Divorce has far-reaching and often misunderstood effects on every member of the family. It often impacts the family physically, psychologically, financially, and emotionally. Psychologists have identified six emotional stages couples experience as their relationship comes to an end. Understanding this process helps divorcing spouses and their divorce lawyers navigate divorce more smoothly and encourage a positive resolution.
Disillusionment of One Spouse
This stage begins the emotional breakdown of the relationship. Around one or two years before the divorce, one spouse may begin to feel resentful and disenchanted. They may start to fantasize about divorce and weigh the pros and cons of ending the marriage. They subconsciously create distance from their partner and have feelings of grief, anger, guilt, or fear.
Between eight months to a year before the divorce, the couple expresses their discontent to each other. They may experience a sense of relief that these feelings are finally out in the open. The couple often decides to try counseling at this point and may even experience a brief honeymoon phase.
The Decision to Divorce
The couple makes the decision to pursue divorce typically about a year before it happens. They decide the relationship cannot be salvaged. Affairs often happen during this emotional stage. Couples have feelings of resentment, sadness, guilt, and anxiety for the future.
Beginning the Legal Process
At this stage, the couple acts on their decision to divorce and an emotional separation is created. The separation can also be physical if one spouse moves out. At this point, the couple tells the children, family members, and friends of their divorce, and enlist divorce lawyers to take the first legal steps.
At this stage, one or both partners begin to acknowledge the relationship was no longer fulfilling. They forge new identities and focus on the future. Because ex-partners are in a positive state of mind during this emotional stage, this stage is an ideal time to pursue mediation.
Once ex-spouses are on the other side of divorce, they often have accepted each other’s new roles and may even discover a newfound respect for their exes. Blame turns into forgiveness and they focus on positive and healthy co-parenting. This stage begins when the divorce is final and can last for years to come. Couples will often decide between mediation and litigation during this stage.
Couples considering divorce can benefit from learning about the emotional process that accompanies divorce. It may begin in a dark place, but it very often evolves into peace, healing, and the start of a new adventure. Experienced divorce lawyers understand this natural emotional progression and give their clients support and guidance at every stage of divorce. With self-awareness and respect for this process, spouses can focus on making healthy decisions for everyone involved, especially the children.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advocate for Clients Seeking DivorceTowson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC know that clients are often at their most vulnerable during divorce. We guide our clients through the divorce process with compassion and understanding, while always working to achieve the best resolution possible. To schedule a free consultation, call 443-589-0150 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland to serve clients throughout the state.