What happens when the Life of our relationship dies?
While I work tirelessly to enable couples to reconnect their relationship and spend quality happy years in love, there are some couples who simply should not remain together or where one person has decided to call it quits. How then do we move on with life after death of your relationship?
When the decision finally comes to separate away from the relationship, how do we do this? We have likely spent many years together, have mutual friends, you both know their family and may have a great relationship with their parents or siblings. What is the result of this relationship dissolution especially if only one of you decides the result is being apart?
How do we move on independently, how to we set up a new network of single friends, where do we live now, how do we divide the house, the items, the kids, the pets? There is an overwhelming amount to consider once the decision to separate occurs. Is it, therefore, any wonder what so many couples stay to work on their relationship happiness to avoid this tremendous life upheaval.
One of the first things couples really need to do is discuss their separation or their pending separation. Both partners must understand the reason why they and their partner feel as they do. This is nothing about right or wrong; it is about understanding from their perspective to allow us to accept and understand regardless if we agree or not.
This is when conflict and escalation can increase to a frightening level. Accusations are thrown, insults flung and words are exchanged and heard that can not be unsaid. If children are involved, so much hurt and damage can happen at this time, in those initial stages.
Most people believe Counselling is to fix or correct their relationship. However, Counselling also does considerable work with couples wanting to split in a more amicable manner. The partners can speak, exchange thoughts and emotions in the safety of the Counselling room with a professional who does not take sides. They assist the couple to understand what their partner is saying and feeling. It enables both parties to hear and understand.
Counselling for separation is vital and can certainly assist both partners to find a resonance regarding the decision to separate.
I recommend discussing the children issue early to ensure both parents remain active in their children’s life. Kids should never be used as a tool to hurt the other parent although this is too commonplace, unfortunately. Sure it will hurt the other parent to withhold the children from the parent who has left but be assured the children are the ones that suffer most as they are yet to understand the meaning of the separation or have the ability to process.
I suggest not to discuss selling or dividing assets at this time, in fact, I usually recommend minimum of three months before going there. Emotions need to settle as heightened emotions prevent logical thinking. Know this is going to be a difficult time of adjustment, emotion and change. The life you had planned has been swept away. We must now start to imagine our life very different to what we thought it was going to be, and this takes time.
I strongly suggest both people attend personal counselling sessions to manage their emotional distress as this is what you will experience. The most important things to remember when you are in that separation phase to assist you to recover faster is
- Accept the other person has decided to leave
- Focus on the solution to this created problem rather than the problem itself
- Communicate with your partner for the easiest way to undertake this separation
- Obtain counselling help so you can accept and understand the reasons why
- Have a non-connected third party to mediate issues in dispute (you can obtain an FDRP family mediator via the Attorney General’s website http://www.fdrr.ag.gov.au/Search.aspx
I am not telling anyone to forgive or forget the reasons for this family or relationship dissolution however if you hold on to that anger without understanding their reasons why you can drive yourself crazy which mean they still have control over your emotions. Take this control back. Allow yourself to let go, look forward and move on albeit differently than originally planned.
So often we focus on the problem, what has happened to our family or us, go through the what-if scenarios again and again. This is detrimental and often achieves little. Once the situation has presented and we get past the initial shock and disbelief, we need to place our energy into focusing on the solution to our issue.
Look forward, take steps, obtain professional support and plan your next life phase. Yes, it will be different, but it may also be better, happier and less conflictual. Choices are all yours.