Relationship grief is amongst the top 3 reasons of stress in today’s world and divorce is one of them. Divorce is like a casualty in the family and can suitably be coined as ‘relationship death’. The upheaval one undergoes after divorce or separation is similar to the death of a loved one. Human beings are premeditated for relationships and cannot survive without bonding and care. Merely signing a divorce document cannot waive off the love and affection you have for your spouse and may leave you grieving over your loss.
Reasons for grief
Losing an important correlation in your life is equivalent to death. It is the demise of an ‘Us’ that was once full of dreams, trust and security. Divorce means loss of spouse, loss of family life, loss of common home, loss of friends and loss of social status. For kids too, it means losing that perfect family and one parent forever. With such huge losses, it is natural to grieve. Mothers may also feel financial burden if they have to take care of her kids solely. Facing financial problems after divorce could be one of the major reasons of grief.
Divorce changes our every day schedule and lifestyle. With no one around to share one’s thoughts and sentiments, one certainly feels lonely and this may also lead to reduced work efficiency.
In divorce, there is usually ‘a leaver’ (spouse who decides to call off the relationship) and ‘the left’ (spouse who is not the initiator and is left out to accept the divorce). ‘The left’ is usually the one who grieves most and he/she may also be more frustrated and angrier. The situation becomes more complex and anger more intense, if your ex-spouse has left you for someone else. Sometimes people are unable to identify the difference between grief and anger or may be the grief remains concealed below anger. In reality, anger is just a facade, an emotional cover up. When the true feelings cloaked up in your heart are unveiled, then you realize the true meaning of loss and divorce and start mourning on your sufferings. There are various stages of grief which every person goes through while grieving. It is important to pass on all the phases of grieving to complete the healing process and to emerge a stronger person.
1. Denial and shock- The initial reaction to any heart wrenching experience such as divorce or death is denial or non-acceptance. You may still be looking for solutions to your matrimonial crisis and try to work out with your spouse. You may also try to restore and save your marriage.
2. Anger and frustration- You may be angry with yourself and your spouse for not being able to continue the nuptial arrangement and for separating. You may want to fight back and get even with your ex-spouse in any way even if it involves your kids.
3. Depression- You may have overwhelming feelings of sullenness, hopelessness, numbness, self-pity, abandonment, desperation, hatred and moodiness. Lack of control over the situation may make you feel depressed and even suicidal. You may feel like crying all the time but once you pass on this stage and overcome all the fears, you’ll feel liberated.
4. Acceptance- Once you’ve accepted that your marriage is finally over, you’ll find it easier to let go everything. You’ll feel unburdened and soon realize that it’s better to live alone rather be unhappy together.
Once you’ve gotten over the legal procedures, you may have the feeling of let go and will try to move on in life. It is the time to start thinking and planning about your bright future.