Accepting Divorce: How to Achieve This Stage

Getting over heartbreak and moving on could be described as a skill most of us acquire through life. In modern society, people can have multiple partners and relationships during their lifetime, allowing them to understand what it feels like when a relationship fails. We learn what it feels like to be hurt, but also how guilty we feel when we hurt someone we love. And we also know the aftermath. It hurts a lot for a while, and then it gets better.

When it comes to divorce, especially when children are involved, the stakes are higher. But many of us can still rely on what we learned from previous failed relationships. Some people may have a harder time than others and might need professional guidance on how to heal from a divorce, particularly if it caused lasting depression or low self-esteem. But most people  agree that divorce is hard and that getting through it and coping with your feelings requires significant effort and perseverance.

What Are The Stages Of Divorce?

Not all marriages are the same; each person will experience divorce in their own way and deal with it differently, but there are some general, objective phases most people go through. You might not experience all of these stages, or not in this exact order, but to get a general overview of what to expect, these are the commonly encountered stages pre and post divorce:

  • Disillusionment in your marriage, your partner, and the relationship you have can last for years before you even think of divorce.
  • Denial. People usually assume that they’re going through a rough patch and expect things to get better.
  • Resentment and dissatisfaction after the realization that your relationship is not improving, and the “rough patch” has turned into a new normal. This could lead to fights and blaming one another, or a quiet depression.
  • Anger or fear. One or both partners may start to feel persistent anger towards the other or fear that there’s no hope for their marriage.
  • Deciding to divorce and initializing the process, after the anger subsides. Partners finally accept the fact that the marriage can’t be saved and start looking into the technicalities of the divorce process.
  • The guilt stage may or may not happen to everyone. People who blame themselves for the failure of their marriage usually experience guilt due to certain decisions they made or failed to act in crucial moments. And, sometimes the guilt they feel towards themselves for staying too long and the personal pain that comes with self-disrespect.
  • Acceptance is the phase when people come to terms with the fact that the relationship with their spouse was deeply flawed and unhealthy, and begin opening up to the option of getting another chance to feel happy and fulfilled.
  • A new beginning is the final stage you’ve been trying to reach all along. Achieving it could take a while, sometimes even years, but as new people and experiences start bringing joy to your life you will learn to let go of negative feelings and resentment from the past that were holding you back. You may finally be able to forgive both your partner and yourself for all the pain you went through.
How Can I Finally Overcome Divorce

Why Am I Struggling To Overcome Divorce?

You’ll probably feel a lot of mixed emotions when you get divorced. The chances are you’ve been feeling them for a long time while you were contemplating the divorce, after realizing that your marriage was not what you had hoped for. It is normal to feel hurt, confused, depressed, or angry; even if you’re the one who chose to ask for a divorce. 

Keep in mind that experiencing all these feelings, even the contradictory ones, is perfectly normal. Resentment, guilt, numbness, insecurity, and even the desire for revenge; are all natural feelings when it comes to divorce.

You are not alone when it comes to those feelings and, some of the reasons you experience them are quite logical:

  • You’re losing a person you love. Divorce is not a switch that can just turn that love off unless you already stopped loving your partner long before the marriage ended. You might regret your decision, and moving on might seem impossible at times.
  • Divorce leads to breaking up your family, and not just your immediate one. You may break ties with your spouse’s side of the family which has become a huge part of your life. People who invest a lot of time and effort into their family life and try to provide their kids with a happy childhood might feel like they failed and damaged them for the rest of their lives.
  • It’s hard to look forward as you mourn all the unrealized potential and plans that involve your spouse and children. It’s natural to feel like the divorce has taken away all the dreams for the future you shared with your spouse.
  • You may also feel shame if you’re the one that ended the relationship. Many people beat themselves up for not being able to save their marriage. This can damage their sense of self-worth and make them feel unlovable.
  • Divorce won’t suddenly make you happy even if you’re the one who pushed for it. The feeling of loss will linger for a while.
  • Some of your mutual friends might isolate you and take your spouse’s side.
  • You may have trouble trusting people again and lose confidence in both yourself and others.

How Can I Finally Overcome Divorce?

It may seem like the feelings you’re experiencing after divorce will last forever. Many people even compare them to the death of someone you love. Don’t forget that it’s perfectly normal to feel sad, depressed, or even terrified of the future. But eventually, you will move on. “When will I get over my divorce” is a question that could constantly be on your mind and the answer might sound like a cliché, but there’s a good reason behind it: give yourself time. Everybody heals at their own pace. If it takes you longer than you expected, don’t let it get you down.

