So your husband or wife has brought up the dreaded “D” word? Maybe it’s come right out of the blue, maybe you’ve had an inkling for a while now. No matter how prepared or unprepared you were, even once it’s out in the open it usually takes people a while to come to terms with their new reality. With a large spate of divorce cases that are being brought to court on a daily basis, what often gets lost in the process is what people go through before they sign on the dotted line. Like life altering scenarios, this too take is a step-by-step journey. A deeper understanding of the stages can help you navigate better. There are essentially 5 stops on this journey.
The first step is disbelief. This one hits you the hardest especially if you’re not the one initiating the divorce. When you’re not the one who wants to separate you will find it hard to accept it in the beginning. You keep thinking that your spouse will change their mind and want to reconcile. If their reason for wanting to divorce is due your actions or behavior, you will also try and rationalise to them and yourself — to convince them that the reasons aren’t big/good enough or that you will change or improve. This also works then other way, if you’re the one who is initiating then you are likely to go through denial wherein you try and convince your self that you don’t want it, that things can change.
Denial will lead to anger and resentment. You will be angry at yourself and your spouse for letting things get to this stage. People often go in to deep spirals trying to relive or overthink the moments and the incidents that lead them to this stage. Being in control of your anger or seeking therapy is important here because you don’t want to make the situation worse by acting on your anger impulses.
Though called bargaining, this stage is often where the couple may be able to reconcile. At this point, if both the spouses are willing they might be able to sort out their differences by altering habits and behaviours. If reconciliation is not an option for one spouse, the other might try and offer changes in behaviour, habits, relationships etc as a means to try and get them back. This stage is emotionally exhausting because it is usually accompanied by a lot of back and forth discussion between the couple that usually escalate to arguments and fights.
Depression is a broad term and people undergo it to varying degrees. In cases of divorce, both men and women. Factors like grief, uncertainty of the future and loneliness are huge contributing factors the sense of gloom and doom. It is essential to remind your self that this feeling of intense sadness is to be expected, after all you in the process of letting go of your marriage and your spouse; something that you never thought you would have to do. If felt in extreme you should see a mental health professional, this will make the transition process easier.
This last stage shouldn’t be confused for happiness or satisfaction. At this time you will be able to finally come to terms with the end of your marriage. You will start planning your future both short term and long term. It means you have accepted the divorce and are ready to move on with your life. You will realise that the divorce is real, inevitable, and that’s okay.
If you or a loved one is in a similar situation get in touch with us. At getmeadivorce.com, we’re here to guide you every step of the way in case you decide to separate or divorce your spouse. Connect with us and get clarity on how you can take things forward. We’re here for you.