When I went through my divorces, the grief process was less understood. At least it was with the circle of friends and the manly environment I was in. More than one person I knew told me I just needed to go get drunk and laid and that would take care of it.
Despite having lost more than a few family members and friends to cancer, car accidents, and combat, over the years, I knew nothing of grief or the grieving process. I was not yet a Christian and more of my influences were not good influences. A friend, a Christian and a military lawyer advised me that my second marriage was over and I needed to file first. I disregarded that advice, opting instead to try and save a marriage that was already gone. It was expensive and it hurt.
Now, there is a lot of information on grief and the grieving process. Counselors are familiar with the impacts of the death of a marriage and publications have covered it.
Divorce Magazine – yes it is actually a thing – published a piece on the seven stages of grief for a lost marriage. I only knew of four (denial, bargaining, anger, and acceptance).
Generally speaking marriages don’t simply pass away quietly. They explode. There are fights (verbal and physical). Everybody blames someone else. In my case, it took years for me to stop blaming my ex-wives and accept that I contributed as much, if not more than they did, to the failure of the marriage.
Both spouses will grieve the failure of the marriage in different ways and at different paces. But people tend to forget that the children of the marriage will also grieve. The loss can be even more shattering to them.
If you are going through a divorce, talk to a grief counselor. If you have kids and are going through or recently went through a divorce, take them to a grief counselor.
You will have to get through the stages of grief on your own, but having a lawyer to guide you through the divorce and a counselor to guide you through the grief, will lead you to a better future faster.
You once loved him or her enough to pledge your life. It is okay to grieve.