Coping with Grief During a Divorce

No one gets married believing they will get divorced. As a result, the death of a marriage, like any other death, comes complete with the five stages of grief. Every member of a family involved in a divorce will pass through the stages at a different pace. Whether parent or child, you are going to feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and you might go through some of these phases multiple times. Although there is no way to avoid this, using a mediator to navigate your divorce can help manage your and your family’s grief.

Reducing Hostility

Because a divorce mediator works to represent both parties, mediation reduces the hostilely sometimes created by opposing lawyers. Mediators are trained at renegotiating conflict and reducing anger, which can, in turn, reduce stress. Overcoming these negative emotions will increase the capacity of you and your family to deal with your grief in a healthy manner.

Normalizing Grief

You and your spouse may not be in the same stage of grief when you agree to a divorce. Mediators are trained to recognize the emotion in its various stages and normalize it by explaining how common it is as part of the divorce process. Normalizing grief also helps a mediator build trust that will be advantageous later as you and your spouse negotiate more difficult topics.

Recognizing Emotional Roadblocks

In some cases, you or your spouse may be “stuck” in a stage of grief that is affecting judgment during the divorce negations. Because of the trust built early on, a mediator can refer the parties to appropriate counseling for assistance so the divorce can continue with both parties on equal footing.

Divorce is a stressful and emotional process. Using a mediator, instead of adversarial lawyers, is a responsible way to navigate the process in a manner that recognizes the difficult emotions involved and helps your family deal with its grief.

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