Like most of your married friends and relatives, you expected your marriage to last a lifetime. Now that things seem a bit rocky, you may be struggling with whether to call it quits. After all, divorcing your spouse may be one of the most consequential actions you have ever taken.
According to reporting from Fatherly, coping with divorce is about the same as dealing with the death of a loved one. While you certainly must take time to address your grief, it also may be helpful to understand the emotional stages of divorce.
For many divorce-bound couples, denial is the first stage of divorce. During this stage, you may try to convince yourself your marriage is not in trouble. You also may look for small signs your spouse is willing to continue with your union. During the denial stage, marriage counseling can help you determine what is genuine and what is merely aspirational.
Once you recognize your marriage is drawing to an inevitable close, you may experience a sense of uncertainty. This uncertainty may come with anger, sadness, pain and resentment. To help you combat these feelings, you may want to meet with a counselor or divorce therapist. You probably also should implement some stress-relief techniques.
Eventually, you may begin to bargain with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, your children, a higher power or even yourself. During this phase, it is common to try to reconcile with your husband or wife. If these efforts fail, you may develop depression.
After going through the other phases, you finally may accept the end of your marriage. With acceptance, you recognize your marriage is over. Furthermore, you become ready to move forward with your post-divorce life.
Ultimately, understanding and managing the common emotional stages of divorce may help you avoid making rash decisions that may harm you legally, financially or otherwise.