As mentioned in a previous article, the duration of separation is lengthy, averaging over three years. In working with our clients, we’ve found that that the major reason for the man to delay filing for divorce is fear of loss; the emotional connection with your spouse, not seeing your kids every day, and a big decrease in your finances.
If your spouse has made the decision to move on, hanging on only prolongs heartache and is a financial drain. You can’t change her mind. But you can change yours. By focusing on what you can control, your thoughts and actions, you begin to reclaim your personal strength and break the emotional connection. This can be done through acceptance, repositioning, and refocus.
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Accept that it is over. We are human and this type of loss usually comes with a lot of emotional pain. Moving into a mental and emotional “space” of acceptance begins the healing process. It’s not a feeling of resignation, victimization, or failure. Acceptance is the realization of the situation. It is a state of rationality without emotion or negative thought.
You do this all the time, you just don’t realize it. Acceptance is the result of choice. For instance, say you wanted to go to one restaurant, but a different one was chosen. You accept the second choice and enjoy your time. Or you get up in the morning to mow the lawn, but instead end up working on the car. You accept your change of mind. It’s the same with a relationship ending. Now I don’t mean to say that ending a relationship is as trivial as the above examples. Rather, my point is that the mental process of acceptance is the same. Accept the situation and begin to move forward with your life by repositioning your relationship with your spouse.
Once you accept you can start to reposition the events in your relationship to begin breaking the emotional connection. Repositioning can be done with four actions:
1) Magnifying the negative aspects of the relationship. Create a list of all the things you had to give up, the negative feelings you had, and those things you put up with during the relationship (like not going out with the guys, being told you were at fault when things went wrong, or her not participating in events with your side of the family).
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2) Recognize the new positives you will enjoy. For each negative above, there is a positive. Now you do have time to do all those things you wanted, going out with the guys, attending family functions, rebuild your confidence, and have special alone time with your kids.
3) Build a network of friends. Having like-minded friends will “get” you; they know what you’re going through. A network of friends with help you vent, share experiences, give you ideas to cope, and keep you moving forward by challenging you when you continually complain about your spouse.
4) Last is managing your emotional state through healthy and productive emotional, mental, and physical release. Several studies have proven that a regular exercise routine is just as good at managing your mental health as prescription depressants. Starting an exercise routine will help you manage your emotional state, enabling you to rebuild your confidence faster. This will help you refocus your attention on other women.