D-Day: The moment she tells you it’s over.
Women end most relationships. 60% of all divorce filings are by women. If the breakup has come as a surprise to you, your most immediate concern is dealing with your own emotions. Whether it was an affair or something benign, you probably won’t be prepared for the emotions you will soon be feeling. Sometimes the emotions don’t get triggered immediately after she told you it’s over. You might enter a shock state which can last for a few hours. Then the grief sets in.
The emotions can be surprisingly overwhelming.
People react in a variety of different ways. For some, the sense of loss permeates all of their thoughts like a low hanging cloud of fog rolling into Elliot Bay. Others respond by channeling all their energy into something. It could be a positive thing or a negative thing. some people begin exercising while others obsessively begin working or resorting to food, drugs, or alcohol. Over the first few days it may interfere with your work so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get a lot done. You are adjusting to your new set of emotional circumstance. Emotions of longing for what you had are normal.
Attempting or ceasing contact with her after separation.
Experts agree that the best way to get over someone is to cease all contact with them for a definite period of time. If you have children with her, obviously, that’s not possible. If you have been served with a divorce petition or the establishment of a parenting plan from your girlfriend, this sense of loss is exactly why you should seek professional legal advice. You may find yourself wanting to call her or text her. If you were just served with a restraining order, that’s a really bad idea. A restraining order is her way of saying she doesn’t want to have anything to do with you. Ever. Also if she told you not to text or call her again, honor that and don’t.
Regardless of whether you were served a restraining order, you may think about what happened or begin bargaining with yourself.
Making financial decision when full of emotions.
Relationships are built around emotion, not logic. Whether it makes sense to keep yours going is beyond my realm of expertise. But, these are not the times to be making legal decisions about your financial future. You might be tempted to giver her everything. I’ve heard clients say, “she can have everything” or “I don’t care about any of the stuff”. However, the bottom line is that you are simply not thinking rationally. You are thinking with emotion which is the same as trying to make good investment decisions like selecting stocks or choosing a 401(k) fund while drunk. If your going to do that, may the odds be ever in your favor.
Successfully dealing with divorce when your spouse leaves you.
One, you don’t go it alone. The worst time to make decisions about your future is after you’ve been hit with a loss like this. Barring some emergency, put the paperwork down and try to clear your head before making any decisions. It might make sense to get a divorce consultation or it might not matter at all. But you will make a better decision about this tomorrow than you will in the moment of being served with papers.
Two, pick up a new habit. If you ever wanted to go skydiving or do something unique, now’s the time to pick up that new activity to fill your time. If you don’t exercise now is a great time to start. Three, find someone who will listen to you about what is happening to you emotionally. If you don’t have a close friend, get a therapist. It will be well worth it. Four, understand that you are a human not a machine. You might react emotionally to other things for no apparent reason. Don’t beat yourself up about that.
Finally, get expert advice. If you were served with divorce papers involving children in Seattle, major financial assets, or some other legal document like a motion for temporary orders at the time of separation, you should have a consultation with a Seattle family law attorney. No matter who you are, even if you are a family law attorney yourself, you will not be able to deal with the legal side of what is happening while you are also dealing with the emotional loss. You simply can’t think rationally about these issues in the context of the moment you are in. The peace of mind you will gain from running this by someone who does this for a living will be far more valuable to you than the few hundred dollars it may have cost you for a consultation.
If you’d like to arrange a consultation with us. You will first need to call us at (206) 633-2015. Next, request a consultation with an attorney from our Seattle office. You will likely want to schedule the consultation as soon as possible. If you work long hours like many doctors or dentists, this consultation will give some peace of mind to allow you to refocus on your work and not obsess about your ex.
The Seattle Family Law Group serves clients in King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County. Our emphasis in practice is exclusively in family law related matters including divorce, estate planning, prenuptial agreements, and non-parental or third party custody cases.