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Five stages of grief

MIgander posted 6/18/2020 20:44 PM

Anyone here read up on 5 stages of grief and have any insight on how it applies to your own grief over:
-Loss of personal integrity in affair
-Loss of innocence in marriage
-Loss of esteem/respect of spouse
-Loss of spouses sense of safety and self worth

The 5 stages were:
-Denial
-Anger
-Depression
-Bargaining
-Acceptance

I seem to be cycling between the anger, depression and bargaining stages. Much like an item can circle the drain...

foreverlabeled posted 6/19/2020 07:55 AM

Any time we experience loss we will cycle through stages of grief. Whether we cycle through all 5 stages or only a couple. Also, sometimes we can get through to acceptance in a matter of seconds, sometimes it can take years.

Grief is messy under these circumstances. And especially early on I added guilt/shame into the mix. So my grief was filtered through that emotion. And it makes sense that anger and bargaining took up a lot of room for me. And once I exhausted myself with those emotions it gave way to sadness and depression. Wash rinse repeat.

Part of that guilt too was feeling confused by how much my own actions inflicted such pain upon myself, and that I shouldn't be feeling that way. But loss is loss no matter how it comes to be, even at our own hands, humans aren't taught the grief process, it's just there inside us. Its healthy and a process we owe ourselves to make it through and land on the other side.


In my experience, because there was no need for denial in my grieving process, I was able to accept my reality like instantly, which is half the battle. But acceptance was always short lived for me, as an emotion. I know it lived in my subconscious and therefore had an impact on my daily struggles to let go of my attachments to any given thing. Such as the things you have listed. Gosh the loss of respect and adoration was a hard one.

I sometimes had to actively call on the acceptance and letting go. Pulling it to the forefront and living there until I felt a sense of peace again.

And one last thing, I learned that acceptance doesn't mean being over it, or good and happy feelings. It also doesn't always mean your grief process is complete. I think we have to completely and thoroughly work through each step (even if it takes a couple cycles, and it will) before we can complete our mourning.

I hope this helps some.

MIgander posted 6/19/2020 08:57 AM

Sure does. I always thought acceptance meant you were happy with your life even though you experienced the loss.

Boy oh boy were my losses self inflicted this go-round.

I get stuck in anger and bargaining because otherwise I default into depression (and I do have chronic clinical depression too, so I'm always battling myself out of the hole).

I'm not sure where hubby is in all this. He's grieving the death of our marriage. I'd say he got out of the denial phase pretty quickly when I was full on affair fog mode those 2-3 months of TT I gave him. He hit anger around Halloween/Thanksgiving. Now I think he's going between anger (at me), depression (since I'm still in pity-party angry mode and not fixing my perspective and giving him the care he needs), and bargaining (his requests for gifts/legal actions).

I think he's trying to move through to acceptance. I'm not sure whether that's going to be easier with me or without me. I'm just done being angry now at him and am trying to honestly look at myself with out the shame that brings on my despair and depression.

Thanks for the response.

foreverlabeled posted 6/19/2020 10:02 AM

I used to think that about acceptance myself. I did a lot of research on grief in the beginning because that was something I learned very quickly my BH would be going through and I wanted to understand it better to help him better. I benefited from the knowledge too.

What I learned about acceptance was that it's more so accepting your reality and being at peace with where you are at this moment. Being at peace with something is the absence of conflict.

Its being comfortable with uncomfortable. Its tricky and takes practice, but it means learning how to cope better.

I would suggest too that you learn more about survival mode and how to phase out of it.

A long time ago I switched on survival mode and never looked back. I didn't know. It influenced my life is tragic ways.

MIgander posted 6/19/2020 12:27 PM

Thanks FL, I'll look into survival mode.

My husband will ask me what's wrong when I'm down. I'll tell him that it's the whole situation, my actions, his pain and the consequences. He asks me if I'm going to be ok, like if I'm sad that it's not something I should be. In his family you should always be happy, calm and definitely not angry.

I tell him I'm not ok, but it's ok that I'm not ok. Kind of confusing, but makes sense when you talk about acceptance being at peace with the situation.

I've been having more and more of those moments lately, when I'm done being angry.

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