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Acknowledging the Fear of Separation

August 7, 2019  | 

{3:30 minutes to read} Separating from someone you’ve loved, trusted, and who, most likely, was your best friend, is an incredibly scary concept on a deeply personal level. On top of that, you are also likely worrying about how this will affect your children, as well as how you will afford to pay your bills. It’s completely understandable that you’re concerned and frightened by both the process and the future.

Add to that, how hard it would be to express your fears to your spouse, who had previously been your “go-to” person.

  • If it was a mutual decision to separate, you may want to be stoic; 
  • If you feel that it’s all his/her fault and that you are an innocent party, you probably don’t want to admit a vulnerability to your spouse at this point; or
  • if you feel guilty about initiating the separation, you don’t think your spouse would be sympathetic to your concerns. 

So, what can you do?

If you’re unsure about the actions you are taking and why, meeting with a mental health professional will help you sort out your feelings. This may allow you to feel more comfortable with the decision that you are making.
 
Of course, friends are also a wonderful sounding board, as well as a source of support. However, you should try to avoid getting professional advice from them even if they have personally been through a divorce. Since every situation is different, legal or mental health advice from a friend may not be applicable to you, and may cause you to pursue unrealistic goals for your outcome.  
 

Once you’re more comfortable with your decision to separate, you can address the practical fears by seeking professional help geared towards addressing the legal process of separation.,

1. Meet with a Mediator

I strongly recommend that you learn about mediation if you are not yet familiar with it. Many mediators offer a brief consultation at no charge, so you will be able to hear from a professional mediator in your area, about how mediation works. With that information, you will be able to determine whether or not it is the right process for you, as well as if the mediator is someone with whom you can work.
 
However, the mediator will want to meet with you both, so if you are not yet ready to tell your partner or spouse that you want to separate, you may not be ready for that meeting. 
 

2. Meet with a Lawyer

If you feel that you want to have an idea of your legal rights and responsibilities before you begin mediation, you should have a consultation with an attorney. If you consult with an attorney who is also a mediator or collaborative professional, that attorney could both answer your questions and be open to consulting with you in the mediation.
 
You may be concerned and frightened by both the process and the future, but taking concrete steps such as these can help you move forward with more confidence.
Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

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

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