Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – but does it have to be?

In this weeks podcast Ed and I have been talking about people splitting up. The process emotionally damages too many people, children included.

A large part of my psychotherapeutic week involves working with couples. Relationship counselling is an active part of the therapeutic world. Generally breaking up is hard to do but, does it have to be? For many this will always be ‘yes’ but for some it can be ‘no’.

All psychological and emotional change starts from the same place, this is forgiveness. To forgive means to forego or let go. When couples split it is because something has gone wrong, perhaps one person in the relationship has done something that is unacceptable and the end happens.
Anyone who has been through the divorce process will know that the only people that benefit from a couples inability to communicate are the solicitors.

Norwich Union (now called Aviva) published a study on the Cost of Divorce. The study said the average divorce costs a couple around £39,000. This figure includes things like the cost of setting up a new home, buying personal items (e.g., a second car), and lost personal savings.

There is also the issue of pension rights that have an on-going effect.

Actually, in the UK you can get divorced, using the DIY system through the county court, for as little as £600.00. But this is only if you can communicate with each other and come to a shared agreement.

Therapy can help
When I work with couples it is not always on the basis of looking for ways to get back together or make things work. Often people who wish to bring their relationship to a positive end will seek advice, mediation and negotiation and in so doing create the least damage to the children and themselves and to do so at a minimal cost.

On many occasions one or both people will feel that they have been injured by their relationship. When this happens couples are seen for both individual and couples therapy. This may include using another therapist, often female. This has the advantage of both people feeling that they have support and often there will be four of us involved in the negotiations that lead to a resolution. And, as I said earlier this may be to create a re-union or a split.

I get couples to write a contract either way, staying together or splitting up. They sign this and then we police it.

Communication is the key to breaking up but in divorce we have two people who have probably come to the end because they couldn’t communicate in the first place. If you always do the same things in the same way you get the same results and that is what couples often do. This is why an independent unbiased therapist can be so helpful.

As a last idea, most people coming out of a relationship feel that they will never do that again or that the will never meet another person and never have another relationship. In reality within two years most people are back into a relationship.

Take care, be happy and carry on communicating with your partner.

Sean x

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