One of the hardest part of divorce is the emotional roller coaster you could be on. Understanding the emotional stages you will go thru will help the healing process and help you to thrive after divorce. On today’s episode we will discuss the emotional stages of divorce and how to handle them.
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How Do You Get Through Your Divorce?
Getting through a divorce is more complicated than most people understand. Sure, there are many ways to navigate a divorce, including collaborative divorce, mediation, litigation, and even “do-it-yourself” divorce.
However, in this post, we will focus on the emotional side of divorce and how to handle the feelings that come with it. It’s important to recognize and expect these emotions, as well as know what to do when they arise.
Understanding your emotions can make the divorce process more manageable and allow you to move on to the next chapter of your life.
Stage 1: Shock and Denial
In most cases, both spouses know that the marriage isn’t working out the way they planned, yet they can still feel shocked and surprised when one spouse files for divorce.
Whether it catches you off guard or you knew it was coming, it’s natural to deny the fact that divorce is imminent. This denial can sometimes manifest as hope, with a spouse hoping that the other will change their mind or that the divorce is just a passing phase.
Stage 2: Fear
Fear can set in once the denial is over and you’ve accepted that you’re getting a divorce.
Fear is common in the early stages of divorce, as there are many things to consider when you’ll be on your own: where you’ll live, how you’ll pay your bills, custody arrangements, and how the divorce will affect your children.
Rather than worrying about the “what-ifs,” I suggest focusing your energy on what you need to accomplish today and what you can control: yourself.
Stage 3: Anger
When going through a divorce, our primitive brain may feel better if we can place blame on someone or something, whether it’s based on fact or not. This is understandable and normal. However, anger can often make the divorce process longer and more stressful for couples.
Instead of letting your anger get the best of you, try to channel it in a productive way. Let it motivate you to work through your divorce.
Look for healthy ways to release your anger, such as through exercise, journaling, art, music, or other stress-relieving activities.
Stage 4: Bargaining
You may have your anger under control, but there’s a chance that you still haven’t fully accepted the divorce. Getting through a divorce can stir feelings you haven’t had in a long time. You might notice that your emotions are pulling you in a different direction: bargaining.
You might wonder if getting back together is possible now that you’ve both had time to calm down. However, these thoughts and actions rarely work and usually only cause more pain. It’s important to stick to your guns as you go through the divorce process.
Stage 5: Guilt
The emotional issues and challenges can take a toll during a divorce. You may see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel like the divorce will soon be over. However, you might also feel like the mess is entirely your fault.
When this happens, you’ve moved into the guilt stage. Placing all the blame on yourself isn’t healthy, and it won’t solve anything. The reality is that both partners are usually the reason marriages end.
Finding ways to work on your self-esteem, such as starting a new fitness routine or reading self-improvement books, can be helpful.
Stage 6: Extreme Sadness and Grief
Sometime during your divorce, you will likely experience sadness over the end of your marriage. This affects everyone differently.
Some people may experience sadness and cry, while others may feel empty and unmotivated. Whatever way your sadness and grief manifest, it’s okay to let it happen.
During this time, it’s important to take care of yourself and your emotions. You may seek coaching or other treatment options, especially if it makes it difficult to perform normal daily tasks. Remember, this stage, like the others, will eventually pass.
Stage 7: Acceptance
While it takes time, you will begin to feel like yourself again. You’ll realize that some people just aren’t meant to be together, and you are both probably better off without each other.
But don’t get too comfortable because there’s still work that needs to be done when getting through a divorce. Healing and starting a new chapter in your life takes time. You may experience some of the previously mentioned emotions from time to time, even after you’ve reached a place of acceptance.
You don’t have to navigate your life after divorce alone. One of the best ways to get through the stages of divorce and to the other side stronger than ever before is by putting the right support in place.
Life coaching gives you a way to manage your mind so you know exactly what to do when negative thoughts begin to creep in (which will happen, trust me). It is possible to have a better life after your divorce than anything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Let us help you start to rebuild your life with one-on-one coaching. The first step is to schedule a Discovery Call so we can understand your situation, then we get started with regular coaching sessions. Don’t wait another day — schedule your call now.