A second characteristic is an intense preoccupation with his or her own feelings.
The individual needs emotional support, yet is ambivalent about the kind of support they want. During Stage Two, the positive feelings toward the spouse surface and serve to establish a necessary foundation for people to work out what is best for each of them.
Both men and women are obsessively preoccupied with their past marital relationship, and often relive scenes from earlier years.
During Stage One, the individual may develop a negative self-image and be easily hurt.
Rarely is anyone prepared for the end of their marriage.
This is almost as true for the spouse who initiates the divorce, as it is for the spouse who is being left.A period of disbelief follows, accompanied with a denial of the reality of separation or divorce.Indeed, that person may become “divorce opposed,” spending all of his or her energy resisting the divorce.In addition, the process helps clients to start making short-term decisions concerning the physical separation. When a person explains, “I just sat and cried for weeks,” this is not an exaggeration. The various roles of a divorcing woman, for example, may be those of computer programmer, mother, and wife.The importance of a role depends on how much the role was part of your identity.Marriages are very difficult to end and everyone goes through a period of emotional transition, which can be described as a series of stages.Over the years, my work with separating and divorcing couples has shown five distinct emotional stages that comprise the divorce transition.The non-initiator feels as though s/he has no control concerning the decision to divorce, and as a result, experiences a helplessness and a lack of control.The individual often reacts in one of two extreme ways - either by letting the initiator make all of the decisions in the separation and divorce, or by taking control and attempting to make all of the decisions.The initiator experiences the first stage of divorce while still living with his or her spouse.Typically, this is not true for the non-initiator spouse.