Some of the things you might do to speed up the process include:

  • Seeing a professional if you feel like you need to explore your feelings and actions that lead to the divorce. This may give you closure so you can finally move on.
  • Don’t be afraid of self-reflection, even if it leads you to expose some uncomfortable truths about yourself. It will ultimately help you.
  • Don’t let your pain influence your children’s well-being. You’ll be a much better example to your children as a strong, happy and dignified parent, than a married but unhappy one.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the past. Maybe your old plans and hopes for the future fell through, but you can make new ones, more suitable to your current needs and desires.
  • Accept that we all make mistakes and that you probably made some either by  initially choosing your partner or mistakes you made during the marriage. Don’t let this destroy your self-esteem, and make you feel worthless or unworthy of love.
  • Spend time with your friends. Think about the friendships that make you feel good and turn to them for support. Even though you may have trust issues, try to make some new friends too.
Why Am I Struggling To Overcome Divorce

How to heal from divorce and learn to find intimacy in new relationships

To learn to love yourself again make your needs a top priority with the help of experienced PIVOT coaches. They can guide you to remember what your hopes and dreams were before your marriage, and examine if they’ve been pushed aside. This may finally be the right time to work on making them happen. Another safe way that can help you explore your feelings and options is by attending one of our Glass House retreats. Take the time to try new things and uncover new ways of thinking. Focusing on self-care can help you recover from a failed marriage. You can learn to trust people again and avoid potential intimacy problems in relationships when you feel ready to try again

Divorce Preparation: How to Handle It

Most people’s biggest fear about getting divorced is the fear of being alone. We get attached to our partners and usually stay attached even when things aren’t working out, fearing all the negative effects of a divorce and dreading they won’t be able to get over their divorce. It’s common to fear separation and feel like you won’t be able to find love again. However, thinking things through in advance and learning to deal with these fears can help you get through the divorce.

People often feel like they somehow failed when their marriage falls apart, but staying in a relationship that’s making you miserable doesn’t feel like much of a success either. At least you gave it a try and learned some valuable lessons about relationships, intimacy, and yourself. This can keep you from making similar mistakes in the future. Some people can pinpoint exactly where it all went wrong, while others realize that they’re not able to stay in a relationship that has been slowly evaporating over time. 

How Do I Emotionally Prepare For Divorce?

The best way to prepare for an overwhelming mix of emotions that are about to hit you is to consider your biggest fears and then find a way to manage them. Some of them might be irrational and may pass once you finally take that step, or you might need to discuss them with a professional. Some fears, however, are completely justified, but that doesn’t mean that there are no solutions or ways to prepare for what’s coming.

To make it easier for yourself, but also for your children and spouse, try to:

  • Surround yourself with friends and family for both emotional and practical support.
  • Do your best to treat your spouse with respect.
  • Keep your interactions civil and try to avoid making any angry or resentful statements.
  • Avoid creating emotional problems for your children. Even though divorce can be quite stressful and painful, try to not let your children feel it. Don’t make them take sides or involve them in any potential fights between you and your spouse. Keep your conversations with others PRIVATE so your children do not hear you speak about their other parent in disrespectful ways.  
  • Prepare for the financial stress as soon as possible. Staying focused on more practical matters can keep you from getting caught up in self-pity and desperation.
  • Acknowledge the possibility that you might be the problem. Particularly if you kept choosing the same type of partner throughout your life, and having similar issues with all of them. If this is the case, your best option is to explore the underlying issues behind your behavior and feelings, so you can move on to heather relationships in the future.

What Do I Ask Myself Before Getting A Divorce?

Before making the final decision about divorcing your partner you’re bound to do some serious soul-searching. For most people, this is one of the most complex decisions they’re faced with in their entire lives. So, make sure that it’s truly what you want, explore your feelings and reasons for wanting divorce with a professional if necessary, talk to your friends and family, and vent as much as you need to; but also make sure to calmly consider some of these questions before announcing your intentions to divorce to your partner:

  • Are you sure that your partner is aware of your dissatisfaction with your marriage? Sometimes people don’t realize what the problem is before it’s too late. Make sure you’re both aware of the issues in case something can still be done to save your marriage.
  • Do you believe that there is a way to save your marriage? Do you know what it is? This is a question you need to ask yourself, but also your partner. Think about things they could do to make things better, and ask what they think you could do.
  • Are you sure you’d be happier if you leave your partner? They may not satisfy every single need you have in life, but nobody can do that. It’s unrealistic to expect that all your needs can be fulfilled by only one person. Try to focus only on the most important expectations you have from your partner.
  • Do you still love your partner? This prevents many people from ending unhealthy relationships or marriages. The truth is that loving somebody doesn’t mean you’re right for each other. 

