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How do I work through divorce grief?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Divorce

For those that have decided that divorce is needed, one thing that can hold them back is the perceived emotional fallout from that decision. This is true, even if the divorce will be amicable and, sometimes, even if the marriage is chaotic. Though, once one accepts that divorce grief will happen, then expectation can be managed and overcome.

Divorce grief

Grief occurs any time that one loses something or someone, which includes divorce. After all, divorce is the ending of a significant, maybe the most significant, intimate relationship that one has ever experienced. Though, since the partner is still alive, that grief can be amorphous and ambiguous. However, like any other time, grieving can be a healing process, if we accept it and work through it, rather than allow it to fester.

Trust the process

Pay attention to those feelings and accept them. Do not ignore negative feelings, push the grief down or try to numb them. Accept the feelings of grief and loss. Otherwise, those feelings will manifest in other ways, often, with unwelcome consequences. Acceptance does not mean one will avoid the stress and anxiety that often follows divorce grief, but it does mean that those feelings will not last as long.

Process not directions

There is no step-by-step instruction manual for healing. Instead, acceptance is a process that will eb and flow. The grief may last a few moments or a few days, but dealing with those emotions, proactively, will help one process and move forward. Expect the worst of it to last for about 6 months, but after that, the most intense feelings usually pass. Time and acceptance are the keys here.

How to cope

Developing a new identity and finding meaning in other aspects of one’s life can help. Leaning on one’s support team can also speed up the grieving process. Remember, there is also no shame in seeking help from a professional. What we must remember is that this is a normal aspect of life and that millions of Michiganders, including those in Bingham Farms, have gone through divorce and come out better on the other side.