The importance of seeing it clearly
As you go through a divorce there is so much to get stuck on. Getting caught up in the drama is the norm. And there are so many conversations to have that are painful, from what will happen with the kids to where will I live to who will get that coffee table that we both love. All of these conversations are important (well, perhaps the coffee table is less important!), and we are forced to sort all of it out while we are highly emotional. Whether you are the one who has left or the one who has been left – or perhaps it is more complicated than that…it is a very emotional and painful experience to go through a divorce.
When you are in an emotional frame of mind, you may make decisions based on how you feel rather than what is going to be best for you. Let’s take the coffee table for example – you can fight and fight and send legal letters back and forth about really wanting a coffee table. But realistically you might spend thousands of dollars on something that only cost you $500 to buy.
We all do this in a separation and there are a few reasons why. When having to divide everything, it feels like you are getting less than you have now – which is true. You might feel angry at how the separation has come about and want to punish the other person to make them pay for what they have done. You might feel out of control with what is happening and try to control the situation by focusing on small details. You might have any number of emotions and be taking them out on this divorce process. But all of this adds up to lengthy legal battles, anxiety and unfortunately a tonne of stress.
At the end of it all, you may or may not end up with what is important to you – or you may decide to put that coffee table on eBay because it has so many bad memories attached to it. We know that decision making is best done with a clear mind, so how can you keep focused through this? Well here are some tips to help you through.
Tips for Clarity:
Take time to breathe and give yourself a break
You are going through what will probably be one of the most stressful experiences of your life right now. Breathing and taking time to make sure you are looking after yourself is such a big part of clearing your mind and focusing time on what you need to do. So take time for yourself to exercise, take walks outside, run a hot bath or just Netflix and chill. Whatever you need to do to come back into yourself and look after you, make time to do that.
Know what you really really want
This sounds simple, but no one does this. It can save you so much time to define what you actually want for your life after this separation (apart from material items). When I say that I don’t mean to write down ‘I really want the coffee table’, I want you to write down what is most important to you in your life after this. It might be ‘its really important to have a strong co-parenting relationship’ or it might be ‘I want my children to be happy’. One of mine was that I did not want to carry any bitterness into the future. When you are making decisions throughout the process you can use these goals to focus you in on what is important to you. Write them down early, and refer to them regularly or whenever the lawyer’s letter comes in.
Be aware of your emotions
Speaking of lawyer’s letters, how about that pang of anxiety you feel when their email comes in. Being aware of emotions sounds simple but it can be really hard when our emotions get a hold of us. Acknowledge your emotional reactions when they hit. For the lawyer it might be ‘wow, I get really anxious when the lawyer sends an email’. That gut reaction is also a good sign that once you read the email you shouldn’t respond immediately but take your time to think about what you want.
This is also the best advice for responding to text messages from your ex. You want to think carefully before you hit that send button. Be aware of how you are feeling and take the time to breathe, look back at your goals and respond in a way that will contribute to you getting what you want in the long run.
Seek professional help
My belief is that professional help is a must throughout this time. It helped me immensely to understand why I was feeling the way I was and gave me the platform to put all my emotions out there to someone who could help me to manage them. This was my key to not being bitter after it all (which was my goal). Whether it is a psychologist, counsellor or coach, you will always feel clearer after getting professional help and strategies to help you through this time.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is general information only and is not provided as a substitute for legal/professional advice. If you have a legal/financial/ any other issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or professional before making a decision about your options or personal situation. TheSeparationExchange.com cannot provide legal/professional advice.
ABOUT the Blogger:
Michelle Harrison is an Empowerment Coach specialising in divorce and career coaching.
Having survived her own divorce, Michelle understands the difficulty and uncertainty you might feel and is a strong sounding board as you work through your next steps. Find Michelle in our directory!
The injustice of Separation:" “To me, the worst part was not the fact that you met someone and then left. To me, the worst part was the “way” you left. It was as if “WE” (the kids and I) were never what you wanted.” These thoughts and many that you will read below are...
Re-Calibration...Fathers Day separated? Not many men have children with a partner thinking that they will have to live a life separated from their children due to separation or divorce. Sadly this is a rising situation for many families. The re-calibration to reality...