Separation or divorce is one of the most difficult decisions you may ever have to face. You might reach a decision gradually, over time or perhaps it comes about quite quickly and unexpectedly. You could be considering separation or divorce while in the midst of repairing any discord in your marriage, or you could one day firmly reach a conclusion that your marriage is over.
Often your decision will come about when the pain of staying in the same unhappy relationship outweighs the fear and anxiety of entering unchartered territory.
If doing an inventory of your relationship has led you to think that separation and divorce is a consideration, then thinking about supports – informational and emotional – can be an important step in moving forward.
The ongoing support of a trained clinician can assist you in coming to terms with your decision and provide much-needed emotional support as you determine how best to cope with the difficult times ahead. Your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is an excellent place to start to seek out the support you and those you care about may benefit from.
Legal counsel is often of paramount importance as you attempt to decipher what is required to draft and formalize a separation and divorce agreement. Your EFAP can offer you valuable legal resources and information to access. Canadian governmental websites such as the Department of Justice will also help.
Addressing your financial security in the wake of a separation and divorce is very important. This involves looking at joint financial responsibilities and assets within the marriage and how you will untangle these in the context of a separation and divorce. Financial coaching and consultation may be available via your EFAP. Various resources on the web, such as GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca are also good places to start in learning more about how to approach and plan for the financial aspects of a separation and divorce.
Getting the information and support you need at the beginning can better prepare you to cope with the inevitable stress that you may experience as you move towards greater independence from your relationship, and will help you see beyond the immediate stressors towards building a new and fulfilling life for yourself. With good supports in place, you will find that not only can you cope with divorce, but you can also survive it and even thrive after it.