“The Separation Vortex”

Anyone who has been through a separation or divorce knows that the emotional ride that it takes you on can be like no other! The time period just after Separation can be the most trying, sorting out the emotional reality of the demise of your relationship and enduring the ride can be tough! I call this period “The Separation Vortex”.

The Separation Vortex” period may have differing durations’ of time depending on YOU and your situation, mine last approximate 2 years! This period of time, is where you shake off your old world and re-calibrate (sometimes apprehensively) into your new one! The emotions experienced during this time are many, so lets just focus on a few!

The Emotions:


This is a big one!

The push and pull of figuring out the new rules of engagement during the early days after separation can surface many HIGH conflict situations which in turn may provoke ANGER. Depending on WHY you are separating, may also impact the high/low level of anger.

Anger may be present due to the disbelief of how your Mr/Ms Ex now lives their life post separation, and how they may/may not be parenting your kids. My anger levels went from sheer explosive disbelief type levels to medium explosions!

Combatting anger may lie in choosing your battles, and therefore diffusing the potential times of conflict. Attempting to have open channels or communication based on an almost business like exchanges (even in the worst situations) may help. For me anger was mostly a result of the pain and betrayal inflicted on me by my Mr Ex. Have you questioned where your anger may have come from? Perhaps anger is a reactive emotion based on others such as pain, hurt, jealousy? ( I am no expert and only speak from experience).

Irrespective of WHERE OR WHY, in my experience anger is best dealt with after having some breathing time after a provoking situation.  This allows all parties involved some space and thinking behind how one will react. Of-course this does not work for ALL situations, however showing restraint in reacting out of anger has proved so beneficial for ME!


Pain is HORRID to experience or endure.

This can be due to the realisation that your Mr/Ms Ex made decisions that were beyond your control, that you have grown apart and are no longer aligned or that they may have had an affair. PAIN in my experience triggered my anger and in my experience has only been relieved with time.

Dr Karen Phillip (a professional Counselling Psychotherapist Central Coast Counselling and Mediation Centre) suggests “mourning the loss of a relationship can be extremely painful. Your dreams and plans have melted away. When one leaves the relationship the other person is often left with a feeling of having no control, but you do. Once you can recognise the relationship is over, you can move toward setting up a new life, surrounding yourself with friends and family for support. Professional Counselling is essential to help reduce the feeling of pain faster, allowing you to move toward a new and happier life that you deserve”.

Time heals many things!

Focussing on things you can do in the future vs what others may have done to cause you the pain is a positive way to break through it. Pain can prevent you from living a wholesome life so dealing with it in my experience was my best plan of attack (even if it was using baby steps to work through it). Emotionally disengaging yourself from your ex may also help, and keeping all contact minimal (to sms/email/exchanges for children) even temporarily while you travel with pain in the early days post separation.

“The finest of souls are those that gulped pain and avoided making others taste it” - Nizariat


This can be due to unrealised dreams or because someone has inflicted this on you by changing their plans to a life you both committed to, sadness can be due to the loss of your family unit.

Sadness can expressed/supressed.

In my situation expressing my sadness and talking to my inner tribe of friends really helped! Ones that REALLY listened and not ones that listened to react. Surround yourself with good people that will support you.  I allowed myself time to be sad and then made positive actions towards getting myself out of the lull of sadness whenever possible by meeting new people, or making an effort to go and try new things like boxing, so my point? Try something new and make the decision when you are ready, to work towards diffusing the sadness (we recently published an article to combat loneliness and sadness)!

5 Tips to Tame your Ex:

1. Avoid blaming each other

Focus on going FORWARD.

2. Choose your battles + Compromise

OK, so there are 2 tips here, but definitely worth a try. Making this a priority will enable an outcome that is more in line to what YOU want.

3. In conflict DO NOT REACT

Take a deep breath, take some time out and then react! Be selective with the words and tone of your conversations with your ex

4. Understand that time REALLY does help

As hard as it is to realise, especially in the excruciating early days.

5. Protect your VIBE

Your kids (if you have any) will definitely absorb what vibe you exude.

My name is Anju, after going through a “surprise” separation and divorce was a rebirth which awakened me!

After a period of sadness and struggle, revealed a person who was forced to sort her shi# out and find the strength needed to raise 2 young kids without a partner!

And so, a new journey began with new dreams: www.TheSeparationExchange.com

How can counselling help my child during Separation?

Let's chat about the basics: As a child and family counsellor I have found that a major proportion of our referrals (and my clients) are children from separated families. What this often means is either that children are experiencing more challenging emotions (that...

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