Emotional effects of divorce

divorce

Emotional divorce

Every marriage is different. Divorce is difficult and emotional for all involved parties. Divorce causes hurt and tragic emotions. Change is a natural part of life, but when it happens to your family, it is sometimes really hard to deal with.There are two parts to divorce – the emotional divorce and the legal divorce.
Emotional divorce is marked with a lot of uncertainty and falsehood. Doubt is one of the major immobilizing emotions of divorce. Uncertainty comes in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. „Emotional divorce is a climax of a series of events, a culmination of frustration and disappointment from unfulfilling relationships.”
The emotional divorce started when you realised that your spouse was no longer the person you wanted in your life, when you discovered that the person you married could not meet your needs and when you felt you were totally mismatched. Being sad when a marriage ends is natural. Experiencing guilt and shame is also a normal reaction to the end of a marriage.
These powerfully negative feelings often remain under the radar, hidden and invisible, where they do the most harm. Strong feelings of guilt or shame can make it difficult or impossible to maintain your perspective, and to consider realistically your best alternatives for how to resolve problems.
„During the first six months of separation, women are more prone to symptoms of depression, poor health, loneliness, work inefficiency, insomnia, memory difficulties, and increased substance abuse. Throughout the first year, both (parents) continue to feel anxious, angry, depressed, rejected, and incompetent. Women feel more helpless, vulnerable, and low self-esteem, while men tend to work harder, sleep less, and function ineffectively. These feelings are more intense in older spouses and longer marriages.


Parents often reverse roles. One who was over-functioning becomes irresponsible; the under-functioning spouse tries to be the perfect mom or dad.

The Trap of Remaining Emotionally Bonded.

Sometimes, a couple's emotional connections will undermine the attempts to separate. These couples are highly reactive and co-dependent.  Many are still "married," years after the formal divorce, if only to maintain contact through court battles, or alternatively, ritualistically celebrating holidays together ("for the children's sake"). Rather than go through the pain of separation, couples persist in having ambivalent feelings and repeatedly try to reconcile over many years. Such couples are still emotionally and sexually bonded and maintain idealized images of one another. Some couples maintain the bond by depending upon their ex-spouse for physical or emotional support. One pair lived as neighbors, but could not separate too far, because she needed to „rescue” him from his depressions, and he needed to drive her around. But depression is very treatable and simple lifestyle changes can offer a great deal of relief, in addition to professional help.”( Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT)
The emotional divorce is not concrete or tangible; it requires a lot more patience, compassion and understanding. You may feel the need to stay emotionally connected to your ex to avoid being alone, even though you know it’s better for you to disconnect. Your heart wants her back badly. You miss her. The void is there, deepening everyday but you can't express it even to yourself.
If she is interested in knowing what you are up to, it’s a sign that she still loves you and that she is concerned. This is especially true if she is interested in knowing about your dating life. This is in no doubt a sign of jealousy. Does your ex wife bump into you frequently? Does your ex wife touches you when she talks to you? Does your ex wife get in touch with you every now and then? If so, this is a sign that she wants you back and that she would like to speak to you or see you more often. This is a sure sign that she is missing you more than she should be. Dealing with a manipulative ex-wife is like being on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, as if hormones are not enough to cope with. She is likely to try a number of different manipulative tricks.
 After divorce, women experience less stress and better adjustment in general than do men. divorce matter
Men are usually confronted with greater emotional adjustment problems than women. The reasons for this are related to the loss of intimacy, the loss of social connection, reduced finances, and the common interruption of the parental role. When a marriage is about to be dissolved, emotions often run high in men, and a lot of important financial decisions as well as emotional ones have to be made. Out of control emotions and anger usually sets the stage for disaster. Never mix emotions(particularly anger) and finances, or emotions and legal matters of divorce. Anger can be a great emotion to start you on an action plan but make sure you do not use your anger in a negative way.
Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat and having your life turned upside down is threatening indeed. Fear of the unknown. Fear grows if it is left unchecked. Imagination takes over and things in your head escalate to such fearful heights that action can seem too hard.
Grief is an important part of the divorce process and you will go through some sort of grieving stage no matter if you wanted the separation or not. Can’t think straight and forget things, can’t sleep , want to sleep all the time and yet are still tired, lost interest in daily life – your job, home and physical appearance, no libido, feel extremely alone, gone over and over the past to no avail are signs of grief. Divorce can destroy self-esteem.  Depression can sneak into the mind without knowing what is happening.
In some cases ,another aspect of divorce is emotional blackmail. Emotional blackmail is emotional abuse, is one of the most powerful forms of manipulation. It occurs when one partner either consciously or unconsciously coerces the other into doing what he wants by playing on his partner's fear, guilt, or compassion.It is usually motivated by a desire to manipulate or control, often by people who claim „good intentions”. The damage caused by this emotional abuse often manifests as dysfunctional relationship habits and suffering.It’s the dirty part of divorce. But in a divorce a controller will work very hard to convince others he is the „normal” one. One perceptive controller can engage an entire family in his "separate reality" and turn them against a family member who becomes the bewildered outcast. They may threaten to punish you for resisting their control. This is a dirty tactic. They may know your vulnerabilities and your secrets, and use this knowledge to gain your compliance. Blackmailers frequently win with tactics that create an insurmountable rift in the relationship. Emotional blackmailers hate to lose.
After separation you feel dominated - your life feels controlled, manipulated by guilt, attacked with words. Emotional blackmail, extended criticism or contempt can have severe consequences, especially for children. The women who use children as pawns in a divorce situation plays a game without winners.Only victims!!!
Stop and take a good look at yourself and the reasons you are fighting so hard. Reach out to your children; they will be having the same disoriented emotions as you.
Understand that all of the feelings and emotions that surface are normal.   Accept them instead of denying that they exist.  Work through each emotion.   You are not a bad person for thinking or feeling a certain way.  You are just human. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings.  Deal with the feelings of anger and sadness.  You have a right to your own feelings. Release your feelings. Be aware of how you think and feel when you are stressed. Try to anticipate how you want to react and then do the opposite. Divorce can be a learning experience that makes you stronger and healthier emotionally.  It all depends on your attitude and how you act after a divorce.

 

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