There’s no reality, only perception.
When I was going through my first divorce, there was one particular incident that was quite unpleasant. I was greatly affected by it as was my ex-husband.
When I went to see my then therapist the next week and related to her what had happened, she said to me, “This is a divorce. And you are both at war.”
She went on to explain that people will always behave very, very differently when they feel cornered. They will lash out in one way or the other be it physically, verbally or otherwise.
Those were the words that helped me “detach” from the divorce process and really look at it for what it was. A difficult procedure that had to be endured and completed. This way of looking at it helped me feel less “personally attacked” whenever anything went wrong. It was not about me. It was all about the situation and the circumstances that called for the occurrences.
Thing is, when I changed the way I looked at my divorce process, things got a little easier to bear which in turn made me more focused on the issues at hand.
His angry outbursts were “part of the process”. He was not aiming them at me as Soila, he was aiming them at the person who was at the other end, so it could have been me, Jane, Josephine or Sylvia he was just doing what he felt he needed to do for himself. I just happened to be the one on the receiving end.
Change the way you look at your divorce and things might just be that little bit easier to cope with.
Divorce is war – well the majority of them are and that is why an amicable divorce is always considered a rarity.
Divorce is a “break-up” of a once wonderful relationship. But if you think about it, most likely than not, this is not your first break-up. It’s a bigger and badder one that will drain you off every ounce of energy but just like your previous break-up, you survived and you will survive this one too – if you choose to.
Divorce brings out the worst in people – just as in war. So if you were your ex-partner, same situation and same DNA, you would be behaving just as he/she is.
Most importantly, the divorce you’re going through doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life or at any time at all. Just as being laid off work doesn’t define who you are.
I look at divorce as part of life’s journey. You find yourself in it. It’s hard, scary and can cause deep hurt. But you can go through it, survive it and truly grow from that whole experience.
Soila Sindiyo, Child Development Psychologist, Accredited Parenting Practitioner, Trauma Consultant and a contributor to the #AlbertSquareMediation blog