In your eyes, all hope for your marriage is gone.В You’ve done all you can for as long as you could and now you’re ready to move on.В One problem: your spouse doesn’t feel the same.В What can you do?В How can you keep the divorce peaceful?
Divorce is a difficult transition for most. When you add an unrelenting spouse who insists on contesting the divorce and opposes your decision to be free, the difficulty and pain is tripled. Not only do you have to deal with your own sense of loss, failure and recovery but you’ve got to move forward with a legal process that has turned your one time lover and best friend into your mortal enemy. It seems like a lose-lose situation.
Here are three things you can do to clear the tension and make this a Win-Win experience for all involved:
#1- As painful and burdensome as it may feel to do, make time for your soon-to-be-ex spouse. From where you stand, the divorce has been a long time coming. Your announcement of it, to you, was just writing on the wall. However, in most cases, that’s hardly the truth for your partner.
Yes, he or she had a feeling some years back that things were going downhill. Yes, he/she sensed that the distance between you was increasing. But your spouse may have considered it “growing pains.” He or she may have looked at it as a mere transition. Now faced with the inevitable fact that this marriage, your marriage, is over, is a devastating blow. Although you don’t feel it, the shockwaves still resound with your spouse. Honor that by making a concerted effort to spend quality alone time with your soon-to-be-ex.
Yes, this person is going to repeatedly ask you why and, yes, he or she will probably yell, cry or get angry but remember that your goal is not to defend the inevitable; it’s to show your spouse that you care enough to sit down and listen to his or her side of this new chapter in both your lives. Sometimes people want you to listen; other times, they just want you to hear. In this case, your soon-to-be ex needs to be heard.
#2- Go above and beyond the call of duty to provide financially everything your soon-to-be-ex requires to maintain your family’s lifestyle. One of the biggest fears, on the part of the person who didn’t expect the divorce, is this: “You’re going to walk out and leave me with nothing after I gave you my whole life.” Can you see how devastating that fear is? Do you understand that it is that fear that will drive relatively sane people to do all sorts of insane things, all in the name of “keeping what’s rightfully mine”?
When this fear is backed up with even the smallest financial withdrawal from you, it sends your soon-to-be-ex into survival mode and you become the biggest threat to his or her survival… and the biggest target. Don’t set yourself up for a fall. Divide assets. Start your own personal bank account where you set aside what you need for your new life but DO NOT drain your family’s budget (i.e., remove all the money from the accounts, close down credit cards) to do it. Do everything in your power to give your soon-to-be-ex everything he or she needs financially, regardless of his/her intentions to ever actually use the money (and if the person retaliates by spending too much, call your credit card company or bank and file misuse of funds- you’ll get the money back). The point is to show good faith so that a level of respect and integrity can be maintained throughout the divorce process.
#3- Move out. It sounds simple but so many divorces in process today are occurring with both people living under the same roof. It’s a neverending warzone filled with tension, anger and blame. You feel it, your spouse feels it and, most importantly, your children feel it. Staying in the family home (as much as you want to fight for what’s rightfully yours) is not the way to go if your goal is to have a smooth, relatively quick divorce. Living together does one of two things: 1) encourages the hopes of your spouse that, by some miracle, you’ll get back together or 2) increases the amount of ill will and resentment your spouse feels for you and the life he or she believes you are working so hard to destroy.
Remember: hurting people hurt people. Two hurting people do not need to be under the same roof.
This is a touchy situation. You need compassion at a level that you’ve never known. This is not a time to retaliate or treat your spouse like the enemy. He or she might choose that route. If you want to come out of this stronger and with more peace of mind, take the higher road.
Kassandra Vaughn is the CEO of ROI Coaching, a virtual coaching firm designed to help clients maximize the quality of their lives starting NOW! She is the creator and facilitator of the no-holds barred, step-by-step divorce strategy coaching program called “Marriage on the Rocks: The PreDivorce Playbook.” Find out more at http://predivorceplaybook.blogspot.com
10 Low Budget Ways To Move Out of the Family Home Predivorce: http://tinyurl.com/nocashwaystomoveout
Marriage on the Rocks- The PreDivorce Playbook: predivorceplaybook.blogspot.com
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