During a divorce, you’ll find you go through a wide range of emotions. We all know that a divorce doesn’t just affect your life and can also take its toll on your family and friends. After all of the time and effort you’ve put into your marriage, seeing it break down can be devastating for many individuals. When going through this challenging time, you’ll likely go through the five stages of grief. While the start of the process can feel almost impossible, the five stages of grief show us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and in time, you’ll soon get back to your happy and confident self.
Stage 1 – Denial
The initial stage of grief is denial, where you don’t believe the situation is happening. For many individuals, a divorce isn’t necessarily their choice, so this stage may last longer when the circumstances of the divorce are unexpected. However, if the decision was yours and you’ve been thinking about it for some time, you may skip this step and move further down the line.
Stage 2 – Anger
At some point during the divorce, nearly all individuals will experience anger if they were the wronged party. If you thought there was nothing wrong with your relationship and your partner suddenly asks for a divorce, you have every right to feel this way after committing so much to your marriage. Divorce brings up many emotions, and you will likely feel uncertain about the future and the toll it may take on your family, finances, and social status. You’ll likely find yourself staying up throughout the night thinking about ‘what ifs’ and keep asking questions about why things turned out the way they did. Seeing a specialist during this stage can be incredibly helpful to help you avoid becoming too resentful of the situation and your life’s circumstances.
Stage 3 – Bargaining
The third stage of grief is bargaining, where you start to question what your life will look like without your partner and realize you aren’t ready for this change. However, you need to understand that if the other person is no longer committed to your relationship, you can’t force them to stay. While many couples go through the bargaining stage before committing to their divorce, you want to try and avoid returning to this stage after making this difficult decision.
Stage 4 – Guilt
Guilt is the fourth stage of grief, where you begin to look at why things turned out the way they did and find reasons why we could have changed the results of the situation. If the divorce was your choice or a result of your action, you may be operating out of guilt. If this is the case, the best way to move forward, even though it can be quite difficult, is to own up to your mistakes without blaming the other person and without allowing them to make you continue to feel guilty. If you have children, you may find this stage particularly challenging, but you’ll need to try and keep your confidence levels up and work through any feelings of sadness or depression you may be experiencing.
Stage 5 – Acceptance
Finally, in the acceptance stage, you choose to accept the situation how it is. It’s now time to start working on your confidence again and remove yourself from situations that are no longer beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. While you may find yourself returning to one of the earlier stages from time to time, which happens and is normal, you will know that you have made progress when you finally feel you’ve entered the acceptance stage.
Regardless of what stage of grief you are currently in, if you find yourself struggling, I encourage you to reach out for support. Contact me today by phone or at Lspiers19@yahoo.com to schedule a confidential complimentary consultation.