In our group we often talk about the date of their divorce. People are often full of anxiety when they reveal that they have received the date which their divorce process has been finalized. Typically, in the state of California, it takes 6 months and 1 day. However, it often takes people a lot longer to get the paper work done and make all the adjustments when actually filing for divorce. Some people file and never do anything else — they just separate physically. It’s really hard to face that something isn’t working and see that long and tedious process through to the end as it is a process that is filled with a lot of emotions.
Often when people talk about their date of divorce they will mention the day of their marriage in the same sentence. There is a real flashback of what has happened from the day of their marriage to the day of their divorce and what lead them to this. People have different meanings for it; some people are relieved while others are unbelievably devastated. Common things I hear people talk about after the official date of divorce is who they want to tell about it and how they’re going to spend their time. One might drink champagne, while the other is in mourning. If you’re one of the folks who is experiencing the day of divorce in mourning, how can you set up a strategy for yourself to help yourself go through it? You might have a divorce remedy package that includes: a yoga matt, rescue remedy, homeopathic drops, candles, incense, and the practice of three sun salutations. You may just take a long walk and talk with someone who has been supportive during the whole process. The completion of the cycle and having your own personal ritual might help you get through the situation, especially if you never really wanted the marriage to end.
In my group, I always educate members about the stages of grief: denial, sadness, depression, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. There are two other stages when it comes to divorce: solving the problems of the marriage and moving on. There are also two other grief cycles in place depending on if you are the recipient or the initiator of the divorce. If you’re the recipient you’re also cycling through hope and rejection. Often times, if the recipient can take the initiators communication as a mixed message, they may feel as if the initiator is being nice to them and that it means that they want to get back together. The initiator is also cycling through guilt and responsibility. Often times they’ve made the decision to leave the marriage long before they’ve told the recipient and there is really no hope for getting back together in their mind. However, the initiator feels so guilty that they’re causing damage to the recipient that they often do give mixed signals to lighten the blow or soften the communication. I therefore ask people to really be in touch with themselves when they’re cycling through these strong emotions: hope and rejection or guilt and responsibility. It’s really important to think about these emotions, depending on your position is in the separation and divorce. It’s also important to anticipate how the date of separation is going to affect you.