The process after the divorce process: the stages of grief following a divorce
Going through a relationship break-up can take its toll, both emotionally and financially. Feelings of grief and loss are common and these don’t just go away once you have received your Decree Absolute.
Grief is a very personal process
There is no set timetable that you will follow when your relationship comes to an end. You may feel tearful or numb. You may feel very angry. These are all perfectly normal parts of the grieving process.
The feelings you experience at the end of your marriage may be completely different to someone else’s. The time it takes for you to work through those feelings will not be exactly the same as for another person going through a similar break-up. Having said that, there is a general grieving process following divorce which many people do experience.
The five stages of grief
One of the most well-known theories surrounding the stages of grief states that there are five stages of grief.
- Denial – this stage enables you to gradually process your break-up without it overwhelming you. For example, you may believe that your other half will ‘come round’ in a few days.
- Anger – being angry at your other half is a way to mask the intense pain that often goes hand in hand with the end of a relationship.
- Bargaining – attempting to regain control when your world is undergoing big changes is normal. For example, if you are religious, you may find yourself making deals with God.
- Depression – isolating yourself from friends or family or struggling to live a life without your other half, can be signs of depression. While this is a normal stage of grief, if you struggle to move past it or find yourself in a very dark place, it may be worth getting in touch with a counsellor.
- Acceptance – this does not mean you will not still feel the pain of your marriage coming to an end. However, you will accept what has happened and feel that, on balance, you are now having more good days than bad ones.
Not everyone experiences every stage of grief after a divorce. Some may never go through denial and move straight through to anger. Some may find themselves in one stage for a long period of time but move through the other stages relatively quickly.
However, getting an idea of where you are in the grieving process following your divorce can help you to better understand your feelings and ultimately move on.
Finding out more about the divorce process, and understanding what your financial settlement may look like following a marriage break-up, can help to alleviate your worries about what lies ahead. Get in touch to book your free consultation with one of our specialist family lawyers today.