The Emotional Trauma of Break-up, Separation and Divorce
Divorce causes grief, fear, anger, hate, resentment, doubt, regret and guilt and emotional responses and reactions like shame, stress, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Many of these are fear based, driven by uncertainty and not knowing what comes next. The post divorce future looms hostile, with little substance or clarity.
The extent of loss and emotional impact is influenced by factors existing in relationships before the decision to divorce is made.
Consider the pre-upheaval status quo that is unique to each participant:
The division of responsibility and support provided to and by the other;
Control of resources and decisions about allocation;
Knowledge of finances and assets and their workings;
Gender roles that were accepted, reinforced and the dependency created by them;
Child care, health care, nurture, daily oversight and training;
Activities of daily life that support of the family unit like shopping, meal prep, cleaning, transportation, laundry, social planning, education and schooling, etc.
For better or worse, these attachments and attractions are historically rooted and ingrained over time into the relationship. They are the identities and obstacles tied to self worth, proprietary and owned and vastly different for each party. They are the real losses that are traumatically diminished and lost with the first decision to divorce.
It has been my experience that the divorce process is woefully inadequate in providing recognition and support for the emotions that are brought into the divorce and those caused by the litigation experience itself. The contested divorce amplifies these fears and creates new ones.
I believe that therapy, resilience support and creation of attainable goals and best outcomes through an action plan supporting that vision is essential to overcome the trauma of divorce.
This is how I provide support.