The Emotional Stages of Divorce: What you May Experience During the Divorce Process
Divorce can catch you off guard and there are many different ways in which you may experience the process. You may go through nearly all of the extreme emotional states mentioned below or have an easier time navigating through this difficult period. The important thing to understand is that high emotions are normal during the early stages of the divorce process and that they have the ability to affect your capacity to think clearly through the issues, impair your judgment calls, and make rational decision making difficult.
Initial Stages of Grief and Sorrow
There is Denial, Anger, Despair and Acceptance issues to deal with. It is important that while attempting to manage your emotional recovery during this difficult period, that you give yourself a break and move through this recovery process at your own pace. You will eventually come to the point of acceptance, hopefully sooner than later.
- Your joint accounts were slowly being drained.
- Your spouse constantly brought up the “D” word, but you refused to believe they would ever do such a thing.
- Even when your spouse informs you that he/she’s filed for divorce, you refuse to consult a divorce lawyer, convinced that things will work out. By now, your partner and lawyer would have had plenty of time to fine tune their tactical approach.
- You tell yourself and that when push comes to shove, she’ll never follow through with the divorce.
“Divorce denial is can be very dangerous, especially where children are involved. Be aware of warning signs and take immediate action to protect your rights and those of your loved ones”
- You’re looking for someone to blame for what is happening in your life. You could have justifiable anger towards your ex-spouse. You may also feel anger towards and from your in-laws, parents and even the children.
- Expressing anger to your soon to be ex-spouse through the legal process only leads to prolonged, emotional proceedings that will ultimately leave you and your loved ones -emotionally and financially drained.
“Allowing anger to influence your decision making during divorce proceedings could lead to all-out war with your spouse. Explore what it is trying to tell you and put it to good use”
- You may feel panic, rage, and confusion. Your emotions may swing between despair that your marriage is over and that it could be restored. You may benefit from therapy sessions with a counsellor to help you transition through the process and adjust to divorce.
- Be good to yourself, take time for yourself, pamper yourself, surround yourself with positive people and engage in activities that bring peace. Take one step at a time towards creating your new life.
“Being positive about yourself will enable you to see the bigger picture clearly and allow you to make the right decisions involving you and your loved ones”
- You have decided to make the best out of the situation you find yourself in and understand that you can’t change reality by wishing your divorce had never happened.
- Acceptance allows you to regain a sense of power and control, enabling you to create a plan for the future, re-identify yourself, disc and discover new talents you have within you.
- This is the best time to be mediating instead of fighting things out in court: parties can look forward and plan for the future; saving them and their loved ones the emotional and financial strains that a court room battle can bring.
Understanding all the above mentioned stages will be beneficial to you when it comes to decision making during the divorce process. It may well be challenging understand them clearly in the initial stages of the divorce, but being aware and understanding the obstacles is an important step toward ensuring that you make the best choices you can.