Sometimes you just can’t make the relationship work. Leaving someone you love is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make, but if you’re consistently unhappy, and can’t find a solution to save your marriage, accept that there’s no other way. This kind of ambivalence is common in many relationships. Don’t allow it to make you waste years of your life, or your partner’s.

What Can I Do Before My Divorce

What Can I Do Before My Divorce?

To avoid unnecessary hardships for your entire family, don’t threaten with divorce until you’re ready to file for it. Your partner may get into fight mode and, aside from creating an uncomfortable situation at home, they may try to hurt you financially or find ways to get full custody over your children. This could be extremely stressful for everyone involved.

To avoid at least some of the negative effects of divorce, when you do make the choice, prepare yourself by:

  • Considering the custody of your children if you have any, and trying to work out a temporary plan before the divorce is finalized.
  • Minimizing the effect of divorce on your children by sharing parenting time with your partner.
  • Making the divorce process more efficient by preparing all the necessary documents in advance. This will make it both faster and less expensive.
  • Being financially independent from your spouse and making sure that you have enough money to support yourself and your children. The divorce proceedings can last a few months so if you’re relying on alimony, it may take a while to get it.
  • Separating your finances and having your own credit card and bank account if you didn’t before.
  • If your divorce is not amicable you might need to protect your interests, so look into finding reliable legal advice. And, remember that some lawyers are interested in keeping the “fight” alive.  That translates to more money out of pocket for you and in some cases –  your community property.
  • If you’re getting divorced due to domestic violence, be prepared for things to escalate when you ask for a divorce, so have a safety plan ready. In some cases, this might mean getting a court protection order.
What Do I Ask Myself Before Getting A Divorce

Get Over The Negative Effects Of A Divorce With PIVOT’s Relationship Coaching

Going through a divorce may be a relief for some people, but it’s more common to feel isolated and scared of the uncertainty your new single life will bring and wonder how long it takes to get over a divorce. You don’t have to go through the whirlwind of your feelings alone. Experiencing the need to discuss and examine your emotions is perfectly normal. You can work through unresolved feelings in one of the residential Glass House retreats and learn how to cope with them constructively.

If you feel like you might benefit more from individual coaching, PIVOT’s relationship advocates can help you identify all the warning signs that eventually lead to divorce and turn these insights into motivation to improve yourself and your relationship with your ex-spouse, if possible. You can turn the end of your marriage into an opportunity to reclaim control over your life and create a healthier connection with your feelings and needs.

Considering Divorce: Know if You Need to Go Down That Road

Getting a divorce is one of the most stressful life events people go through. We might be fully aware that our marriage isn’t working, but the very thought of ending everything we’ve been building with our partner and starting again fills many people with dread. Even if your marriage hasn’t been a happy one for years, deciding to finally end it is a life-changing decision. 

Being without your partner might feel scary so deciding to divorce requires a lot of reflection and consideration. Going back and forth, and changing your mind repeatedly is not uncommon. It could take a long time to finally reach the decision and follow through with it.

However, if you feel like you did your best to save your marriage and attempted everything you could think of to make things work, including getting professional help and speaking to a lawyer, it may be time to file for divorce. Since this huge change affects other areas of your life too, you might be asking yourself if how to stop your divorce and if a divorce is worth it. There are a couple of ways to find out.

Are There Any Signs That Point To A Divorce?

No marriage is perfect and most of us know very well that most romantic relationships have their challenging phases. Sometimes every fight feels like the end of your relationship, so how can you recognize the signs that you’re heading toward divorce? Either you or your partner might feel that your marriage is unsalvageable, but what are objective and universal signs that there’s no going back?

The common signs of emotional and physical detachment that can help you conclude that your marriage has come to an end usually include:

  • Contempt, resentment, or lack of respect.
  • Defensiveness.
  • No valuable communication, refusal to discuss issues.
  • Incessant mutual criticism.
  • Prioritizing other relationships over the one you have with your spouse.
  • Sudden changes in behavior, spending a lot of time away from home.
  • Other escape behaviors like going out more and making new friends.
  • Thinking about other potential relationships.
  • Lack of interest in physical intimacy.

