The interpersonal dynamics of divorce (stop being a jerk)

When people get together in wedded bliss, then have that cohesiveness fall apart, there are bound to be some awkward and uncomfortable moments.  There will also be some emotional pain involved.

If there are minor children involved, there will also be stress placed on them. Some have claimed that the stress a divorce places on children is more tremendous than the death of a parent.

Many times spouse in the midst of a divorce do things they wouldn’t normally do simply to hurt the other spouse.  Many times, these hurtful actions manifest themselves as passive aggressive maneuvers or statements.  Read these common passive aggressive statements and see if they ring a bell.  I have also heard, “I don’t really need the spousal support, but I’ll take it just because he ________________.”

I think the most important advice for persons going through divorce is to:

1. Pause.  Before you say or do anything, give yourself a little time to think about it.

2. Think about motivation.  Ask yourself why you are doing or saying what you are about to do.  Is it selfish, selfless, child-centered?  Does it hurt the other person? Are you hurting yourself out of guilt?

3. Prospective self.  In a divorce you have the amazing opportunity to re-invent yourself into a new identity.  Does this statement or action match this prospective self that you are trying to become?  If not, don’t do it.

4. Kids first.  Your children didn’t ask to be born.  Your children didn’t ask for you to divorce.  Your main goal should be to try to get from married to single with the least amount of damage to the kids.

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