Grief is the natural response to loss. If you lost your partner through death or a divorce you did not want, you will find yourself moving through a process that involves a number of different stages, such as initial denial: ‘This can’t be happening’; anger: ‘How dare you do this to me!’; bargaining: ‘I’ll change if you come back to me’; depression: ‘It’s totally hopeless’ and, finally, acceptance: ‘there is life at the end of this tunnel’.
Rejection and abandonment:
If you lost your partner through a divorce that was not of your choosing, you will feel rejected and abandoned. This will be especially painful if you have experienced rejection or abandonment in the past. Divorce or separation will re-open any wounds that have not been completely healed. You may find yourself being plagued by thoughts such as: ‘I am not good enough’.
Feelings of rejection and abandonment, the sense of having been betrayed, let down and treated unfairly can be the cause of intense anger and rage. Anger, although a normal emotion, if left untreated holds very destructive powers. It can be responsible for physical illnesses such as migraine headaches, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome as well as emotional illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
Guilt is an emotion that results from the feeling that you have done wrong. Guilt usually becomes part of the baggage when you recognise the hurt your choices have caused others. This is especially true if you were the one to end your marriage but can also be present if your partner made the decision to leave or was torn from you by death. The thoughts that accompany guilt can be: ‘If only I had loved him more…spent more time with her…recognised his illness sooner…’etc.
Achieving an emotional divorce is essential to establishing future relationship happiness.