I drew this so you can’t sue me.
Many blogs take questions from their search referrals and answer them. It’s sort of a truly Anonymous Q & A thing. They usually end up being pretty funny too. I have always wanted to do one for my blog so I went through and took a good look at my search terms. Almost every single one of the questions that has led people here are regarding divorce and/or separation. So, no humorous Q&A today but it’s important to me. Here are the search terms I’ve gotten about Separation.
Before anything else, I’m not a psychologist. Or a counselor. Or a social worker. Or a lawyer. Or a paralegal. Or even a law student. I’m just a girl who got pregnant at 22, married the baby daddy at 23, had a second child at 25, a third child at 27, got separated at 28, and got divorced at 30. And while I think it’s great you’re taking the initiative to look up the answers to some really important questions, my number one suggestion is to find a way to get yourself professional help as you cope with this insane time period– emotionally and legally.
Q: What good does a separation?
A: Well divorce can be a really complicated and drawn-out process especially when children and/or major assets are concerned. Some people are on different levels of how much they want a divorce. Separation lets them ease into it if that’s where they end up. It can also let them see they don’t really want a divorce as much as they may have thought and can lead them back together with some professional help.
Q: How do people feel during a separation?
A: The better question is how do people NOT feel during a separation and the answer to that is– Secure. A separation pretty much guarantees a roller coaster of emotion. You can feel freedom, panic, joy, sadness, control, loss, confidence, doubt, and so on and so forth in one hour. But the one thing you never really feel during a separation is security because you’re basically in one big giant Limbo.
Q: What is the next thing to do during separation?
A: Live your life and push for resolution one way or another. Don’t let things linger. If you have kids get a child support agreement filed immediately. You don’t need a divorce to have a child support agreement in place with the court. If you guys get back together, you can let the court know and remove it but if you do go ahead with the divorce, you’ve already got the hardest thing done. It’s also a good way to really put things in perspective for both of you.
Q: How to relax during a separation?
A: You know, there was a time in your life where your current partner wasn’t in your life. Try and think back to those times for some ideas. If you’re having problems, think about your childhood. What kinds of things did you like doing as a kid? Playing with clay? Riding a bike? Coloring? Video games? Reading? Try some of those out and see how it works. And if none of that works, get a new hobby. I learned to crochet during my separation. It was a real boost in many ways.
Q: What things should you not do during a separation?
A: Self-medicate in any form. Seriously. There’s no need to drown your sorrows in a torrid vice. You feel like crap and that’s ok. I also would probably advocate avoiding romance for a while. Oh and don’t watch romantic movies, even if they’re romantic comedies. Also, don’t expect your friends and family to understand you or to be completely supportive. Don’t expect other relationships to stay the same as they were when you and your partner were together. Crumbling relationships and the completely stressed out people in them scare people and make them really uncomfortable. Also don’t try to be Superhuman and try and maintain things exactly the way before. That was a household with two heads, this is a household with one head even if it does end up being temporary.
Q: How do, and when will, I feel better after a separation?
A: Get resolution. Limbo sucks and seriously the longer time you’re apart, the less likely you are to get back together again. Make a decision. If your partner is putting off the decision process, it’s up to you to take matters in your own hands. A person who truly, unconditionally loves you will not do you the injustice of leaving you wondering if your life has completely changed forever.
Q: How long should you cry after a separation?
A: As long as you want to. Just remember, get help when you find yourself in this situation because if you start to go over the edge, a professional can help you avoid hitting rock bottom.
Q: What do I do after separation?
A: Whatever you want to and whatever you need to. But I strongly suggest doing things your partner would not enjoy doing. Those little moments can be a lot of fun and eye-opening. If your partner’s vegetarian, make a non-vegetarian friendly meal for yourself. If your partner hates a particular color, buy yourself a t-shirt in it. Little things.
Q: What shouldn’t I think after a separation?
A: That there’s something wrong with you. That you’re a loser. That if you just get skinnier, your partner will take you back. That if you change everything about you, you’ll be better for that person and that you CAN make it work after all that.
Q: How to feel good about separation?
A: Who says you have to? It’s not a great situation to be in by any means. I guess you could see it as an opportunity to truly understand the relationship you committed to in a way you never would otherwise. If you initiated the separation, you can maybe understand what life without them would be like and if that’s really what the problem is. If you were the one separated from, you get to see the person you committed to in a new light and maybe re-evaluate your own feelings.
Q: How to deal with up and down feeling after separation?
A: You let em ride as much as you can. Many doctors will offer you some sort of temporary medication to help “even you out”. I never took that route, but it’s definitely a viable option if the swings are particularly chaotic. Try not to fight them too much and try to maintain perspective. Be self-aware. When you go into a particularly deep dark place, remember the ride out of it will be high and worthwhile.
Q: Will I be ok after separation?
A: Yes. Better than ok. Eventually. But yes. Absolutely.
Readers, what would you add to this? You guys are all-knowing and wise so I bet you can throw in some pretty good tidbits as well.