There are many different reasons why couples choose to divorce. The emotions that they experience are as varied as the circumstances that surround the death of a marriage.
Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. It ends the legal partnership between two people but even though the legal ties are over with the finalization of the divorce, the emotional stages often linger.
At first, there are feelings of guilt and often feelings of failure. People do not think about divorce when they get married. They assume they will grow old together and do not foresee that perhaps the relationship will turn bad. It takes a strong chemistry between two people to work through life’s challenges and remain committed to making a relationship work. If only one person is doing the work, the relationship is not a partnership. Feeling guilty because you couldn’t make your marriage work is a normal but unreasonable thought. It takes two to weather the storms of marriage. Your good intentions cannot carry your partner.
Sadness is another emotion of divorce that is common to feel. The loss of a relationship is always something that makes one look back and remember when things were good. Thinking back to when love was fresh and new can make you wonder how did we get to where we are?
Anger is a common emotion especially when the break-up is caused by your spouse’s infidelity. There are many reasons why someone in a committed relationship cheats. It hurts to be betrayed and it can make your self-esteem drop. Realizing that often a cheating spouse is one that is unable to be honest about their true feelings and their reasons for cheating could vary from their own unhappiness to their need to build their ego by having empty sexual conquests. Being angry is a normal emotion but there will come a time where you will need to let go of the anger as it will keep you from moving on with your life.
Fear is common as you wonder if you will ever be in a relationship again. You doubt yourself and believe that you can never trust again. Resist the urge to jump into dating too soon. Even if your ex moves on quickly, resist the need to compete. Rebound relationships can further damage your fragile ego and can do more emotional damage.
Time heals. As you go through these normal emotional stages of divorce, take the time to re-evaluate yourself. Learn from your marriage. Be honest with yourself about mistakes that you may have made. Take the time to take care of yourself. You need to re-build your life by grieving your broken marriage and letting go of the pain. You can start to make goals for your future and know that one day soon, you will be happy again.
Marriages that are healthy do not end in divorce. One person is never to blame. It takes two to make or break a marriage. Taking responsibility for your part and learning from it will help to make your next relationship better.