Recovery after divorce and separation can be a long and painful process for you and your separated partner, your children and wider family. The average recovery time is 2 years, but how long before ‘winter turns to spring’ depends on many things; the depth and significance of the relationship, the circumstances of the separation, the personalities of those involved, social support and other stressors such as previous losses and any associated loss of income, housing, health etc.
As well as dealing with your own loss, parents have the task of protecting their children from conflict and limiting the damage that separation can cause. There is a strong body of research that concludes if parents want their children to have good mental health after separation, they need to support their children to have relationships with both parents.
Within a relationship, it is normal for roles to be delegated between parents. One might organise the mortgage payment, the other might organise new shoes. And in many relationships, these are divided along gender lines. So…not knowing the monthly mortgage payment does not mean you are stupid or irresponsible, and not knowing what size shoes your children take does not make you an uncaring or incompetent parent.
But the roles that you have comfortably occupied as a couple will need to change after you separate. In relation to finances, you will now each become your own financial manager. Equally where children are concerned, finding successful ways to share important information and decision making may require changes to the roles you occupied whilst in a relationship together.
Making changes to roles can feel threatening, and you will be facing this challenge at a time of vulnerability. Those couples who do successfully negotiate role changes will protect their children from confusion, divided loyalty and conflict, so there is high incentive for both of you to negotiate these changes well. Mediation provides a calm space for you both to consider, in a neutral and supportive environment, what can stay the same and what needs to change. Successfully negotiated changes to your roles will help provide clarity and reduce tension, thereby contributing to your own healing. Our success rates are high and mediated settlements have better outcomes emotionally for both adults and children than those imposed by courts.
For more information please contact us on 01670 528441 or see our website for more information.
Simon Shatlock - Psychotherapist
Professor Liz Trinder
Lyrics to "Everything Must Change" by George Benson