No one may have died,  but there is a significant loss in terms of your relationship,  this is how a lot of people experience divorce or a relationship breakup. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, an American psychiatrist, pioneered this theory on the phases of grief.  These can be applied to divorce and are known as Divorce Grief phases aren’t necessary experienced in sequence. You may find that you feel that you have gone through a phase and then find yourself feeling the same feeling again.  This is normal so be patient with yourself.   Understanding the divorce grief phases assists you in your recovery. 

1. Denial

During this phase you may have feelings of shock, disbelief, numbness and sense of emptiness.  You may have a strong urge not speak about what is currently happening, so likely avoid the subject altogether.

2. Anger

Divorce Grief

During this phase you may experience any or all the variations of anger.  From mild irritation, to feeling furious to full blown fury and outrage.  You may direct your anger and yourself, others and inanimate objects.  This is the phase where you will most likely to expressively show your emotions.

3. Bargaining

During this phase you may become obsessive and fixated on getting an outcome.  Potentially unrealistic confidence in your ability to control your life.  This phase brings about a desperation to be able to change your current reality.

4.  Depression

This phase is when you are experiencing feelings of depression, rather than having the condition “Depression”.  Preceding this phase is the very expressive anger.  During this phase you may begin to feel sad, lonely and helpless.  Your general interest in life will wane and you may feel powerless to create change.  If you are feeling that your reactions during this phase are so overpowering that you are unable to function properly, you may need to consult your doctor.

5.  Acceptance

The phase is not necessarily marked by a strong feeling of happiness.  You will probably feel a sense of peace.  You may be more composed and relaxed as you prepare for what lies ahead in getting over your divorce or relationship breakup.  You may also get the sense that you are going to be okay.

If you would like to understand or discuss how you are experiencing Divorce Grief contact me for a complimentary coaching session