Since about 2010, the American divorce rate has generally been trending downward. It currently sits at just under 15 divorces per 1,000 married women. These divorce rates mean little, though, if your spouse unexpectedly serves you with divorce papers in New Jersey. What happens next legally can be just as confusing as what will happen within you emotionally. 

Research strongly suggests that divorce can be a traumatic event for many people, including men. It is not uncommon to experience grief as your divorce plays out. Grief is a complicated process. Understanding the seven common stages of grief can help calm the stress you might feel about whether your experience is abnormal.

The seven stages of grief for divorced men are as follows:

1. Denial

During this first stage of grief, you are in disbelief that your marriage is ending. Your partner’s divorce petition and any accompanying temporary custody or protection orders have likely surprised you. You find it difficult to understand what is happening and what it means for you.

2. Guilt

Next, you may experience guilt over the situation. You analyze your behavior during the marriage and identify choices or actions you feel contributed to the divorce. You may tell yourself that if you had been a better father or a more supportive husband, you would not be facing divorce.

3. Bargaining

Guilt turns into bargaining with your partner. During this stage, you are attempting to strike a deal with your spouse to prevent the divorce from going forward. 

For example, you may promise your spouse that you will be more emotionally available to them or not work so late if they would only give you another chance. This stage can end with anger when these offers are rejected and the divorce proceeds.

4. Depression

By this stage, the reality of your situation is starting to sink in. You realize that nothing you do is going to stop the divorce from happening and that your marriage is coming to an end. In a very literal sense, a part of your life is changing. Feelings of sadness and depression are common as you mourn the passing of this stage of your life.

5. Turning the Corner

At some point, depression will give way to a sense of budding optimism. While you may still mourn and grieve the ending of your marriage, you realize that you can move beyond this time. You begin returning to some of your normal routines and schedules that may have been disrupted during previous stages of grief.

6. Reconstruction

During this stage, you not only continue to reassemble your life, but you also begin to work through your emotions. You can look at yourself objectively and identify areas of your life that need improvement. Some people even set small, achievable goals during this stage to give themselves some forward momentum.

7. Acceptance

In the final stage of grief, you learn to accept what has happened to you and your divorce experience. You may still occasionally feel sadness or anger, but these feelings do not dominate your daily life. By this stage, you have worked through any stigma you may have previously felt about being a divorced man or having to co-parent your child. 

Why a Skilled New Jersey Divorce Attorney’s Help Is Important

Working through grief is not linear or orderly. You may jump from one stage of grief to another and then back again as you go through the grieving process. 

When you are in a divorce proceeding, grief can immobilize you and cloud your thinking. Having an experienced and compassionate advocate by your side helps ensure your legal rights are protected.

Contact the Bergen County Family and Divorce Law Firm of Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers for more help

Contact the experienced family attorneys at Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers today for legal assistance. Visit our law office in Bergen County or give us a call at (201) 487-1199 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Bergen County Law Office
1 University Plaza Dr #400,
Hackensack, NJ 07601,
United States