Disintegration – End of the marriage or relationship

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 08, 2010 | 0 Comments

So it has happened.  Someone has said the marriage or relationship is over. It might not even be that clear.  Someone said something that alluded to the end of the relationship, and now you're left wondering what happened and playing the events over and over in your head, with your family, with your friends.  This post will focus on the End of the marriage or relationship.

End of the marriage or relationship

The above confusion is normal.  There will be ambiguity, confusion, hurt, feelings of guilt or rejection.  Yuval Berger, MSW, RSW states that the first stage of ending a relationship is separating the “We” into “I”.  This transformation starts as soon as the idea of the end of the relationship is introduced and contemplated.  Often, there is a difference in timing between individuals; just because one person views the relationship as dead or over, does not mean the other person is on the same page.  This difference in perception leads to the following common traits of the first stage after a separation:

Grief; Deep hurt; loss of empathy for partner's emotional needs; self-protection; hard to make eye contact; ambiguity and confusion; intense reactions or complete avoidance; behavior becomes passive and reactive rather than self-initiated; difficult to separate children's needs from personal needs; meetings with professionals are mostly about emotions.

If you have just learned your relationship is over, whether your partner decided this or you decided this, know that you can expect the following support from your collaborative lawyer and team members (list compiled and presented by Yuval Berger):

Encouragement to not act out on negative feelings; an ear to listen to your personal stories; assistance in setting personal boundaries; acknowledgement of feelings; permission to grieve; assistance in avoiding triggers/trauma; learn self soothing and regulation techniques, promote progression rather than regression; bring attention to children's needs; prepare for the first 4 way meeting.

Clients tend to go to family and friends with their troubles, however, when a family is transforming, it is not always best to tell family about all of your problems.  Collaborative team members are there to provide knowledgeable support that can help you move forward which will also help you to preserve and maintain positive family relationships. Contact us for the best legal and emotional plan for the end of the marriage or relationship.

Schedule a Consultation with Attorney Erin Birt

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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