The Seven Stages of Marriage, Separation and Divorce

Tips & News - The Seven Stages of Marriage, Separation and Divorce

Many of our clients first contact us because they are unsure whether the feelings that they are having about separating or divorce are “real”.  Or whether the thoughts they are having merely a fleeting fantasy – and a part of the normal ups and downs of a marriage or relationship.

It may sound weird that someone may not know whether the feelings they are having are genuine and serious.  However, for most people even thinking about the word “divorce” or “separation” can be frightening, shameful or disloyal.  Consequently, talking to friends or family about their feelings may not be an option.

Contemplating separation or divorce

For many people, when thoughts of separation – or a life without their partner – become more than a ‘once off’, they start the merry-go-round of martial vacillation.  Indeed, you are probably reading this blog because you are somewhere in limbo on the spectrum between pre-contemplation and divorce. You might also want some objective guidance – someone to say – “yes what you are feeling is serious/not serious” or “yes your marriage is/is not over”.  You want to understand whether or not you are on a no-looking-back journey to divorce, or you are just having a hiccup in your relationship.

In our experience, very few people have a lightening bolt strike them to tell them that their marriage is over. More often, it is a series of stages and events that leads to them to start contemplating divorce as a real option.

The Seven Stages of Marriage, Separation and Divorce

One of the first things we do when meeting a client who has not yet separated is to assess (with them) where they are at in the Seven Stages of Marriage, Separation and Divorce.  Of course, these stages are not static – we see many clients who regularly check in with us to ensure that they are prepared in the event that they move from one stage to the next – and many do – moving back and forth between stages.

Others have stayed in the same phase for years at a time – and yet others have gone back a stage or two once they realize that movement forward will inevitably lead to separation – and once we have given them some tips on what to consider at each stage.

Understand where you are

We can’t tell you whether you should leave or, if having been left, you should resign yourself to the reality of a permanent separation. However, we do hope that our map of the Seven Stages of Marriage, Separation and Divorce will help you better understand where you are – and what might lie ahead.

You can download a copy of our Map by subscribing below.

The best of luck.

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Jacqueline’s support and guidance, was fundamental in the process.

Working with Jacqueline through the separation and collaboration process made a very difficult separation easier. Her compassion for both of us, and gentle supportive approach, helped us negotiate an outcome and reduce the financial and emotional impact of divorce on our family. Jacqueline’s

Father of Two
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