Divorce Coping Basics

A guest post from Dr. Kristine Turner…

What is the number one issue between divorcing couples?

I believe that control is the number one issue in any relationship and it becomes particularly clear when that relationship is falling apart, i.e. a divorce.

How do control issues affect the divorce process?

How you act in the divorce process can ultimately determine what the outcome will be. If you expect the courts to decide your future by asking the judge to make the decision, you’ve given the judge the ultimate control. If you take control of yourself and your behavior, by trying to do the best job you can as a parent, you maintain that control over yourself and you can influence your families’ future. Remember you can’t control your former spouse, but you can control your reaction to the divorce process. You can also have influence over the process. You can choose how you would like to present yourself and your ideas. Do you present issues in a positive or negative manner? Do you try to force change or do you negotiate change? Do you act in a cooperative manner or an adversarial manner? Do you make yourself open to compromise?

How can I limit the negative affect that control issues can have on my divorce?

One of the best ways to limit the negative aspects of divorce is to pick the right type of support system for you. If you choose to hire an attorney, work closely with that lawyer so that you are jointly managing the process. Have a good therapist, whether it is a psychologist, a rabbi, a minister or a priest. Stay healthy. Work out. Take care of yourself. Don’t over-indulge, don’t under-indulge. Don’t be sleep-deprived. Don’t become maniac or throw yourself into work 24/7. Try to be as emotionally and psychologically healthy as you can to limit the negative affect that control issues can have on your divorce.

PEACE: It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm, focused, and steady.

Remember, it does get better with time; hang in there!