The Emotional Stages of Divorce

The emotional stages of divorce are slightly different for everybody and can take different amounts of time for everyone. However, many divorcees report having similar overall patterns to their emotional response to divorce. If you are not the partner proposing the divorce, there might be a lot of initial shock. Many then move to a stage of denial where it’s difficult to accept that this is happening. After that, many people go through conflicting emotions like anger and grief. And finally, you’ll eventually reach a stage of letting go and moving on. This is where the healing process begins. Hopefully, you can healthily address your emotions and get the support you need to handle the emotional stress of divorce.

The Emotional Stages of Divorce: Going Through the Process


The emotional stages of divorce can begin with a big shock if you aren’t the one that decided to pursue the divorce. Oftentimes divorce is a mutual agreement, but sometimes that’s not the case. If your partner decided to spring a divorce on you, you might be in a lot of shock. Perhaps you wanted to work on the relationship before taking such a drastic step. Hopefully, your initial shock will wear off before too long.


Many people going through the emotional stages of divorce can bring a moment of denial. This might also be a stage where there is bargaining and trying to mend the relationship. However, even if you both have decided together to move forward with the divorce, there is still often some denial. It’s difficult to accept that your marriage is over.

Conflicting Emotions

The next in the emotional stages of divorce is conflicting emotions. This can be very different for everybody. Many people cycle between feeling resentful, angry, hurt, and sad about their divorce. It’s normal to feel a lot of conflicting emotions. You might be missing your partner in one moment and wanting to think about reconciling, and then furious at them the next. This stage can take the longest, but you must go at your own pace.

Letting Go

Finally, the last of the emotional stages of divorce is the letting go stage. This is where you finally accept the divorce and begin to move on from it. Often this is when people begin imagining what the next stage of life will be like. While this stage doesn’t mean that you’ve healed entirely, it just means that you have accepted the divorce and are no longer fighting it. Divorce is incredibly stressful, and everybody experiences it in their way. The emotional stages of divorce that you go through might look different than your ex or somebody else you know. It’s perfectly normal to go back and forth with lots of emotions. You’ll likely start with some shock and denial that the divorce is happening. Then many people feel conflicting emotions for a long time before finally letting go. Hopefully, you can begin to see your divorce as a beautiful opportunity to create a new chapter in your life. Just make sure that you take some time to emotionally heal from the stress of the divorce process before you jump back into the dating pool.

Hidden Signs of Physical Abuse

There are many hidden signs of physical abuse to look for in case you are worried a friend is in a troubled relationship. They may not be comfortable opening up to you about what is going on. However, if you sense that something is off with them, you can look for these signs. New changes in clothing style might be harmless but could also signal a desire to cover up more. In addition, if they are suddenly unavailable or seem anxious to make meet-ups quickly it can be a red flag. Sudden personality changes can signal a lot of things, but abuse can often lead to this. And finally, unexplained injuries or vague chronic pain can be an indication of abuse. If you notice any of these signs in a friend or loved one, it might be worth investigating further and offering your support if they need help.

Hidden Signs of Physical Abuse: What to Notice

New Changes in Clothing Style

One of the subtle signs of physical abuse is a sudden change in clothing style. Often abusers prefer their partners to cover up and dress conservatively in public. If your usually flamboyant and brightly dressed friend is suddenly covered up in baggy and bleak clothing, it might be a sign that all is not well. In addition, if they are wearing long sleeves or turtlenecks when the temperature is too hot for that type of clothing, it might be that they are covering up bruises.

Suddenly Not Available

Another sign of physical abuse is that your friend is suddenly not available to hang out very much. Oftentimes abusers want to keep their partners close by and feel threatened if they have close friends. Your friend might suddenly not be available to hang out or give vague reasons for why they can’t. They also might seem anxious when you do hang out and act like they’re eager to leave. This could be a sign that their partner is controlling.

Sudden Changes in Personality

Sudden personality changes are signs of physical abuse but also signs of many other things. A friend in an abusive relationship might suddenly be more quiet than usual, develop anxiety, depression, or even get very defensive. They might not want to talk about their partner or get overly angry if you question the relationship at all. Of course, many other factors can cause a personality change.

