Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stages of Emotions through Divorce

Divorce is much like grieving over someone you have lost to death. In fact, it is a death ... the death of a relationship that once was filled with love, anticipation, honesty, hopes and dreams and certainly lot of good memories which often out weigh the bad ones. Grieving just takes time and every individual is different in the length of time they grieve. Bitter is actually bottled up anger and blaming oneself for not seeing the signs of a failing marriage, but, that's simply not true (as you will find out later on.) When you give marriage your all and love that person then you simply aren't looking for signs of cheating or other reasons for divorce. First comes the tears, then sometimes taking the total blame (when it wasn't 100% your fault). then the 'what ifs' or 'I should have done things differently.' The reality is two humans aren't perfect and couples can fall out of love. Then comes the anger. This is the time you use that anger to your own advantage. Instead of being eaten up inside by anger, realize this is a learning curve and learn from the mistakes both of you made in your marriage. That said, get out with friends, socialize and start dating again.

Mates that are vicious, abusive (verbal or physical) or used you and threw you away like so much garbage doesn't mean you are garbage or damaged goods at all! Get up, get out, get moving! I have a motto on my fridge that says, 'When you can forgive the person then they have no control over your life!' This simply means you can forgive them, but not like them and move on. If you hate them and are bitter this will eat your very soul away and you'll be the loser. Remember, all men/women are not bad and there is someone special out there for you. Life sometimes throws us curves we don't like, but when we look back we begin to understand if things hadn't happened that way we wouldn't meet the true love we are suppose to be with.

I was married for 3 1/2 years to a very verbally and physically abusive man. Why I put up with it for so long I have no idea. He also cheated and I followed him, got the goods on him and filed for divorce. I was more sad than bitter, and very angry at myself for not using the intelligence I felt I should have had, but when I went through the different grieving stages I realized that I was young and wasn't expected to be as wise as I am now and I learned from that relationship that he would never make me be a man hater or stop me from being independent. When you say you can live without a man (or woman) then you are ready for a relationship. Two years later I married a wonderful man and we've been married almost 36 years.

reprinted from Wikipedia


  1. There is absolutely a very strong correlation between the loss of a marriage and a death. Following Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's model,we experience the denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. In my work with women, I also include the stage of pain and even guilt (at a failed marriage). It is this stage that requires so much release of emotions.

  2. Thanks for the comment Cynthia! Although, not an emotion, let's not skip over the biggie.....forgiveness. Forgiving was where I had the biggest release of emotion!! It was there I found myself accepting the divorce and the ability to move on.

  3. True, and we also need for forgive ourselves, because very few divorces are "just one person's fault". I contributed to my own divorce in ways that I only understood long after it was over. Like you, it was when I was able to let go and forgive was when I found peace.