Coping with Loss in a Divorce
One may be surprised at the many ways a qualified Sarasota divorce attorney can be of benefit during the divorce process. Not all assistance necessarily takes the form of legal work; indeed, attorneys recognize that clients generally experience emotional difficulties coping with the loss of such a significant relationship, and will often refer them to qualified experts for help.
The noted psychologist Elizabeth Kubler Ross literally wrote the book on dealing with loss in her work On Death and Dying. While her focus was primarily on terminal illness, the ideas she laid out apply to people experiencing loss in general. Her six stages of grief, then, can help a person facing loss in a divorce understand why they are feeling a particular way, especially if it just doesn’t seem to make sense.
The Six Stages of Grief
The six stages and examples of how they may be manifested for a divorcing spouse are:
- Shock – “How can this be? I thought we were happy together!”
- Denial – “She doesn’t mean it. She’s still angry about the fight we had.”
- Anger – “He wants a divorce? Fine! I’m taking the house and everything in it, including the kids!”
- Bargaining – “Wouldn’t it be better to wait? Don’t you think we should give our marriage one more chance?”
- Depression – “My whole life is over. How will I ever go on?”
- Acceptance – “It’s over, and that’s that. Time to put together a new life for myself.”
While the order of these stages is purposeful, the grieving process is not linear. A person may begin initially with bargaining, then move to shock, and then get mired in anger. Moreover, a person who has arrived at the acceptance stage may receive news that the other parent, say, is taking the children out of state during a normal visitation time, and move back into anger. The goal, however, is to realize that however one is feeling, it is a natural part of coping with loss and grief.
Coping With Your Divorce
It is also important to understand that there is no way to accelerate the process of coping. It can be impeded, however. One may even find himself entrenched in one stage; this is where a counselor can be particularly helpful.
Divorce is a nearly always a difficult and emotionally challenging process. If you are going through a divorce, it is important to have strong legal assistance to make sure your rights are protected. Contact an experienced Sarasota divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. for a consultation today.