Grieving: Before During and After the Divorce

Divorce is the second greatest life stressor after the death of a loved one.

People experience the stages of grief and loss in much the same way:
Denial / Anger / Bargaining / Guilt / Depression / Acceptance.

These stages of grief are experienced differently in divorce. Often one person (the initiator) wants the divorce. The other (the recipient) might want the marriage to continue. The initiator may feel more of the guilt and responsibility. The recipient may cycle between bargaining and depression. Both may feel hurt, angry and sad.

If you’re finding it’s hard to get over the divorce, it may help to consider whether you’re stuck in one of the stages of grief. When you know this, it may be easier to identify ways of healing your pain. People need to have their own process honored to get over the pain of divorce. The more you take care of yourself and allow yourself to heal and move on emotionally, the better for your family.

Note: If one or both people are stuck in the anger phase, they may seek legal council, escalating the fight for control. It’s important to assess why you may be fighting – and what you’re fighting for. Much of the time the anger and fighting takes a huge toll.

If you would like to learn more about how you can begin therapy, or have any questions please call 415-563-4342 or 510-883-9312, or email me directly at [email protected].


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