Going through a divorce is like losing a loved one to death. You need time to grieve the relationship and its demise.
The length of time it takes to go through the stages of divorce is different for everyone. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if it takes longer than you think it should.
Here Are the 5 Stages of Divorce
Stage One: Denial
Denial will most likely occur during the initial stages of divorce, although it can also happen later in the grieving process. People are frequently unable or unwilling to accept the loss of their marriage.
People often grieve the ending of the relationship and the loss of their spouse. Everyone enters marriage with hopes and dreams for their marriage and their future together, and people also mourn the loss of their hopes and dreams.
Mainly if the divorce was not your idea, you might have hoped that you and your spouse may be able to work things out. This is a common form of denial.
Just remember, if your spouse intends to divorce you, there may be little you can do to change their mind.
When you decide to get divorced and start the separation process, denial can be a defence mechanism.
Family, friends, and the right family professionals can help you cope with your denial by putting you in the right frame of mind to deal with your separation.
The first step is challenging and may take several months to get through. Be kind to yourself.
Stage Two: Anger
The anger you feel may stem from many things and may be different for everyone. Some reasons you feel this anger may be from being lied to, cheated on, betrayed, abandoned, etc. After all, you trusted your spouse, and they have let you down and hurt you.
You may also be angry with yourself for trusting your spouse. For believing in your spouse. For loving your spouse. Aside from anger, you may also be feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the separation.
You will look to blame others or God, lose faith completely or feel cursed.
Stage Three: Bargaining
This is the step where you start asking yourself a lot of questions such as “What if I did this or that?” or “What if I didn’t do this or that?”
You may be trying to find answers to “How could this happen to me?”
After asking yourself these hard questions, you try to negotiate a different outcome had things been different.
Several people feel guilty for not making the marriage work or feeling like a failure. Others make frantic assurances like, “I will never cheat or lie again.” Some people try to bargain with God, “Please, God, let us not divorce. I will change.”
Some bargain to stay married with their spouse “for the sake of the children” or “until the kids are adults.” A toxic environment does not benefit anyone, including your kids.
Stage Four: Depression
Almost everyone will experience some form of depression that stems from their sadness, grief, the uncertainty of the future, and loneliness.
You may be at work or at the grocery store and start crying.
Losing your marriage or spouse is considered a significant loss in your life. It is hard, and it is overwhelming. It causes sadness. You feel lost and lonely, and you feel empty. You don’t want to talk to anyone. Maybe you don’t even want to get out of bed.
Depression can last months or years. Speaking to a mental health professional may help.
Stage Five: Acceptance
This is where you come to terms with your divorce.
By the time this stage comes around, you start to have better days. You have some hope for the future, and your faith slowly returns.
At this stage, you start to make plans for the future, such as finding a new residence or taking a vacation. Start planning your new life sans your spouse.
Accepting your divorce doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you will become magically happy again. It means you have accepted the divorce and are ready to move on with your life. You realize that the divorce is real, inevitable, and that’s okay.
It is essential to know that you are not alone. This is an excellent time to join a divorce support group, make some new friends, or speak to a professional to help you plan your future.
This is the time for self-care. Eat well. Exercise. Get counselling, if needed. Do things you like to do. Take up a hobby. Travel. Be happy.