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Re: Emotional Stages following Separation/Divorce

Re: Emotional Stages following Separation/Divorce HeartbrokenDingo: Jimmy,
You managed to outline, very succinctly, I might add, the stages of grieving, better than any self-help book I have ever read. 

I am currently bouncing between stage 7, 8 and suddenly, especially the past 2 days...( I can't seem to stop crying and I'm on frigging vacation!!!)

then I find myself right back into despair , (# 3) and disbelief, (# 2) in the world could this be happening to me???

I seem to be spending a lot of time in the
lost phase". 

Who knew???

The "strong one"  in the relationship would be the one to take it so hard???

Thanks for sharing Jimmy.  You put into words what a lot of us are feeling.  I'm glad I'm not alone.

jimloveless: I have seen a few newcomers from time to time ask about how long it takes to get through all the pain and emotional garbage that comes with separation and divorce. My story includes infidelity, and it likely won t match up to everyone here, but I think instead of thinking of time in a sense of hours, months, or years, one really should think of time in a matter of stages. Here are the stages I ve gone through so far. Hopefully someone can identify with these, at least to some degree. Maybe it will give you an idea of what s to come, or an alternate view on what you may have already gone through.

1. Frustration
This was something I d been going through for the better part of five years. We d been married for two years when everything seemed to change. She became distant in many respects. The most noticeable department was that of affection and intimacy. She didn t laugh at my jokes anymore. She didn t say  I love you  the same way. Sometimes she was totally despondent and unresponsive. Sex dropped down from two or three times a week to once every three weeks at best. She spent more time with her friends than she spent with me. In every argument, she made me feel controlling and guilty. She refused to apologize for anything. Some days she just felt like a roommate that didn t only lived with me because it was the easiest arrangement. We still had good days and there were times when I swore that her smile was sincere, but the lack of love frustrated me to no end. I felt helpless and became extremely depressed.

2. Disbelief
The first stage post-separation step I went through was denial. This wasn t happening. This couldn t be happening. I simply could not fathom it, and I ran away. The morning she started packing, I just drove off for a few hours to be alone. I couldn t cry, and I couldn t figure out why. There were a few moments of mixed reaction here. When I came back home I sat on the couch listening to inbetween days by the cure and she started packing up her movies. At that point, I stood up, walked outside, and started hitting my head on a fencepost. Then, I came back inside and brought her her camera that had been in my truck, gave her a smile and a shrug. This stage lasted maybe a little over a day before reality began to set in.

3. Despair
Next thing I knew, I found myself on the floor, crying so hard I couldn t breathe at times. I couldn t eat. My mind buzzed constantly and kept me from sleeping. My heart rate was somewhere up near 150 while I was just sitting there. I entertained the thought of suicide once or twice. I couldn t see anything beyond the present situation. The rejection was so great and painful that it affected every ounce of my being. This lasted about two weeks for me.

4. Blame
Soon after, I felt like there was something broken that I could fix. I worked my ass off to do this. I didn t understand the entire situation and I knew this down deep. She wasn t giving me anything but  I seriously don t know why I feel this way . So, I looked into myself and began discovering all the demons in my life that needed to be wrestled with. At the same time, I made up excuses for her leaving me. I wrestled with them and did my best to be there for my STBX. During this stage, it was incredibly difficult to not call her or want to talk to her  to help her, and to fix the relationship. I still had trouble sleeping because my brain was constantly attempting to sort out everything and figure out exactly what happened  what went wrong. I wanted to find the source and eliminate it. I sold off my gaming PC s and resigned from the gaming website I was writing for (my hobby job), distancing myself from one of my greatest vices; gaming. I started reading massive chunks of the bible every day and I prayed constantly. This stage lasted about a month and potentially could have gone on indefinitely.

5. Suspicion
After a month and a half, I woke up one morning with a strange pain in my heart. It was that day I became Detective Jimmy and found out that she had been cheating on me. In the following days, it was brought to my attention that she had been unfaithful (not sure about cheating) for several years all those years of frustration, in fact. At this point, I had to know it all; every guy she was with, every guy she kissed, every guy she held hands with  the reasons she reacted to intimacy the way she did, all of the unanswered questions became knives and every one of them hurt me instead of puzzling me as they had before. I d lost about 20 pounds at this point. I hadn t yet gotten my appetite back yet though I was starting to see a few nights of decent sleep. At least some of the questions had been put to rest and the picture was much clearer. This stage lasted about a week.


 links9814: Good post. 3, 6, 7, 8 bring back bad memories, I can remember being at those points after my wife cheated and left. My anger is what really took control of me, losing a child will do some terrible things to your mind.

Slowly I get better with each passing day, hopefully I'll be on the mend sometime soon, but there is no timetable for healing.

I hate when people tell me to get over it, that ticks me off so much. I feel like grabbing their necks and asking them if they have ever lost a child. Everyones healing process is different, it could take 3 months or years, it all depends.

 Blueyes424: Jimmy~

I think I have been through every one of those stages.  I am hoping with all hope that I am at the end of the mend.  I tend to kind of doubt it though.  I still have fits of rage directed towards him, or more so his actions, but they are even subsiding.

I know there will come a time when I will only think of the good things, the happy times, the times I felt the most loved.  I pray for that time to come, so that I will know that I am fully over him and the things he did to me.

Great post!!

Love ya!!
 summerparis: Excellent post, s_j, and I hope that more newcomers check it out.  You outlined the stages very well. 

As I read it, it occurred to me that all the work I did in letting go was worth it - all the writing, all the posting, and all the talking.  I'm also glad that I had more than a few catharses where I let the mask of "everything's okay" drop, where I said what I needed to say to people and I did what I needed to do, rather than be stoic and hold everything inside.  It was in those moments of catharsis that I realized how vulnerable I felt, like a snake in a new skin, and I welcome that, rather than being my usual high functioning self!

I think I'm on the mend.


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