7 Stages to Accept the Life Change Called Divorce: Bargaining and Depression

In the previous post I talked about the stages of Denial and Anger.bargaining It usually starts there, and then progresses, though often the first 5 stages can happen simultaneously or in random order. It is important to realize you have to go through all those stages and that YOU WILL SURVIVE! Not only is there light at the end of the tunnel, but divorce can also be the life experience that will lead you to a more fulfilling life.

Resistance and Defiance; Or let’s bargain!

“Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table.” —

George Schultz 

“I will do anything to safe the marriage”. “I will change”. And so we enter the stage of resistance and bargaining. Some will really ramp up and fight for their marriage, they are not going down like the Titanic. While it may be futile, fighting for the marriage does help long-term psychologically. You can look back and say, well, I’ve done everything I could to safe the marriage. Marriage however is work, and 2 need to actively participate to make it lasting.

When we bargain, we admit, at least to ourselves, that the marriage is over, but we are buying time. You have to realize that bargaining rarely leads to a long-term solution. In bargaining there is always 1 person with authority, and 1 person that is trying to get something, but subject to the others desire to agree.

Use bargaining to your advantage for personal growth. During bargaining there is a reflection upon the self and you will discover things about you that you can improve upon. Perhaps you were never home and did not spend any time with your spouse, perhaps you gained too much weight, perhaps you have been inconsiderate during the marriage. Use those self-reflections to become a better you.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami

Grief and Depression

It is inevitable, at 1 point it will hit you, the marriage is over. You are overcome with sadness and grief. There won’t be family dinners, there won’t be walks in the park; life as you knew it has what seems insurmountably changed. Familiar situations are no longer. It is very natural to grief, there is loss.

Grieving allows you to disconnect and start to distance yourself from what was. Allow yourself to grief. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear and uncertainty for the future at this stage. It is important that you process this. These emotions show that you have begun to accept the situation!

However, if you get stuck in depression, where the world seems just not the bright colors it once was, seek professional help. Sometimes, realizing that grieving is natural, eases the pain. Sometimes people are overwhelmed and need outside help. Don’t hesitate to seek that help!

“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” — Sivananda

Grief is a sign acceptance is just around the corner. A new life awaits you! Next post is here.