To put it mildly, separating from a partner is a daunting concept. It puts a full stop on life as you know it and can feel like free falling into an unknown future. There are many things to consider and initially, the questions outweigh the answers.
Where will I live?
Will I be happier?
How will I tell the children?
What will this mean for them?
Will I be able to afford this?
What will life look like?
What will my family/friends think?
Does this make me “A failure”?
It is no wonder a person may contemplate this decision for weeks, months, years before taking action.
The experience of separation is no walk in the park either. The grief and loss is a nonlinear and confusing process where you may feel okay one day, devastated the next, incensed the following. Grief around separation is layered. It is generally not just about losing a partner. It could also include grieving the loss of the place your call home; waking up with your children everyday; financial security; your “dream” of having a happy family unit; trust.
Whether you initiate the separation or not, both parties can experience the emotions as intensely as the other, though often each can be at different stages of the grief process.
I know what you’re thinking… this is all sounding pretty grim, when is she going to get to the upside? Well, now!
The idea of this blog came from clients I have worked with. From the people who have navigated the above and have fed back to me.
“No one ever tells you about the positives that can come from separating”
“At the time, I never thought I would be happy again”
“If I hadn’t have separated, I wouldn’t be where I am today”
“I was so worried about how the kids would go, I can see now was for the best”
There is no doubting separation is Big. It is lifechanging. It is challenging and tiresome and brings a sea of emotion.
However separation can also bring opportunity. It can be a rebirthing. A realignment to live with intention, a life we choose for ourselves. A chance to show up for ourselves, and for others. It can feel like a tangible line in the sand about past and future. It calls us to redefine what is important to us can act as metaphorical jumper leads to kick start us out of neutral and back into gear, propelling us forward.
Separation can also be healing. It can be the catalyst for setting healthy boundaries. It can help us feel safe and find our voice. It may alleviate conflict, both external and internal. It can help us recalibrate our view of our ex. It can reignite our social networks we may have lost along the way. It can sharpen our focus on our health and wellbeing as well as our relationships. It can provide significant modelling for our children.
Where are you in your separation process? What do you need to help you navigate your challenges, to get to the upside? Look after yourself and remember, you are not alone… help is always available.
Kristal has 18 years’ experience working with of children and families who have separated and are at the interface of Family Law. She is a separation and divorce Coach, a qualified Mediator, a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and a Child Consultant. She is informed by strengths based and solutions focussed practices to challenge and empower clients to want better and do better in order to move towards their preferred life.