Minimising the pain of divorce
Your love affair has suddenly come to an end. Whatever the grounds for your separation, try not to hurt the person who was once the love of your life. That's a dangerous game in which both of you will be the losers.
Any divorce is painful. Whatever the grievances are that you may have today, you are separating from a partner who you have been in love with and who you know like the back of your hand. Here's some advice to get off to a good start again.
Don't try to rewrite the history books
"I'm frequently taken aback by the capacity of men and women for tarnishing their past relationship by laying the blame on each other. They hurt each other," a relationship psychologist tells us.
Your really need to restrain yourself: don't harass your ex, don't tell the taxman about them, don't make false accusations and don't get violent! Sounds reasonable, right?
Instead of wearing yourself out getting angry and arguing to no avail, leave it up to the judge (or mediator, if it has come to that). He will decide between you, and even if you're not really satisfied with the final decision, you'll at least agree that it is fair and you won't feel cheated. And then you can get on with a new life.
Try and sppare your close friends
Be honest with your friends about what's happening but don't ask them to choose between you and your spouse, or to listen to your moaning and complaining for months on end.
Also, don't go into embarrassing detail - would you like it if your ex spilled the beans on your little quirks and personal shortcomings?
The more you leave your friends out of your divorce, the more chance you stand of them staying your friends. But be realistic: you are bound to lose some close friends, who will feel awkward with this new situation - but on the upside, your new single status will give you loads of opportunities to make new ones.
In all cases, leave your children out of it
Your children are having a hard time of it.... Face it - during a divorce, they are subjected to a situation that they are unable to control and they need to let their feelings out.
- Be understanding when your children cry, sulk or display out of character behaviour. Make it very clear to your children that what is happening is in no way their fault because they can think that they are responsible. They need love, reassurance and simple, repeated explanations of what is going on and what their near future will be.
- Both parents should be telling the children that they love them very much and above all, don't get them to take sides. They are already torn between both their parents, and troubled by conflicting emotions: it is completely counterproductive to try and turn the kids against your ex-partner. And DO NOT use your kids as your 'confidante' - they are your children, not your chums, so should not be privvy to all the sordid details...
- And because we are only human after all: if you do snap at them nastily, make up for it once you've calmed down and explain that you didn't really mean those dreadful things you said. Children find a divorce stressful and they will be able to contextualise your stress and emotional outbursts if you explain things to them.
- Even if you and your ex-spouse are angry, don't forget that for the well-being and stability of your children, there should be clear communication between the two homes; be it about a child's sore throat, the school fair or Christmas or birthday presents. As such, try to be conciliatory (as difficult as that may be), including helping your ex out sometimes if something crops up.
- Maintaining contact (and that doesn't have to include friendship) is a positive and mature approach, far more preferable than pointless spiteful anger. Your children will have an easier time coping with divorice if their parent's bickering actually ceases once they are separated.
Do you have issues? Psychological problems? Are you feeling depressed? Is your child foundering? Never be afraid to consult a psychologist, psychiatrist or a counsellor, to talk to and to help you get through it all.
Copyright © 2010 Doctissimo
Get more on this subject…