The 5 stages of divorce
The 5 stages of divorce
Nobody can say that divorce is easy. It is an emotionally difficult process that takes time to deal with and heal from. The stages of divorce follow the same pattern as those associated with grieving the loss of a loved one: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As you work through the legalities of divorce, you need to prepare yourself for the emotional impacts of the separation you are working through. You need to remember that you are breaking a long-time commitment to a person with whom you have shared a lot. Give yourself the space to deal with what you are going to feel and accept whatever help is available to you. Here are some tips to help you work through the process.
Set goals for yourself
When you are grieving, it can be very easy to lose track of your life and wallow in the overwhelming emotions you are feeling. While it is entirely okay to allow yourself some time to keep to yourself, put off some of your daily routines and just feel what you feel, it is also a good idea to set short-term goals for yourself so that you can keep your life running. You should also set up some long-term goals to help you move on with your life and start anew. Perhaps it’s time for that overseas trip you’ve been dreaming about, or maybe you should move to a new property where you can begin your new single life.
Rely on your faith
It doesn’t matter what you believe. Whether you are religious or not, leaning on what you hold dear and whatever belief structures form the basis for your view of the grander scheme of things, will help you deal with the stages of divorce. If you are religious, you may want to visit your place of worship regularly or seek help from a spiritual advisor. If you take a more secular view, seek refuge in the things that really matter to you, whether it is family or charity work.
Take a break
There is no better time to get away from it all. When you can, step out of the routine and the legal proceedings, and go somewhere where you can clear your head, be alone and perhaps enjoy the great outdoors or any activity that will take you away from the hardships for a time.
Forgive yourself and your spouse
Forgiveness is not always easy, and it isn’t something that should be forced, but it is vital to moving on after a big loss such as divorce. You don’t have to forgive immediately - it should flow naturally. If there are feelings of anger or resentment that you need to work through, you should give yourself time to do so. Deciding to forgive is just the start of the process. Once you have done so, you can let the rest unfold as you work through the separation and the feelings it evokes.
Seek professional help
It may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or counsellor to help get you through the five stages of divorce. They can provide an objective sounding board, as well as having the expertise and experience to guide you through the stages. Always reach out for whatever help is available.