It has been said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Whilst there is as much truth as there is a whimsy to that observation, perhaps there are a couple more factors worthy of inclusion.
Regardless of our circumstances, all of us will experience both happiness and heartbreak in our lifetimes. Apart from the death of a loved one, perhaps the greatest heartbreak we might endure is the loss of an intimate relationship, through separation or divorce.
Firstly, a divorce places great stress on the two partners involved. There are then further ‘ripples of effect’ which consequently affect the wider family of those two individuals — children and extended family members.
Consider calling in an expert
The breakdown of a relationship very typically brings with it the potential for high emotion and it is a point of fact that critical decisions should not be made during extreme emotional periods. When it occurs, a relationship breakdown can be a consensual, mutually agreed upon affair, or a separation charged with extreme and sometimes aggressive emotion.
Whatever the outward level of emotion, it should be recognized that, at some level, there is a sense of loss and sadness — most relationships are initially entered into with some sense of desire of something beneficial or pleasing.
Calling upon the services of an expert third party, who can act with experience and see both sides clearly, is important. The presents a good example of this. A professional mediator becomes a key consideration in putting the resultant partnership and family matters to rest legally, so that each party can move on with their lives.
Your support network is important
It goes without saying that emotional support becomes vital in times of relationship breakups. Friends and other family members become a natural ‘go-to’ in these times. For others, social groups, community groups, and church groups also form part of this support network.
It is worthwhile to think further beyond these logical support groups and consider the possibility of deeper professional support in the form of counseling or referral to a specialist by the family doctor.
A support network must help through a time of conflict resolution, but equally, they need to be able to assist through the next vital phase — healing.
Support for children and family
Children and teenagers will naturally suffer the emotional fallout of a divorce or family breakup. Notwithstanding age and developmental level, a fundamental here is to be open with children and remind them that they are loved and supported.
Blame should be avoided, as should using children as a ‘sounding board’ or setting them against the other partner.
It should be borne in mind that, very often, children blame themselves for the breakdown of their parent’s relationship, and they should be encouraged to speak freely and openly about how they are thinking or feeling.
In some cases, children and teens may withhold or mask their feelings, for fear, they may be betraying one or the other of their parents. In the same way that support groups should be used, consider some close third party who children might feel comfortable enough to confide in and share their feelings openly.
Life and love bring with them a mixed bag of blessings. Follow a few simple and logical steps, and remember that difficult times pass and there is always the promise of better things to look forward to.
Originally published at https://www.momentsofpositivity.com on September 4, 2021.