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6 Emotional Stages Of Divorce

One of the most contradictory concepts about divorce is that to make it easier, you will have to talk and negotiate with the very person from who you are trying to gain emotional distance from. 

By recognizing the stages of how people mentally overcome a divorce, it might make it easier on both of you. For example, when you or your former spouse is expressing anger (stage 1), you could decide not to retaliate or lash out. Why? Because you know that this feeling is normal, and you will eventually make it to acceptance (stage 6).

Stage 1 

Stages 1 through 3 occur before you even begin the process to divorce. Part of the reason we are going over this is to help you understand that you’re not alone. People have gone through what you are currently in the middle of—or are about to be. 

Stage 1 is built around all the anger, arguments, and anxiety that led you to wanting a divorce. An emotional rift has developed between you and your spouse. Not only do you feel that something is off, but you begin to blame the other for where you two ended up—and vice versa. 

Stage 2

Think of stage 1 as feeling anger and resentment, and then imagine stage 2 when it gets expressed. Either you or your spouse verbalizes all of the feelings from stage 1. When this happens, couples might decide to fix their issues. This comes in the form of marital counseling or taking a trip together in an attempt to re-establish the connection that was lost. 

Stage 3

During stage 3, someone decides that a divorce is an ultimate and logical conclusion. One of the interesting things about this stage is that couples usually don’t arrive here at the same time. Maybe during marriage counseling, one person feels hope while the other accepts that divorce is inevitable. 

Although you and your spouse are still living together, there is a significant emotional rift. It is common for both people to feel victimized by their spouses. This not only fuels anger and resentment but now there are feelings of anxiousness and nervousness about the future. 

Stages 4 & 5

Stage 4 is marked with the physical separation of you and your spouse. During this time, you will likely announce your decision to your family and friends, and even to your children. It is also during this time when you seek out legal counsel for the proceedings ahead. Rather than anger, you are beginning to feel ashamed or scared. 

This segues into stage 5 which is the beginning of the end. This is when you accept your divorce. With a new perspective, you may see your marriage more objectively. And you start to grow yourself as an individual. 

Stage 6

Lastly, when the legal process is over, any sense of anger has dissolved into forgiveness. You and your former spouse are living different lives. In time, you will see your divorce as something you learned and grew from.

Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation 

Living through a divorce is emotionally difficult. One of the ways to reduce your stress during this time is to hire an attorney who can represent you and your interests. At Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation, we will be at our best while you are unable. If you are seeking legal counsel for your divorce proceedings, contact us online today. If you are not already involved in family law litigation, you may be eligible for a free consultation. Call us at (408) 416-3149 to schedule an appointment.