Very few folks go into marriage lightly; similarly, despite divorce and its stigma being lessened over the past years, my experience as a coupe therapist and family consultant working with Major Family Law in Newcastle is that hardly anybody choses to divorce without considerable soul searching and significant heartache.
Preparing financially and legally, picking the legal team that fits what you want and need is crucial, and working through these areas of divorce and separation is a key imperative, yet in the 4 areas or domains of divorce the other 2 that are present-the parental and the emotional-are critical areas, too that can help steer the journey or be the ruination of things.
Because divorce impacts most strongly on our emotions, and if we don’t find a way to process and understand the impact and meaning of our divorce we can get lost in a series of dysregulated emotions, catapulted into fight or flight-or freeze-and unable to move forwards in the process.
With Major Family Law I’ve worked in the capacity of helping dozens of clients-and hence families-work through painful and often devastated emotions so they can prepare themselves for divorce, meeting the fear of the unknown and helping them grieve the loss of their marriage or couple relationship and often explore some of the historical psychological background that lead to divorce.
The trauma (and often it is traumatic) of a divorce, whether it is the product of betrayal or the feeling that the couple just don’t have anything that connects them anymore, can work to break up not just the couple but the children, too, and it is here where a family consultation and relationship counselling can help to alleviate any psychological distress that the children might experience. It’s so easy to lose track of where you are in the divorce process, and you really are not doing yourself or your family any favours by not getting the most inclusive help you can.
Emotionally preparing yourself for divorce is not a one-size-fits-all formula, for some one or two sessions to discharge and come to terms with the situation might be enough, for others a longer series of counselling sessions might be useful if the issues are more complex.
Here, though are 4 tips on how to become more emotionally prepared
- Get a family friendly divorce lawyer for the legal and financial side of things. As I said (in transparency) I’ve been part of the Major Family Law Team-into their 9th year now!-for some time, and the feedback that I have received from clients is the combination of legal and emotional help has greatly assisted them in the process of divorce
- Emotional process your relationship journey, from the beginning to now, the meaning of the breakup, and discharge your grief and hurt and prepare to move on. This might take time.
- Parentally: tune in not out. We often get lost in the process of divorce and like horses see things through blinkers; taking time to explore the wider issues and tuning into the family can help your children not just survive but thrive through this. The couple relationship might breakup, but the family does not have to
- Socially: create what I call your circle of allies-a trusted team which temporally will comprise the legal, emotional or therapeutic help you need, but has loving, supportive friends who will stick with you through thick and thin.
You need to meet the considerable challenge of divorce and separation in the clearest way possible: you owe it yourself and to your family-and your future to get the best help.
This might be the end of your marriage, but it’s not the end of your life.