Whilst we are specialists in all aspects of divorce and resolving the issues that stem from relationship breakdown, we also see the emotional impact of the divorce process. It can be helpful to look at the process, not simply through the eyes of a lawyer but in the wider context. We aim to promote a non-confrontational legal approach to relationship breakdown which can hopefully assist you on the road to acceptance and recovery.
The impact of divorce can be an emotionally disruptive life event which brings on a range of emotions and has been compared to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model.
First Stage: Denial
It may be difficult to accept that your marriage has come to an end. Even in circumstances where the experience has been traumatic or extremely difficult, the idea of moving on and the concept of change can all become overwhelming. Denial can be associated with a perception of failure and accepting this can be difficult to move on from.
Those who do not start a divorce straight away may spend a longer time in this stage, especially if they have not accepted that the marriage has come to an end. Denial can be a useful coping mechanism, however accepting the reality of the situation will often lead on to the next stage.
Second Stage: Anger
During the denial stage, emotions will have built up and may then reach a stage where it will all need to be released and brings on a state of anger. At this stage, it is possible that your ex-spouse will become the most hated person in your directory. You will forget the days spent loved up and only remember everything they didn’t do.
At this stage, emotional or rational decisions may be made. The blame game begins, and parties may no longer be amicable. This can be a very difficult and emotional time, with peaks of intense anger, frustration and hostility. Allowing yourself time to consider an appropriate course of action; taking into consideration any family that could be affected and talking to someone, may assist in getting through this stage.
Third Stage: Bargaining
At this stage, there is less anger and more consideration towards moving matters along. However, this could also be a stage where parties consider if they are taking the right course of action. This is the stage at where reconciliation is a possibility. If not, parties appear to be in a much better stage of the divorce process. However, it also brings with it the reality of the situation which can lead to the fourth stage.
Fourth Stage: Depression
This can affect the parties as well as any children involved. Whilst you may have made a decision to progress matters, learning how to live with that decision can often bring about a period of depression. You may even experience some of the previous stages again. It is important to talk about how you are feeling during this time, speak to friends, family. However, if you feel that you are struggling emotionally speaking with a therapist or counsellor may assist you through this process and ease you through to the final stage.
Fifth Stage: Acceptance and Recovery
Acceptance will not necessarily be an immediate response, you can still experience a roller coaster of emotions. This stage is more about accepting the reality of your new situation and being in a better position to move forwards. The process of acceptance and recovery may take place over several months or even years. However, once you have arrived it will be the most enjoyable part of the process.
It is important to note that during the process of divorce, you and your spouse may be experiencing different stages at different times, which may cause different reactions to certain events. Considering the different stages of divorce, may help you to understand how your spouse may be feeling during a particular stage of the divorce, and potentially cause less conflict and hostility.
If you have reached the decision that you want to start a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements further.