There’s no doubt about it: Divorce, even in the best-case scenario, is fraught with heartache and stress. You may feel overwhelmed with the process of dividing your assets and determining matters such as child custody and child support, but there’s an undercurrent of grief once the divorce decree is signed. Even if your relationship ended on a particularly sour note, a divorce is painful no matter what, because it is a loss. After all, very few brides or grooms-to-be anticipate saying “I don’t.”
The stages of grief are often attributed to the emotional impact of coping with the death of a loved one; however, any type of loss can trigger the grief cycle. Divorce grief includes these 5 well-known steps:
- Denial: It’s an abrupt change of reality when you ex moves out of the marital home and you must begin a new chapter in your life without them. Accepting that your divorce is imminent is the first step to recognizing how it will change your life and come to terms with the fact that you can’t live in the past and must focus on the present and future.
- Anger: This is one of the most common emotions throughout the end of any relationship, especially divorce. Emotions are high, because you cannot keep every asset, material possession, or even full custody of your children, upon your divorce. You should be aware, though, that anger typically covers up deeper emotions such as sadness.
- Bargaining: You face questions in your head such as “what if” or “if only I had…” You may still hold a glimmer of hope you will reconcile with your estranged spouse. While giving gifts or offering to change may put a bandaid on your marriage, it won’t be sufficient in the long-run to save the fractured relationship.
- Depression: The end of your marriage can trigger intense sadness and distress, even if the relationship wasn’t a loving one towards the end. Try to be kind to yourself and realize there is no timetable to grief. Involve your friends and family to be there for you, and practice excellent self-care to help with your depression.
- Acceptance: No matter how your divorce goes, it will take time to adjust to your new normal once the divorce is finalized. It’s normal to waffle between the previous stages of grief and circle back to acceptance once again – that’s because grief is cyclical and not linear.
Are You Pursuing a Divorce? Contact Us at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. for Legal Assistance.
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we offer compassionate legal support during an emotionally trying, stressful time in your life that you likely never anticipated at the outset of your relationship. The legal hoops and hurdles you must clear throughout the divorce may seem overwhelming, but your legal counsel can help.