Psychological Stages During And After A Divorce

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediator; California Divorce MediatorsPsychological stress during a divorce is common and most individuals who go through a divorce experience it. Often, those who experience psychological stress were not prepared for what was in store for them. The unpreparedness catches them off guard and the consequences are much worse than they are supposed to be. There are different stages of psychological stress during and after a divorce and individuals who are going through one should be wary of them.

Stage 1: Blame

No one wants to admit that the divorce is happening because of them. Everyone wants to blame the spouse for every little thing that may or may not have resulted in the separation. Every couple going through a divorce likes playing the blame game. Also, blaming a spouse for the divorce makes one fell less guilty about the divorce.

Stage 2: Anger

Anger is a common feeling because most feel cheated when their spouse decides to call it quits. However, anger is the cause for treat psychological stress and individuals often find themselves suffering from a range of mental problems.

Stage 3: Sadness

When the divorce finally sinks in, a divorcee mourns the loss of his/her marriage. It is not uncommon to feel this way especially when one individual was happy with the marriage. Sadness is linked with a number of psychological issues with depression being the most common one. A depressed individual will show non-reciprocity towards happy feelings or things that people normally like doing. Depression has been a major cause of concern for many Americans.

Stage 4: Moving on

The time that individuals take to move from stage 3 to stage 4 varies. Some take months, some years while others don’t move at all. Moving on in life involves accepting the situation the way it is. From a psychological point of view, moving on after a divorce means accepting all that is good in life and rejecting those that cause harm.


Divorces are never easy and individuals who go through a divorce are also victims of psychological problems. There are different psychological stages that an individual goes through namely blame, anger, sadness and moving on. The stages start from the time of divorce proceeding and continues long after the divorce gets finalized. It is a good idea to see a counselor or a mediator and in some cases even a psychologist to help you deal with such problems.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation