Divorce is stressful! The list of challenges can be endless and even though separation presents an opportunity to leave something that isn't working and create a better life for oneself - the path to get there has some mountains to climb. Your finances may be compromised, legal negotiations need to happen, there is an upheaval of routines and sometimes there are disagreements as each person fights for what they feel is fair. In addition, the end of an attachment relationship or primary partnership has a huge impact on your emotions and it can feel like you are riding a roller-coaster that has a huge impact on your ability to think reasonably.
When under stress or experiencing strong negative emotions, your physiology changes as the nervous system kicks in and changes the processing of information. One thing that happens is that your executive function becomes impaired - that involves things like reason, judgement, memory, organization - in other words, all of the things you need to be functioning optimally to make good decisions for yourself and your future! Humans never do their best thinking under duress and many people make decisions during the divorce process that they later regret - probably because their cognition was impaired at the time from all the stress.
Many people turn to informal supports (friends or family) to advise them during difficult times. The problem that presents when the issue is divorce is that your friends and family may be experiencing negative emotions from the situation as well and so they are not able to give you sound or reasonable advice at this time. In other words - they lack both the objectivity and the skills needed to help you navigate through this difficult time. The best solution is seeking a knowledgeable, impartial professional to support you to manage the trauma of the separation and also help you make decisions that are reasonable and wise - not driven by negative emotions.
If you have any questions or are looking for support, please reach out!
Sabrina Andrews, CPRP