When Is Divorce A Good Idea?

Sometimes we feel like there’s still hope for our marriage and are actively trying to figure out how to stop the divorce from happening. We might be thinking about ways to reconnect with our spouse and rebuild the relationship. Some people are prepared to forgo their pride and forgive their partners for all the hurt they caused.

Divorce is most likely the best solution if you consistently feel unloved, unhappy, unseen, or are experiencing some type of abuse. If this is the case, you need to make your happiness and well-being a top priority. So if you’re experiencing any of these issues in your marriage, getting divorced is a matter of self-preservation:

  • Physical or verbal abuse, hostile home environment.
  • Your partner suffers from a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and refuses to seek help.
  • Infidelity and dishonesty that make rebuilding trust impossible. 
  • The marriage doesn’t fulfill your needs, the emotional and physical connection is gone, and your partner feels like a stranger.

Are There Situations In Which You Need To Reconsider Divorce?

People consider and reconsider divorce many times before they finally go through with it. If you still love your partner and feel like they love you back, you can attempt to salvage your relationship. Most people will try couples therapy to learn how to recognize damaging behavior patterns and change them. If they succeed, they can get their marriage on the right track again. This requires a lot of challenging work, learning from previous mistakes, and not repeating them. 

Many people get caught up in ambivalent relationships, preventing them from making a clear and final decision about their divorce. The usual definition of an ambivalent relationship describes it as a relationship in which at least one partner doesn’t know where they stand. If one or both partners are unsure of their feelings, they might have difficulty deciding if they want to stay in the relationship or not. Things don’t have to be severely toxic to feel like something is missing.

On the other hand, people can be extremely dissatisfied with their marriage but feel like they can’t do better, so they remain in the confusion of what to do. Whatever the case, ambivalent partners feel anxiety and frustration as they can’t bring themselves to end things, but feel dissatisfied with the relationship they’re in. They’re torn between the options of staying together and getting a divorce. 

Are There Situations In Which You Need To Reconsider Divorce

How Do I Propose A Divorce?

It’s quite rare that one’s intention to ask for a divorce comes out of the blue. Both partners are usually well aware that their relationship hasn’t been working for a while. One of the partners needs to finally come out and say it. If that partner is you, even though you might be holding some grudges or feel betrayed or hurt by your partner, try to do your best to keep things civil. This is not only for their benefit, or the benefit of your children.  It is also for you. Learning to put emotional distress aside and deal with things in a practical way is what’s best for you too.

You can work through your unresolved feelings with a therapist or vent to your friends. However, your partner is no longer a person you can confide in, so try to stay on point, without any unnecessary fights or discussions. Explain your position and feelings calmly and respectfully. Talk about the coordination of the divorce process so you can both get out of your unhealthy relationship without hurting each other any further. Even if you don’t feel that you could be friends with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, try to communicate calmly and politely for the sake of your children, if you have any, and to avoid exacerbating the emotional distress.

Here are some tips on how to do it in the least hurtful way:

  • Plan what to say and try not to ambush your partner. Even if they’re aware that your marriage is not working, they might be in denial and not expecting a divorce.
  • Choose an appropriate time so you can talk undisturbed for as long as necessary.
  • Try to stay calm and avoid heated statements, but be prepared for anger, blaming, and agitated reactions.
  • If you’re sure that divorce is what you want, don’t delay and waste your own and your partner’s time. As soon as you tell your partner about wanting to get a divorce, the sooner the both of you can start getting over the failed marriage and begin the healing process.
  • Try not to blame your spouse for the failure of your marriage and avoid digging up any past quarrels. Calmly explain how you feel and avoid getting sucked into a fight. This is hard to do so if you find yourself slipping into blaming your partner, apologize and shift your attitude as soon as you are able. 
  • Set boundaries. Even if you’re feeling guilty about being the one to end your marriage don’t try to comfort your partner by being overly affectionate or listen to their plea for reconciliation. This can send mixed signals and give them false hope of getting back together.
When Is Divorce A Good Idea

Get Guidance From PIVOT Relationship Advocates If You’re Ambivalent About Getting A Divorce 

Whether you’ve only begun to contemplate divorce, or you’re going through it right now, there are professional coaches you can turn to for personalized solutions. You can take some time away from the everyday stress that this huge change brings to all areas of your life and explore your feelings in one of our Glass House retreats, before making the final decision. 

