The Final Stage in the Divorce Life-Cycle-Emancipation

Divorce is Painful

Collectively, we are skidding to a stop…a place of wishful exultation for we have reached a muddy and slick patch of earth that may have left us a bit dirty, but Emancipated from the thralls of relationship peril.

We have gone through the rinse or should I say Divorce Life-Cycle and experienced just about every emotion known to our species. We have shared our dirty laundry with everyone from our hair stylist to our dear ole’ deaf Aunt Betty and probably even to our furry friends who just want a clean litter box or a walk around the block.

The Divorce Life-Cycle has not been easy and you are ready to be free of any political, social, or legal constraints and you want to be free…NOW!

The Divorce Life-Cycle:

1. Irritation
2. Contemplation
3. Irrigation

4. Condemnation

5. Reconciliation
6. Emancipation

The problem? Well…feeling free of the worry and pain isn’t as relieving as we might have thought. Just because we have come to a decision does not mean that we are not susceptible to getting back on the merry-go-round and going for another spin. Marriage is complicated and deciding where to go when a fork appears…well daunting.

Has Your Marriage Got You Up In-Arms?

We all enter and exit the Divorce Life-Cycle at different times. Sometimes we feel like we have control of when and how we get on the merry-go-round and other times we feel pushed like a Hallmark holiday that begrudgingly forces us to celebrate another p.c. holiday when we really want to stomp off and AWAY from our spouses.

Normal people experience the cycle on a basis more regular than Metamucil users at after a local carnival. If you feel regular and have gained wisdom through the treachery of a struggling marriage then you have come to a conclusion that Emancipation lies within. It may appear to come in the form of a divorce decree or spending sprees on jeans no one should pay for or ice cream stops and infomercials on the couch at 2:00 a.m. Any way you slice it, an adjustment period will be Normal and is imperative to a safe landing in the future. If Emancipation means divorce to you then it should not encompass bitterness or parental positioning because you really do not want to see your children make the same ill-fated choices you and your partner did.

For others, Emancipation means that they have chosen to re-commit to their marriage without the chains that had previously restrained purposeful communication, love, and affection. And to those of you who have been successful in freeing past transgressions…I applaud you. By re-committing to your partner you have obviously come to the conclusion that there remains substantive qualities about your partner and your union that can and will prosper with fair amounts of water and sunlight. The scorecard has been settled and signed off like a golfer pledging honest scoring practices to the gallery and you are certain that when challenges resurface you have the elements in place to succeed.

Too often, though, individuals and couples re-confirm their commitment levels through public statements. They go back to those who unwittingly collected their dirty laundry and spin the outcome like a great political come-back win. We can’t all be Truman in 1948, but our renewed sense of excitement begs to differ as we surprise the masses with fodder drenched with tones of reconciliation, and presidential pardons.

All well and good…BUT…if we are to be successful in personally emancipating our fears and remaining with our spouse then we need not be afraid to regularly check for relationship blood-sugar levels. You have to determine if you can, honestly, approach your relationship with a proactive attitude and level of understanding for yourself and yourself in marriage and more importantly what you need in the relationship to be healthy.

You may find your honest answer to these questions hard to come by and even harder to put into practice. Remember…you now have a legion of friends and supporters who have seen the light and also believe your spouse is bad medicine. And, you may find that these friends, if divorced, will not take too kindly to your back-and-forth approach.

Honoré Daumier [Marseille, 1808 - Valmondois, 1879]

Women have Celebrated Divorce From Men for a Long Time

Be prepared that those around you, in the wake of your sharing, will think you need therapy and they may not be quite so supportive as in the past. This is Normal and sadly a significant part of the process. Just as when you were struggling, your friends opinions serve to challenge your assumptions, shake off temporary improvements, and assist you in determining the next chapter in your relationship. My warning would be this…just because you may think your friends are down-playing your new pain-free life doesn’t mean you should become a recluse with your spouse to maintain this new-found pleasure. Hiding away from your community only further supports the notion that your on-again stage will be off-again faster than you think.

Take control of your life and work diligently to build back your confidence in yourself first…then you can make the determination as to what freedom truly means. Your children are looking to you for guidance and what they need is a parent and adult that fully understands the layers of marriage and divorce. You will come out in the end a happier person and one who can fully commit to either your spouse or your next relationship. Be good to yourself—you deserve it!

My hope is that by going through the Divorce Life-Cycle you have found the human qualities of marriage needed to be successful and the actions and decisions for long-lasting love and companionship.

All The Best!

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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Filed under Divorce Life-Cycle, Relationships

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