The Emotional Roller Coaster that is Divorce

Buckle up, I’m hoping this post is real and all about the emotions men and women feel after divorce.

Whether you asked for the divorce or not, it’s heart-wrenching. It’s a punch to the gut to know your marriage is over and a double punch when you start moving forward to end it. That’s the easy part because what you go through after it is a ride no one would sign up for.

Who feels the emotions? Though it’s usually the women who feel the emotions in life, during and after divorce, men feel more negative emotions than women do. Why is that?

Women are more likely to ask for a divorce. They take on new roles in their life which does 2 things: makes them scared/excited and increases their self-esteem. Women, generally speaking, are also more likely to be relieved when the stress they had been living with is no longer there. The feelings that are associated with that include guilt, exhilaration, more guilt, and fear (to name a few).

Men, however, are usually caught off guard. If they are in the small percentage that file for the divorce, the feelings that can go with it are fear, sadness, and loss. Men are also less likely to talk about their emotions which only increases them.

As the divorce process starts moving along, you’re literally put in a boxing ring with someone you vowed to love through better or worse and expected to remain calm. Talk about the emotions that come with court! Let’s see if I can name a few of the big ones:

  • Overwhelming, sickening fear

  • Gut-wrenching disgust

  • Crippling resentment and anger

  • Paralyzing exhaust

Did I miss any? Now step into life after the divorce is final. This is it. It’s officially over. There is no marriage. What are some of the emotions during this section of the ride?

Fear that this was the best you are meant to have, excitement over possibilities, wondering when and how those possibilities will show up (as well as how you’ll deal with them - sex again, anyone?), loss of a relationship, loss of intimacy, loss in general, loneliness, happiness/joy, and scared as you figure out how you’re going to do this all - alone.

Do you see why emotional roller coaster is an accurate way to describe what divorce can put you through? It truly doesn’t matter if you initiate the divorce or not, it’s tough all the way around.

So why does this all matter? It matters because divorce isn’t the only thing going on in your life. You’re still a parent. Somehow you need to manage all of this and take care of your kids and get your kids through the divorce. All these emotions I just talked about - those are your emotions. This post isn’t even going to cover what your kids can go through, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s your job to help them manage their emotions, too. The best way to teach them to manage their emotions is to manage your own.

You’ve heard the phrase, you can’t pour from an empty cup. This post is listed under the “All About You” section of my blog. It’s here for a reason. You have a duty to care for yourself, manage your emotions, and help show your children how to manage theirs through this.

How do you do that? You can sign up for a free tool coming out soon (at the bottom of this post). You can read more posts here in this section. You can see a therapist, buy a workbook to help you through it. There are so many options available to you, it’s up to you to pick one and follow-through on it.

Comment below with a few of the emotions you’ve felt as you’ve gone through the divorce process.