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Unpacking the complicated emotions associated with divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Divorce

There is a range of emotions that couples in California who are contemplating divorce experience. These can include shock, guilt, grief, anger and fear. For many divorcing couples, these emotions start long before the divorce process begins.

Shock and guilt

Shock can affect individuals in two ways. The person initiating the divorce may experience shock when they realize they want to end their marriage.

On the other hand, the other spouse may feel shocked upon hearing their partner’s desire for divorce. Although they may sense issues in the marriage, they might be dedicated to resolving them. The suddenness of the changes can drastically disrupt one’s life.

Guilt arises partly due to the societal stigma surrounding divorce. Individuals may feel like failures because their marriage has ended. They may harbor regrets about actions such as neglecting mental health treatment, engaging in extramarital affairs or other negative behaviors.

Relief and optimism

On the flip side, divorcing couples may experience some positive emotions. If the marriage had been contentious for years, they may feel relief that the fighting and the daily stress of conflict have ended.

Some feel optimistic, believing that divorce enables them to regain a part of themselves they thought they had lost in marriage. They may perceive new opportunities to advance in their careers or cultivate friendships that are not feasible during marriage.

Emotional ebbs and flows

The emotions a couple undergoes during the end of their marriage are intricate and can fluctuate based on the stage of the divorce process. Sometimes, nostalgia and sadness can be triggered by pictures, friends and memories. Other times, a renewed sense of freedom, fresh experiences and a revitalized sense of identity may prompt one to question why they didn’t opt for divorce sooner.

Emotions diminish over time

Fortunately, in most cases, the intensity of emotions linked to divorce diminishes over time. With patience and support from friends, family and mental health professionals, individuals can attain peace and tranquility.