Previously published in Examiner
Part 1 of divorce and common law break ups
Divorce has both a legal and a psychological component. One of the most devastating life situations for Montrealers, which affect our psyche and our mental health is divorce. A divorce can start and end fairly well, or it can start and end badly. There are so many emotions to consider in the dynamics of divorce including: individual, couple, and family social, work related and legal dynamics.
What is of utmost importance is how the couple handle the divorce emotionally, because their level of stress, anxiety, depression, coping skills, and so on will set the tone for all the other components mentioned above. It is rare that a couple mutually agree upon a separation and divorce at the same time. It usually goes that one person wants out of the union and has had a long time think about it and prepare for it. The other person has had less time or no time at all and is left in emotional turmoil. According toSam Margulies ,Psychology Today,
“The other partner, who we call the “non-initiator” may be anywhere on a continuum from resigned acceptance to utter shock and surprise.”
Margulies goes on to say that divorce is all about change and so it is. The change ranges from change of housing, change of schools and relocation, change of jobs, change of friends, change of family dynamics, change of family income and so on. This is why there is so much emotional trauma and stress in most divorces.
However, this emotionally distress is not limited to divorce, it extends to legal separations and common-law marriages which are so prevalent in Montreal and Quebec.