Dealing with Negative Thoughts in Divorce
Ending a relationship is traumatic, chaotic, and filled with horrible contradictory emotions. There are also feelings, emotions and attitudes associated with whether one is in the initiator or the receiver of the decision to breakup. For example, it is not unusual for the initiator to experience fear, relief, distance, impatience, resentment, doubt, and guilt. Likewise, when a party has not initiated the divorce, they may feel shock, betrayal, loss of control, victimization, decreased self esteem, insecurity, anger, a desire to “get even,” and wishes to reconcile.
Whether you’re the Leaver or the Leavee, you are going to go through some negative thoughts during one of the emotional stages of either grief or the legal process. Your disbelief at the end of your marriage is understandable.
After all, how could something that, in the beginning, was marked by such ceremony and hope, be reduced to such bitterness and hostility? How could it be true that your family is being ruptured?
Let your mind run unattended and you will become the marching ground for all kinds of negativity, worry, anger, bitterness and emotional seething…and be assuresd, none of these are going to be helpful to you, your children or your divorce process.
The reality is that emotional health requires that your anger be processed and eventually digested, or it’ll keep recycling and resurfacing itself. Anger is a very emotional energy that will reside in our body, lives and mind until it runs its course.
Still anger shouldn’t necessarily be feared. It can teach you about yourself—what’s important to you, what your sensitivities are, where your boundaries lie. But to learn you have to listen tto your anger.
You can catch the internal signal or clue that anger is on the way. Then you can switch to a mindset of curiosity and self-investigation about what your anger is trying to say to you.
The ability to know your own thoughts, to be aware at all times of what you are thinking, is one of the roads to self-enlightenment. For years I’ve practiced something I call “thought watching.” I believe in this technique because I know it has changed my life.
Before, when worry, stress, negativity and those dreadful thoughts that seem to just seep into my mind would take over, dampening my spirits, making me less of who I really was, I had no way to fight back. Eventually I had to make a decision to learn to watch my thoughts…to be aware of where my mind was taking me.
Eventually I challenged myself to redirect my thoughts to where I would rather they go. Some psychologists refer to this as “thought stoppage.” Some even suggest wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it each time you begin to delve a negative mental process. Personally I don’t hold with that…I don’t see the point of adding more pain to your already aching self.
Still ‘Thought Watching’ doesn’t come naturally or easily. It takes practice… lots of practice. But it is worth it…and especially helpful as you delve the emotional process of separation and divorce. Read up on it. Talk to people about it. Attend a Seminar. There is no shortage of people – religious and secular – that are talking about this concept. Given time you’ll begin to derive the benefits of being in control of your mind, as opposed to letting your mind take you down every black back alley in Worst Case Town.
Bottom Line? Decide right now to take control of your thought process or your thought process will take control of you.
How to Avoid A Messy Divorce
- Seriously consider mediation before lawyer litigation
- If at all possible, stay out of the Family Courts
- Gather and organize your financial documents
- Do your homework, understand how divorce works in Ontario