Separation Anxiety Upon Deciding to Divorce

Immediately after one party leaves the home, couples often relate that they experience a great deal of stress. While the anger that fueled the fighting or silent treatment may still be present, the protagonist is no longer physically present in the quiet spaces of the day. For families with young children, this vacuum of energy can feel like a bottomless well is developing inside the psyche. One party may fear that their relationship with the children will be compromised, the other may feel overwhelmed by shouldering the duties of the daily routine alone.

Please try to be patient and remain in the moment for the week or two ahead.

This means literally sticking with diversions that do not excite, alarm, fatigue, or otherwise upset you. Read a book, the good Book is a favorite. Exercise, watch funny movies, draw/write/journal, clean, take a hot bath...etc. If social networking & gossip are causing added grief, by all means necessary, hang up, turn off, walk away.

Understand that just the separation is enough to absorb this first month. Trying to rush to conclusions or add explanation / blame will not help end this bind any sooner. At best, one may make a rash judgement/ false assumptions (ass+u+me nothing), but the more likely event is rationalizing reasons to maintain the breakup and losing the opportunity to focus on personal contributions to the marital climate.

The best tool for change is a mirror not a chisel.

Why not give peace a chance? There is nothing to lose and everything to gain:

"Be still & know Him."

Priority right now is avoiding exhaustion and trying to focus on one thing at a time. With the division of resources (time, rest) being unequal as discussed, social outlets will be another thing that doesn't feel "fair" or balanced between parties. Avoid comparing your current circumstances with the other party's. There is a plus and a negative to every issue.

By avoiding rationalizing against the other party ("they have X or Y easier") then it will be easier to see what they do not have. Use every opportunity to show some generosity towards them for that gap by taking a positive attitude about them; use the time you are with the children wisely/ they will need a little extra attention and reassurance; when solo, try to get some fresh air, go for a movie w/ a peer, etc.

It will do more good than trying to weed out possible antagonists - It's a game of constant sorrow b/c one can't ever eliminate every person that may or may not influence the marriage.

Family members usually have a greater influence on people at this stage, so please tailor a (family/friends) support network to the advantage of resolution by refraining from criticizing spouses when seeking outside support. Try to practice saying at least one positive thing about the spouse and focus rather on personal difficulties, such as being apart, possible regrets for this marriage that originated within, not with the other person. It is so easy and common for people to try to help by shifting the blame over to their non-relative. It is an attempt to lighten their loved one's burden, but understand that may do more harm to the loved one. While no one wants to see their family/friend hurting, no one can know the whole story...ergo, by lack of knowledge or simply bias, one may give rash advice to try to speed thru this circumstance. There is usually a quick answer, but no easy ones.And a fast solution is usually a reaction which did not allow for time to evaluate all the consequences- both immediate and long term.

Simply put, divorcing parents do not have the luxury of avoiding repairing their relationship. One way or another, ironically "for better or for worse" they will be in close partnership for sometimes more than a decade to truly are a lifetime commitment and so one must set aside fear, anxiety, pride, self-preservation, criticism, contempt in order to starve anger and weed it out first.

Above all, love one another as Christ loved you.

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