and practical. Can you tell I’m an artist with a solid practical streak? This kimono features hand-painted artwork on both front and back. It’s silk with a soft sash tie closure, belt loops and inside ties. The inside seam finish is French, and it’s exclusive to the Old Shanghai Collection. Each silk kimono by this company is created by a master artisan. It takes more than seven days to complete the intricate details decorating both front and back of the kimono. It’s elegant and luxurious, and will make any woman getting divorced feel like she’s a work of art.
The purpose behind every gift on this list is to support and help someone going through a divorce. The gift ideas that are most helpful are both practical and whimsical, because women who are getting divorced need to be pampered and encouraged.
A home spa experience that lasts all year long
The Art of Appreciation Lavender Renewal Spa Bath and Body Gift Set is a gift for someone going through a divorce that soothes the body and soul. It includes a four-piece Skin Reviving Set, Sisal Hand Mitt, Sisal Bath Sponge, Flower Shaped Nylon Mesh Pouf and a Hand Held Wooden Massager.
After the healing bath, your loved one will enjoy the l luxurious Lavender Scented Body Lotion, Cleansing Bath Gel, Exfoliating Body Scrub, Refreshing Body Spray, Rich Body Butter, Soothing Bath Crystals, Rose Petal Soaps, a Relaxing Lavender Scented Aromatherapy Candle and Fresh and Fragrant Lavender Potpourri.
Healthy, healing snack foods
The Golden State Fruit Classic Deluxe Fruit Basket is a wonderful way to encourage her to eat several small, healthy snacks throughout the day. It consists of a variety of orchard favorite fruits such as pears, apples, mango, oranges and mandarins. It also includes two delicious cheeses – a creamy jack and natural cheddar – as well as premium roasted and salted almonds and olive oil sea salt crackers. And of course there’s chocolate! A four piece gift box of decadent chocolate covered sea salt caramels. The whole thing is presented in a keepsake woven basket with a liner and tied with a bow.
Eating nutritious meals is the last thing on a woman’s mind when she’s going through a divorce. She’ll either be overeating or undereating – but she probably isn’t eating healthy. She’s probably not preparing well-balanced meals because she may not have the energy, motivation, or time to cook.
Art and creativity – a priceless gift for someone going through a divorce
The Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns is one of the most whimsical, cheerful, and supportive gifts for someone going through a divorce on this list.
Why? Because coloring and painting – and other types of art such as arranging photographs, sculpting, drawing – strengthens your sense of self and contributes to feelings of normalcy. Plus, it’s relaxing to focus on being creative – and it’ll help your loved one cope with the divorce by distracting her. Creativity increases serotonin levels and reduces stress; it also improves blood pressure and heart rate. Anything artistic can help her create a new identity and even learn how to cope with a divorce.
An inspirational print for her wall
This Inspirational and Motivational Wall Poster is a wonderful gift for someone getting divorced because it offers hope, beauty, love, and encouragement.
This print hangs on a wall easily via the hook on the back, and says “Dance although no one is watching you, Love as though you have never been hurt, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though heaven is on earth.” It’s light weight, but high quality high end birch plywood. It’s a clean, simple sign that will fit in with any decor.
If you’re shopping for gifts for a sister going through a divorce, read Gift Ideas for Your Sister – Nifty and Thrifty.
What have I missed in this list of gift ideas? I gathered a variety of beautiful and practical gifts for women getting divorced, to inspire and encourage her. Did any gift resonate with you? I welcome your thoughts below.