The Five Stages of Divorce Recovery | Divorce Magazine

Divorce is a complicated emotional process not unlike recovering from any kind of grief. Here are the five stages of divorce recovery.

stages of divorce recovery

Divorce is like experiencing a death of sorts. There is a sense of loss, betrayal, confusion, and a plethora of emotions. Because of this, the five stages of divorce recovery are like other grief processes.

Here are the 5 stages of divorce recovery:

1. Denial

The first stage of any grieving process is denial. It’s much like physical shock after an accident: the body shuts down until it can better deal with the pain of what has happened. In divorce, our body, mind, and spirit sometimes shut down until we can better deal with the reality of what is happening.

2. Releasing Negative Emotions

Experiencing negative emotions about your situation or towards others is normal. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s any less destructive. Acknowledging the anger, fear, worry, guilt, depression, and grief is the first step towards the healing process. This is when it’s important to have someone you completely trust to share your feelings with, whether it’s a friend, pastor, rabbi, counselor, or coach. Remember Henry Ford’s famous quote: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

3. Acceptance

Acceptance recognizes that the past is past and helps to bring about a desire to live in the present. Perhaps, even get ready to step forward into the future. You know you are starting to experience acceptance when you start asking yourself forward-thinking questions like, “what do I do next?” or “how can I overcome this challenge?”

4. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about releasing animosity towards yourself and others. It frees you to pave the way for establishing new relationships with healthy patterns and boundaries. Nelson Mandela said “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

5. Self-Worth

Nothing damages self-worth like having the person you loved to withdraw that love. The end of your relationship may have damaged your sense of worth and value. But, it’s important to remember that your ex-spouse did not take the love with them – the love still resides in you.

One of the best ways of discovering your level of self-worth is to monitor your thought-life. Be brutally honest with yourself and audit how much negative self-talk is occurring.

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