After separation and during the divorce process, you likely have become angry, resentful, and hostile towards your spouse. When our relationships become threatening, such as a damaged marriage relationship, we protect ourselves by forming a negative image of the other person. This negative image helps us live on with our lives, without experiencing psychological disintegration. In other words, if I believe my spouse is at fault and a horrible person, life is more bearable. As a result, our view of the event, relationship, and all the negative beliefs we use to help us cope become imbedded in our minds. Your spouse’s views, ideas, and beliefs which were clever and wise are now simple-minded and faulty. What used to be unique and special about your spouse is silly and foolish. Your thoughts continue to deepen as a reaction to your anger and even hostility toward your spouse.
During this process, we avoid looking at our contribution to the failed relationship. When we hurt, we distance ourselves. Part of the divorce is the very physical separation between yourself and your spouse. This physical separation makes it very difficult to hear any disconfirming information about your spouse. Your ex-spouse can no longer explain his or her beliefs, attitudes, or actions, because you are no longer together. Instead, you are surrounded by others who will likely encourage your beliefs, attitudes, and actions, not those of your spouse. You seek out friends and family to reassure you that it was in fact your spouse’s fault. The more you process your view, the more your view, even if it is faulty, becomes a part of your reality.
Although this behavioral pattern is comfortable, it leaves you with a painful past and an […]