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The emotional spectrum that attends divorce

When you make the decision to divorce your husband, you might feel a tremendous sense of relief. This is especially true if there has been some level of domestic violence or control during the marriage. Your overwhelming relief is completely understandable.

What you might not realize is that there are many different emotions that you might go through during the course of the divorce. Some of these might be a bit unexpected, but being prepared for the range will prove useful when coping with whatever awaits you emotionally.

Anger

At some point in the divorce, you might feel angry. This anger is likely going to be toward the actions of your ex that led you to file for the divorce. You might wish that you could do something more than just file for a divorce to punish him for what he did. Of course, doing anything of the sort isn't advisable. Use your anger to fuel the work you do on your divorce.

Depression

You might feel a bit depressed that the marriage is over. Even if you are the person who filed, the depression could still come. You need to remember that even if you are depressed, you shouldn't grovel and try to get him back. Seek out help if you find that you can't function because of the depression, but don't let your desire to have a relationship make you try to go backwards. Keep on pressing forward with the idea of the better days that are on the horizon.

Disbelief

You might experience some measure of disbelief that all the hard work you put into your marriage was for naught. This can hurt, but you can overcome such feelings. Dealing with this is essentially grieving the end of your marriage. Instead of focusing on what you are losing, you should focus on what you can gain. Yes, you might have to move out of the marital home, but you will do so with your freedom instead of being under his control.

Acceptance

Finally, you will feel acceptance. At this point, you are finally ready to close the chapter of your life that included your ex. You are ready to press on and build the life that you deserve. You should be prepared to experience periodic bouts of the other emotions, especially around dates that were special to your marriage, such as the anniversary. All of this is normal.

Throughout the divorce process, you need to make sure that you are protecting your own interests. This is the only way that you can get your single life started on the best footing possible, so get ready to put in the work necessary.

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Nancy Noyes Engelman, Noyes & Rubin, LLP
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