Succumbing to the Other Side’s Mental Engineering During Divorce
Key Points
  • Filing for divorce is emotional enough even without allowing your spouse to get into your head. Make sure you are keeping your emotions in check before undertaking a divorce or custody battle.
  • Keeping yourself calm and not allowing your spouse to get under your skin will help you make better decisions especially when your children are involved. Do not get caught up in bad-mouthing or threatening your spouse.
  • Before any challenges arise or a battle ensues, it might be beneficial to contact a therapist, talk about any issues you are going through, and at the very least, build up your support system to feel more empowered and not intimidated.

Another common mistake you must not make is to allow the other side’s head games to bother you. Before you embark on a divorce or custody fight, even before you go lawyer hunting, take an emotional inventory. Do you feel scared, angry, weak, powerful, afraid, confused? If you feel angry and powerful, that’s great. If you feel weak, afraid, or confused, you need to get your thoughts organized and make a plan so you can start to feel less so.

Once the fight begins, not only will you be under siege legally, but you will be under attack mentally and emotionally. Not only will your spouse be your adversary, but he or she will have a powerful ally in the form of an obnoxious, intimidating attorney. You will have to be, and you can be, strong enough to withstand this attack.

If you want (and can afford) the help of a therapist, by all means, explore this option, as long as your lawyer has no objections. Align yourself with friends, neighbors, family, support groups, spiritual counselors, parents of your children’s friends, and anyone else you can think of. Remember that roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. You are not the only one going through this. There are people out there who have been where you are, or are where you are, who can help you. They can say and do things that will help you maintain a positive attitude.

It is up to you to ask for help when you need it and to take care of yourself as the battle rages. Think of yourself as a football player. When a play-off game is approaching, football players eat right and exercise. They eliminate distractions from their lives so they can train for the big game. They analyze the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and plan a strategy accordingly. They don’t cower in fear and fantasize about the worst. Rather, they ready themselves for the fight. This is how you should approach your lawsuit. One thing you can do to prepare yourself for the fight ahead is to anticipate the four most common mind-manipulation techniques employed by divorcing spouses:

  • Threats and intimidation
  • Criminal charges
  • Spouse-bashing and brainwashing of children
  • Psychologists and other paid experts

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