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Blog / The modern-age disease from the perspective of an expert / Divorce – how to deal with one of the greatest stresses in life
13/05/2019
The modern-age disease from the perspective of an expert
Divorce – how to deal with one of the greatest stresses in life
Zorana Filipović Specialist of medical psychology, Family therapist
Divorce – how to deal with one of the greatest stresses in life
Speaking about the divorce, I am not sure whether fairy tales with happy ending ‘...and they lived happily ever after’, myths of the culture we belong to or natural need of human beings to strive for something certain in a sea of uncertainties, including also believing in eternal love ‘cost us’ its acceptance and surviving. Different rituals connected with the wedding ceremony speak in favour of how important the topic of marriage is, the rituals used to call for ‘divine intervention’ in helping preserve the marriage, the presence of witnesses who testify that the marriage has been solemnized and other numerous rituals of different cultures and epochs of civilization, which actually speak about the initiation process (some kind of rebirth!). What is a reality in this story is that we need numerous rituals to enter the marriage, but we cannot call for help of any of them when we need to exit it.

Without further elaborating the topic of marriage (what all you could say about the tendency to completeness of one’s own personality through finding ‘the other half’, strength and role of the projection in the partnership relations) we can say that the story of divorce is actually a story of loss, a multidimensional loss. It is not only about the loss of phantasies about the eternal love or pieces of oneself that we ‘built in’ a partner, fantasy about keeping the family together, but also about the disappearance of shared plans, dreams and hopes, often shared friends, pleasures, obligations... Sadness, as well as numerous fears (fear of loneliness, unknown, financial insecurity, of the opinion of the environment) are normal and expected reactions to this ‘small death’. Feeling of guilt, personal failure, vain and ‘failed’ investments are frequent accompanying sensations. The decision to exit the marriage is very stressful, traumatic and filled with mixed, even conflicting feelings even in a partner who initiated the divorce, (from the and feeling of guilt to excitement before a new beginning).

To get out of the vicious circle of mutual accusations, shifting of responsibilities, looking for a ‘culprit’ for failure, one should accept the fact that a divorce is not a result of a mistake or an action of one partner, that it does not occur suddenly and because of ‘a third party’, but it is a final part of a process which has been going on for certain time in a partnership relation. Marriage is a dance for two, which means that responsibility for the quality of created and maintained relation has to be shared.

This perception offers a possibility of reconsidering one’s own choices from the perspective of former circumstances and inner framework, a chance to forgive yourself and your partner, as well as a chance to conclude a new alliance of the ones who remain tied up for a lifetime as a parenting couple, for the love and care of their common children, if not for anything else. The return to oneself (again ‘I’ instead of ‘we’), to one’s own wishes, needs, dark sides and personality strengths (there is no more of the other one ‘doing everything on one’s own’) leads to regaining control over one’s own life.

If that journey is too dark, heavy or like a labyrinth, do not hesitate to look for a psychologist’s help.
AUTHOR
Zorana Filipović
Specialist of medical psychology, Family therapist