It’s Okay To Grieve Your Marriage
In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published her ground-breaking book On Death and Dying. It was one of the first books ever written to help medical professionals figure out how to work with and help terminally ill patients.
In the book, Kübler-Ross identifies five stages of grief that patients and their families go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As more and more people used this model to understand the grieving process, Kübler-Ross realized it applied to situations other than death. Today, the stages model is widely used as a way to understand and cope with the grief of divorce.
It is one thing to know that your marriage is broken, but another thing to admit it. Try to be open-minded when your partner says he or she wants a divorce. Don’t discount his or her feelings, or try to stifle your own.
You and your partner vowed to love and cherish one another until death, but now he or she is going back on their word. It is okay to be upset, but don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement.
It is easy to blame yourself when your marriage is falling apart — and maybe that blame is justified — but imagining that you can save your marriage if you just make a few changes is wishful thinking. You and your ex had years to make your relationship work, but you couldn’t. Don’t destroy your life trying to please a partner who has already given up on the relationship.
It’s normal to feel sad that your marriage is ending. You may even feel like you will never love or be loved again. If these feelings become overwhelming or linger too long, don’t be afraid to seek help from a medical professional. You deserve to be happy again, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.
There is no way to save the marriage. The reality is it is already over, there are just some legal hoops to jump through.
It’s Okay To Grieve
If you go through one or all of these stages, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal. It’s perfectly okay to grieve the love you have lost, the life you shared, and the future you had planned. What is not okay is letting your grief control your life.
Eventually, it is time to move on. When you get stuck in one of these stages or are having trouble coping with the divorce process as a whole, it may be time to work with a mediator in addition to, or instead of a traditional divorce attorney. A mediator is a neutral third party that can help you negotiate a separation agreement you and your ex are both satisfied with through a peaceful, non-confrontational process.
If you are struggling to cope with the grief of divorce, but you know deep down it is time to move on, I may be able to help. Please contact my office in Bloomfield to schedule an evaluation of your case.
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