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How can you deal with the emotional strains and stresses of separation and divorce

One of the first things people think about when ending a relationship is the legal implications and this is quite right as they do need to be considered fully. However, one of the first things I always discuss with my clients is the emotional side of things and why we make the decisions we do and why we react to certain situations. This is particularly important when you’re dealing with relationship issues as so often we perpetuate a cycle because we keep reacting in the same way to a certain set of circumstances.  So we need to be constantly aware and try to stay in control of our emotions

It’s also good to remember that when a couple separate it is so often the case that one person has reached a decision to separate well before the other. In many ways the person that has reached this decision first has the emotional advantage because they’ve had time to build up to this point. The flip side of this is when the decision to separate comes as a complete bolt out of the blue.

When discussing a settlement or possible resolution to issues it’s really important to remember where you are in the emotional evaluation of your situation. If you’re the one that has instigated the separation then you may be way ahead of your partner emotionally and this needs to be remembered if you are thinking about putting together a proposal for a settlement. If they’re not emotionally ready to deal with that proposal it is very unlikely to be accepted by them so you may be better to wait until they’ve had an opportunity to catch up. On the other hand, if the separation has not been of your doing then you may well need time to reflect on your situation before you’re able to rationally think about what is a fair settlement.

As I’ve mentioned above, the key to this is to understand where you and your partner are emotionally. This will allow you both to make reasoned and informed decisions.

Teresa Payne