So as you begin to think about leaving your loved one, before you bolster yourself with support from friends and family to make the next step remember you may be hurting what others think of your spouse? Does he/she even know how you feel? Have you given them the opportunity to help?
It is not criminal to be unhappy in a marriage. It is not criminal to feel trapped and want to change your relationship. It is, however, very wrong to create negative images of your soon to be ex to justify your emotions and what you may be about to do. Be accountable for your own emotions. Do not blame your spouse for the way you feel. You are always 100% responsible for creating your own reality. You have choices. If you are unable to do that with your partner, then own that. Do not blame it on them. Chances are he/she is more tuned in to how you feel than you realize.
The opening lines of the famous classic Les Miserables by Victor Hugo says in my paraphrased version, that nothing will affect a man’s life or what will become of him more than what is said about him. What he was talking about then in the 17th century was in a word “reputation”.
So you wonder why here in this green divorce blog I begin by talking about what you say about each other to others.
It is because a truly green divorce begins with accountability. Choosing the way we begin the separation process by using with compassion and thoughtfulness toward our spouse and ourselves. Your ability to work together will be affected by those around you and how they treat each of you.
As part of post divorce-recovery many individuals have to deal with the aftermath of a strategy used by some divorce lawyers (not all) called demonization. Its serves to create distance between the divorcing partners thereby cementing the need for the lawyer(s) to do the communicating for those whom they “represent”. It also lets the divorcing partner now what to expect should their divorce go to court, a public arena where they will be portrayed in a bad light in front of several people, including a judge. This is designed to be intimidating. This may of course not always work. But unfortunately even for those whom it does not intimidate it remains, per Mr. Hugo’s statement, very influential in what people will think of him/her because it almost always involves negative comments.
We are busy. We live in a hectic world; our minds are full of massive amounts of information that needs to be processed, evaluated. Decisions are made even without our awareness.
So when we are given negative information about someone we do not or barely know it will most like be stored as such in the absence of positive information or someone’s efforts to dispel it.
Remember, this is the beginning of your green divorce footprint. How you choose to approach your spouse about this difficult decision will set the tone and tenor of what is to follow. Choose thoughtfully.
Next blog–how to prepare for and approach this very difficult conversation.