The decision to get divorced can be a hideously destructive process that can have long term and far reaching consequences for those involved and sometimes we need all the help we can get.
Anger, conflict and revenge in divorce
Divorce is often a pretty messy business for those involved even when the parting does not resemble the Israel /Palestine conflict. More than two thirds of divorce petitions are made by women and of those, at least half cite their husband's behaviour as one of the reasons for getting divorced.
An already troubled situation can be compounded by anger and resentment which can reach uncontrollable levels. Pouring paint stripper over his beloved car or chopping up your unfaithful wife’s designer frocks may make you feel better in the short term and perhaps commend you to your mates in the pub on a Friday night, but in hindsight will do little to restore calm to what may have become a supercharged state of affairs.
The best tactic for avoiding a tit for tat situation is to stay out of each other’s way. Totally. No contact is the best possible means of cooling things down. This can be tricky if there are children involved and absolutely the worst thing you can do is to use them as weapons either during, or after, divorce.
Peace keeping during a divorce
Any unavoidable meetings between you and your former marriage partner should be kept as brief as possible. Meet on neutral territory preferably in a public place as you are then less likely to start firing verbal warheads if you can be overheard by others.
If you feel that it would be impossible to act like rational human beings when all you really want to do is tear out each others throats, then it may be wise to take along someone who could act as peace maker if the situation becomes difficult or threatens to get completely out of control.
Carrying such negative and potentially destructive feelings around with you day to day will have repercussions on the way in which you carry out your job, if you have one, and on the relationships you have with those around you.
Children especially will be upset and they may react to the war their parents are intent on waging by indulging in disruptive behaviour themselves. Again, it might be helpful to ask yourself some questions about why you or your former spouse (or, of course, both of you) are harbouring these negative feelings.
Talking to someone
Having someone you can trust to keep your confidence is one way you can help to understand why you or your ex husband/wife are hanging on to these difficult to deal with emotions. This is usually easier for women than for men as women tend to be more confiding and more open to discussing their feelings than men anyway.
It is a good idea to talk to someone who is able to see both sides of the story and who will take an objective viewpoint, your best friend, in this instance, may not be the wisest choice. When you are embroiled in a highly emotional situation you need someone who can take the middle path and help you to see a way out of the situation.
Professional help is best as the counseller will have the experience and objectivity to help whereas family and friends can never do that. The Institute Of Family Therapy works with couples to resolve a number of family relationship difficulties. The British Association for Sexual and Relationship Therapy is useful in finding a therapist near you dealing with the sexual aspects of relationships. The UK Council for Psychotherapy can also help with finding a theapist near you. Dont't forget Relate who work with couples from thinking about divorcing all the way to 'divorced'.