Getting Through the Emotional Stages of Divorce

The emotional stages of divorce can be like riding a roller coaster in the dark. Your thoughts and feelings twist and turn in unexpected directions, and you’re often left feeling as if the ground beneath you is being yanked away.

As your emotions send you through yet another gut-wrenching, gravity-defying loop, it’s easy to wonder if your world will ever be stable again. How do you prepare emotionally for divorce? It helps if you understand the emotional stages that you’ll go through.

1. Denial

Your spouse can’t be serious about wanting a divorce. It’s a phase or a fad or whatever excuse you can come up with to explain away the reality that you aren’t yet ready to face. Denial is a coping mechanism. There’s nothing wrong with a little denial, but too much can prevent you from progressing to an emotionally healthy place.

2. Anger

Your spouse can shove the blasted divorce where the sun don’t shine! You’re happy to see them go. After all, they’re undoubtedly the cause of every single bad thing that ever happened to you. Anger is cathartic, freeing you up to move forward, but it’s important to choose your audience wisely. Little ears shouldn’t be exposed to this dark fury. After all, your spouse is also their parent.

3. Pain

How can your spouse hurt you like this? The demise of a relationship, divorce is a kind of death, so it’s only natural that you will grieve. Just as you’d try to stop a physical ache, you’ll be tempted to do whatever you can to stop the pain. You’ll rehash the relationship endlessly, search obsessively for solutions and desperately hope for reconciliation because just the thought of a life without your spouse is terrifying. This is when your support system is most important. Reach out to a select few and lean on their support to get you through.

4. Exhaustion

If your spouse wants a divorce, they can have it. You don’t have the energy to care. Bouncing between the various emotional stages of divorce is mentally and physically exhausting; at times, getting out of bed in the morning is a major accomplishment. A brief bout of this emotional exhaustion is normal. However, if it goes on too long, it may be wise to speak with your physician about the possibility of depression.

5. Determination

Many people get divorced. You’ll be just fine. You’ve figured out how to cope with divorce. Contemplating a life without your spouse may be somewhat scary, but you’ve made up your mind that you will move forward with your life. You may slip back occasionally, but you know that you’ll eventually reach a point where you’ll be just fine because you’re determined to do so.

6. Acceptance

Divorce happens, and it happened to you. While you may harbor some regrets and negative feelings, you’ve accepted that divorce is part of your reality. The intensity of your emotional reaction to the situation has faded, and you know that you really will be okay.

7. Hope

There’s life after divorce. In fact, life after divorce contains new possibilities and new opportunities that you’re ready to embrace.

Like the roller coaster’s track, your progress through these stages won’t be a straight line. You’ll bounce back and forth between them, lingering in some and speeding through others. At Cheshire Family Law, we understand that divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. Experienced professionals, we’ll approach your situation with the necessary sensitivity. Contact us online or call us at (561) 677-8090 to arrange a consultation.

Related Posts
  • Ground Rules for Living Together While Separated or Divorcing Read More
  • Baby Boomers and Divorce Rates: A Surprising New Trend Read More
  • 5 Tips for Dealing With an Unreasonable Co-Parent Read More