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Divorce and Separation

Advice to Help You Accept Those Words You Never Thought You'd Hear...

By Susie and Otto Collins

"I want a divorce."

At the time that you and your spouse walked down the aisle and pledged wedding vows to one another, it's likely that you believed you would stay married for as long as you both lived.

When your partner informs you that he or she is moving out and filing for divorce, these are probably words that you never thought you'd hear, even if you two have had a rocky relationship.

It can be difficult to come to grips with this new reality that's either about to come or has already been put into motion.

This new reality-- you being single, living alone (or as a single parent), no longer sharing a bed and home with your partner-- usually means very big changes.

Everyone handles stress, life upheaval and change differently.

Many people find it easier to walk around in a state of denial about the big changes happening.

They might try to convince themselves that the other person is just angry or going through a rough time and won't actually file for divorce.

Others may hold out hope that they will be able to "win back" their soon-to-be ex.

When the papers are actually filed and suitcases are packed, it is hard to deny any longer.

While there certainly are cases in which an estranged, separated or divorced couple reconciles and gets back together again, this is not what happens the majority of the time.

Some statistics show that only about 10% of couples who have divorced end up getting re-married.

You can't know what's going to happen in your future. What you DO know is what's going on right now.

You can make decisions that will serve you (and your children) more effectively is you accept what's
happening right now with your marriage.

Feel your emotions.
As you are trying to cope with a transition like divorce, it can be easy to pretend that it's just not happening or to deny it.

As we mentioned above, this is not in your best interest in the short-term or the long-term.

You've probably got a lot of emotions that are bubbling just under the surface as you try to avoid coming to grips with the break up of your marriage.

It's absolutely essential that you allow those
emotions to come up and move through you.

Emotions such as sadness, grief and anger might seem overwhelming and this could be one reason why you are holding them down.

Remind yourself that it can be far more damaging to NOT let those feelings out than it is to express them.

Write in a journal, burn old letters or photos, yell, cry, dance, paint-- do whatever it takes to allow your feelings to flow in ways that do not hurt you or another person.

Get help and support from a counselor or coach if your feelings seem out of control or overwhelming.

This allowing and releasing of feelings can help you actually be clearer as you face the changes going on.

Practice looking for possibilities.
As you stop denying the divorce and start to accept your situation, it can be easy to jump to conclusions and feel trapped by what you see.

When upheaval such as this happens, sometimes people assume that their lives, their ex and themselves are stuck with no options.

Here are some common examples of assumptions you may be making...

You might assume that you will be unable to pay the bills and that you will have to go into bankruptcy.

You might assume that you will go broke having to pay spousal support.

You might assume that you and your ex will constantly argue about how to raise the kids.

You might assume that you won't see your kids as often as you'd like to or, conversely, that your ex will be an absent parent.

There are so many future conflicts and negative experiences that you can imagine-- and it's probable that few or none of these have actually occurred.

Don't heap even more stress and upset on yourself by assuming the worst about your ex, yourself or your situation.

Instead, get into the habit of pausing when you begin to think that things will "have to" be a certain way. Ask yourself what other options are possible.

Believe it or not, you can bring greater ease to yourself and more fully accept what's going on right now when you re-train yourself to see a wide array of possibilities for your present and your future.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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