By learning to let go of anger and resentment you can make yourself emotionally available for new experiences or for an attempt to save your marriage. If your divorce is already finalized, our coaches can help you find balance and strength to continue your life with renewed optimism, self-esteem, and above all, love for yourself.

Reconciliation: How To Know If You Can Do It

Reconciliation after a separation or breakup is one of those highly personal experiences that people have diverging opinions about. Some people wouldn’t get back with an ex-partner because they firmly believe that people can’t change, and if the relationship failed once, it failed for a reason.

There are also those couples that seem to be breaking up and getting back together almost every couple of weeks. However, assuming that most of us don’t belong to these extreme cases – how can we tell when relationships are worth saving and working patiently on repairing?

The main fact to take into consideration is why the breakup happened in the first place. Some people simply fall out of love, while others hurt their partners terribly, causing irreparable damage to their relationship. Some individuals get cheated on, having to decide if this is something they can forgive and whether they can restore the broken trust. There are also the very extreme cases of physical and verbal abuse, and in such cases of domestic violence, for most, reconciliation isn’t an option.

For now, let’s focus on the more common examples of marital crisis and separation with the intent to reconcile. What is it that makes some couples stay together while others split up? Sometimes, a separation can even save marriage because it provides both partners with the opportunity to see what their lives would look like without each other, and it also gives them the time to explore their feelings, needs, and expectations. This way they can come back to the relationship and try to do things differently after learning from previous mistakes.

What Are The Signs That My Partner Wants To Reconcile?

After the initial stress of separation, when things calm down a bit and partners start communicating in a healthy and productive way, signs of reconciliation become visible relatively soon, most commonly within a year or two. If the separation lasts longer without much contact between ex-partners, the chances of getting back together become significantly lower.

If you went into separation with the intent to reconcile some of the common signs that can lead you to the conclusion that your partner is willing and ready for reconciliation and a more committed relationship include:

  • Communication during the separation; both partners are listening to each other more carefully and responding more thoughtfully.
  • The main problems have been identified, addressed, and/or fixed.
  • If the reason for your separation was an affair, the unfaithful partner shows sincere remorse and regret. The other partner shows that they’re ready to forgive and move on.
  • Your partner often brings up happy memories you shared during your time together.
  • Your ex-partner misses you and is not scared of expressing it.
  • They don’t have unrealistic expectations of you or your relationship.
  • They’re coming to you for support when they need it and are open about their feelings.
  • You start spending time together again, and they find various reasons to talk to you, meet you, and spend time with you.
  • You can notice positive changes in your ex-partner’s behavior; they’re in a good mood when you’re spending time together and are genuinely happy to see you, or they might be even flirting with you.
  • They ask mutual friends about you.
How Do I Need To Approach Reconciliation With My Partner

How Do I Know If Reconciliation Is A Good Idea?

Even though reconciliation is possible in most relationships, it won’t happen on its own. This means that something needs to change. Positive change doesn’t just happen. Both partners need to show the will and commitment to make things work. And if this keeps happening consistently over time, some common ground can start appearing again and you can use it to rebuild your relationship.

If you’re not sure whether reconciling is a good idea, start by carefully examining your feelings. Try to be honest about what your relationship is. Can it be held together by love, trust, and commitment to one another and shared goals in life? If you want your partner back, what are the reasons for wanting them back? 

Many people make the mistake of reconciling with their former partners because they feel lonely and they are not used to being alone. Ask yourself what has changed in your relationship. Did both of you change for the better? There’s no point in getting back together if nothing has changed. You will likely end up in the same relational loop.

If you’re dealing with a love-avoidant partner, reconciliation might be harder even if they do show all the signs of wanting to reconcile. Love avoidance is particularly difficult because it means that your partner needs to deal with personal issues beyond your relationship. People exhibiting love avoidance traits usually have difficulty trusting other people and tend to pull away from intimate relationships because underneath it all – they’re scared of getting hurt. 

If this is the case with you or your partner, individual therapy would be recommended before getting back into an already failing relationship. The underlying issues of one’s inability to form healthy relationships with other people must be addressed before they can start working on their romantic relationship.

How Do I Need To Approach Reconciliation With My Partner?

