Emotions You Might Experience During Divorce

Through these steps, you will learn to let go of the negative emotions of anger, blame, resentment, and regret. This practice will allow you the freedom to move forward in creating a life based on your curiosities and values.

Emotions during a divorce: Woman at peace in flower field

Emotions You Might Experience During Divorce

Denial:

Denial is an emotional buffer that many individuals experience during and at the end of a marriage. It is a natural defense mechanism your psyche uses to protect you from becoming emotionally overburdened. Denial is usually the first reaction individuals have when divorce is discussed. Everything can feel surreal and hard to accept during this time. There is a certain numbness, disbelief, and emotional shock that occurs. It is normal to convince yourself that the thought of divorce is temporary; your partner is still in love with you; your spouse will come back to you in the end; your children will keep you together and can reignite the spark in your marriage. During this period, individuals might go on with daily life as if nothing significant is happening and avoid talking to close friends and family about the impending divorce. Many want to escape the reality and the emotional pain by not acknowledging the actuality of the divorce. It is important to remember that denial is temporary. Pushing yourself to face the reality of your divorce will help you tremendously. A Divorce Coach will partner with you to acquire the skills necessary to avoid emotionally driven decisions and assist in developing goals for redefining your life during this big transition.

Bargaining:

It can be painful and frightening to accept the reality of divorce. Many wish to turn back time or decide to do whatever they can to keep the marriage from ending. Bargaining occurs when an individual anticipates a significant loss. It is a common desperate measure usually aimed to keep the marriage intact and to minimize the possibility of divorce happening. Bargaining can also occur through replaying everything that went wrong in the marriage and letting one’s mind overthink different “What if?” questions and scenarios. There are many reasons why a person bargains during the demise of a marriage. Aside from wanting to keep the long-term relationship together, some want to avoid the loneliness and sadness that comes with divorce. Others want to circumvent all the gossip and stigma that goes along with the end of a marriage. Individuals often bargain to preserve the family unit. Usually, this is because of the children and the desire to avoid going through the overwhelming legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce. During the bargaining stage, people often allow their fears of the unknown to override the reality that ending the marriage could be the healthiest solution for both parties. It is important to recognize that getting to the bargaining stage makes you closer to accepting the dissolution of your marriage. With endings, comes the possibility of beautiful beginnings. A Divorce Coach will assist you in exploring the reasons why your relationship did not work so that you are clear about what you desire moving forward. Recognizing and owning your contribution to the end of your marriage will create the momentum you need to start the next chapter of your life.

Courage:

When your marriage is coming to an end, you are at a crossroads in your life and there are no guarantees. It is normal to feel lost, confused, and alone. Give yourself time. It takes a lot of soul-searching and introspection to understand what you want to manifest in your life moving forward. Allow yourself to dream. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Know that anxiety and fear are a natural part of the human experience. Recognizing that good things often come from reaching out into the unknown is important. You have control over every decision you make. A Divorce Coach will guide you to develop an action plan that will strengthen your resolve and lead you forward. The partnership will provide tools to help you grow in your own truth.

Choice:

The process of divorce requires making decisions and accepting the inevitability of change. People experience various emotions during this time and often feel like their lives are out of control. Your power to choose always exists. You can become the creator of your desires. You are never really stuck. All crossroads require you to ask yourself whether you are a victim of your situation or a creator of your future. Choice is an option you have every single time something happens in your life. You must make decisions that support your goals, happiness, and well-being. Only you have the power to choose what serves you and what defeats you. The right to react in a less emotionally disruptive way is up to you. A Divorce Coach will teach you skills to enhance your ability to exercise your power of choice. You will develop tools to control your thoughts and actions to show up as your best self, someone who is constantly evolving, growing, and learning. You will discover who you are so you can develop confidence and trust in yourself.

