Is it Normal to Feel Numb During a Divorce?

woman laying on ground, facing the camera

Since you’ve begun the New Hampshire divorce process, you might have noticed that you haven’t felt like yourself. In fact, you don’t feel much of anything. It is almost as if you’re operating on auto-pilot as you prepare for the split, but nothing emotionally affects you.

Feeling such numbness during divorce is entirely normal. According to, numbness is one of the first emotional stages of divorce. Like death, divorce involves many intense feelings—usually shock, loss, fear, and grief—even if you’re the person who initiated the divorce. People often retreat into numbness to protect themselves from the onslaught of complex emotions that divorce brings.

Although it may feel strange, a period of numbness might help you weather the initial changes in your life and prepare for the path ahead. However, if it lasts too long or you try to numb yourself intentionally with alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy coping techniques, it can prevent you from moving forward and rebuilding a new, happy, healthy life.

Moving Past Numbness

When you’re feeling numb, you’re not only blunting the painful emotions but happy emotions too. Moving beyond numbness will let in some pain, but you’ll also begin feeling pleasure and even joy again. Try these three suggestions to break through your numbness.

• Prioritize self-care. Treat your mind and body with love and care. At least once a day, try to engage in an activity that usually makes you happy, whether reading a good book, exercising, or cuddling with a pet. Even if your usual activities aren’t bringing you pleasure, keep trying or try something new until positive feeling sparks again.

• Acknowledge and accept your emotions. It’s tempting to hide from challenging emotions, but facing them is key to helping you move past them. Permit yourself to experience that sadness, grief, anger, hurt, or whatever you feel without judgment. If it’s too overwhelming, try naming the emotions you’re feeling aloud. Studies show that this simple act can lessen the emotion’s intensity.

• Keep a journal. Write down how you’re feeling every day. Not only does writing provide a space for an emotional release, but it will allow you to track the progression of your feelings and take note of events or circumstances that trigger numbness.

Tenn And Tenn, P.A.

At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., we offer large law firm excellence in a personal, client-centered firm. We help clients with divorce and family law matters in ManchesterConcordNashuaBedfordDerry, and New Hampshire. Contact Tenn And Tenn, P.A. attorneys today by calling (888) 332-5855 or visit us online today.

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