Santa Monica Observer September 08, 2002
ASK THE DIVORCE COACH©, SUSAN ALLAN
STAGE III AGONY
AGONY is the normal grieving process that we experience. We must allow ourselves to process through all of our pain, using the support that we may need.
When you entered your marriage, it was to love someone else. When you leave, it is to love yourself. The degree to which you are willing to reconnect with yourself will measure the ease or pain of your transition. Between these, you will discover who you were, who you are and the space in between.
The Holmes Schedule of Stressful Events places divorce as the #2 Most Stressful Event because there can be so many devastating components in divorce. We may lose not only our spouse but also our home, children, pets, business and friends. The AGONY that we feel is normal; it is our ability to feel it, move through it and heal from it that defines those of us who move on to healthy relationships after divorce. For the others who stay in the inferno, there is always tomorrow when we are ready to begin the process.
The courage to feel the AGONY each and every time that grief or sadness or pain sweeps through you is the pivotal experience of healing.
Dear Divorce Coach©,
I cannot stay in my marriage! But if I walk out on my family, what will my legal position be?
Ready to walk
It is always advisable to sign a separation agreement before leaving, for practical as well as legal reasons. If your divorce becomes adversarial, you may be accused of financial abandonment or of stealing family property. Sudden separations often lead to expensive legal fees due to one spouse's PANIC, AGONY or RAGE. Plan a vacation or a business trip to ease the pressure until the separation agreement is completed.
How can my husband have changed from loving to hating me? I know he's seeing someone but I love him and don't want a divorce. What can I do?
When we have conflicting needs, it causes AGONY. I'm guessing that marriage fulfills some of your husband's needs and that is why he has not asked for a divorce. However, if he is dating, some of his needs are not being met in the marriage. Infidelity is often caused by RAGE and not by sexual needs. When my clients learn to discuss their needs with each other, calmly and responsibly, RAGE, PANIC and AGONY often disappear and solutions are found. Then the behaviors that cause the AGONY may begin to disappear naturally.
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