Just as in death and dying, there are emotional stages people go through during a divorce. Mostly these stages pertain to the person who didn’t initiate the divorce, although some of them are applicable even if you did initiated it. Depending upon each individual, a person can skip stages, get stuck in some, or move on only to revisit previous stages. These stages do not represent a neat and clean progression through divorce but it will give you an idea where you are and where you want to get to so you can be happy again.

1. Pain—Pain occurs when you first hear of your spouse wanting a divorce. The pain can be so great, you wonder if you will even survive. Pain is an emotion we use to send our spouse the message of just how devastated we truly are.
2. Bitterness—Sometimes following pain will be bitterness. This is usually about blaming your spouse for not being the person you wanted him to be. It is in the bitterness stage that you might decide to get revenge, trying to hurt your spouse as much as he hurt you. Here you are angry about what your spouse did, his decision to divorce, and you are asking, “How can you do this to me?”

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