Maybe you have tried everything, but your relationship is not working anymore and you can’t be happy together. You came to the conclusion that it is better to continue your lives apart. You might experience many negative emotions connected to the perception that divorce is a failure, and yours is a marriage that “did not work”. You and your partner might be fighting, hurting each other, or feeling that you have nothing in common anymore. Divorce is never an easy choice, even if you are sure about it. But it doesn’t need to become a battle.
During these difficult times, we tend to look for someone to blame for everything that goes wrong. The pain and distress can bring the worst in us. Conscious and unconscious “fight and flight” coping strategies can hinder our ability to think, evaluate situations and solve disagreements.
If you have children, this can be especially harmful for them. More than ever, communication and cooperation will be key to navigate the challenges brought by separation and establishing a new life for all of you. No matter how old your children are, divorce is traumatic and most children tend to wonder if they have anything to do with it, or if they are somehow responsible for the breaking up.
When you and your partner fight and an environment of “war” is present, your children will feel pulled into taking sides. This is extremely difficult and will impact their development and future relationships. The perception they have on marriage and family derives, greatly, from what type of marriage they see at home. The way you manage your separation and divorce will contribute to this vision as much as marriage did until now. The best you can do for yourself and your children is to find a way to parent together, when apart.
Divorcing can be even more challenging when living abroad, where your family and support system are not present. It is common that one of you left his/her career behind to follow the other’s professional demands of moving abroad. The emotional distress that accompanies the breakup can make it very hard for both of you to put the children’s interest up in the front.
Having me supporting you and your partner during these difficult times can help to establish and maintain healthy communication. Psychotherapy helps to create a safe space where you can discuss your emotions, no matter how intense, in a respectful way. In our work together, the goal will be the negotiation of a healthy parenting relationship for divorced parents. You will be able to get a better understanding of your children’s developmental characteristics and needs, which can guide better decisions.