When I found out my husband had been cheating on me, I felt like the ground had opened up beneath my feet. Suddenly it felt like anything I had believed in was unsure. After some reflection I realised that I had been blind about how badly our marriage had been going, and I can't live in that lie anymore. The only way through the darkness is to leave the lies and cheating behind and start over in my life, committed to honesty in all my relationships. This blog is all about my journey through separation and divorce into my new honest life.
If things seem to have broken down irreconcilably, you may be resigned to thinking about divorce proceedings. These can be complicated times and will often take a fair amount of thought and some reconciliation if a level of harmony is to be achieved. Yet this can be difficult, because both parties may not be on the same page in terms of their psychological position, and this can affect the negotiation. What do you need to be aware of, so this doesn't trip you up?
The Five Phases
Psychiatrists tell us that there are five distinct stages involved with grief, and you are likely to go through all of these phases as a relationship dissolves. These are denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance, and each one of them takes a different amount of time to work through, depending on the individual.
What Phase Are You in?
It's likely that you will view the entire divorce proceedings very differently, according to what stage you are in at that moment. As every individual has a different way of dealing with grief and going through the five stages, it's highly likely that you're going to be looking at things in a different frame, as compared to the other party. You can imagine how difficult it would be to try and negotiate fairly if you are fully in the "anger" stage, and you may not be able to look out for your own best interests if you're in "sadness".
Being Ready at the Right Time
Fair or unfair, there will come a time when a decision must be made about settlement. This may or may not be in a court of law, but you need to determine whether you're going to be in the best condition to look after your own interests then. This may mean that you have to bring in the help of an expert, such as a counsellor or a psychologist, if it will help you to get to the acceptance stage and mean that you are most aware. Certainly, it is possible that your former partner will be very considerate and only interested in doing the right thing for you as well, but that's not always the case.
Making a Plan
Don't underestimate the strain you could be under and the difficulty you could face if you're in the "wrong" phase of your grief journey. Engage with your lawyer as early as possible and ask them to help you prepare by bringing in psychological help if needed.Share