What does it feel like to realise that you have a failed marriage and you’re getting divorced?
The fairy tales that tell us we will be married to the one partner for our entire life time and we believe them. When that doesn’t happen we instantly feel like a failure. Especially when the whole thing ends in a messy and very emotion filled divorce.
As if living in a relationship that a lot of the time feels like an emotional minefield isn’t enough, we then end up in the divorce process where the pressure cooker is turned up on our emotions.
There’s nothing like a divorce to get the emotions running in overdrive. No matter how hard you try, it feels as if there is no way to control the emotions running so strongly.
You’re angry with your soon to be ex for not understanding you and wanting a fair and equitable divorce. All he’s doing is playing hard ball and wanting more than they deserve. You’re frustrated with your lawyer or legal team, they’re not listening to you and what you want and seem to be rushing you down a path that you don’t understand fully. They provide you with advice and it feels as if it’s putting you in the losing seat. The one where you won’t end up with your fair share of the divorce proceedings.
Divorces are messy
From my own experience, divorces are messy. Why? We start out emotional and we usually remain emotional for the entire time. This equates to ‘messy’ for me as we are not able to be rational and present in the whole process.
A lot of the decisions made during a divorce are based on fear. Our fear of losing what we believe we are entitled to. Them fearing that we’ll take more than what we deserve. Coming from this place of lack and inequality, messy is all that the situation can be.
When there’s all out war, what else would you expect but messy. Have you ever seen a friendly, happy war? No. Wars are about seeing who can win more ground than the other; being super competitive at the other persons expense; winning at all costs.
What about your childhood?
You are going to wonder why in the middle of an article about divorce am I mentioning your childhood. Well, what I noticed in working with people going through a divorce is this:
- the players in our divorce all remind us of our mother, father, or siblings
- their behaviour and reaction in a given situation is playing out something from our childhood, if we stop to look closely at it
- we ourselves are playing out a childhood role or roles that are familiar to us, too.
This means that our divorce isn’t really about our partner, soon to be ex, or the lawyers or anyone else involved. It’s really about our own internal battles with our childhood issues that are being played out in a different forum – the divorce space.
Noticing is a great first step
Your ability to notice where these incidents connect is a great place to start. Notice when you are triggered into an emotional response what situation from your childhood it reminds you of.
Then if you’re able to, write down what is going on for you in that moment. For example, I’m angry with my brother because he’s not playing fair. And you will have a childhood incident with your brother that is the space the current day situation took you to.
We provide support for anyone going through a divorce. We’re here to support you to have a peaceful divorce.