Emotions During A Divorce

Over fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.  This percentage increases with the number of multiple marriages.  For some people, this is a hard reality to face.   But having a better understanding of the different emotions during a divorce, can possibly help you through the process.


During a divorce, emotions can run high.  Each party may be at a different stage emotionally, which can sometimes cause difficulties in the parties communicating.

At some point during the divorce, each party may feel some, or all, of the following emotions:Emotions

  • Anger – the spouse may feel hurt or frustrated and is expressing this through anger;
  • Shock – the divorce may be something unexpected leaving the party with a feeling of having the wind knocked out of them;
  • Rejection;
  • Fear – sense of fear of being alone, especially if the relationship lasted many years;
  • Scared – the unknown can be scary, particularly when it comes to financial matters;
  • Bitterness – one party may feel anger or resentment towards their spouse for leaving;
  • Loss;
  • Relief;
  • Doubt – is this the right decision to make;
  • Guilt – the spouse may feel guilty for leaving the family; and/or
  • Revengeful – if one spouse left, the other spouse may feel like they have to “get back” at their spouse and/or “make them pay” for leaving.

These emotions are not uncommon and can last a short period of time or last for years after the divorce.  Accepting that each party may be feeling different emotions at different times can help the spouses work together in settling an amicable divorce.


As if emotions don’t already run high enough during a divorce, these emotions are usually intensified when children are involved. It is not uncommon for parents to use their children against the parent, leaving their children in the middle and feeling like they are forced to “pick a side.”

When spouses engage in a full blown contested divorce, meaning the parties cannot agree on anything, most often children are the ones who suffer.  The parties are so wrapped up in trying to hurt their spouse or “get even,” that they lose sight of what is most important – what is in the best interest of the children.

Spouses who are able to work together to reach an amicable divorce can possibly save their children unneeded and unwanted heartache and turmoil.  Children are already dealing with enough emotions concerning the divorce itself, that they do not need the added burdens of “daddy is abandoning us,” or “mommy is a bad mommy,” or “mommy or daddy did this or that.”  Children should never be put in the middle of a divorce.


When it comes to family law, particularly when children are involved, it is important to keep in mind that there is a rarely a “winner.”  Usually each party must compromise something in order to reach an agreement.  The party should not think of this compromise as losing on that issue, but instead should think of it as they won on a different issue.  Fighting to be “on top” can leave a party emotionally, physically, and financially drained.  Full blown contested divorces, especially with children, can cost a party tens of thousands of dollars.

Tough decisions have to be made during the divorce process.  Some of these will be the hardest decision the client will have to make throughout their life.  Unfortunately, the attorney cannot make those decisions for their client.  The client has to make the decisions.  The attorney is more or less there to hold your hand, guide you through the process, and let you know the legal ramifications of any decision you choose to make.

Keeping in mind the different emotions during a divorce and focusing on what is in the best of the children, can help ease a lot of the stress and anxiety when going through the process.  Divorce is not an easy issue to deal with, but knowing what to expect can hopefully bring the spouse some peace.