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Coping With a Range of Emotions in a Divorce

Sad woman against a blurred man silhouette in an outdoor dramatic scene to suggest the couple is ending their relationship.

Divorce may cause joy, anger, relief, sadness, and more - all on the same day.

In the U.S., about 50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages will eventually dissolve, and nearly everyone reacts strongly to divorce. Whether initiating the divorce or not, heightened stress, loneliness, and sadness - as well as relief and joy - may prevail. Emotions fluctuate. When going through a divorce, a person may be angry one moment and sad the next.

The end of a marriage is a transformative event that generates a wide range of feelings. Suppressed emotions can lead to a higher risk of depression, emphasizing the importance of emotional acknowledgment during this period. Understanding and addressing the emotions that often accompany divorce is essential for coping and moving forward.

Emotions related to divorce

Indiana has the 6th highest divorce rate in the U.S. There are 19.6 divorces per 1,000 married people. Still, every divorce is unique, and everyone handles their emotions differently. One spouse might experience delayed emotions, whereas the other might be immediately thrown into emotional turmoil. Not every feeling that stems from divorce is negative, however. The dissolution of a marriage can be a relief. Many divorcees experience a renewed vigor for life. Common emotions someone in a divorce may experience include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Anger
  • Relief
  • Regret
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Loneliness
  • Denial
  • Disappointment
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Happiness

Divorce and depression

Even people who experience joy or relief in a divorce will usually have negative emotions about the situation too. People getting divorced or who have been divorced are at a higher risk of developing depression. Depression can occur anytime - from immediately after the divorce to years later. It might persist for days, weeks, months, or the rest of a person's life. People with depression may struggle to relate to their friends and loved ones, withdraw from social events, give up on hobbies, have difficulty concentrating, and experience intense irritability and sadness.

Signs and symptoms of depression after a divorce include:

  • Feelings of emptiness, sadness
  • Inability to feel joy or happiness
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Increased irritability and anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness

Depression stemming from divorce can be treated and, in many cases, alleviated with coping methods, therapy, and/or medication, among other treatments.

Coping with emotions from a divorce

Depending on the severity of the depression, some people may need time to grieve. Everyone could use some help and someone to talk to. Some tips for overcoming depressed feelings surrounding divorce include:

  • Allowing time to grieve
  • Spending time with and seeking help from family and friends
  • Seeking professional support from a therapist or another licensed mental health care worker
  • Setting new goals
  • Talking with a financial advisor
  • Making new friends
  • Start dating again

Compassionate Indiana divorce lawyers are on your side

At Hocker Law, LLC, we understand the stress divorce and other family law matters can create for people. That's why we work hard to guide people through the process with courtesy and professionalism.

We take a holistic approach, which means no important detail will be overlooked in a divorce case or other family law matter. We address child custody, visitation, parenting time, child support, spousal support, property division, and other issues typically associated with divorce.

Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.

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