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When going through a divorce, there are various emotional stages that individuals will experience at different times and in their own unique way. Understanding what these stages are and how they may affect you can help make the divorce process more manageable, especially if you’re going through a complex divorce that involves the division of assets.

Divorces are complicated and emotionally draining, but being able to process the experience more easily may help you make better decisions and, ultimately, improve the outcome of your divorce.

The 6 Emotional Stages of Divorce

1.Denial

The initial emotional stages of grief may be interchangeable, with the denial stage being one of the first two. The individual who initiates the divorce is likely to be better prepared emotionally than the non-initiator, who may have difficulty grasping the severity of the situation at first.

The spouse in denial may assume that the situation will correct itself and may choose to continue acting as if the relationship has not yet ended.

2.Grief

The amount of grief you feel may vary depending on your particular situation. Grief is a very personal emotion, and you may deal with levels of grief that vary in degree.

It isn’t uncommon to feel alone, rejected, or even unloved during a divorce. However, if you begin to experience physical and mental symptoms like illness, sleep-related issues, changes in appetite, mood swings, substance abuse, and even thoughts of suicide, you and your Houston divorce lawyer should seek out a proper mental health professional as soon as possible.

3.Anger

Anger typically follows the initial stages of denial and grief, especially if the divorce is a result of extramarital relationships. During this phase, individuals may feel betrayed, rejected, deceived and abandoned by their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Individuals may find themselves easily frustrated with others, argumentative, and/or acting out in a manner that is not typical of their usual behavior. During this emotional stage, it is important to recognize the reason behind your anger and to understand that it does not truly reflect who you are.

4.Bargaining

During this phase, one of the spouses may attempt to reconcile with the other by pleading, bargaining, or requesting the couple work on improving their relationship. During the bargaining phase, one spouse may make unrealistic promises or accept unreasonable demands.

While couples should evaluate the likelihood of reconciliation, in many instances, following through the divorce process may be the best solution for both parties involved.

5.Depression

During this emotional phase, you may feel a certain loneliness and detachment from others. It may feel difficult for you to provide the emotional support and care others need, even your own children.

Depression can lead to physical health issues including fatigue, difficulty sleeping, or loss of appetite, so if you feel that your depression is greatly affecting your quality of life and ability to move forward, please seek out the support of a mental health professional who can help you deal with your emotional concerns.

6.Acceptance

Once both divorcees develop a better understanding of their situation and the direction of their future, it becomes much easier for them to accept the divorce and the changes to their lives.

Divorcees should note, however, that while they may feel a sense of relief and acceptance of their situation at any given movement, they may cycle through the previously mentioned emotional stages.

Emotions change and it’s important to recognize that they do, and that this is simply a part of the process of healing.

If You’re Currently Going Through a Divorce in Houston, Here’s Three Ways You Can Help Yourself Cope

While no individual deals with the emotional stages of divorce in the same way, there are coping mechanisms that can help to make the experience more bearable.

1.Allow yourself the time to heal.

You shouldn’t expect yourself to completely accept your divorce and move on within a few days. Relationships take time to build and letting go of them is just as meaningful a process.

Divorcees deserve time to work through all of their emotions and reconnect with who they are as individuals. When it comes to healing, don’t set a timeline or expect one. As long as you continue to work towards moving forward with your life and accepting the divorce, take as much time as you may need.

2.Accept all your feelings and recognize that they do not represent who you are.

While the stages mentioned above provide a general overview of the emotions you may deal with during your Houston divorce, they are not meant to represent the full array you may experience, nor will they necessarily affect you in that particular order.

Rather, as you go through the divorce process, accept the emotions you are feeling and try not to be overly critical of yourself. Negative feelings take time to understand and overcome before you find your balance once again.

3.Build a support network and allow the support of friends and family.

Because getting a divorce is such a personal experience, you may feel alone and isolated, but recognize that you are not.

Whether your support group consists of friends and family, or other individuals who are going through the same experience you are, attaining support during your divorce can prove to be critical in the healing process.

Also, don’t feel obligated to face this life experience alone. Oftentimes, friends and loved ones will want to help you cope with the scenario. Be willing to accept any help they may offer.

Houston High-Asset Divorce Attorneys Here for You

Divorces can be complicated and costly, both emotionally and financially. However, hiring a high-asset divorce attorney in Houston that understands your needs and has the ability to protect your rights to your assets is the first step of getting through this difficult time in your life.