Divorce denial is a real phenomenon that can occur in divorces, where one partner springs the desire to get a divorce on the other. Divorce can be an emotionally devastating experience for those who are not initiating it, or who still wish to hold on to the relationship and try to make it work. Depending on the length of the marriage and the closeness of the relationship, severing the bond with the person you shared a bed, meals, life experiences, child-rearing, and life aspirations with will change everything about your life.
Sometimes, if you are not mentally or emotionally prepared to hear the difficult news that a divorce is pending, you can fall under the comforting spell of blissful denial. In your world of denial, everything is going to be OK because you love each other, and everything can be worked out eventually. If one person wants a divorce, however, the other party cannot stop it – and denying the inevitable truth can do serious harm to you and your children.
Given the fact that those who grieve divorce face similar emotions to those who are grieving the death of a spouse, psychologists have come up with various constructs for the “stages of divorce.” Every divorce is different, so not every person who is going through a divorce will experience grief. Psychology Today gives seven emotional stages of a breakup, with denial as Stage 2. Here are all seven:
- Desperate for answers. You try to look back and figure out what went wrong and why the relationship failed.
- Denial. You move into panic mode because you are unable to imagine that there is nothing that can be done to save the relationship.
- Bargaining. Not unlike the way we sometimes try to bargain with the idea of death, the grieving spouse becomes desperately willing to do whatever it takes to change their ways and save the marriage.
- Relapse. This can occur when you have been successful (for the moment) at convincing your spouse to give it another try.
- Anger. When the news finally begins to sink in, you may experience anger, rage and bitterness, which are just volatile masks of fear. Your whole world has been upended because this person decided that they cannot hold up their end of a promise they made.
- Initial acceptance. This kind of acceptance is tinged with reluctance. You are an adult. You understand that you can’t hold on to someone who has already let you go.
- Redirected hope. Instead of focusing your hope on salvaging the relationship, you redirect it toward building a life without your spouse.
If you recognize that you are stuck in the denial stage of divorce, an experienced Rockville divorce attorney from McCabe Russell is here to help. We understand the devastation that news of divorce can bring. But we can help to protect your interests and to make sure that you get the kind of divorce settlement that helps you to prepare for an empowered future.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we want to help you move through your divorce with as little stress and heartache as possible. Our Rockville divorce attorneys fight for your best interests and stand up for you every step of the way. To speak with an experienced lawyer, please call 443-917-3347 or fill out our contact form. We also maintain offices in Columbia, Bethesda and Fulton.