Divorce is a Process
(a Brutal and Horrible process)
 

Divorce is not a singular event.  Its a process, that happens in phases:

The Beginning: To divorce or not to divorce?

The Middle: Anguish, Anger, Anxiety

The End:  Scary, Overwhelming, New Beginnings

 

The Divorce (or breakup) process ranks in the top 3 Stress Events Scale, along with death of a loved one and job loss, and the difficulty in dealing with it should not be underestimated.  All the phases of divorce are difficult, and often some clear, objective support can go a long way.

 

The Beginning: Divorce or not to divorce?

This is not a decision to be made lightly. Nor is it a decision that should be made in a highly emotional state (unless the indications for it are very clear, as in the case of abuse).  Sometimes the breakdown in a relationship is subtle, happening slowly over a period of years, eventually resulting in one of the parties considering divorce as an option.  Other times it is triggered by a single event – and often in these times a resolution is possible if the impulsive decision to divorce can be put on hold for a time.  Whatever the case, divorce therapy can help you work through the confusion and get to your deeper emotional truth and understanding.

 

 

The Middle: Anguish, Anger, Anxiety

 

Divorce (or breakup) , whether you wanted it or not, can be one of the most difficult, stressful and emotional experiences of your life. It can trigger all sorts of complex unsettling emotions, enough to turn your whole world upsidedown.

 

Even if you wanted the divorce, you are still confronted with loss and the grief that accompanies it. You have the loss of your relationship, and of your identity as a married person. You are losing a partner, the companionship, the shared experiences. You will have to deal with the loss of financial stability and the security of having someone around. You suffer the loss of an ideal, loss of the dreams and hopes you shared with your partner, and these can often be the most painful losses.

Aside from having to deal with your grief and pain, you must still deal with your partner’s grief and pain – especially if they didn’t want the divorce. This may cause intense feelings of guilt and doubt to arise, possibly even regret.

Then there are feelings of intense feelings of anger and resentment, an inclination to cast blame about, feeling spiteful and bitter.  You may want to lash out, punish and hurt. Along with these you may experience a sense of betrayal, feel deeply let down, crushed.

 

Trying to negotiate a settlement from this state of overwhelming emotion can result in bad or rash decisions, as well as unnecessarily prolong the entire procedure.  This is why receiving help and support in dealing with all these complex emotions, as well as learning effective stress management techniques to help you cope is essential.

The End: Scary, Overwhelming, New Beginnings

 

There is a misconception that when the divorce is over it is the end of the difficult time.  For most, this is not the case.  While you are still feeling exhausted and wrung out from the emotional roller-coaster of the divorce process so far, you are trying to cope with the disruption to your life that divorce brings.  Your whole routine is disrupted, your responsibilities shift, especially if there are children involved, your living environment changes, your relationship with your extended in-law family and friends is disrupted and affected.

 

And then, as the dust settles, the loneliness creeps in, resulting in a lot of pain and anxiety over being unsure of your ability to cope with everything on your own going forward.  The feelings of loneliness and hurt can be so difficult to deal with that it often drives people to seek out a new relationship when they have not even finished emotionally dealing with the loss of the previous one. Rebound relationships are never a good idea.

 

It is easy to feel that you are just not coping, and all this together can compound those feelings of doubt which emerge more and more frequently.  You may find yourself focusing on all the good parts of your marriage, missing them and your spouse and may end up doubting that your decision was too hasty, perhaps  you should have fought harder for the relationship, was it really that bad, have you made a mistake…

 

This is where Divorce Therapy is invaluable in helping you work though these complex thoughts and emotions, helping you to adjust to your new circumstances and gain a new perspective on your current situation.

 

If you need help with any of these phases of your relationship, reach out - you don't have to do this alone.

 

We can recommend C A Mather Incorporated if you need assistance with divorce and family law. They have a very personal approach and nearly 40 years of experience.