When it comes to divorce, especially if you’re past your 6th decade, the first thing to remember is not to blame yourself. The main reason why you feel terrible even when the whole ordeal is at the finish line is the Pain Impact Factor (PIF). 

No, that’s not the name of some WWE wrestling move. Nor is it a scary crazy warning that you read on WebMD. 

It’s actually the no-BS reason why you’re having a hard time, wondering why you haven’t “moved on,” or “gotten over it.” 

Here’s how I like to think of it. 

The Pain Impact Factor (PIF)

Say everything going on in your life before the divorce was perfect. And then you go through your divorce, which is a painful and stressful process for 99.99% of the population. 

That gives you a PIF of 1. 

Now, say you’re going through a divorce, but all your life, you’ve been dealing with self-esteem issues and lack of confidence because you’ve never thought you were “good enough” or worth it. 

That multiplies the hellish feeling you’re experiencing by 10, so now your PIF is 10. 

Now, let’s say you’re dealing with divorce and struggling with self-esteem and have an emotionally-draining job. Or a health condition. Or other family drama. Your PIF goes from 10 to 100. Or 1000. 

See how that works? 

The next time you’re struggling and wondering why you’re having such a hard time recovering and moving on, remember the PIF formula. 

Don’t Do Nothing

However, the Pain Impact Factor is not an excuse to do nothing. An increased PIF score does not give you a get-out-of-jail free card. .

You do not get to use it as an excuse to feel sorry for yourself, or beat yourself up, or make yourself the victim. 

It is a tool to help you understand why you’re feeling bad. It is the thing that you can refer back to on those days when you feel like you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. It provides the context to be kind to yourself. 

Think of your divorce as the lid on Pandora’s Box. And when the lid opened, all the pain, hurt, anger, resentment, and past trauma that you have managed to keep inside comes flying out, saying, “Well, now that you’re here, deal with me! Deal with me! I need to be dealt with!” 

Handling all those emotions and dealing with that trauma all at once can be exhausting. Heart-breaking. But you must. Because this is your life and you cannot live it scared to death of the things you must face.

You must address them. And fight them. Even if it makes you scared. Or uncomfortable. Or anxious. 

Because the brightness of your future and your well-being depend on it. 

Do you have a Pain Impact Factor that keeps you from moving on? What are the things you’re dealing with that make the divorce seem harder? Please share in the comments below.

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