If you're currently going through a divorce or just finished a divorce, you're probably feeling a wide range of emotions. You might feel sadness, anger, disbelief, confusion, and a host of other feelings. And that's totally normal. In fact, there are five stages of grief that many people experience when they're going through a major life change like divorce.
Denial: You might try to convince yourself that the divorce isn't really happening. Maybe you keep hoping that your spouse will change their mind or that you'll wake up from this nightmare. Or if you wanted the divorce, you may be in denial that it will be a challenging journey. You may be in denial of how much you life is about to change.
Anger: Once you've accepted that the divorce is really happening, it's normal to feel angry. You might be angry at your spouse, yourself, or the whole world for what's happening. You might lash out in ways that you later regret. But it's important to give yourself time and space to process these feelings so that you can move on.
Bargaining: In this stage, you might find yourself bargaining with your spouse in an attempt to save your marriage. Maybe you promise to go to counseling or make some other major changes in your life if only your spouse will stay with you. OR if you wanted the divorce you may be bargaining ways to make things work the way you feel you need them to, like to keep the house. See our Blog on the House Ultimately, this stage is about trying to regain a sense of control over a situation that feels completely out of control.
Depression: After going through the stages of denial, anger, and bargaining, it's common to feel depressed about the changes divorce brings. You might cry often or have trouble sleeping and eating. It's important to allow yourself time to grieve but if these symptoms last more than a few weeks, it might be worth talking to someone who can help you manage them.
Acceptance: In this final stage, you accept that the divorce is happening and begin to rebuild your life. This doesn't mean that you've come to terms with it and are ready to move on with your life.
Understanding the five stages of grief, can give you grace and space to process all of the emotions you're currently feeling. If at any point during this process you find yourself struggling, don't hesitate to reach out for help, we can support you as you navigate this difficult time in your life.
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