It is widely recognized that separation/divorce is at the top of the list of distress producing situations, along with the death of a spouse. The reactions to this stress seem so personal and so horrible, as though they have never happened to anyone else, but be assured, you are not alone!
Feelings of Marginality: There is a loss of access to previous support networks; your situation can be different from your friends. You have a feeling of being “on the outside, looking in”.
Obsessive review: should-a, would-a, could-a; if only; why didn’t we?
False starts: flying off in all different direction, impulsive adoption of, and relinquishment of, one plan after another.
Disorientation and Confusion: an inability to cope. driving and realizing you don’t know where you are. an increase in fender benders.
Loss of Self-Confidence: agrees to plans of other, your own plans change.
Fantasies of Revenge: I’ll get even; when he/she comes crawling back, I’ll laugh in his/her face. The children will blame him/her.
Apathy, sadness: staying in bed in the fetal position, sucking thumb.
Checking up on him/her: desperate calls to friends or to him/her, spying, following their car, driving by their residence, asking children about spouse.
Excesses: drinking too much, smoking too much, eating too much (or not at all), sexing too much (or not at all).
Physical Symptoms: heavy feeling in chest or stomach, colitis, headaches, fever, heart disturbances, other physical distress.
Fear: can you love or trust again? fear of the unknown of singleness.
Anger and guilt: anger towards spouse; inability to express that anger leads to depression; resentment towards those not sharing your discomfort; blaming everyone else; the idea of being a failure. “If only I’d been more attractive, better in bed, less bossy, more understanding”. “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME”!
Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, constructive abandonment for at least one (1) year, cruel and inhuman treatment, and imprisonment of a spouse for three (3) or more years. Prior to October 2010, other than a legal separation agreement that was filed with the court, divorces were based on fault.
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