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What Are the 5 Stages of Divorce?

— May 8, 2023

Preparing for the five stages of divorce and understanding them can help you get through this difficult emotional time.

Divorce can be one of your life’s most emotionally traumatic experiences. What can you expect when going through a divorce? And how can you simplify things for yourself? There are two processes regarding divorce: legal and emotional. It’s hard to say which is more complicated. According to Chicago divorce lawyer | Swietkowski & Swietkowski, there are five stages to the emotional process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. D-A-B-D-A., or the five stages of grief following a relationship or marriage breakup.


Denial is the main phase of divorce. Being unable to process what is happening leads to denial. Denial is a reaction from the cerebrum intended to numb the brunt of the profound aggravation that you are going through. Too much information is presented at once, and trying to avoid conflict is normal. However, if you cannot move on from this stage within a reasonable amount of time, it may cause you to delay or prolong the pain for an excruciating amount of time, preventing you from recovering usually.


The second stage of divorce is anger. Being misunderstood, betrayed, rejected, deceived, or abandoned causes anger. It comes from being driven into a terrible spot by somebody you trusted. You might be mad at yourself, worried, irritated, and dissatisfied with divorce. You might become anxious, impatient, argumentative, or irritable. You might overeat, exercise, drink, or watch too much television at once.


In most cases, the third stage, also known as bargaining, is when one spouse attempts to offer to change in order to avert a divorce. This is one more typical reaction from the brain to attempt to deal with a circumstance or choice that you have zero commands over. The “What if” stage is bargaining. “What if I had done more?'”


Men are Reporting High Rates of Workplace Discontent, Depression
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The fourth stage of divorce is depression. Depression will affect most people in some way. You might doubt your life’s meaning and feel cut off from society. When you hurt someone you care about or a child, you might feel guilty. You might feel drained, lose your appetite, and have trouble falling asleep. You might feel hopeless, helpless, and overwhelmed. Depression can also make you feel empty. It can numb. Nothing is real as you go through the motions. Depression can keep people stuck for a while.


Acceptance is the last phase of separation, and it comes in small parts. At some point, you regain your whole persona. You are aware that all will be well.

You gain perspective and come to terms with the divorce. You have fewer bad days than good ones. You want to be with your friends more and meet new people. You start to look forward to making plans and looking into your options. It’s about open positions, tracking down another spot to live in, and imagining another life. You acknowledge that your life will push ahead without your previous accomplice.

Preparing for the five stages of divorce and understanding them can help you get through this difficult emotional time.

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