Santa Monica Observer July 6, 2003


As seen in The Santa Monica Observer Weekly



 Sometimes, in order to eliminate scar tissue, we must reopen the wound to clean it and to stitch it up. Often, it is necessary to break a bone again to reset it properly. How does that apply to divorce healing?

When you leave the marriage and numb yourself to “stop the bleeding”, that is when the scar tissue develops. Any habit such as drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling etc. may be your way of disconnecting from your feelings. At first, you may believe that the PANIC, AGONY and RAGE, 3 of the 7 STAGES OF DIVORCE, are unconfrontable. However, when you learn “The 30 Minutes to Peace Training” you will begin to move easily through your emotions to the 7th STAGE, PEACE. Using Nonviolent Communication's ™ Self-empathy, peace can be founding minutes.

Which story do you believe may be too painful to consider? That is the one that must be addressed with the support of Self-empathy, coaching or therapy. For some, it is the affair, the AGONY and RAGE triggered by thoughts of your partner sharing physical and emotional intimacy with you and with another. For others, it is the financial loss that triggers PANIC and RAGE as you contemplate the loss of home or public identity that divorce may bring. Sometimes, the AGONY of sharing custody of the children and the deep physical longing and PANIC when they are absent is the primary source of suffering. The temptation to shut off the emotions will also terminate the connection to healing and if anything is the tragedy of divorce, it is that. Not the affair; not the bankruptcy; not even the homelessness that more than 50% of all divorces experience. All these experiences are temporary; only the spiritual and emotional deadness that you bring upon yourself as a temporary solution to pain; that is the problem.

Have you experienced the death of a parent, child or spouse? Sometimes the shock of the casket, may trigger a disconnection of emotion which may only be resumed years ahead. At the time, you may believe that feelings would be too painful, destructive. In certain cultures limited and deep grieving is part of the normal process. In Judaism, seven days is set aside; for certain Native American tribes there is a similar time allotment followed by the required giving away of all the deceased's possessions. Grief, fully experienced rather than suppressed, has it's limits and it's “Letting Go”. When any emotion is avoided, displaced, projected, swallowed or drugged, scar tissue forms. If running away from problems worked; wouldn't you feel happy all the time?

“Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. My ex-husband has pressured me into everything through fear with this whole divorce process.” CLIENT # 299

Dear Divorce Coach,

I have only been married for a little over a year and I'm going crazy. I put my 100% into it and he doesn't. How do I make him see that I love him? I bend over backwards for him again and again and I still get walked all over. I give him everything; all my salary, all my love etc. I love him so much but hate him all at the same time. I feel like I'm dying inside. Please help!!!!!

Stupid and in love

Dear Stupid,

Your letter indicated that you are torn between your need for love, for emotional safety and for financial stability. When we have clarity about our needs, new strategies and solutions can always be found. Have you considered that by offering yourself on a platter without your own self-respect, it would be difficult for your husband to respect you?

Best regards,
Susan Allan

Dear Divorce Coach©,

I'm at my wits end thinking about divorcing my wife of 18 years.  We don't do things together anymore; she likes to smoke and I worry about the health of me and our 13 year old son. Now for the sex issue, it is nonexistent unless I try to get it started and she shuts me down more times then she turns me on. What are my chances of keeping my home so my son can grow up with his friends and the same schools? If it comes down to I will stay in this misery till the time my son moves out if this would have to big of a negative effect on him.

Wits End

Dear Wits,

Your letter indicates that you feel torn about meeting your needs for health; for financial and physical safety for yourself and your son as well as meeting your own need for companionship and intimacy. When I read that you “will stay in this misery”, I feel more concerned about your son's emotional environment than on the effect of a physical move. Clearly, you and your wife have allowed ‘scar tissue” to develop over the anger and disappointment in the marriage. Would you consider a free phone coaching session with me at this time or entering couple's therapy?

Best regards,
Ask the Divorce Coach, Susan Allan

from 101 Divorce Survival Secrets, and free E-zine at , with Collaborative Divorce information

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