Christine Hickey, Esq. 120 East Washington Street, Suite 711, Syracuse, New York 13202 (315) 422-9756
Words of Wisdom during Separation and Divorce
Sleeping is an excellent coping mechanism. Even if you are sleeping a lot, it is far better than some other things people do to cope with these painful circumstances.
Try to maintain your physical health because your mental health will be taxed during this period. Control what you can, and try to accept the rest.
If you are experiencing increased eating or excessive drug and/or alcohol use, consider viewing this as a serious warning sign and ask your friends and/or family for their assessment, and for their help. If you think professional assistance might be good for you, obtain a referral from a friend, doctor, or another person who knows and cares about you.
Making the decision to separate and divorce is rarely one feels 100% about. People often stay together for the children even though they are not happy in their marriage. At times, life with your spouse can be pleasant, even happy, and at other times, you may feel 90% sure that you need to leave the marriage. In one moment you may feel extremely negative feelings about staying in the marriage, and an hour or a day later, you feel as though you could and will stay in the marriage for the remainder of your life.
It feels very chaotic and confusing to be going through these feelings but they are completely normal.
Many of my divorce mediation clients have good relationships with one another. They do not hate each other. They are often devastated that the relationship is ending and are not actively blaming or taking it out on the other person. This is not uncommon. What comes with this attitude is an ability to trust the other person to fully disclose their assets and debts, and an ability to trust oneself to not take too much and not give too much. There is also trust sufficient enough to allow each person to create monthly budgets that are as accurate as possible under the circumstances.
Often people assume that it is the presence of children in the family that motivates people not to be hateful, and to be cooperative instead. While I believe that the presence of children does motivate people who might otherwise express anger and disappointment in hurtful and harmful acts and statements, couples without children who are loving and cooperative with one another in mediation is not uncommon.
There is often a blend of profound sadness, disappointment and fear, all of which can lead to anger that is sometimes expressed in hurtful statements and behaviors. The people who complete their Agreement in mediation often try to minimize their destructive expressions of anger.
Of course it is impossible not to feel anger. And, it is often difficult to refrain from expressing it in hurtful statements and behaviors. But when people are able to take responsibility for their statements and behaviors, and apologize when they can, it can contribute to healing and ease the process of negotiations.
If people have done much of the grieving about the end of their marriage before attempting to mediate their Agreement, the mediation is often easier and faster than it would be otherwise. Those who have experienced strong feelings before the mediation are able to focus on the practical details of their separation and building a workable future.
People best suited for mediation have a good combination of the following: A spirit of cooperation, a modicum of mutual trust and respect for one another, and an interest in sheltering their children and themselves from excessive, protracted conflict.
When you are ready to share with your family, friends, and colleagues that you and your spouse or partner are parting ways, you can expect that they may share their own experiences and offer advice about the whole process.
Though they probably have good intentions, and may indeed be helpful to you, the process of two people ending such a significant bond is truly an individual, personal, and unique process for each couple, and for each individual within the couple. There are no right or wrong ways to go through that process, though there may be better and worse ways.
CNY MEDIATION SERVICES, Inc.
Mediator Syracuse, New York
120 East Washington Street, Suite 711
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 422-9756 Phone (315) 479-5651 Fax
Website by Cristin Manfredi and Content by Christine Hickey
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