The Emotional Toll of Divorce

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The legal divorce process is different than the emotional divorce process. The legal divorce process involves difficult conversations and decisions that ultimately make splitting up burdensome. When it comes to the emotional aspect of divorce, it makes divorce more difficult, but not as directly as the legal process. Check out the common emotional stages of divorce so you can better prepare for yours.



Stage 1: Disillusionment

This is the emotional stage when one or both parties realize that there is a problem in the marriage. They haven’t mentioned it yet but are trying to decide what to do about it. You or your spouse are contemplating your options, even a divorce. It’s normal to feel frustrated, angry, guilty, and even anxious at this stage.


Stage 2: Expressing Dissatisfaction

At this stage, you or your spouse are expressing that they are unhappy or ambivalent. This could mean that you two are arguing all the time, or there is an act of betrayal. You guys may seek counseling and go through a second honeymoon phase while trying to ignite the flame. It’s normal to feel relief, guilt, doubt, and grief in this stage. 


Stage 3: Deciding to Divorce

At this point, one or both parties have settled on the decision to request a divorce. It’s likely taken you and your partner months or even years to get to this point, so by the time this stage comes around there’s little left to consider. It’s common to notice an increased emotional distance at this stage. It’s also normal for both spouses to feel like the victim and experience resentment, anxiety, guilt, impatience, and neediness.


Stage 4: Acing on the Decision

It’s one thing to ask your partner for a divorce; it’s another thing to file a petition for divorce and serve papers to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This is when you and your partner go public with the decision and experience all of the previously mentioned emotions. 


Stage 5: Growing Acceptance

This can happen during or after the legal divorce process. You and your spouse have been making difficult decisions regarding child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, and more. If you and your spouse can agree and set emotions to the side, your divorce can be finalized in as little as 30 days. During this stage, people accept that their life is changing and take control of their future. 


Stage 6: New Beginnings

The final stage is when you have moved on from your past marriage. You don’t have any resentment towards your ex-spouse and are no longer angry. You have officially moved on and are emotionally okay.


The Right Lawyer Will Get You Through it

Divorce is difficult, both legally and emotionally. Don’t go through it alone. Let a compassionate Maryland divorce lawyer, like Alan Billian, help get you through it. Not only do we provide first-class representation and legal advice, but we’re also here to support you throughout the emotional stages of your divorce. 


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