The Stages Of Grief In A Divorce

Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Lori Pace

Grief is the intense pain that comes with loss, whatever it is. It can lead to the end of a life and/or death with that person, and that hurts. People are quick to tell someone going through divorce that it was a good decision or they will be happier without them/her. In short, there are 5 stages of grief, especially divorce. Divorce is an experience that should be recognized more often. To be able to accept and allow these feelings to happen as part of grief, it is important to understand these stages of grief.

The Five Stages Of Grief After A Divorce Are:

1. Denial

stages of grief divorce denial

Divorce can be a devastating loss in all aspects, including emotionally, spiritually and financially. The stage of denial can seem like hope for someone going through a divorce. One spouse may be hopeful that the spouse who is seeking divorce will change their mind. Or, they might just be “going through a phase.”

2. Anger | Stages Of Grief After A Divorce

Divorced people often feel anger that is overwhelming and seems to never end. People going through divorce report feeling angry at their spouses, their own situation, and even towards life. It is important to feel angry. Anger helps us stay alive when we are in great danger. Evolutionarily speaking, we can see that an angry cavewoman could kill a lion in order to protect her family. Anger in the face of such pain helps us stay alive and prevents us from becoming depressed. It will be easier for us to accept anger and allow it to happen.

stages of grief divorce anger

It is possible to displace anger in positive ways and reach new goals. Anger can cause harm if it is used in a negative manner, such as directing our anger at our family, friends, or co-workers. People may vent their anger on their pets or children. Repressing anger about divorce can also be detrimental to your ability to heal and grow.

There are many resources available to help you if your anger is getting out of control or you are trying to direct your anger in a negative manner.

3. Bargaining

bargaining love

This is when the person starts to think about all they can do for the relationship, or the negotiation stage. This is the last chance to save the relationship. People often try to save their relationship but are often rejected, which can lead to loneliness and overwhelming feelings.

4. Depression | Stages Of Grief After A Divorce

People who have suffered from depression after divorce say they feel hopeless, sad, depressed, lonely, and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This stage can be very dangerous for both the individual and those around them. This is the stage when reality hits and it can be very difficult to bear. This is when the person realizes that the life they have envisioned will not be possible, that their dreams and future plans are no longer possible, and it hurts.

It is important that you feel the pain and the sadness. This will allow you to move on to the next stage of your grief. You can sit on this stage for as long as it takes, and you can cry as many times as you want. It’s okay for you to feel the pain and be sad.

Talking to a professional in mental health can help you if depression is affecting other areas of your life. You may have signs such as difficulty getting out of bed, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in hobbies, and thoughts of harming yourself. Talk to a therapist immediately and discuss depression treatment options.

5. Acceptance

accept your divorce

Acceptance is when you accept that your relationship is ending and that there are new chapters to be written. Accepting the end of your marriage gives you closure. This stage is where you can let go of your grief and decide to move on with your life without thinking about your ex. But this is when a person starts to write a new chapter of their lives. It is also about accepting the fact that their previous life will not be fulfilled and allowing them to pursue happiness and stability.

Separation & Divorce Support Groups

Circles provides support groups that allow you to share your stories and learn from others who have been through similar situations. Circles provides support groups for those going through separation or divorce. The groups meet by videoconference and are led each week by expert facilitators. You can chat with your group anytime via the Circles app. For $20 per week, you can join a Circles group. Find out More

Choosing Therapy is a partner with top mental health & wellbeing companies. The company mentioned above will pay for any referrals.

Don’t Suppress Your Feelings While Experiencing Stages of Grief after Divorce

Every person is unique and each stage can be experienced differently. You don’t have to be weak if you allow yourself to grieve after a divorce. Allowing yourself to grieve is better than trying to suppress your emotions. Although grief is natural, we can stop it at will.

Is Grief after Divorce a Sign of Regret? 

regretting love
Are you regretting the love while experience stages of grief after your divorce?

You might feel regret during the grieving process. Regret is part of the bargaining stage. This is where you negotiate how you’ll be different to save your relationship. However, the act of grieving does not necessarily mean that someone regrets making a decision. It simply means that they are going to have to let go.

Coping With the Hard Feelings

It can be extremely difficult to cope with the loneliness and grief of a divorce. It is normal to feel all of the emotions during divorce. This is necessary in order to move forward. It is essential to surround yourself and others who love you. It can be difficult for couples to have many friends together. Divorce can also cause loss of many close friends. Allow others into your life and don’t be afraid to ask for help. These healthy coping skills will help you rediscover your happiness.

You will be more successful if you have several people watching over you during this time. Avoid unhealthy coping behaviors such as drinking, drug use, and eating or exercising in an unhealthy way. This is a time to take care of yourself by eating healthy meals, talking with friends, and getting enough rest. This too will pass. You can start a new chapter if you are able to breathe.

Go To Therapy To Help You Through The Stages of Grief after A Divorce

Therapy can be helpful if you are stuck in any of these stages of grief after a divorce. Therapy can help you process your emotions and reframe the situation, if you find yourself in a negative state.

Divorce can be a very difficult time in one’s life. Allow yourself to grieve and don’t make any big decisions about the future. If you remain open to your feelings and are connected to them, you will know when it is time to start dating again after a divorce.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!