Unexplained Injuries

Finally, unexplained injuries are one of the less subtle signs of physical abuse. If your friend or loved one has many bruises, cuts, grip marks, or other injuries, you need to investigate. Oftentimes, victims of abuse will give very vague answers as to where the injuries are coming from. Or they might use the same excuse several times. If something feels off, trust your gut. Dig deeper with them to find out the source of the injuries. The signs of physical abuse are often hard to spot, as abusers are very good at hurting their partners in places that can be covered up. However, if you have a detailed eye, you might be able to spot some warning signs in a friend or loved one. Of course, none of these signs are evidence of abuse all on their own. Rather, it’s the combination of several of these warning signs that might make you question things. For example, your friend might have suddenly changed their clothing style, or you might detect changes in their personality. If they suddenly seem unavailable or anxious to get home when you hang out, it might be a red flag. And of course, you should investigate further if you notice visible injuries. Hopefully, your friend or loved one will feel comfortable confiding in you and you can get them the help they need.

Dating After a Divorce: Pitfalls to Avoid

Dating after a divorce can seem a little overwhelming at first, but you’ll get more comfortable with it as time goes on. When you first get your divorce finalized, it’s important to take plenty of time before jumping back into the dating world. You need to make sure that you are ready for it emotionally. It’s also important to pace yourself with a new relationship and take things slowly. Don’t ignore red flags if they come up in the relationship. And finally, avoid trash-talking your ex or even talking too much about them at all. It’s best just to focus on the new relationship! Hopefully, you can meet somebody new that is a great fit for you and you can begin a beautiful relationship together.

Dating After a Divorce: Pitfalls to Avoid When Getting Back into the Dating Pool

Jumping In Before You’re Ready

One of the common pitfalls to watch out for when dating after a divorce is jumping in before you’re ready. You need to make sure that you’ve fully healed from the stress of your divorce. It can take time to heal and to get back into the correct mindset for dating somebody new. Don’t rush things, take as much time as you need. You need to be in a clear headspace and ready to open yourself up to somebody new.

Moving Too Quickly

Another issue to avoid when dating after a divorce is moving too quickly with a new relationship. It’s important to take things slow. Make sure that you feel totally comfortable with your new partner before getting intimate with them. If they try to pressure you to move more quickly than you feel comfortable with, leave. A respectful partner won’t pressure you.

Ignoring Red Flags

Ignoring red flags is another pitfall to watch out for when dating after a divorce. Some people feel like they need to find somebody new quickly. So they’ll settle for a partner that maybe doesn’t really fit their needs. Or maybe even a partner that has red flags. Take your time and get to know somebody before getting serious. If they have any red flags like being overly controlling, disrespectful, or unhinged, get out early.

Trash Talking the Ex

Finally, one very common mistake that a lot of people make when dating after a divorce is trash-talking the ex. Even just talking about them too much can be a turn-off. Your new partner doesn’t want to hear all the dirt on your ex. It makes you come off as sounding petty and resentful. Try to focus on your new partner instead. If you’d like to share that you’re divorced, that’s perfectly fine, but don’t revolve the entire date around your divorce stress or your ex. Dating after a divorce can be intimidating at first, but it’s an important stage in the healing process. Some people are thrilled at the finalization of their divorce while others grieve. But divorce can be a great reason to get a fresh start in life. Find somebody new that is a better fit for you and build a life together. Just make sure that you’ve taken plenty of time to process your emotions from the divorce. In addition, take things slowly with your new partner. This will give you plenty of time to spot potential red flags. Don’t ignore these if you see them. And finally, don’t talk too much about your ex, but instead focus on learning things about your new partner. Hopefully, you can find somebody that is a perfect fit for you!

Deep Breathing Exercises for Divorce Stress

Deep breathing exercises are just one way to help relieve divorce stress. You could also go for a massage, take a walk, call a friend, or practice some yoga. However, if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, deep breathing is a quick and easy way to gain some control back. It forces you to focus on your body, rather than your stress. The 4-7-8 Breathing technique is a tried and true method for slowing down your breathing to a calming pace. Alternating your nostrils is a good distraction from other stress. Progressive Relaxation is a whole-body de-stressing experience. And Lion’s Breath is an unusual but effective way to relieve some pent-up anxiety. Hopefully, you can practice some deep breathing and other calming techniques to help you manage the stress of a divorce.

Deep Breathing Exercises for Divorce Stress: Learn to Calm Yourself Down

4-7-8 Breathing

4-7-8 Breathing is one of the most popular deep breathing exercises for stress relief. Shallow breathing causes your body to increase in stress levels. Taking deep, calming breaths forces your body to naturally calm down and can lower the acute stress hormone levels. Breathe in deeply for 4 counts. Then, hold your breath for 7. Then, exhale slowly for 8 counts. Repeat until you feel calmer.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Another of the quick and easy deep breathing exercises you can try for divorce stress is alternate nostril breathing. To do this, find a comfortable seated position. Use your hand to plug your right nostril. Breathe deeply through your left nostril. Then, switch your fingers to plug your left nostril and breathe out slowly through your right. Continue alternating back and forth.

Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation is one of the deep breathing exercises that also involves some meditation or focused thinking. It’s best to do this in a very comfortable seated position, or even better, lying down. Breathe deeply from your belly and concentrate on your toes. Focus on releasing all tension in every muscle of your toes. Then work up to your ankles, your lower legs, your knees, etc. Work your way up to your facial muscles and then back down to your toes. Hopefully, this will allow you to relax and relieve any acute anxiety or panic.

Lion’s Breath

Finally, Lion’s Breath is one of the deep breathing techniques that you might want to do in the privacy of your house. To do this, spread your fingers as wide as possible and breathe in through your nose. Open your mouth as wide as you can and stick out your tongue and stretch it towards your chin. Exhale forcefully, while making a loud HA sound from deep in your belly. Breathe normally, and then repeat up to seven times. While none of these deep breathing exercises can completely make the stress of divorce go away, some can relieve some acute anxiety. If you are feeling panicky, or your mind is racing you can try these. The benefit of deep breathing is that it forces you to concentrate on something other than your thoughts for a moment. Deep breathing exercises can also help you fall asleep at night if you are having trouble with this. Try 4-7-8 breathing anytime you need to take a few moments to yourself to get your thoughts together. You can also try alternate nostril breathing to calm down. Progressive relaxation can help relax your entire body. And finally, Lion’s Breath can help you relieve some pent-up anxiety. Hopefully, you can use some of these techniques to help you relieve some of the stress from your divorce.

How to Help a Foster Child Adjust

It can be difficult to know how best to help a foster child adjust to a new living situation. They might be in a bit of shock at suddenly living in a new place. Or they might be hesitant to open up to you. However, you can set yourself up for success by remembering to be as flexible as you can be. Have things ready in advance before they get to their new home so that you aren’t scrambling to find the basics. Keep the lines of communication open, but let them have their space if they need it. Be flexible and manage your expectations. And finally, be their parent, not their friend. Hopefully, you can form an amazing bond with your foster child that will enrich their lives forever.

How to Help a Foster Child Adjust to a New Family

Have Things Ready

The first thing to do to help a foster child adjust to a new family is to have all the basics ready in advance. While the foster agency will do a home check to make sure you have the essentials like a bed, it’s also nice to prep with a few other things. Have age-appropriate snacks and treats, pajamas, clothing in the correct size, and some toys ready for when they arrive. That way you won’t be scrambling to find the basics when they get there.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Another thing you can do to help a foster child adjust is to keep the lines of communication open. Older children might want some space and time alone to adjust to their new surroundings. Even if this is the case, make it clear that you’re available if they need to talk about anything. Give them some space, but check-in enough to make sure they know that you are taking care of them.

Be Flexible

It can help a foster child adjust to a new environment if foster parents are flexible. Each child is very different with very different needs. Try to erase your expectations or past experiences and be open to a fresh start with every child you foster. What worked for one child may not work for another. Reset your expectations and understand that some children come into the system with emotional baggage that can make them react to things in unexpected ways. Try to meet every kid at their level and their own needs.

Be Their Parent, Not Their Friend

Finally, one last thing that can help a foster child adjust to a new living situation is if you make it clear that you are their parent, and not their friend. Of course, you want them to trust you and come to you with problems. But you can do this while still maintaining authority. Make it clear that you have their best interests at heart and that you care deeply about them. But also make it clear that they have to be respectful of you and your family’s rules. It can be hard to know exactly how to help a foster child adjust to a new living environment. So much has probably changed for them that they might feel overwhelmed. You might be given very little notice and feel a little overwhelmed. This is why it’s important to keep some things on hand, like snacks, a few clothing sizes, and some toys for various ages. Open the lines of communication with them, but give them space if they need it. Just make sure to check in periodically. Be flexible and manage your expectations. Remember that everybody’s journey in the foster program is very different. And finally, make sure that you are an authority figure. Often the structure of a parent figure is exactly what can be the most beneficial to many children in the foster care system. Hopefully, you and your foster child can build a beautiful relationship together and you can be a real source of comfort for them in a time that might otherwise be very stressful.