By Sherry Gilbert
What is emotional divorce and who needs one?
When we think of divorce we think of legal divorce – dividing up the assets and debts. Fighting over who gets the new television and who has to pay the credit card debt.
There is also the physical divorce – moving into a new home; living apart. There is a parenting divorce – creating a parenting plan and sharing your children.
Just the thought of all of these ‘divorces’ can make a person feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, bewildered or to even shut down emotionally.
We think that if we can just weather the storms of the legal, physical and parenting divorce we can just move on with our lives. But, how many people do you know who never actually do that? A year or even a decade later they are still having the same fights, still in each other’s ‘business’ maybe even still sleeping together.
Why does that happen? And how bad is that really?
Let me answer the second question first. It is bad. Very bad. Very, very bad. ☺
This keeps the pain and turmoil alive. It keeps you in a physical sympathetic response known as fight or flight. This diminishes your immune system and damages your health.
It often steals money from your pocket as these fights often drag you right back into court over and over again.
If there are children, they are often dragged into this by continuing to hear about how awful the other parent is.
And perhaps worst of all, can rob us of the only benefit of divorce – being free to move on from the past and create a happy and healthy life for ourselves.
People can get stuck in this hamster wheel simply out of habit. If you are so used to fighting over every detail, you may just continue that habituated behavior. The most common reason though is that they haven’t achieved an emotional divorce. Emotionally they are still invested in the old relationship – even if it is simply to ensure that their divorced partner never gets to be happy or never forgets the ‘wrongs’ they committed during the marriage. They aren’t ready to let go of the anger and hurt.
They are ‘stuck’ in the limbo of still experiencing all of the negative aspects of the marriage and the divorce, without the benefits of creating their new life.
The first step to creating that new life is the Emotional Divorce. This is a deeply personal experience that allows you to:
- Create the emotional disconnect from the marriage partner
- Express how you feel and receive emotional closure
- Create the image of the new life
- Map out those all-important first steps to creating that new life.
Healing the old hurts and changing the old habituated behavior sets you free. Everyone deserves to be free to let go of the past and create a bright and happy new life.