“There are few blows to the human spirit so great as the loss of someone near and dear.”~ John Bowlby, M.D.
The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale indicates that divorce is the second highest stressor for humans, second only to the death of a spouse. Why is divorce so stressful?
When we view divorce through the lens of British psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s attachment theory, it helps us understand the reason why divorce is so stressful. Attachment theory states that we humans have a biological predisposition to form attachment bonds (strong emotional ties) with significant others to have a secure haven and safe base where we can thrive and return for support and comfort during times of need, stress, and crisis.
We form these attachment bonds via our relationships with other human beings who are of primary importance to us. Indeed, Dr. Dan Siegel, Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Medical School, states, “Relationships are the most important part of our having well-being in being human. It’s that simple. And it’s that important.”
by Suanne I. Honey Attorney at Law, CFLS, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Sorry for the silly pun when this is such a serious topic. Seriously, though, pre-nuptial agreements are hot topics which give rise to many emotions.
“It paints the Devil on the wall.”
“It is anticipating failure of the marriage.”
“If he or she really loved me, this would not be necessary.”
“I am uncomfortable talking about finances.”
The list can go on and on. Sometimes emotions are an unnecessary waste of energy. Other times emotions have some benefits, even negative emotions. For example, fear in a dark alley in a dangerous neighborhood will cause you to be zealously vigilant about your surroundings which will lead you into taking appropriate steps for your safety … much like the pre-nuptial agreement itself.
Unfortunately, statistics today are not favorable for a lasting marriage. If and when there is a decision to get divorced, the person you once loved turns into the enemy. There is often a total lack of trust at the time of a divorce. There are fights over money, property, and other issues creating stress for both partners. This stress almost always filters down to the children.
What single item can add the most cost to your divorce or civil dispute? Acting or reacting based on emotional thinking, or making unilateral decisions that are based in emotional thinking. It is critical to understand how our emotions can drive our thinking and our behavior, and it is important to manage those emotions in a healthy way that allows for understanding viable solutions and facilitates well thought out problem solving.
Every legal and financial decision is potentially wrapped in emotion, and those emotions can prevent us from fully understanding our options and choosing the options that make the most sense going forward. For almost every divorcing couple or civil disputant, trust is usually broken and communication is not working very well, if at all. Bringing broken trust and poor communication into the decision-making process is not a good recipe for success.
by Jann Glasser, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Coach/Psychotherapist, Collaborative Coach
Holiday season is here again. If you are divorced with children, the season can be challenging as you attempt to coordinate two households and extended family, trying to meet everyone’s needs simultaneously. As you begin to review your child’s wish list for the season, there is something more precious every child wants that you won’t find in any store or even on Amazon.
It’s time with both parents during the holidays, the kind of quality time that helps your children feel reassured that while their parents might not be living together anymore, your relationship with your child remains the same.
If your child could write out their wish list for the things to make it easier, the list would look like this:
1. Help me shop for or make a gift for my other parent, if I’m not old enough to do it myself. It feels good when I can give you each gifts that you like.
2. Don’t make me feel guilty about the gift I got or what fun I had with each of you.
“Divorce is a different experience for children and adults because the children lose something that is fundamental to their development – the family structure. The family comprises the scaffolding upon which children mount successive developmental stages, from infancy into adolescence.” — “Second Chances: Men Women and Children a Decade After Divorce”
How many times have you taken your child through a divorce? Helped your child navigate an emotional and transitory life experience that is difficult and opaque for you? Successfully rebuilt the family structure in ways that support your child? And all at a time when you and your spouse are not on the same page.
When it comes to helping your child through a divorce, consider turning to a child specialist to get the best advice and counsel based on the advantages of their specialized education, training and experience.
Here are nine reasons why you should have a child specialist assist you through your divorce process:
It’s not therapy. No one is going to mess with your child. The child specialist’s role is to listen to you and
by Jann Glasser, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Coach/Psychotherapist, and Collaborative Coach
During your divorce, you may find your heart pounding and your thoughts racing as if you were driving in the Indy 500. An email, text or voicemail from your attorney, accountant or spouse in your inbox may result in fear and dread as immediate reactions. This is one example of the brain on divorce; easily triggered, distraught and overwhelmed. You are trying to function while stressed, sad, and sleep deprived, reacting as if under attack.
Divorce is one of the most significant losses and stressful life events people experience. Unlike other losses, there is no bereavement leave from work, no sympathy cards, and no rituals that bring your friends and family around you to acknowledge the loss. Life goes on without skipping a beat. You are expected to go on.
Not only are you expected to go on, but you are also expected to gather all financial paperwork, other information, make time in your schedule for additional meetings, phone calls, emails, help your kids cope, and be prepared to make major parenting and financial decisions that have long term consequences. No wonder you’re … Read More “Your Brain on Divorce: How to Take Charge”