Statistics show that most average separations last about 6 to 8 months. During this time both partners can take a step back, calm down and examine their actions and feelings more objectively. 

If you’re determined to get back together, you need to remind yourself what it was that made you choose one another as partners. This means talking about how you feel and what it is that you want from your relationship in the future.

If you’re sure that getting back with your partner is what you want and are now wondering how to reconcile after a separation, you might want to show them that you’re aware of your mistakes and shortcomings and that you also understand theirs and can forgive them. If you’re the one whose actions caused the separation, you might have to show sensitivity and understanding for the pain your partner is experiencing and allow them sufficient time to heal.

You both need to make an effort to listen to each other without judgment, so you can feel safe expressing your feelings. Commit to respecting your partner’s needs and opinions, and taking them into consideration in everyday life.

How Do I Know If Reconciliation Is A Good Idea

PIVOT Can Help You Reconcile With Your Partner After A Period Of Separation

Before taking any specific action or making any grand gestures, be sure that reconciling with your partner is what you really want and for the right reasons. This means getting to know yourself better and getting in touch with your feelings and needs. If you feel like your partner can respond to those needs in a way that would make you happy, and that you can do the same for them, you can begin the process of reconciliation.

You can take your time to explore your thoughts and emotions, and you can do so with professional help and guidance. Attending an individualized Glass House retreat can help you shut out the noise of the outside world and dive into yourself. Relationships require trust and trusting another person means learning to trust yourself first. You can emerge stronger, self-sufficient, and independent, and therefore capable of forming healthy relationships based on love and mutual respect.

Vital Aspects to Consider Before Separating

To some people, separation may sound like a perfect solution when you feel stuck and don’t know what to do about your relationship. It could be an opportunity to take some time off and get a new perspective on things. Placing some space between you and your partner may allow you to rethink the issues of your relationship, talk to friends, family, or a relationship coach, and figure out what the actual problems are without all the noise of everyday bickering.

To others, it may seem like an insufferable limbo. If you feel the need to control things and know exactly where you stand at all times, separation may feel like taking that old armchair to the basement when you know full well you’ll be throwing it out eventually. Some people, on the other hand, need to get used to not having it around – out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, not really.

If the very idea of separation fills you with dread, you’re certainly not the only one. After all, having all kinds of unpleasant feelings about the possible end of your relationship is perfectly normal. You may feel fear or anxiety, even signs of depression, having obsessive thoughts, and ask yourself questions like: Does my wife miss me during separation? Does she already have someone else? Will she move on right after we separate? Did she ever love me?

These are common feelings associated with a potentially permanent breakup.

What Do I Need To Know Before I Consider Separation?

It often feels like marriage separation advice is everywhere. On the internet, on TV, in magazines, and of course, all your friends and family usually have a lot to say. However, your marriage is not their marriage and only you and your spouse really know what goes on in your relationship.

What’s more, even the two of you may have completely different perceptions. Although you need to take all available advice with a grain of salt, there are certain things that most people consider before making this major decision.

Are you sure that your relationship needs a break? Maybe you have an ambivalent partner who simply can’t take the responsibility of making such an important choice, and if both of you are indecisive you could end up staying in a loveless marriage for years. Many people do this for the sake of their children or because they fear the reaction of their family and friends.

How do you know if you’re truly unhappy? Taking some time away from your marriage is probably for the best if:

  • You’re constantly disappointed by your partner.
  • They make you feel guilty if you spend less time with them than they expect.
  • They pull you away from activities you enjoy, as well as your friends and family.
  • You feel used or taken for granted.
  • You feel like your marriage is constantly draining your energy without providing any positive feelings in return.
  • Your partner is manipulative and makes you feel bad about yourself.

Of course, the reason behind your separation might not be your partner’s fault at all –  your feelings might have changed and you simply stopped loving them the way you used to. Don’t let guilt prevent you from seeking happiness. If you’re worried about the effect your separation might have on your children, don’t forget that a happy and fulfilled parent, even if divorced, is often a better role model than a miserable one in a bad marriage.

How Do I Prepare For My Marriage Separation

How Do I Prepare For My Marriage Separation?

It may be awfully hard to think about your marriage failing, but people do get divorced all the time. It’s important to think about what you’ll do in that situation before you’re in it. That way, there will be fewer surprises if the time comes. If you feel that your marriage is headed in the wrong direction no matter what you do, and the only solution is to spend some time apart and reconsider things, here are some pointers to help you prepare for possible separation.

