Guest post by Evelyn Crowther
It’s rare that the process of divorce doesn’t bring conflict. Even the most embittered among us can hardly fail to be impressed by those who manage to go their separate ways without resorting to arguments about property, children or finances; and have somehow managed their separation in a minimally destructive way. It’s all too easy to get caught up in angry exchanges, both verbal and legal as we fight for our rights. There’s often a desire to prove ourselves the victim of terrible injustices, and have our spouse seen as the perpetrator of all wrongs, but the way we go about the process can be extremely self-sabotaging.
Amid the haranguing about who did what to whom, who gets the house, the car and the blame, there’s one highly underrated trophy; worth more than money or property, or even the need to be right. It’s our dignity.
Coping with the process of divorce will likely be one of the most emotionally draining and stressful periods of a lifetime, with survivors are often left feeling as though we’ve been put through the hot wash cycle and hung out to dry. We can find that we’re left with a loss of self-respect and a great deal of embarrassment, when we realize that far too many aspects of our conflict have been made public and there is literally, nowhere to hide.
If we can resist the strong pull of self-disclosure we are more likely to maintain a sense of self-worth and come away with our heads held a little higher. We all need a trustworthy friend with whom to share our deepest worries, but do we really need ten and their hairdressers? Gossip can easily get out of hand, and before we know it, that comment we made in the heat of the moment, has resulted in previously supportive friends now taking the other side. It takes courage and integrity not to escalate a situation where we feel we are being wronged, but by engaging in public warfare we lose more than we bargain for. If we can resist the urge to bad mouth our partner, we maintain dignity and greater long term privacy, when we are starting to rebuild our lives. Don’t shout from the rooftops – leave the shouting to the lawyers.