Surviving pre-divorce separations
As the name implies, this separation is often physical and precedes the filing for a divorce. Sometimes it seems clear that you are headed for divorce, maybe because you want out of the relationship. Sometimes both partners want out, but quite often one partner feels wounded or resistant to divorce, while the other appears more determined to leave.
Regardless of which position you are in, it is important to be clear about decisions regarding child custody and care, finances, ongoing family tasks, and work. You might need a lawyer’s or mediator’s help to work through this process.
The wounded partner may feel unable to survive emotionally, financially, or otherwise without the other partner. In these situations the partner being left is at a much higher risk of emotional pain and hardship than the partner wanting out of the relationship.
We could say that a separation has been forced on the resistant partner, who is often much more invested and committed than their partner.
If your partner is asking or telling you he/she wants a divorce, it may feel like your life as you have known it has ended. After working with hundreds of people who have survived a divorce (the divorce rate is somewhere between 40% and 50%), I can tell you that most people survive and eventually grow and develop and learn that life goes on. Getting distance and time from a partner that does not want to be with you anymore can allow you to get in touch with a new side of yourself. Learning to grieve the ending of a relationship may be one of the most difficult times in your life, but at the same time can be the motivation for change and growth. Taking Space offers many examples of how to take charge of you after being left.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it now, your feelings will improve!
Taking Space – How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship
Available in paperback and ebook editions
Audio Course: How to Structure and Manage a Separation
Available for download or as a CD
The Separation Agreement
Available for download or as a hard copy