The most common five stages of divorce include physical separation, emotional divorce, cognitive or mental separation, spiritual unbonding, and legal dissolution.
Divorce comes with a high degree of grief for most people. Many marriages today have to go through the overwhelming heartache of separation. The five most common consequences of divorce are depression, anger, acceptance, denial, which are all different stages of grief.
If you are going through these five stages of divorce yourself, try and be gentle on your mind and body, seek support from your friends and family, and get as much rest as possible.
Till the time emotional divorce happens completely between the two partners, there is a high possibility that physical connection will continue to happen, hence keeping the partners still connected to each other even after the formal divorce has happened.
Here, we have explained the most common five stages of divorce for your understanding.
- Mental or cognitive separation: One of the most common stages of divorce, mental separation is where one of the partners (initiator) begins to talk about divorce with the other partner. This stage of divorce is usually characterized by frustrations and anger, mainly if the partner left never saw it coming. Most of the time, if it is not a mutual decision, the non-initiator generally goes through a lot of confusion, unhappiness, and depression.
- Physical separation: Another common stage of divorce, physical separation is where the married partners separate from each other physically. Most of the time, one partner moves out thereby leaving the house for the other partner. However, the couple can always get back together if they want.
- Spiritual connection: This stage of divorce is characterized by feelings of vulnerability and care to the partner left. There are usually no strong emotions here because this stage follows right after the stage of divorce where the couple separates emotionally.
- Emotional divorce: This is a stage of divorce where a couple disengages or separates from each other at a personal level. Change in expectations and family responsibilities is quite common in this stage. This is the stage where it is important for the two partners to understand the need for being accountable for all the circumstances instead of blaming each other for what is happening. Moving on for the better is what matters here. The legal and physical separation stages can follow after emotional divorce.
- Legal dissolution: This is a stage of divorce that usually takes the longest time to complete or conclude. This is the stage where partners engage in expressing their feelings through aggression and anger, and engage in inner conflicts. Couples usually keep changing their positions and breaking court orders in this stage. They often get confused because of the reason that they are trying to hold their relationship on one hand while ending it on the other. If any emotional conflicts are not resolved, the legal dissolution stage takes a longer time to complete than expected.
Here are some tips for dealing with divorce grief!
- Take your time to heal: The healing process after a divorce takes as much time as building a relationship takes. You must understand that you will need time to rediscover yourself and work through a lot of emotions during and after the divorce. So, take all the time you need for healing.
- Talk to friends and family: You may feel intensely isolated and lonely because of the divorce. So, have your friends and family close by as they will support you a lot during the whole process of healing.
- Allow all feelings: Let your emotions flow as these are the emotions that will help you heal. You will learn to find and live the new normal with the upsetting and negative feelings slowly fading away.