How Do Men Grieve Divorce on Long Island?
Whether you’ve had your spouse served with divorce papers or your spouse has told you they want to end the marriage, a divorce is a devastating and gut-wrenching experience. Naturally, you’ll experience many emotions that often conflict with each other or change rapidly from day to day or even hour to hour. Just like when you lose a loved one, you’ll go through the stages of grieving the loss of your marriage and the future you had planned for yourself.
Here’s what men, especially single fathers, need to know about grieving a divorce and how to get experienced legal help you can trust.
Stages of Divorce Grief for Men on Long Island
Contrary to popular belief, there are more than five stages of the grieving process. This applies to getting a divorce from your spouse as much as it does a loved one who passes away unexpectedly:
If you weren’t the initiator of the divorce, it may come as a shock that your spouse wants one. Even if you’ve suspected that your marriage is nearly over for some time, coming to the realization that you’ll be getting a divorce can also be quite a shock. Make sure you have good support during this time to combat confusion and anxiety.
Guilt and Denial
It’s normal to feel guilty about what you maybe could have done differently to make your marriage work. Or, you may also be in denial that your marriage truly is over and a divorce is imminent. Write encouraging notes to yourself during periods where you’re feeling better to reread during periods when guilt and denial are stronger.
Guilt often leads to a deep depression, which you may feel to varying degrees depending on how your marriage ended. This can make it difficult to get up every day and live life normally. Make sure you continue to surround yourself with supportive people and work toward the goal of experiencing sadness and ownership of what you may have done wrong without sinking into hopelessness.
You’ll likely also experience strong feelings of anger that can be difficult to deal with. Understand that anger is a normal reaction during a divorce and that it needs to be managed in healthy ways that don’t affect your divorce and child custody cases. Don’t be afraid to reach out for anger management help if feelings of frustration overwhelm you on a frequent basis.
You may be tempted to bargain with your spouse to save your marriage. You may experience feelings of desperation and be willing to make promises to do things differently, even if those things are unreasonable. This is a normal reaction, however, it’s important to make sure you have legal support to help you understand what compromises you should never make or that put your best interests at risk.
Adjustment and Acclimation
At some point, you will begin to adjust to life after a divorce. What this looks like differs greatly from person to person. Some men have an easier time adjusting to their divorce, while others struggle more with emotional issues like anger or depression. Allow yourself to find coping skills that work for you, even if they don’t look like the coping skills of any other divorced men you know.
Finally, you will reach a place of peace and acceptance of your divorce, whether it was difficult or not. It’s often hard to predict when this will occur and it’s different for everyone. The longer you were married, the longer it may take for you to reach the stage of acceptance.
Divorce Grief Is Not Linear for Men
Contrary to popular belief, grief is not a linear process. It’s extremely common to move forward in your grief journey after a divorce, only to move a few steps back again. You may go from anger to acceptance to bargaining and back to acceptance.
Get Support from an Experienced Long Island Family Law Firm Now
At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand the emotional, financial, and legal challenges of going through the divorce process. We strive to help our clients locate the resources they need to begin moving forward with the next chapter of their lives and can assist you with navigating a complicated divorce. Contact us now for more information or to book your initial consultation by calling 631-923-1910.
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