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Moving Forward - Part I

October 18, 2017  | 
Moving Forward - Part I by Clare Piro

{3:24 minutes to read} So, you just learned that your spouse had an affair, or you receive an unexpected request for a divorce. How do you react when someone you thought you knew, and your life with that person, is turned on its head?

If you’re a really remarkable person, your first reaction would be to exhibit strength and grace in the face of this event that upends your world. If you’re like most of us, though, the first reaction would be a combination of sorrow, fear, anger, self-pity, self-doubt and “why me,” all of which can occur in rapid succession. In turn, you can feel completely overwhelmed and overcome with emotion.

Then what?

Moving Forward

At some point, most people come to accept their changed circumstances. This could be a function of time, but more often, I think it’s from recognizing that you might need help and getting that help. It could be from a mental health professional, a support group, or from understanding family or friends who are there for you.

It takes courage to be willing to accept what appears to be a negative change to all you hold dear. You may need more time than someone else to mourn a loss. It’s healthy to go at your own pace. Moving too quickly to acceptance can be as harmful as not moving at all.

Staying Stuck

Sometimes, though, persons who have been dealt a bad hand just can’t let go. They go through the initial reaction of hate, anger, etc. but then they keep reliving it over and over, holding onto the negative emotions as tightly as they can. They remain angry at the world for the rest of their lives and seek revenge. Instead of getting the help they need, they either keep to themselves or alienate friends and family with their perpetual laments.

When I work with clients who are divorcing, it’s not uncommon, at least in the beginning, for each to fall into one of these two categories: moving forward or staying stuck. It is even more likely if one had thought about separating long before the other even knew it was a possibility.

To me, acceptance and moving forward has much to do with the process you employ to separate. In an adversarial process you tend to become enmeshed in a course of action in which you see the other person as the enemy. That only exacerbates all of the negative emotions and keeps you stuck in that place for a prolonged period of time.

In Part II, I’ll explain how I believe that mediation can help you to move forward in a better way.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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