Getting a divorce entails far more than filing the paperwork, hiring an attorney, and enduring the court process. Regardless of the reasons, divorce can turn your world upside down and have a negative effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Even if you are relieved to be leaving the marriage and are looking forward to a new chapter in your life, you might experience feelings of grief and loss that go hand in hand with mourning the end of a marriage.
The emotional process of divorce resembles the 5 stages of grief a person undergoes following the death of a loved one, as first described by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.
Divorce can be a “social death”, explains Dr. Joshua Klapow, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and behavioral scientist, triggering the same type of grief response that one would typically associate with a physical death.
Preparing for divorce involves having an awareness as well as an understanding of the many emotions that you may face as you grieve the death of the relationship you once had with your spouse.
It Starts with Denial
A divorce process causes most people to experience the 5 stages of grief, although not necessarily each stage or in any specific order.
The 5 stages are:
It’s normal to grieve the loss of a spouse due to divorce. Grief in divorce is a unique experience for each and every person. Allow yourself to ease through the stages. There’s no specific time for how long this period in your life may last.
And Ends with Acceptance
Pertaining to the 5 stages of grief in divorce, reaching the acceptance stage means you are able to acknowledge your marriage is over and you are ready to move on to the next phase of your life. Acceptance means closure. It means learning to navigate your life as a single person and, perhaps, as a single parent. It means learning to adapt.
If you have made the decision to divorce your spouse and want to discover the next steps, contact Buncher Family Law in Orange County. Our law firm has a reputation for results, clarity, and an uncommon edge in our representation.
Still struggling with the decision to leave an unhappy marriage? Take a few minutes to peruse the worst reasons to stay married.