Managing conflict
Divorce or separation often feels like a whirlwind of emotions. It's akin to grieving the death of a loved one. Understanding the 'Loss Cycle' can help in navigating these turbulent times and offer some clarity on the path forward.

1. Shock & Denial

When the reality of divorce first strikes, it's common to feel shock. Thoughts like "This can't be happening to me" are typical. Denial is a defence mechanism that buffers the immediate shock, numbing us to the impending reality.

Advice: Give yourself time. It's okay to feel lost or disoriented. Speak to trusted friends or seek professional help to talk through your feelings.

2. Pain & Guilt

As the shock fades, it's replaced with suffering. Regret, guilt, and fear might set in. You might ruminate about what you could've done differently.

Advice: Understand that pain is a natural process of grieving. It's essential not to repress these feelings. Instead, channel them into healing. Consider joining a support group or seeking therapy.

3. Anger & Bargaining

Frustration gives way to anger. You might feel the need to blame someone – your ex-partner, circumstances, or even yourself. During this stage, you might also start bargaining in your mind, wishing for things to revert to how they once were.

Advice: Avoid lashing out in anger, as it can lead to regrettable actions. Instead, try journaling or physical activities like jogging to vent. Remember that it's natural to yearn for the past, but looking back won't help you move forward.

4. Depression, Reflection, & Loneliness

A period of sadness and regret will likely follow. You'll reflect on the past, and it can be an incredibly lonely phase.

Advice: Understand that it's okay to grieve and feel down. Seek comfort in friends, family, or professional guidance. Consider engaging in activities that make you feel better or adopting a new hobby.

5. The Upward Turn

As time goes on, the pain becomes more infrequent and less intense. You'll slowly start to adjust to your new reality.

Advice: Celebrate small victories. Whether it's getting through a day without tears or experiencing a moment of genuine laughter, acknowledge these milestones.

6. Reconstruction & Working Through

You start seeing a future without your ex-partner. Slowly, you begin to rebuild your life and work on the challenges that lie ahead.

Advice: Set small goals for yourself. Whether it's decluttering the house, enrolling in a class, or going on a solo trip, these steps will help you rebuild confidence.

7. Acceptance & Hope

You come to terms with the reality of the situation. While you might still feel sad occasionally, you're more focused on the future and the possibilities it holds.

Advice: Embrace the new chapter in your life. Remember, it's okay to remember the past, but don't let it prevent you from creating a promising future.

In Conclusion

Divorce is undeniably challenging. However, understanding the stages of the Loss Cycle, derived from Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's stages of grief, can offer some solace. It's a reminder that you're not alone in your feelings and that with time and support, healing is possible. Remember, it's okay to seek help, lean on loved ones, and prioritise self-care. The journey might be long, but a brighter future awaits.