Separation & Divorce
Divorce & Separation Counselling
Heather Kempton, at Optimal Life in Coquitlam, works with individuals and couples who are experiencing a breakdown in their marriage which has led to ideas about separation and divorce.
Heather has found the five following questions to be very effective as you struggle with the emotions about and stresses of considering separation or taking the steps towards divorce:
- Have you explored what patterns of behaviour have contributed to the breakdown of your relationship and what it would take to rehabilitate this relationship?
- What was your relationship like when it worked?
- When did it go wrong, and why?
- Is the current state of your relationship worth breaking up your marriage?
- What is it costing you emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially, and spiritually to be in your relationship?
- Are you willing to put in the effort to explore what may make your relationship more fulfilling?
- Do you have unfinished emotional business? You are ready for divorce when you can say you are at peace with your decision and going through the next phase of your life. If you can walk out the door without anger, frustration, or hurt then you are ready. Unless and until you can look each other in the eye feeling no hatred or resentment you are looking at experiencing a challenging divorce. Do not make life changing decisions in the midst of heightened emotions and tensions are high. It is essential to get yourself in a calmer state in order to look at the entirety of the relationship in a rational state.
- Are you still in love with your partner?
- Are you hurt?
- Are you scared?
- Are you angry?
- Are you confused?
- Have you researched, planned and prepared yourself legally for divorce? Divorce can be very complicated in that it involves money, custody issues, child support, spousal support and other legal aspects. You need to educate yourself, protect yourself and empower yourself on what is entailed in getting a divorce. It is essential to acknowledge that you are not powerless in this decision and that one must educate themselves on what the process of divorce entails and one’s options.
- Are you ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children? It is essential that you do not involve your children in the decision process of divorce. It is not effective for children to be placed in a situation in which they must help their parent to cope and survive the turmoil of an unhealthy relationship and the decision to separate or divorce. Do not rob your children of a childhood and the freedom that comes from being a kid. Seek professional support so that you and your partner identify the best course of action towards healing a broken down relationship.
- Are you willing to create a new relationship as a co-parent? Just because your marriage may be ending this does not mean you are able to walk away from the relationship entirely when there are children involved. It becomes your responsibility to learn how to establish healthy boundaries and effective communication as co-parents so that your children can experience the best of both of you.
When you are able to say whole heartedly that you have explored what has led to the breakdown of the relationship and acknowledge that you are no longer able to remain in this relationship as a healthy, authentic individual then it is time to move forward. If not then I would highly recommend seeking professional support so that you can step away from a highly emotional and irrational state and gain an understanding of what you and your partner need to change.