Divorce Grief Stages

Divorce is a life-altering event that can elicit many emotions. Though no one ever truly recovers from divorce, individuals can learn how to manage the 5 stages of grief more effectively.

Grief is unique for everyone, and not everyone goes through each stage in a linear order. It’s perfectly normal to experience multiple stages of grief and experience both highs and lows along the way.

Identifying the Five Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – are widely recognized as the best way to describe how people respond to loss. Initially created by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, these stages were initially created for patients facing their own death but have since been applied to other losses like divorce or job loss.

Kubler-Ross famously described five stages of grief in her 1969 book On Death and Dying to explain the emotional responses people often go through when faced with a life-altering event. However, she clarified that these stages weren’t meant to be linear or universal for all grievers; rather, they should serve as guides only.

Due to this, there is no one way to experience the five stages of grief; everyone responds differently. Some may take weeks or months to work through all five, while others only go through some or none at all.

Kubler-Ross’ five-stage model can be beneficial in lessening the stigma surrounding grief, but it does not guarantee that one will never experience any of the emotions connected with loss of a loved one. Furthermore, there is no obligation to go through each stage in any particular order.

It’s perfectly normal to feel as if you began at another stage or passed over one stage and then moved backwards. This doesn’t make you abnormal or crazy; it simply indicates that the stage no longer serves to help you progress on your healing journey.

Grief is a complex, multi-faceted process that can be overwhelming and trying. While it may prevent you from envisioning an optimistic future, healing from divorce or other losses doesn’t have to be impossible; with time and patience you will find resources available for support throughout this time.

Grief Stages of Divorce

The Emotional Toll of Divorce

Divorce is an emotional event that can have a lasting effect on you, making it difficult to cope. After divorce, many people experience feelings of grief, stress and anxiety – it is important to take these feelings seriously and seek treatment if you believe they are negatively affecting your life in any way.

Some individuals may experience more emotional pain after divorce than others due to the loss of identity that marriage provides. Divorce can disrupt that sense of connection.

Additionally, some individuals discover they must alter their identity and redefine themselves. This can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, as well as a lack of self-worth.

Divorce can have an immense effect on your social life. You may lose contact with family and friends, while working relationships may suffer as well.

Phase of life issues are painful and difficult to resolve, impacting sleep, appetite, hygiene habits and daily activities.

When grieving, you should make time for yourself and allow yourself to heal. This could include massages, relaxation routines, taking a bath or hot shower, having an enjoyable meal with loved one, or other self-soothing rituals.

It is also essential to make time for your children during this trying time. They need their parents by their side throughout this trying period, and they will have to learn how to cope emotionally with all that a divorce may bring.

Thankfully, there are numerous resources to assist you during divorce and recovery. With the right support system in place, you can embark on a new chapter of life and find joy again.


The Role of Therapy in Healing from Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult experience that often leaves people with feelings of anxiety, depression and grief. Therapy can help people process these emotions and move on from divorce.

Individual or couples therapy may be the most efficient way to work through the emotional stages of divorce. It also helps people develop coping skills that will enable them to move on from their divorce.

Divorce can be a trying time, regardless of the reason. It’s normal for people to feel depressed and overwhelmed during the initial months after divorce; this makes it difficult to sleep well, take care of oneself, and think clearly.

Many people experience regret, guilt and shame during divorce. If these emotions aren’t addressed and dealt with appropriately, they can impede healing for many.

Another common emotional response is anger. This may be directed at your spouse, children, friends or coworkers; although it’s normal to feel angry during divorce proceedings, try not to project those emotions onto others.

Maintain your values and integrity during this challenging stage of divorce. Without them, you won’t be able to save your marriage. Make sure that you remain grounded in what matters most to you during this trying time.

Finally, forgiveness is an integral part of the healing process. Forgiving your spouse or ex-spouse allows you to move on with life; although it may take some effort, forgiveness helps you move forward and build trust.

Family therapy is an invaluable resource to assist children in dealing with their parents’ divorce. It gives them an outlet to express their emotions and feel understood by a trained professional, while teaching them empathy and problem-solving techniques.

Coping with Divorce

Divorce is a life-altering event and it can be challenging to adjust. It affects every area of your life, from financial stability to co-parenting decisions with your former partner.

Additionally, your relationship with your spouse may evolve over time, leading to feelings of loneliness. Losing a spouse may also result in other losses such as identity, sense of belonging or security, and social relationships.

As you transition into this new chapter in your life, it’s essential to remember that divorce is an entirely normal process and will take time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed with emotions on some days; these can all be normal reactions during such a challenging time.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. By understanding these stages you can better identify where you are in your grieving process and what steps need to be taken next in order to move forward.

It’s normal to go through each stage of divorce at different times, but eventually you will come to acceptance and move forward with your life. While this doesn’t guarantee a full healing from grief, it does indicate that you no longer live with the pain and have moved past sadness and guilt associated with your separation.

Be sure to seek support from friends, family and mental health professionals when you require it. Doing so can reduce the duration of your grief reaction and allow you to heal more quickly. You could also join a support group for divorced or widowed people for added encouragement and understanding.

Divorce Support Groups

Divorce can be a devastating experience and one that many find difficult to cope with alone. It is natural to feel lonely and isolated during divorce, but it is essential to find support groups of people who understand your struggles. Additionally, seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor if you are feeling depressed or anxious can be beneficial.

Finding a divorce support group is the first step. Look for one in your local area or online that provides assistance. These gatherings provide an open forum to share thoughts and feelings, while also aiding in the development of coping skills and creating an accountability system.

Divorce support groups typically feature a facilitator or leader who facilitates the conversation. They ask probing questions to get everyone talking and ensure everyone shares their feelings and experiences.

Most support groups meet either in person or over the phone to keep conversations private and intimate. Some require membership while others offer open meetings that anyone can join.

Most support groups will include a licensed mental health counselor as the facilitator. They provide an open forum for members to share their divorce stories candidly.

Are you searching for a divorce support group? Try searching the online directory of psychology Today or ask your physician or therapist for tips on finding the ideal support group. Additionally, reach out to churches, social service agencies, and women’s hospitals to see if they can suggest any groups in your vicinity.