People undergoing separation and divorce go through seven stages of grief. It’s important to understand the grief cycle and know what stage you are in so you can keep track of yourself emotionally and get the support you need while you are having logistical and decision-making conversations with your partner. Often, your partner will be in a different stage of the grief cycle. There are also two other emotion-related “feedback loops” going on, having to do with who initiated the separation and who was the recipient of the divorce request. The initiator and the recipient are going to be in different places in how they handle the divorce emotionally. When people are in different emotional stages, things can get complicated, especially when children are involved. Kids can get lost in the shuffle of their parents’ emotions.
In addition, there are usually different emotional reactions going on with regard to financial concerns. The partner who was in charge of the family finances will be going through different emotions than the person who was not making a lot of the financial decisions. People who were less in charge of finances and big decisions may feel frightened, wondering how they will survive. They often feel that they need things to be more concrete, whereas people who had been in charge of the finances might feel like they need things to be more flexible. They often experience fear that they are going to be taken advantage of. They want the other person to see the value of the contribution they have made, be reasonable in their negotiations, and consider the financial needs of both parties.
Where you are emotionally in these different areas will have an effect on how you will go through your divorce process. That’s why I work alongside divorce facilitators in the Divorce With Dignity Network. They are professionals trained in managing the concrete details of the divorce, while I, as a seasoned therapist and trained mediator, can help people navigate the emotional part of divorce. Together we make a good team. We invite you to come to our presentation, and find out more about how we can support you in the divorce process.