What Are the Emotional Recovery Stages of Divorce?

Divorce is generally known as the second-most painful experience in life with the first being the death of a loved one. The divorce process is generally one of uncertainty, worry, doubt, and other emotions that are difficult to manage. The loss of your life partner with whom you now must disentangle yourself in all kinds of ways can be an overwhelming event that drags on weeks, months, or even years. That disentanglement is often all-encompassing, including the emotional, financial, and physical. Coping with the failure of that relationship is one for which few people are prepared. Understanding how to recover from this experience and what to expect in the coming months can be of considerable use.

The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. focuses its practice exclusively on divorce and family law in Chicago. Call us at (312) 487-2795 to get the help you need.

Recovery from Divorce & Its Stages

Experts generally agree that anyone going through a divorce will experience common stages. The initial stage often starts out as a type of trauma. This feeling of trauma can range from discovering your spouse is having an affair to realizing the marriage has little or no future for various reasons. The trauma stage can come as a shock. However it manifests, you will be better off coming to terms with the event or the understanding that divorce is likely imminent. Coming to terms may involve going through several emotional steps as follows.

Denial & Anger

Most of us cannot easily and quickly accept the realization that the marriage has failed. To take up the example of the spouse who discovers betrayal on the part of the other spouse, this is often at first met with denial. The betrayed spouse may engage in ways to deny the facts, from doubting that what has been learned is true to trying to ignore it. This can be followed by obsessively thinking about it almost to the bursting point.

Anger generally follows the initial denial that the marriage has failed and that one will eventually have to move on. This anger is generally directed at the other spouse without having taken any responsibility of one’s own. This stage can go on for weeks or months and can be emotionally exhausting. Having a trusted person to talk to or getting professional help can make a big difference in getting through it.

Sadness & Depression

Getting through the anger stage is a big hurdle. This is generally followed by feelings of sadness that are normal. At this stage, you may begin to feel more acceptance of the facts. You should be able to look at the situation with less blame and more responsibility as to how you may have contributed to the failure of your marriage. During this stage, you will likely rely on family, friends, or a professional in a state of quiet grief for your losses. You may not even get to this stage until the divorce is over. But from here you can move on to more positive outlooks.


At this point, you have come to terms with the past and have accepted it. Hopefully, you will have learned from any mistakes you made that contributed to the divorce. At this point, however, your attitude will have slowly changed into feeling that your life going forward will be okay. You will hopefully have exhausted wanting to get even or exacting some type of revenge on your spouse. You will admitted your own faults. The future lies ahead and you can move forward thinking that perhaps you can have a better life.

The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. Is Here to Help

Going through a divorce is difficult but can be made easier with the right legal representation. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we practice divorce and family law exclusively. That means we have deep understanding of this area and know how to give you the support you need at this difficult time. Our many awards and industry ratings reflect the quality of legal help we offer; these awards include 10.0 Top Attorney rating by Avvo and more. We recommend that you call us to help you navigate the difficult waters of divorce or other family law issues, such as child custody, and more.

For a consultation, call us at (312) 487-2795 today.

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