Some aspects of the separation will be emotionally difficult, so be ready for some stressful and rough patches along the way.

  • Try and give yourself some space away from your spouse while trying to maintain the relationship as healthy as possible.
  • Use your free time to do things that make you happy.
  • When you see your spouse or talk to them, avoid talking about the divorce or rehashing old arguments.
  • Explain the situation to children if they’re old enough to understand. Do your best to not make them take sides.
  • Be honest and talk about things that you’d like to change if your marriage is to continue.
  • See if your partner wants to try and work things out through counseling or a couples intensive.

However, you also need to think about the logistics in case your separation turns into a divorce.

  • Make sure to consult a lawyer you trust. It’s a good idea to have a document ready before you make the final decision so you know what you’re going to do with shared assets and finances.
  • You can also look into mediation; it can help you decide how to split things up amicably. This involves all your assets and belongings, as well as debts.
  • Make sure that you can be financially independent and prepared to live on your own.
  • Think about child custody in case your separation turns into permanent divorce.
  • Avoid jumping into a new relationship right away. You probably aren’t emotionally ready. Your children will need time to get used to the idea of not having their parents together and even more time to accept their parents’ new partners. Besides, there could also be legal consequences to this since you’re not legally divorced yet.

How Can I Ensure A Healthy Separation?

When a significant life-changing situation like this happens, you may feel like nothing is under your control, and that can be scary. Keep in mind, however, that even though there are two of you in the marriage, you alone can choose the way you want to handle your separation. You can’t, of course, predict the behavior and actions of your spouse, however you can do your best to make the process easier for yourself and your children.

Try to keep things as polite as possible by:

  • Not treating your partner like the enemy.
  • Setting the standards of courteous behavior by being a positive example for both your children and spouse.
  • Showing that you can be trusted and that you have no ill intentions.
  • Not lying and doing what you said you would.
  • Not hiding important information.
  • Not stonewalling your partner; answer their phone calls, texts, or emails.
  • Not talking badly about your partner, particularly in front of your children.

Keeping things as civil as possible, even if you’re the one who got hurt, will make this stressful process easier for your kids if you have any, and for both of you as well.

How Can I Ensure A Healthy Separation

PIVOT Helps With Expert Marriage Separation Advice and Guidance

If you’re unhappy in your marriage and are considering taking some time apart from each other, you can start by talking to your partner about how you could try to work things out. If your partner agrees to couples therapy, you could certainly give it a try – it may be just what your relationship needs.

Even if they’re not interested in it, you can focus on your own well-being. Talking things out with a relationship advocate can help pinpoint your needs, and conclude whether those needs can be met by your current partner. You may end up finding your way back to each other, or at least gain insight into why things aren’t working.

You can use your separation to get away from the noise of your daily life and address your feelings and concerns at one of  PIVOT’s individualized retreats. You will learn to adapt your response to stressors and situations that trigger negative feelings about yourself. This can help you achieve a more stable relationship if you decide to get back together, and, more importantly, it will help you become a stronger, self-reliant individual, prepared to cope with whatever comes next.

Separation Anxiety: What It Is And How to Cope

Even if a picture of a crying child as parents leave for work is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the words separation anxiety, the feeling behind it might not seem so distant and childish to many people. The overwhelming fear of being away from people you love, particularly your partner, can be quite familiar to many adults and their relationship. People tend to hide these feelings as they are often viewed as immature, insecure, or even selfish.

Nevertheless, they do exist even in adulthood, and most of us can think of at least a few examples of having felt this way. While it’s perfectly normal to occasionally feel lonely when you’re away from your partner, in some cases these feelings get out of control and cause severe distress and pain to some people. This is a clear sign you need to address them.

What Is Separation Anxiety in Adults?

To get a better understanding of separation anxiety in relationships, let’s go through the most common manifestation of this issue. Like the name says, this is an intense fear of being separated from the people you love and them living their life without you in it. These are the people that make you feel safe and cared for, so this feeling can be perfectly reasonable, as nobody likes to be away from the people they love. However, there are cases when people feel irrational fear, panic, anxiety, and overall distress at the very thought of not being around their loved ones.

These are the situations that need to be recognized and addressed because they can cause severe stress in your everyday life and prevent you from making rational decisions. Separation anxiety is not equally serious in all cases. It can be mild for some, while others may experience overwhelming levels of stress and anxiety preventing them from the most basic functioning in their everyday lives.

