Pennsylvania couples going through a divorce are likely to experience the six stages of divorce. And if you’re dealing with divorce, you’re probably in one of these stages now. How these stages affect you depends on your personality and your feelings about the divorce.
Stage one and feelings of shock
The first stage of divorce involves being in a state of disbelief or shock your marriage is ending. Even if you knew divorce was unavoidable, the reality can feel overwhelming. And if the divorce took you by surprise, then this stage may feel devastating.
Stage two and accepting the divorce
Stage two involves accepting your new life as a divorcee. Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home and are adjusting to a new living situation. You might even start thinking of starting a new romantic relationship. If you’re still struggling to accept the divorce, you might feel lost, angry or depressed during this stage.
Stage three and moving on with life
If you had a hard time accepting the divorce, you’ll start to become more accepting during stage three. You’ll find that your mind has started to clear and you’re functioning much better. Stage three is when you’re most likely to enter a rebound relationship, so pay close attention to what you’re really feeling.
Stage four and its ups and downs
Stage four usually occurs six months to one year after the split. The divorce is likely finalized or almost finalized during this stage. You and your former spouse might find yourself arguing over custody issues and other legal matters. It’s common for feelings of depression and anger to develop during this stage.
Stage five at one year into the split
Things start to calm down after about a year of being separated. Children will start to adjust to the divorce and their new way of life. Communication between you and your former spouse should also become more cordial.
Stage six and two years into the split
By stage six, you and your former partner will have new lives. Neither of you is spending energy being angry, upset or depressed about the divorce. You’ve both moved on and are focused on the future.
Life after divorce
The six stages of divorce won’t feel the same for everyone. But starting over after divorce generally follows a specific pattern. The key to successfully navigating each stage is knowing that you’ll eventually create a life that makes you happy.