For thousands of couples in the United States, having to undergo a divorce can be earth-shattering; especially if it was the other partner that suggested it. Unfortunately, as it often falls within foreign territory, many individuals don’t understand the normal process and feelings associated with divorce—leaving them feeling confused when they start navigating down the long path of separation.
To help you understand some of the more common emotions with divorce, here are six feelings that are common and expected:
Grief: Far too often we forget that the partnership is not only a marriage document; it’s an entire lifestyle that two people have built together. By formalizing the ends with divorce, it’s common to feel a sense of loss and mourning over your partnership. This generally starts within a few days of the announcement or determination of separating and can continue for a few months after the divorce is finalized.
Anger: Especially in the beginning of the divorce, it’s common to feel anger and ill-will towards your ex-partner – typically when you’re not the one responsible for the filing of separation. It’s important to try and remember that even though you may not have asked to be separate, being happy and positive with the changes ahead will get you farther than wallowing in hatred.
Anxiety and Turmoil: When you’ve lived so often as a couple (or family) it can be difficult to determine how you’re going to function as a family without your other half – this is exceptionally true when you’re trying to determine the best way to divide your family and the conversation of custody comes up.
Happiness: There is nothing wrong with looking forward to having a new life without your ex, especially if the last few months have been chaotic and exhausting. Many times an individual will feel guilty for being happy they’re through the entire process (complete with the papers) and are able to finally begin starting a life without the stress and negativity.
Peace: Many recently separated couples feel a sense of calm or peace come over them as the divorce winds to a close and many of the ongoing issues have finished. While it might stem from the stress of divorce or the negativity the relationship was bringing – it’s a positive thing to finally be okay with the decision you’ve both made to move on.