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Recognizing the Stages of Grief During the Divorce Process

Posted on in Divorce

Crystal Lake divorce attorneyAmong the many challenges you may face when getting a divorce, going through the grief process in the midst of the transition can be difficult, especially when so much is vying for your attention. Distractions abound during the split, and the demands can easily pull your focus from taking time to recognize and manage the stages of grief as they surface. Your fluctuating emotions and high levels of anxiety during the divorce process can only be ignored for so long, however, before your mind and body force you to deal with the inevitable mental toll.

The Signs of Grief

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief, as defined by the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the mid-20th century. The five stages include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. As with any other loss in life, the loss of a love and a marriage can trigger the grieving process, although everyone experiences it differently and at different intervals. For example, it is common to experience the stages in various orders, such as jumping from anger to depression, then back to anger again. Some signs you are experiencing the effects of grief include:

  • Debilitating sadness - This usually accompanies the Depression stage, although a chronic sadness throughout the entire grief process is common. You may feel a general loss of interest in anything and everything that usually makes you happy, and you might not feel like getting up or going to work. However depression affects you, it is important to rely on your support system and speak to a mental health professional for additional support that your friends or family may not be able to provide.

  • Intense longing for things to be the way they once were - A symptom of the Bargaining stage of grief is to feel an intense longing for things to feel and look like they did before the marriage unraveled. You may want to relive the past, when things between you and your spouse were peaceful and happy, and you may experience nostalgia about the good memories you once shared. It is very common to feel a desperate need to save the marriage before it is too late.

  • Disbelief that the divorce is really happening - If you just cannot seem to imagine splitting up and are having a hard time believing that you and your spouse cannot reconcile, these thoughts are good indicators that you may be experiencing some Denial about your impending divorce. It is not unusual for a couple to be in the filing stages or for one spouse to have already moved out and moved on and to still be in disbelief that the marriage is ending.

  • Looking forward to the future - The moment you begin to feel a tinge of excitement about the future and are able to finally picture a life without your spouse, you are on the verge of the Acceptance phase of the grief process. You may have a long way to go, and the hurt may never fully subside, but this is a sign that you have begun to accept the end of your marriage and what it means for you as you move forward.

Contact a Crystal Lake Divorce Attorney

Experts emphasize the importance of embracing the grieving process, as grieving is an indicator that you truly loved the person you lost. The only way to make it through the grieving process and move on from it is to allow yourself to experience the various stages and the emotions that accompany them. As you learn to cope with the loss, speak to a skilled McHenry County family law attorney who can help take care of the legal aspects of the split in the midst of the emotional journey. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation with Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC today.





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