Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Considering Divorce? There Is An Easier Way

Separation anxiety frequently holds marriages together.  Not all marriages should be saved.  The couple may want to separate, but they are afraid of it.  The fear is "If I leave the relationship, then I'm never going to get the love I have wanted."  This fear is based in emotional irrationality and only serves to perpetuate the couple's unhappiness by defining themselves as victims of the relationship rather than active participants. 

Victimhood leads to resentment and resentment leads to anger.  Anger eventually kills the love that we feel for the other person, but it can also immobilize us from taking right action.  We can organize our thoughts in such a way through our anger at the other person that we are unable to see that we do have choices.  We then become trapped in our anger and as a result feel trapped in our relationship. 

Instead of taking the action that we need to liberate ourselves, we blame the other person and remain stuck in an unsatisfying relationship.  Our anxiety about establishing a new life for ourselves becomes bound up in the anger we experience with our partner. Yes, this is a way of avoiding the unpleasant feeling of anxiety for beginning a new life. However, we remain stuck in a very uncomfortable old position in a relationship that no longer functions a way we would like.

To begin getting out of victimhood, you have to take responsibility for your half of the problems in your relationship.  Only by letting go of the conflict will you begin to heal and see your way more clearly in creating separate lives.  You will also need to learn how to negotiate with your erstwhile partner without allowing emotions to override clear communication.  A divorcing couple needs to transform their relationship into a business relationship.

In a nutshell:
Forgive yourself
Take responsibility for your half of it
Let go of the conflict so you can begin to heal
Learn to negotiate with your ex

If you chose to divorce, you need to know how to separate while significantly reducing the damage, both emotionally and financially, that comes from a divorce.  If possible, mediation is a good way to go.  It is a more cooperative and less adversarial way of separating hearts, finances and lives. 


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