What Are the Five Stages of Divorce?
While divorce is often the start of a new life for some, it is also the end of a marriage for others. While the five stages of divorce are similar, they may come with different experiences for each person. For example, if you were aware that your marriage had to end, it may take less time to emotionally "get over" the breakup, and you may adjust to your new life without your ex-partner relatively quickly.
The acceptance phase is the most pleasant stage of the divorce process. This is the point where a divorcee begins to see the situation clearly and understand the reasons for the breakup. They no longer feel grieving over the breakup, but they do still feel pain and anger. Divorce attorneys should be able to help you move forward and help you overcome these feelings. It is important to remember that this phase is not the end of the grieving process. There may still be further stages of anger, bargaining, depression, and other stages. But it will be easier to get through these stages when you have experienced the first two.
During the separation and the divorce, your spouse is likely to experience each of the five stages. Sometimes, spouses experience all five stages at once. In either case, however, it is important to be patient. Each divorced spouse has a different emotional state than the other. It is important to remember that divorce is a process, not an event. You will eventually emerge from this stage with renewed hope and faith.
The third stage of the divorce process is called discovery. This involves collecting information from both sides. It may involve informal document collection, or more formal discovery requests. The first stage is often the most difficult to go through, as people are often in denial that their marriage has ended. Those in this phase may try to convince themselves that everything is fine. Oftentimes, people will misunderstand the denial stage as active denial. But this is more than simply feeling confused and denying the divorce is happening.
Another stage of divorce is depression. This phase is associated with feelings of guilt. People often feel guilty for not being able to get what they wanted from their partner. Their internal bargaining process results in fantasy thoughts about what could have been. However, you should remember that you did the best you could with the resources you had at the time. The depressive stage of the divorce process is not the time to focus on your faults. It is important to move on with your life.
You may find yourself in the angry stage. This stage can cause you to blame your ex, or even God. In this stage, you may lose faith and feel cursed. If you are angry and feel like you can't cope with the reality of your divorce, allow yourself some time. If you don't let your emotions settle, your next stage will be bargaining. The bargaining stage can also lead to feelings of regret and depression.