Stages of Grief During a Divorce

Although divorce is more socially accepted and common than ever, few people recognize it as a loss compared to death or serious illness. After all, they’re still alive. On the contrary, people going through divorce do experience it as a major loss, and typically go through all the stages of grief.

Grieving the end of the marriage is normal, even if you’re the one initiating the divorce. Here’s an overview of the five stages of grief during a divorce:

  • Denial:This often includes shutting down and dissociating, or pretending that the divorce simply isn’t happening. To a lesser degree, denial can manifest as keeping up appearances with family and friends, even when you know you’re ready to go.
  • Anger: Anger often sets in, especially when you feel out of control. If your marriage has ended due to betrayal of some sort, this can feel almost impossible to get past, but even marriages that end mutually can foster resentment and frustration.
  • Bargaining:Bargaining can look like “I’ll do anything if you’ll just take me back,” but it can also manifest as anxiety, overthinking and guilt. Whether you’re wondering if things would have worked out if you had acted differently, or your spouse is begging you to try one more time, this can be very difficult.
  • Depression:Divorce is sad, even if you know it’s the right choice. You might feel hopeless or have difficulty mustering up the energy to do anything. Some people try to numb the pain with alcohol and drugs, but often, it simply manifests as a lack of energy and joy.
  • Acceptance:Eventually, you will reach a state of acceptance. Even if you’re not thrilled with how life turned out, you will be able to accept your situation and move forward.

Keep in mind that you may cycle through several stages before finally reaching acceptance—healing isn’t linear, and it’s often helpful to work with a counselor to get through major changes like divorce.

To find out whether mediation is right for you, reach out to the trusted Long Island divorce meditators at Solutions Divorce Mediation today.

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