Maintaining Integrity During Divorce

As we journey through the divorce process, we often find ourselves getting triggered, angry, or upset, and when this happens, we can become aggressive and reactionary, dysregulated or fearful. We may wish to win an argument or hurt our partner in some way because we are in a great deal of pain. The best course of action, when you feel these powerful emotions come up, is to take a moment, a long moment, and a deep breath. Then take another deep breath and think seriously about what you are about to do. This moment creates a precious pause; space between you and your reaction. It slows you and your reaction down, hopefully long enough to grant you time to consider your words or actions more carefully. This creates an awareness within you of your thoughts and feelings, and the words you’re thinking of choosing. You may also become aware of how strong the emotional pull is inside that tempts you to lash out and use words like weapons.

With this pause, you may be able to delay your reaction long enough to consider how you would feel if someone was talking to your best friend, sister, or brother in the words you were just about to say. Or to imagine someone hurting your daughter or son in this way, in a future relationship.

Many of us want to do something about the painful feelings we are experiencing and all the turmoil they are causing inside. Some of us may be able to admit that when powerful negative emotions arise, we want to find relief from the strong, overwhelming pain we’re feeling. One way to relieve the pain is to say hurtful, damaging things. In the hostile, toxic climate, we incorrectly believe that by saying mean things to our partner, it’s going to make us feel better. In truth, it might make you feel a little better, for a little while. But what I’ve found is, the unkind things we said and did are more likely to end up making us feel ashamed of ourselves, than adding any level of real comfort.

If you are willing to make a commitment to behave with integrity and civility through the divorce process, you will be undergoing one of the most difficult, strenuous endeavors of your life. But if you want to come out of this experience with less damage to yourself, (and everyone else) then I suggest you make this commitment. If you do this, you’ll find that when your divorce is over, it’s much easier to transition into a beautiful, exciting new chapter, less burdened by the guilt and shame that damaging words or actions leave behind.

If I could go back and offer one bit of advice to myself as I went through my own divorce, it would go as follows. I would say simply, please “Do unto others (your spouse/ex) as you would have them do unto you.”

By using this as a guide, you can be certain that when your divorce is a thing of the past, you will be able to hold your head up, look your children in the eye, your family, and friends, and even your ex, knowing that you did everything in your power to navigate through this difficult experience, exhibiting all the civility, integrity and respect that was possible. No one could do more…

Weekly Dose Divorce Support Group

Denise Palmer


Return to Thoughts

We Are Here For You. Contact Us Today!