There’s no two ways about it: most divorces are painful. Some become complicated, vindictive, and downright nasty. During this stressful time, it’s easy to lose rational thought and be compelled by emotion only, which is a dangerous mistake.
This blog entry reviews four mistakes commonly made when logic gives way to raw emotion such as sadness and anger, and how you can prevent them from happening.
Mistake #1: Refusing to give up on a difficult marriage
Wanting to save your marriage is normal and often advisable, especially if children are involved. The two of you could consider counseling and explore other ways to save the marriage. But if your spouse still insists on getting divorced even after all reasonable efforts have been made to save the relationship, you need to let go. Any further efforts to win him or her back will only exhaust you and make the situation even worse.
Mistake #2: Putting the kids in the middle
When your spouse announces that they want to end the marriage, you may be tempted to seek out allies – people who will validate you by hating on your soon-to-be-ex and assuring you that you’re not at fault. If you need this type of support, turn to your family and non-mutual friends. Never drag the children into the conflict. Bad-mouthing their other parent or preventing that parent from seeing them will be traumatizing, and what little relief you experience will never make up for alienating them from you in this manner.
Mistake #3: Jumping immediately into the dating pool
Some people try to survive the divorce process by searching for a new partner, someone who will help you get through the pain and fill the emotional void created by your spouse’s departure. Resist the urge to create dating site profiles and hit the bars: you’re likely much too vulnerable right now, and whoever you meet may wind up as collateral damage before it is all over. Don’t seek a new relationship when you’re still in a state of emotional flux.
Mistake #4: Neglecting to seek help for yourself
Because it is perceived as a personal failure, divorce can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling to cope, don’t put off seeing a therapist. Therapy can help you process destructive feelings, accept the end of the marriage, and build a new perspective. You can also learn more about what you really need in a relationship and emerge with a stronger sense of self.
If you’re facing divorce, we can help you through this difficult time. Please contact us at 503.227.0200 today!