Separation, even when we were the ones to initiate it, is very difficult. No one thinks they will get divorced when walking down the aisle. No one expects to hate their partner a couple of years into the marriage. In cases like this one, it is best if you separate.
Still, you may find yourself posing questions such as, “What did I do wrong? Can’t we work this through? Is there still a chance? How will this divorce affect our children?
Separation, or divorce, is only worth it in case:
- Your relationship makes you rot inside.
- You feel like your partner’s roommate—rather than their partner.
- You don’t feel sexually drawn to your partner. The mere thought of touching them disgusts you.
- You have a toxic, violent family environment.
- You feel the need to cheat on your partner, to look for love and intimacy elsewhere.
- You don’t like sharing with your partner.
- You feel like your partner stops your progress.
- You feel like you are not enough for your partner, just as he is not enough for you.
Let me share a controversial opinion: adultery is not a reason for divorce. In relationships where there is cheating, the two partners should simply sit down and talk. Why did you do it? What are you lacking in the relationship? What are you hoping to find elsewhere?
In the case of adultery, both partners are equally guilty. They don’t understand each other’s needs!
- Give your best before you split up. If you have decided to separate, try to give yourselves some time. Over the course of two to three months, do your best. Try everything you learned from books and articles. Try Tantra sex and attend sexual therapy for couples. Try psychotherapy for couples. At this stage, couples often improve their marriage. Their relationships start to improve! If this is not happening, then separate without an ounce of doubt.
- Do not accept tears or pain as a reason to stay married. I can share my own experience – the most difficult thing is to make the decision to get divorced. I cried a lot in my lawyer’s office, and I asked her if this was the right thing to do. “If this is right,” I said, “why does it hurt so much?” She answered that even if you want the divorce, the trauma is still significant. Everyone cries in moments like these. She had gone through a divorce herself, all because her ex-husband had abused her. She, too, cried when she filed her divorce papers. Don’t let tears and pain—yours or your partner’s—stop you. If nothing has helped you make your relationship better, take this brave step and get a divorce!
- Talk about children and your personal possessions. Reach a decision before you go to court. If you struggle to do that, use a mediator’s services.
- Keep the love between you two. Your children need to feel that no matter what is happening, mum and dad still love each other. Remain cordial to your ex-partner. Otherwise, all the troubles you had will shine back at you, possibly through your child’s behavior.
- Give yourself some time. Mourn your divorce. Cry as much as you need.
Divorce is like a death of sorts-it makes you go through the exact same stages. At first, you are in denial: you cannot believe this is happening! Then, you’re angry. “Why did I do this? Will I die alone?” you ask yourself. This worry prompts many to make rushed decisions and date unsuitable partners. Then, you delude yourself. “Everything is okay,” you note while putting on your rose-colored glasses. Finally, you reach acceptance. You accept this new reality. To cope with a divorce, you usually need 10% of the time that you were together with your ex-partner. Once this time has passed, you can focus on finding a new partner and falling in love once again!
If you like to work further on the topic, we recommend the webinar The New Me. Life after a break-up.
Psychologist, family therapist, author
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