Between You & Me…

Divorce in The Time of CO-VID 19

November 30, 2020

I
f you thought your marriage was on the rocks before Co-Vid 19, by now you’re probably clinging to an iceberg in the middle of the Antarctic, no safe haven in sight.

If not Co-vid, the harrowing election and cataclysmic course the country must reconcile has unbalanced all our equilibriums.

Take a Breath.

Take a deep belly breath in and slowly let it out.
Do this a few times.
Not until you ground yourself can you focus mindfully and have any semblance of rational thinking.

Deciding.
For most, deciding on whether to stay or to leave their marriage is a difficult, life altering decision and must be given careful consideration. For others, the decision was made long ago and either quicksand or fear has gotten in the way.

No one can tell you when to leave, wouldn’t it be great if they could?

You alone bear the responsibility. And in divorce it’s a 50/50 split even if it’s not 50/50 at it’s source.

Re-Birth.

If your stomach is in knots, your heart in your throat, and just being in the same room as your partner is more than you can bear, consider the ‘seeker’s journey,’ or the phoenix rising from the ashes.

A rebirth of sorts, a tabula rasa, the chance to re-craft yourself into the person you want to be.

It’s not an easy course, your commitment must be fierce and undying.

At times it’s overwhelming and frightening. At times you feel you can’t go on. Doing the hard, uncomfortable work may challenge your very sense of self. But the journey is well worth it. I know. I’ve been there.

Check the Facts.

So as we spend countless more days, weeks and months ahead quarantined, uncertain when life will get back to normal–whatever normal may prove to be.

We are prone to selective interpretation

  • Are the challenges in your relationship an outcropping of an extremely volatile and uncertain time in American history?
  • Are you reacting to these very real stressors by catastophizing your relationship and future?

OR

  • Do you feel a void so deep in your gut you’re afraid it will swallow you whole?
  • Are you unrecognizable as the person you ‘used to be?’
  • Have you become impulsive, unkind, quick to defend/offend, and quite frankly, dislike yourself?
If the Latter.

The real question here, to use and age old metaphor, are you “throwing out the baby with the bath water?

The root of these discontents

  • The dynamics of your relationship
  • A change in your partner’s attitudes and moral compass
  • Your needs not being met

OR

  • Are the challenges and disquiet actually emanating from within?
  • Have you changed in any way, positively or negatively, that’s had an impact on your relationship?
There’s Work To Be Done.

In either regard there’s work to be done. Co-Vid 19 and this monumental outcome have only brought to the fore the personal challenges we’ve so cleverly disregarded. That tends to happen when the world turns upside down and is unrecognizable.

If your world’s become a living nightmare, dysfuncttional and life sucking at its core, It’s time to do something.

Reality.

Leaving, if that’s what you decide to do, may prove impossible. It’s a pandemic afterall. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to call a truce of sorts to the overt and/or subtle arguments, tit-for-tats and nastiness we all know lie just below the surface for use at a moment’s notice.

These negative behaviors aren’t helpful and serve only to foment anger and mistrust, alienating your partner even further and racheting up the unrest.

Remember, there may be nowhere else to go.

Friend’s and hotels aren’t exactly opening their doors to you at the moment. No one wants to get deathly ill! Besides, life is already miserable enough, why make it worse? I get it, in the short-term it feels empowering to let loose. But long-term consequences are likely to feel the opposite. Any uncoupling is difficult at best, but during a pandemic, it becomes infinitesimally more arduous

Your Children

What about the kids, if you have them?

I promise if you’ve reached the end of your, it’s no secret to them. 

They may not see or hear the arguing, but the negative energy is still palpable. And depending on what ages your children are and what stage of development they’re in, the toxicity between the two of you will hugely affect their well-being moving forward.

Your pettiness and spitefullness will not only set an example as to their future behavior with a potential mate, but oftentimes it causes the children to choose sides, act out, and honestly, it just plain scares them.

It’s okay if your world’supside down. You chose that. It’s not okay for theirs to follow suit. It has far greater negative consequences in countless ways for them moving forward.

Please Remember.

Time marches on. The pandemic will not last forever. Biden will assume the Presidency on January 20th, and you will decide the fate of your marriage.

In the Meantime.

Get rid of the lens that only sees fault.

Think outside the box. play board games, cards, charades (especially if you have children).
Take turns with the TV remote, the kitchen, the laundry.
Be fair. NOT provocative.
Look at old photographs of earlier times together.
Before you go to sleep think about what went well during the day, not what went wrong.
As you close your eyes and before you nod off, find three things to be grateful for.
In the End.

Should you decide to separate and divorce, as overwhelming and stressful as it may be, after doing the hard work along with a lot of soul-searching, you can emerge like the Phoenix with a new purpose and sense of self.

Perhaps you’ll even feel grateful for the lessons learned along the way.

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