a paper heart with outlines of a man and woman being separated down the middle by a tear

Dealing with the Emotional Stages of Divorce

When a couple gets married, the emotional attachment between the two individuals deepens. Both husband and wife commit to loving one another completely and for the rest of their lives. In addition to the strengthening of this emotional bond, there is also often a physical connection that is strengthened as well. From a practical standpoint, finances may be merged, homes may be combined, and almost all aspects of their lives may be connected. With this in mind, it is understandable that the emotional impact of a divorce can be difficult to endure. There are a few strategies you can utilize to cope with the emotional stages of a divorce.

The Loss of Intimacy

For some individuals, the loss of intimacy occurs months or even years before a divorce. For others, divorce paperwork may be received seemingly out of the blue, and the loss of intimacy may seem to be sudden and dramatic. Dealing with the loss of intimacy between you and your former spouse can be challenging because this is an individual who you may have felt was your soul mate and lifelong partner. This emotional stage of the divorce is one that often must be deal with privately, but you can seek advice and support from a close friend or even a therapist.

Restoring Your Independence

A married couple generally has some level of co-dependence on each other. For example, one person may pay the bills and the other may handle more of the child-rearing responsibilities. When you end your marriage, you generally will need to take on all of the physical roles that your spouse has handled in the past. While this can be challenging and there may be a learning curve in some of these areas, you may consider embracing your new independence and finding comfort in the fact that you are living life on your terms while not dependent on another person as you once were.

Reaching Out to Others

Many people who end a marriage feel that they are losing their lover as well as their best friend. Even when a marriage was on the rocks for a period of time before the divorce, the ending of a marital relationship can be difficult to endure simply because of the loss of companionship. When you are going through a divorce, you can reach out to others for everything from companionship with a casual friend to emotional or even physical intimacy. While you may feel as though you are going through this stage in your life alone, you may find comfort when you reach out to others. If nothing else, spending time interacting with others will get your mind off of your challenges for a period of time, and this can be therapeutic.

Whether you filed for divorce yourself or your spouse initiated the process, the emotional stages of a divorce can be difficult for both parties. Divorce is a life-changing event that potentially affects almost all facets of your life. Understand that grief, sorrow, and even anger are expected during a divorce, but also consider how some of these tips may help you to move forward with your life after a divorce.

Last Updated: February 05, 2016