Denial Dangers

For many of us, denial is the first stop as we embark on the long process of grieving, brought on by a decision to end a marriage.  

Denial is very effective in the processing of grief and trauma as it offers a layer of protection from the harshness of what is truly happening. It’s an innate ability to create distance and a space that seems safer, more protected, keeping us slightly removed from actual events. Instead of forcing us to admit or acknowledge what is happening, we can live for a brief time in a place of denial, choosing not to accept the truth. 

This is a stage that people often move out of fairly quickly, but you may revisit Denial from time to time. When you are grieving and then beginning to heal, the process is one of ebb and flow, rather than movement through strictly defined stages.  

Denial is extremely helpful as it provides a level of protection that enables you to begin to process and accept what is happening to your world. 

For many of my friends experiencing divorce, they are also going through multiple other losses and life changes at the same time. This compounds and exacerbates the level of grief they are already dealing with, which has been brought on by divorce.  

Many of us are grieving the loss of our parents or experiencing their failing health. Still others are losing the role they played in their children’s lives, as the kids go to college, move out and on with their lives.  

These are all losses that we must acknowledge, come to terms with, and eventually learn to accept. When we’re able to integrate grief as well as the healing process into our lives, we’ll know we’re making real progress. 

Until then, allow the natural ebb and flow of the process. Be kind to yourself and accept that it will take time and effort to move through denial toward acceptance.  


Denise Palmer


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