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Divorce and the Stages of Grief that you need to go through for healing to occur!

May 1, 2010

No two people feel the same as they go through a divorce but everyone should be allowed  to go through the stages of grief at their own pace.

Divorce is the 2nd most stressful event a person may go through in their life, 2nd only to the death of a loved one and some argue it is even harder!

We all go through the stages of grief when dealing with the loss of a significant relationship.  One of the best-known theories on the grief process is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s “Five Stages of Grief.”  Kubler-Ross defined these stages as Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

In the first stage, Denial, people tend not to believe what is happening.  Depending on the level of shock a person experiences they may withdraw from usual social activities and it may begin to impact their sleep or performance at work.

In the second stage, Anger, reality of the event begins to set in and the person becomes angry.  That anger may be directed at the source of the anger or at everyone and anyone around them.  It is even common for that anger to be inwardly directed for allowing this to happen.

In the third stage, Bargaining, the grieving person may try and strike deals with themselves or a Higher Power – “If I promise to do ……   will you please “fix” this?”

In the fourth stage, Depression, people begin to feel numb even though under the surface they may still be very angry or sad.  Those emotions seek opportunities to break through the surface at the slightest opportunity.  Since depression is found in varying degrees, people often deny being depressed if they have a mild form of depression.

The fifth and final stage, Acceptance is when anger, sadness, and morning have subsided and the grieving person comes to terms with the reality the relationship is over and there is nothing they can do to change that.

There are no set patterns to how people go through the grief process including when it begins and when it ends.  Many will take 3 steps forward and 2 steps backward until finally making their way to acceptance. 

If you have made the decision to divorce,  explore mediation before litigation before you hire a divorce attorney.  You can be guided through the divorce process while going through the different stages of grief.  Johnson Mediation specializes in Divorce Mediation in Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Minnetonka, and Chaska and offers a FREE one hour consultation to see if Mediation is right for you!  Call today at 952 401-7599 or visit our website at

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