SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
Separation is a traumatic event in any person's life, especially when there
is on-going conflict about arrangements that need to be made. It is very
difficult for people to make the adjustments that are needed after separation.
It is emotionally difficult to detach from someone we have been in a
relationship with for a while. Although couples have separated, there are still
bonds of attachment. These feelings may be around for a long time.
Do you feel that your partner is critical and antagonistic even though you
want to try and smooth things over?
Instead of feeling reassured by your relationship, you feel oppressed and
diminished by it. You no longer want to nurture and care for your partner, this
has been replaced by feelings of anger, depression or detachment.
People's Responses to Separation
When a couple separate, the responses that occur are often compared to the
responses people have when there is a death in the family. It is different to a
death because your ex-spouse is still around.
Do you have any of the following feelings?
- Rage and anger.
- Guilty and remorseful.
- Fear and insecurity.
- Abandonment and loneliness.
- Rejection feeling unwanted.
- Finding it hard to let go of the relationship.
- Ambivalent and confused.
Is the following happening to you?
- Mood swings - up and down.
- Paralysis or frenetic action.
- Not eating or eating too much.
- Drinking more.
- Accident prone.
- Nightmares or sleeplessness.
- Sudden overwhelming tears.
- Not able to go to work.
People often report they feel they have lost everything:
- Familiar roles/routines.
- Full-time parenting role.
- Revived memories or the pain of earlier loss.
- Financial security - anxiety about future.
- Less money.
- Life style.
- Self image - success.
- Loss of future dreams.
Relationship support is available!
Relationship Support Services
A self-help quiz for separated parents
can help you make practical arrangements and decisions in your separation,
especially around property settlements and the care of children.
Counselling can help you to be clear about the decision to separate or not,
if you are not sure, or if you are having great difficulty coming to terms with
Relationship Support Courses
If you are wanting support and to hear what other people do to cope with
separation a variety of separation courses are available. Some are groups are
for both men and women and some are single sex. These groups are valuable in
helping the adjustment to being single and coming to terms with new
Online Relationship Support
Here are tips and information about how to address some relationship
This information is provided by Relationships Australia who are
Australia's leading provider of professional services to support relationships.
It is a not-for profit community based organisation. Our Mission: Relationships
Australia is committed to enhancing the lives of communities, families and
individuals by being the leading professional provider of quality relationship
support services. Our Goals: To work in partnership with others to ensure a
society which supports positive and respectful relationships; To serve a more
diverse range of clients; To provide relevant services that meet the needs of
clients; To adopt business practices that enable the delivery of efficient and
effective services; To ensure a positive work environment that delivers outcomes
for clients; and To be financially robust to achieve our goals.
You can contact the national office of Relationships Australia on 1300 364
277 to find your closest state branch.