The Stages of An Ending

Ever since Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the 5 stages of grief to describe the emotions that terminal patients experience, similar stages have been used to describe loss in all its forms. These descriptions are helpful; they help to confirm that our wildly fluctuating emotions are normal and okay while also providing hope that we can progress out of a current stage.

This article from Psychology Today  is one of the better descriptions of the stages after the end of a relationship that I have read. However, I experienced a couple stages that are not described.

How about you – what stages would you add?

Thank you for sharing!

7 thoughts on “The Stages of An Ending

  1. Depression. And feelings that you (I) was inadequate. Questioning myself and my actions.
    I suppose bitterness and resentment would fall under the “anger” category.
    There are so many emotions. Some leave some return.

  2. My boyfriend’s son drowned 5 years ago. I see him go through so many emotions on a daily basis, it’s no wonder he’s exhausted at the end of the day. I’d say. even though it’s been 5 years, he’s still stuck in the anger phase. I wish I could encourage him to talk to a grief counselor, but he won’t hear of it. “How is talking to a complete stranger about my son (who they know nothing about) going to help me?” Is always his response. I believe that he thinks counseling of any sort takes away from his manhood. He has to admit to someone that he needs help, and he’ll never do that. If he did; if he opened up, maybe he wouldn’t be AS angry, but I can’t blame him for the anger. No parent should ever lose a child. Thanks for the article!!

  3. elizabeth2560 – ABOUT ALMOST SPRING Two and a half years ago my 37 year marriage ended suddenly through no choice of my own. I survived the heartache. I have taken control of my present. I am planning my own destiny, which is moving onwards to a life of purpose and meaning. This is my journey.
    elizabeth2560 says:

    I used Kubler-Ross’s stages a lot to help me through the traumatic first 9 months, in mourning the loss of my marriage and my relationship. Now I realize think the stage theory really only got me to the point of ‘accepting’ the catastrophic news, that it had actually had happened. It did not really help me move forward. The ‘learning to live without that part of yourself, and finding ways to compensate for its loss’ (and presumably get back to your normal life) did not fit for me because there was no normal to go back to, it was ALL gone. I began to realize that, rather than return to normality and compensate for the ‘loss’, I had to start from scratch. A new me. A new life. A new future. A new purpose.

  4. How about shame and embarrassment.
    I’m going through realizing how my 15 marriage changed me – and not for the better. From what I’ve read and heard from my counselor it was an abusive relationship; I was accused of cheating, stealing money and finally of being worthless. And the biggest sin, I’m a successful male that accepted this treatment willingly while always trying to find ways to please her so we could be happy. She left 6 times to screw other people – lied every time she decided to move back (with me asking her to return). She ridiculed me openly, called me names and consistently questioned my honesty – and I took it all and wanted her back. I am ashamed I wasn’t even the one that finally filed for divorce although I somehow had the sense to say ‘ok’ and never asked her to re-consider.
    I am now seeing how my personality changed and I have become weak and emotionally small. I’m hoping this realization will allow me to progress and re-discover the man I used to be. I have a lot to learn.

    Thank you for your postings – they help. Getting cheated on and left is not limited to one gender, women can be every bit as cruel as men in this regard.

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