Tips from a Licensed Psychotherapist

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When "I do" turns to "I don't" Separation & Divorce

Right now, you may feel sadness, anger, shock, relief or surprise.., or anything else. Separation and divorce are a huge life event and a major stress…even if you and your partner both agree the relationship should end. Housing, money, children, pets. dating, and sex are all big issues that suddenly need to be navigated. You may ask what’s next for yourself and feel happiness, uncertainty, fear, or confusion. Or, you may hope that you and your partner can reconcile and work out your problems. One thing is clear when separation or divorce are looming: the love you promised to each other forever is in serious danger.

 Perhaps you and your spouse agreed to split up. Or maybe there have been angry scenes and tears. You may still love your partner, while they’ve fallen out of love, or vice versa. How do you make a decision about whether to stay or leave? One good rule is to ask yourself whether you are better off with or without that person. The question isn’t easy.

 Most of us select a partner based on many factors, some not even conscious to us. For example, you unconsciously married a very controlling woman, because your Mother was controlling, so you found someone familiar. While you may hate feeling controlled by a woman, it’s also known and predictable to you. Or you chose a man who’s very adventurous because he lives out the excitement you are afraid to experience for yourself. Because the process of finding a partner is so complex like this, the process of unhooking is also complicated.

 If you and/or your partner are contemplating a split, talk with a licensed, experienced psychotherapist to help you sort things through. A good therapist will help you think about the decision, rather than telling you what to do.

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