Advice on Divorce & Separation

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While separation and divorce are never the goal of a marriage, these events are ever increasingly commonplace. Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned couples just can’t keep their love affair afloat in the face of real-world complications. If you find yourself navigating the rough waters of separation or divorce, don’t despair. Instead, consider steps you can take to make the process as painless and productive as possible.

Separation’s Benefits

Many people see separation as nothing but a necessary pit stop on the road to divorce. In truth, a separation does not always have to be a marriage ending proposition. “Psychology Today Magazine” reports that some couples’ marriages are actually improved by separating. These temporary separations, referred to as “enhancement separations,” allow both partners the opportunity to get some space and see what life would be like without their partner. While there is no set time limit for an enhancement separation, they average six months in length.

When to Divorce

Women often struggle when trying to decide whether their marriage has really run its course, and divorce is necessary. For some couples, a major fight spurs a divorce, leaving both parties angry and bitter. TV personality Dr. Phil recommends that couples divorce not when they are so full of anger that they can’t stand to be around each other any longer, but instead when they feel that they can leave the relationship with no regrets. If you leave the relationship angry, there is still business that needs to be tended to. Take care of all emotional baggage before you resort to divorce to ensure that your relationship was not salvageable.

Importance of Communication

Many women cite lack of communication as one reason their marriages fail. Don’t let these communication struggles extend into your separation or divorce. Communicating with your ex is vital, particularly if the union resulted in children. As “Psychology Today Magazine” reports, couples in the midst of a separation or going through a divorce should communicate regularly via phone, email or even face-to-face meetings. If you fail to communicate with your ex, you have no hope of maintaining a positive and perhaps even friendly relationship.

Agreed Upon Goals

As you and your partner struggle through separation or divorce, it is important for you to work together to set goals for your relationship. By talking about your relationship goals you can ensure that you are in agreement and avoid future heart-ache or conflict. “Psychology Today,” recommends that couples in the midst of relationship turmoil have a level headed summit about their relationship prospects and work together to decide where they see the union headed.

Telling the Kiddos

Doting parents often dread telling their children of their impending divorce. While nothing can make this process easy for any of the parties involved, you can reduce the emotional damage caused by your pronouncement by carefully planning the way in which you will tell your kids. “Better Homes and Gardens Magazine” recommends that parents practice the process of telling their children instead of simply speaking off the cuff. This same source also states that parents should avoid informing their children until the decision is absolutely set in stone and that both parties should create a unified front when telling the children, so that the kids can see that even though mommy and daddy are splitting up, they are still about to co-parent effectively.

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