The 10 Emotional Stages Of Divorce

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The 10 Emotional Stages Of Divorce
Knowing and understanding the stage you are in can help you navigate the journey in a healthier way.

Just as in death and dying, there are emotional stages people go through during a divorce. Mostly these stages pertain to the person who didn't initiate the divorce, although some of them are applicable even if you did initiated it. Depending upon each individual, a person can skip stages, get stuck in some, or move on only to revisit previous stages. These stages do not represent a neat and clean progression through divorce but it will give you an idea where you are and where you want to get to so you can be happy again. If you interested in help learning to ride this emotional roller coaster of divorce, then contact me at The Relationship Center for your free coaching session.

1. Pain—Pain occurs when you first hear of your spouse wanting a divorce. The pain can be so great, you wonder if you will even survive. Pain is an emotion we use to send our spouse the message of just how devastated we truly are.
2. Bitterness—Sometimes following pain will be bitterness. This is usually about blaming your spouse for not being the person you wanted him to be. It is in the bitterness stage that you might decide to get revenge, trying to hurt your spouse as much as he hurt you. Here you are angry about what your spouse did, his decision to divorce, and you are asking, "How can you do this to me?" 10 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health EXPERT
3. Desperation—Desperation comes next when you realize your spouse is serious and really does want a divorce. You will focus all of your energy on getting him to change his mind. During this stage, you can alternate between rage and being super sweet. Everything you try is your best attempt to win him back. Knowing The Difference: Healthy Or Dysfunctional? EXPERT
4. Frustration—Frustration sets in when you finally realize things are not going to change. This divorce is going to happen whether you want it to or not. You have tried all within your arsenal to change his mind but you realize there is nothing more you can do. Should you come up with another idea, you will likely revisit the desperation stage.
5. Despair—When the frustration fades, you will be left with despair and more pain. This is when you really begin to accept the fact that there is nothing you can do to change this situation. In the frustration stage, you are still racking your brain trying to think of what else you could do but despair sets in when you are completely out of options and know you have lost your spouse and your forever life together.
6. Exhaustion—After experiencing the emotional roller coaster of the previous five stages, you are totally and completely exhausted. Your energy is drained. You may feel depressed. You simply lack the energy you need to complete day-to-day responsibilities. Depression: Caused By Chemicals Or Your Own Behavior? EXPERT
7. Determined—When you enter the determined stage, you are sick and tired of being sick and tired! You may not know your next step but you definitely know you are tired of feeling bad and become determined to change that.

 

Next: Three more stages...

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Kim Olver

Speaker/Presenter

Kim Olver, LCPC, has been featured in Whole Living, Women's World, Fitness Magazine and Counseling Today and is the best-selling, award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life.

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Location: Country Club Hills (Chicago), IL
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Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women
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