New Year, New Opportunities For a Civil Separation

Molly Rumbelow, January 25, 2018

New year, new opportunities for a civil separation.

The new year brings with it a time of celebration as well as a time of reflection and resolution.

We can look back at the year before and resolve to change habits and behaviors that mean the year ahead can be better.

If you’ve been going through a separation, then last year may have been a difficult one for you. It may have involved conflict, confusion and miscommunication. But this year can be different. This year can instead be about proper communication and mediation.

Below are some tips to help you create new habits that can help you and your family to get through your separation as smoothly as possible.

1. Be kind to yourself.

Whether it’s happening quickly or over time, the fact is that a separation is going to change your life. And, even though this may ultimately be for the better, it is still going to have an impact on your body and mind. This is especially true when kids are involved and you’re having to put on a brave face for them.

Your sleep patterns may have become disrupted, your appetite may have changed, and your emotions may feel intense and hard to handle. This is all completely normal, and it’s completely okay. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be ‘normal’. For now, surviving is enough, thriving will come later.

2. Stop seeing separation as a battle.

Depending on the circumstances in which your separation has occurred, this could be asking a lot from you.

But either starting, or joining a war is not going to do either party any good in the long term. If kids are involved it can cause resentment that can last a lifetime which is something neither you or your ex-partner would ever want to happen.

Using tools like mediation can be invaluable as trying to sort things out on your own can cause more issues than it solves. Old arguments can rear their head and interfere with the separation process.

Mediation helps you to focus on the here and now rather than rehashing old difficulties, which would only drag you backwards rather than move you forwards.

3. Make a plan and stick to it.

Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or end of your separation journey, having a proper plan for the year can make a huge difference to you and your kids’ lives.

Change is most overwhelming when it’s sudden. A robust plan can help to reduce the risk of nasty surprises down the line and make sure everyone’s on the same page. While none of us can predict what’s going to happen for sure, we can map out big changes (house moves, divorce finalization) so we know that they’re coming, and we can prepare for them in advance.

4. Don’t be afraid to seek external help if you need to.

While there are many ways you can help make your separation less traumatic for those involved, you also can’t do everything.

Speaking to an external, independent professional like a psychologist can help you and your children to deal with your emotions and adjust to the changes that are happening.

Kids can sometimes feel safer talking to someone outside of their family because they don’t have to worry about upsetting anyone. And, using a professional whose role it is to help kids open up and support them in exploring their emotions can provide a healthy platform for these conversations to then continue at home.  

Seeing someone yourself means you can talk in depth about your partnership, what went wrong and how you can make sure not to follow the same pattern in any new relationship you enter into.

Looking forward to the future.

Right now, a civil separation may seem like the last thing that’s going to come out of 2019 for you. But there are techniques and behaviours you can put in place to make this more likely.

For whatever reason, the above resolutions may be too tricky for you right now. If they are, don’t panic! Why not start off small by signing up with us?

Our tools, including our communication monitoring services, give you a boost by making sure that your communication is kept civil at all times. And being able to keep language neutral and communication ongoing will play a huge part in being able to avoid conflict as much as possible, which is what we’re all after in the end.

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