During the divorce process, you’ll feel many emotions. There are five common emotions and these are similar to the five stages of grief. These emotions are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Of course, you may feel other variations of these emotions and even other emotions according to your relationship and personal circumstances. Clarity Clinic’s divorce therapy is designed to help you through these stages.
In a divorce, the person who didn’t start the divorce usually spends a good deal of time in a state of denial. There are cases where this causes the person to delay the divorce by not signing the divorce papers. When you’re in denial, it allows you to avoid the reality of the divorce so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
The next stage is anger and this is usually felt by both persons going through the divorce. During this stage, both partners spend a lot of time blaming one another, dissecting the things that happened during the marriage, etc. In the previous stage of denial, people suppress their emotions. However, in the anger stage, these emotions are unleashed. If you’re going through this phase, you should strive to be patient with yourself and your partner. If you both can’t get through this phase, it can consume you both. During this phase, many people make bad decisions that are hurtful and vindictive. So, to ensure that your partner and your family aren’t negatively affected, you should take time to deal with the situation and cope so that you don’t react purely based on negative emotions.
Both parties will struggle in this phase, even the person who initiated the divorce. The initiator will often feel guilt and doubt about their decision. They will constantly weigh the situation and analyze their decision and the resulting consequences.
This is a long stage and it is the most challenging. At this point, you’ll understand the reality of the divorce and this is quite overwhelming and in some cases, debilitating. At this point, you should get help from your support system and accept that help. If you’re struggling with depression or the children are struggling with it, then it is best to see a counselor. It is definitely worthwhile to see a professional therapist as they can help everyone to heal in the long term.
At this stage, both parties will find peace. Everyone will accept that the divorce is happening and they will look towards the future. With that said, in this phase, you can still feel negative emotions. In some cases, you may revert to one or more of the previous stages. However, it would different, meaning you wouldn’t be completely consumed by those emotions. You will understand that you won’t be able to return to your old life, however, you’ll be able to feel joy. At this stage, you will be able to reclaim the past and lost parts of yourself and feel empowered by the upcoming changes.
It doesn’t matter if you started the divorce or if you’re being served the divorce papers, you will still go through some of the above stages. This is quite normal and you should be gentle with yourself as you move through them.