At The Divorce Surgery we encourage all our couples to access help from the right experts at the right time. We would like to showcase what various professionals can offer separating couples, and will be regularly posting ‘Top Tips’ from experts across the field. This week our guest writer is relationship therapist Adele Ballantyne, who founded the Eleda Consultancy.
Deciding to end a relationship is a complex and difficult process and is not arrived at easily. Equally being told your relationship is at an end, is often a shocking and emotionally traumatic event.
It is common for those leaving and for those being left, to experience similar feelings despite how things might appear from the outside.
When you separate, especially if you have children you begin two disparate journeys;
It is important for your own sake and for the sake of your children, as you begin your separation, that you try to keep these two issues distinct.
Below are five top tips to consider at the beginning of your journey.
Try to stay calm. Your mind will be in over-drive, your emotions will be on a roller coaster. The desire to hurt each other and to defend your ground or punish will be huge.
Often, decisions made at the outset of separation can influence what happens in the long term. I would say that unless there is a safety issue, then taking time to pause and reflect before moving forward is more helpful to you, your children and your soon to be ex.
Information, education, training and support from a variety of experts will help you to understand and manage the emotional journey, help you to help your children through what’s coming next, and guide you through the legal process in the best way possible, hopefully avoiding a trip to court.
Choose wisely the friends and family who you can lean on for emotional support and helpful advice. Try to avoid posting on social media, believe me when I say, it might make you feel better in the short term, but it won’t last and could make things a lot worse.
Find someone whom you can trust to get you through the emotional, co-parenting and the legal process. Seeing a Relationship Therapist, one lawyer together and a financial expert is a great start.
However you are feeling, and especially if you have children, communication has never been more important. A therapist can help you to understand how you communicate together and enhance it using techniques to develop comprehension and assertiveness, bringing much needed clarity to your conversations.
If you have both been working with a therapist, they can sometimes accompany you to legal meetings if you feel it will help.
It is important that you look after yourself whilst you are going through these difficult times. Your body functions better when it has regular sleep, food and exercise. When you separate you experience loss, uncertainty and bereavement for the relationship you had.
Emotional and chemical changes happen to you which may cause insomnia, loss of appetite and anxiety to name but a few. Trying to eat regularly and getting rest (even if you can’t manage sleep) will give you strength to get through the challenges ahead. Importantly it sends a positive message to your children that self-care matters.
If you have more questions about this topic or any other legal issues arising on divorce or separation, please do get in touch as we are always happy to help. You can call us on 0203 488 4475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.