Emotional Aspects of Divorce

The Grieving/Healing Process

When it becomes clear that the relationship you counted on for love and support is no longer available, feelings of loss and grief often arise from the divorcing spouses. Being in denial that a divorce will occur, as well as having feelings of anger, confusion, sadness and eventually some level of acceptance are all part of the normal grieving and healing process. The time-line for getting through the emotional divorce is different for everyone. It is important that each of you respect and pay attention to whatever time-line is right for you in the emotional healing process. It is usually not helpful to compare yourself with others. Thinking “I am behind schedule” or “maybe I am missing something because I am not feeling this way or that way” can be an obstacle in the healing process. It is important for people who are moving out of a marriage relationship to honor their own unique way of handling the situation rather than thinking there is a “right” way to do it.

Take Care of Yourself

When going through an emotional divorce, it can be helpful to check in with a counselor, spend time with close friends or speak with those who have experienced this kind of loss. Taking care of yourself in emotionally and physically healthy ways can facilitate the healing process and reduce suffering.

The Attorney’s Role

It is important within the context of a legal divorce that your attorney take into consideration your emotional response as well as the various “business” aspects of the situation. An attorney trying to push too hard or failing to sufficiently encourage you when support is needed can be confusing and make the settlement negotiations and the legal issues more difficult to resolve. An attorney who fails to adequately listen can result in being at odds with you and this can be frustrating for both. Your attorney’s skills and willingness to tailor the legal divorce to your emotional time table can sometimes be as important as the legal skills required in bringing the case to a satisfactory resolution.