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Do the 5 stages of grief apply to divorce?

You've heard all about the five stages people tend to go through when they're grieving. They start with denial, move on to anger, start bargaining, settle into depression and then finally reach acceptance.

Some experts do note that these same steps can apply to divorce.

Your spouse comes to you and tells you that he or she wants to break off the marriage. You don't want to believe that it's over, then you're angry. After that, you go to your spouse to bargain and see if you can work it out. He or she turns you down, you feel depressed and then you learn how to accept it and move forward.

While this certainly can happen, some warn that it simplifies the process too much. You're not moving quickly and easily through each step, in all cases. One woman said that, as she went through her own divorce, she would revisit stages she'd already passed. Things were chaotic. She did eventually get through it, but it wasn't as fast or easy as it looks on paper.

If you're facing divorce, it's important to know that this process can be hard, it can be complex and it can take time. Don't feel like you're doing something wrong if that's how it's going for you. You're not alone.

While you're working through it, be sure you put some energy into learning about your legal rights. Don't get so caught up in the emotional side of the divorce that you forget about the legal process. Knowing how it works can help you protect yourself and focus on the future.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Emotional Stages of Divorce: What to Expect During and After the Divorce Process," Cathy Meyer, accessed June 30, 2017

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