People suffering from separation anxiety usually feel a strong and irrational fear they might lose a loved one, most frequently a romantic partner, in various ways. Those can include injury, accidents, illness, and death, or they may fear being abandoned by the person they love.

What Can Cause Separation Anxiety In A Relationship

How Do I Know If I Have Separation Anxiety In My Relationship?

As opposed to small children, whose separation anxiety is common and presents a normal stage in their development, adults who experience these unsettling feelings and fears generally have unhealthy attachment styles.

Adults who suffer from separation anxiety experience both emotional and physical symptoms that include negative thoughts and obsessive worrying. When it comes to physical signs they present as typical anxiety symptoms like having trouble sleeping, headaches, nausea, or feeling unwell without a clear cause.

If you’ve been living with these feelings, you might not even be able to tell that something might be wrong and that you don’t have to feel that way. To get a better understanding of what separation anxiety in a relationship is, consider the following behavior patterns and how much they apply to you:

  • You feel unfounded worry and fear that people you love might disappear from your life or be fatally injured.
  • You refuse to be away from your loved ones and experience severe distress if you do.
  • You have difficulty sleeping when you’re away from your partner and feel extreme fear that something bad might happen to them.
  • You experience frequent depression or anxiety episodes or have panic attacks if separated from your loved one for a period of time, or even just thinking about being away from them.

What Can Cause Separation Anxiety In A Relationship?

The causes of separation anxiety can be divided into several categories. Since this is a type of anxiety disorder, hereditary factors may play a significant role in its development. Children of parents suffering from anxiety are more likely to experience it both as children and grownups. Adults who are already diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder can often experience separation anxiety too as one of the many manifestations of this type of disorder.

However, genetic predisposition is not a guarantee that someone will suffer from these issues. Environmental factors play a significant role as well. Just like someone with a genetic predisposition can maintain happy and healthy relationships, the opposite can happen too. People without a family history of anxiety disorders can develop separation anxiety caused by environmental factors and various stressors experienced later in life.

The most common environmental causes of separation anxiety in adults are:

  • Childhood neglect, abandonment, or other attachment issues.
  • Adverse environmental conditions or stressful changes.
  • Codependency in a romantic relationship and putting your partner’s needs above yours.
  • A history of rejection or abandonment in previous relationships.
How Do I Know If I Have Separation Anxiety In My Relationship

What Are The Negative Effects Of Separation Anxiety On Your Relationship?

Separation anxiety is most obvious in romantic relationships because they make people particularly vulnerable and exposed. Being intimate with someone and opening up to them may also mean opening a lot of suppressed emotions, including those from early childhood. People can be unaware of the underlying causes of their separation anxiety issues and this can cause a wide range of problems in romantic relationships as reasons that drive their behavior patterns or negative feelings, and fears are often not obvious.

Those feelings can manifest as:

  • Extreme possessiveness that can overwhelm the partner.
  • Emotional distress that affects everyday life.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Mood changes, anxiety, and depression.
  • Avoiding leaving the house or other irrational fears.
  • Risky behavior, substance use, or bad decision-making, all driven by fear.

There are, of course, cases when separation anxiety isn’t completely unfounded. People who enter romantic relationships with partners with avoidant attachment styles may be particularly susceptible to these issues. 

Traits of love-avoidant people can make things worse, as they crave independence and self-reliance. They don’t feel comfortable relying on others or having others depend on them, this is why they tend to push their romantic partners away which can easily trigger separation anxiety in their partner.

Learn How To Cope With Relationship Separation Anxiety In PIVOT’s Individual Sessions Or Small Group Settings

If this made you reconsider or recognize some of your behaviors and feelings, you might benefit from learning how to cope with separation anxiety in your relationship. You’re certainly not the only person to feel this way and, while learning how to deal with such feelings requires some effort on your part, professional guidance is available to lead you toward your goal.

You can make the first step through PIVOT coaching sessions. Our experienced and caring advocates can help you recognize and change unhealthy thoughts and behavior patterns, which can, in turn, make you better equipped to deal with your romantic relationship issues. You can learn more about love-avoidant traits, separation anxiety, and how they interact.

You can also work through the unhealthy patterns and learn to deal with these issues in a comfortable group setting of retreats for individuals. Start building trust and love in your relationship and avoid the traps of separation anxiety.