Clarity:

Many people live in a cycle of decision and indecision before getting the clarity needed to step toward what they want. People often deny, minimize, or rationalize the reasons for the end of their marriage. It is essential to understand that everyone who goes through a divorce is vulnerable and conflicted. Recognizing the conflict and owning that there are different parts you will be struggling with at various times is part of the process. One must also make many important decisions while going through a divorce, and it is challenging to problem-solve and think clearly while inundated with emotions. Taking a step back and looking at the situation from a distance has proven highly effective. Clarity requires you to be objective and detached enough to see reality as it is without judgment. Fostering your truth will make it easier to take effective action. A Divorce Coach will assist you in gaining the clarity and confidence needed to negotiate for your future from a position of strength, understanding, and respect.

Hope:

Life does not end after divorce. Although it is a tough time and marks the end of your marriage, the experience does not have to prevent you from dreaming again. The change is an opportunity to create new possibilities. You have the power to move forward toward a more fulfilling life. Allow yourself to honestly face where you are at the present moment and begin to accept your new role as a single person. Know that having hope about the possibilities to come and honestly facing your vulnerabilities will help you to start healing and moving into the next chapter of your life. This is a precious time and an opportunity to rediscover who you are and what makes you happy. Remember that the pain will not last forever. It will pass. Be kind to yourself and empower your soul to take small steps towards positive change — value yourself and all that you have to contribute. Finding hope is how you’ll make it through the most painful part of your divorce journey and move on to happiness again. A Divorce Coach will partner with you to develop the fortitude and skills needed for you to embrace your new chapter with positive energy and hope for all that is possible.

Acceptance:

Accepting your divorce is a matter of choice and critical to your recovery. It doesn’t mean that you think it is fair. You only have control over how you choose to see things and react to the curveballs that life delivers. Mourning the loss of your marriage is natural. It is challenging to move past the pain of divorce and begin to rebuild a life you never intended to live. Not accepting your divorce as reality keeps you stuck in the past and doesn't change anything. It is challenging to live a productive life in the present moment and plan for the future if your head and heart are focused on what used to be. It is about self-worth. Perspective is everything. Learning to accept the reality of your divorce and to consciously focus on your blessings will help you develop the clarity you need to begin to live your life to the fullest. Changing is a matter of conscious choice, desire, effort, and commitment to oneself. You have two choices: You can remain stuck in your pain, or you can do the challenging work that it takes to move forward. There are four steps in learning how to come to terms with your divorce:
  1. Accept where you are right now.
  2. Take responsibility for your actions and own your own mistakes.
  3. Practice mindfulness and gratitude.
  4. Take advantage of the opportunity for a new beginning.
Through these steps, you will learn to let go of the negative emotions of anger, blame, resentment, and regret. This practice will allow you the freedom to move forward in creating a life based on your curiosities and values.  A Divorce Coach will guide you through self-help activities and teach you skills to overcome obstacles so that you feel empowered to move through your divorce.

 Embracing the Single Life:

After divorce, it can feel like you have been stripped of your identity and the world as you know it. The dissolution of your marriage is not the end of your life. It is just a detour. When you have mourned and appropriately grieved the end of your marriage, letting go and moving on will become more bearable and realistic. Your new status will feel like the natural way to move forward, and you will begin to embrace your life as a single person. This stage will help you begin a new journey towards finding personal fulfilment and happiness. Take this time as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons and to improve yourself. Nurture what you are grateful for, give time to your children and other loved ones, reconnect with family and friends, explore new possibilities, and reinvest in yourself. A Divorce Coach will support you through the transition from being married to being single. You will be guided to explore many different paths so that you can create a life for yourself that is fulfilling.
Jennifer Warren Medwin, MS, is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, Supreme Court of Florida Family Mediator, and a Certified Marital Mediator. Her private practice is called Seeking Empowerment: Clarity through Partnership. Jennifer specializes in working alongside couples who are contemplating divorce and are fearful of high conflict. You may purchase her new book, Strategies, and Tips from a Divorce Coach (Verite Books) on Amazon.

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