Divorce Emotions – The 5 (Emotional) Stages of Divorce

 

You’re going through a divorce and feeling a multitude of emotions. Don’t worry as you are not alone — the Kübler-Ross model highlights the series of emotions that divorcees may possibly encounter in the process of their divorce.

 

1. You May Feel Like Denying Reality



You may refuse to acknowledge that your marriage is over. Through denial and by treating the breakdown of your marriage as a bad nightmare, you have trapped yourself in a falsehood. Some mistakes cannot be rectified even with proper communication and relevant actions.

2. Anger Becomes Part of Your Life



Immediately after the feeling of denial comes the inevitable anger at yourself and people around you. “Why has this happened to me?” may be the predominant question in your mind. After all, you may feel that you have done nothing wrong and hence the failure of your marriage is unfair.

3. Bargaining Becomes Second Nature to You



A period of negotiation with your spouse may be carried out in the hope of improving the situation. This may even escalate into pleading with your spouse, by promising that you can change to suit their liking.

4. A Bout of Depression May Affect You



With growing realisation of the situation you are in, you may feel extreme sadness. You may even question the meaning of life or the purpose of marriage. The unwavering support of your friends and family will be important at this stage.

5. Acceptance Is The First Step Towards Recovery



By reassuring yourself, it will be easier to move on and look towards the future. In spite of the pain that preceded acceptance, this marks the stabilisation of your emotions towards the divorce process.

Of course, every divorcee is different. With a positive environment, you could recover quickly without experiencing some of the above emotions. But, how can you cope better with the trauma from the divorce? Here are some tips:

(a) Firstly, accept your feelings and don’t fight them. It’s perfectly normal to feel conflicting strong emotions all at the same time. What matters is to identify these hurtful emotions so that you can better understand them. Also, don’t bottle them up in order to heal naturally.

(b) After your divorce is finalized, you should keep in mind that your aim is to look towards the future. Leaving your divorce behind, you should hold your head high without any guilt. By not dwelling on your emotionally and mentally exhausting past, you will have a good future and possibly even meet someone new.

(c) The painful emotions you may feel are like the transient seasons. Even if your old dreams die, they will definitely be replaced by new hopes. Please don’t give up, stay positive and look forward to the future!

 

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Founder and Principal Lawyer
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Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang

Having handled over 10,000 divorces since 2006, Ms. Beatrice Yeo, the Founder and Principal Lawyer of the firm, is widely acknowledged as one of the best divorce lawyers in Singapore.

She has extensive experience in all aspects of Matrimonial Law, including Nullity Proceedings, Contested & Uncontested Divorce and Mediation.

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