image of someone upset going through divorce

Understanding the Emotional Stages of Divorce

From a young age, children around the world dream of the day that they get married. From the Fairy Tale reverence that Hollywood grants marriage to the core values that religious institutions place within it, it is easy to see why the process is so important.

In 2017, nearly half of all American’s aged over 18 had been married. This number seems large until we realize that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in a divorce. With nearly half of these monumental decisions ending in such a trying way, it stands to reason that we should learn to better understand the emotional toll it can take.

5 Emotional Stages of Divorce

Whether a divorce was propositioned or planned, the process is never easy to undergo. Divorce can be hard on everyone within reach of the situation, including children, family members, and the formerly married couple. Like other aspects of loss, going through a divorce can send individuals through five emotional stages.

While divorce will always be difficult, understanding the conflict and emotional stages intrinsic to divorce proceedings can help to soften the blow, prepare us for life after, and push us forward when we feel down.

Stage 1 — Denial: As in all walks of life, when we are hit with something impossible to believe, we simply deny it. Denial is a traditional emotional process for both parties, but particularly the individual being divorced. A whirlwind of emotional turbulence can prevent the individual from accepting what is going on before them.

Stage 2 — Anger: Anger isn’t always a healthy emotion, but it is always a notable one. After fighting with reality, we might find ourselves both shocked and angered by what just happened. Rage and blame may manifest as both parties begin to engage in emotional warfare, rendered toward themselves and others. This is a time for patience, grace, and forgiveness.

Stage 3 — Bartering: Once the anger subsides, some folks find themselves looking to bargain with their former partner. One spouse may still be hopeful that the relationship can work, and they will often go out of their way to try and change. This is an important time to understand the journey that has been taken and to stand by the convictions that led us there.

Stage 4 — Depression, Sadness: Anger can only burn so long before the flames turn to ash. As our anger fully subsides and bartering shows signs of failing, depression can sink in. The longest and hardest to weather, depression can last for a long time.

Stage 5 — Acceptance: Where anger, sadness, and denial once existed comes the feeling of acceptance. While things aren’t wholly better, they are getting there. This is the stage that often leads to a new chapter in life.

Prepare For Life After Marriage With Erica Bloom Law

While divorce may be devastatingly common, it is a process that holds a special place in society. Whether you are undergoing a divorce or contemplating leaving a significant other, individuals can turn to Erica Bloom Law when they need a compassionate ear and a skilled hand at law by their side.