Source: Google ImagesDivorce is a process of separation and loss, and can go either of two ways: good and bad. Certain disparities exist between healthy and unhealthy manners of divorce proceedings, all of which are impactful on the psyche of the individuals involved and on auxiliary parties. Considering the disparities that produce a good outcome, in contrast to its negative counterpart generates an idea of what is preferable and what is expedient in divorce proceedings.
10. Reduce negative emotions.
Divorce includes positive and negative emotions. It is fallacious to think that leaving is always a positive experience: the loss and separation can be a trigger for several negative cognitions and emotions for an extended period of time if done in a poor manner. Certain emotions associated with divorce can include despair, anger, fear, loneliness, and grief. Elizabeth-Kubler Ross speaks of the five stages of grief, which is operable in the case of divorce as well. Divorcing couples should pay attention to the reduction of such emotions through self-care, compromise, and a healthy mediation process for the divorce. Attempting to exacerbate such emotions through conflict only lengthens the process and places a block on further negotiations. Targeting negative emotions and arousing them in the partner throughout the divorce process ultimately produces a bad divorce.
9. No winners or a battleground.
A good divorce attempts at mediation and mutual compromise. It transcends the conflicts of the two individuals and focuses on the global outcome, inclusive of children, extended family members, and considerations of the future. A competitive battleground can cause psychological burnout for the individuals, prompting vitriolic actions as retribution and halting the divorce proceedings.
8. Smooth over conflicts.
A sense of goodwill often pervades good divorces, alongside a healthy compromise. Both individuals desire to support each other’s decisions, whilst also considering the costs and benefits of the actions for other parties involved. Logical Consequences is a psychotherapeutic technique utilized to weigh the decisions in a manner that is rational and devoid of bias, which produces healthy decision making strategies that steer clear of personal biases. In this manner, a healthy divorce uses Logical Consequences, often mediated by the court and lawyers, to smooth over conflict.
7. Children as tools.
Children are not tools or products in a good divorce. A good divorce considers the psychological impact of separation and loss on the children. Psychoanalysis and Life Span Psychology consider the adverse effects of traumatic childhood events on the personality of the adult, one of which is divorce. Single parenting, household violence, and interpersonal conflict at tender ages can produce negative outcomes in children. A good divorce takes these into consideration when handling children, while a bad divorce views children as products and tools of the process.
6. Non-conflict negotiations.
Communication skills and mutual compromise are utterly indispensable in a good divorce, while a bad divorce is devoid of attempts at non-conflict. In fact, certain divorcees relish in the chaos and pandemonium of their actions. However, a healthy divorce arises from the capacity for negotiation and cooperation: both individuals must listen to the others involved in the affair, and proceed towards conflict resolution, a skill psychologists consider paramount for such occasions.
5. Mediation or conflict as resolution?
Mediation works in conflicts wherein parties are incapable of communication, cooperation, and negotiation. This is the act of the divorce lawyers and the court of law. However, it is not always successful arbitrarily. Mediation occurs with the participation of the individuals. Without the voluntary participation of the divorcees in the process, the proceedings morph into a bad divorce, as the individual feels forced and compelled. In bad divorces, the conflict is often the resolution in itself.
4. Self-compassion vs. retribution.
Retribution is the act of hurting another in response to a perceived transgression of the self. However, such vengeful acts are often counterproductive: eliciting further negative emotions and creating resistance towards the process of reconciliation or negotiation. Self-compassion, with self-care, is inclusive of the individuals managing their negative emotions, desire for retribution, and dealing with stress, throughout the divorce proceedings. Eustress is positive stress, which aids in the process, but distress is a negative form of stress that may impede and cripple the individual, creating a bad divorce as an outcome.
3. Vengeful tactics.
Retribution occurs in differing forms, and a good divorce is void of it. Retribution and its vengeful tactics are devoid in a good divorce, with a primary focus on conflict resolution. Such tactics hinder the process and often set back the process – creating a return to previous stages of conflict that occur relentlessly in a cyclical manner. Instead of vengeful tactics, individuals can focus on certain deficits of the self to create compassion and comprehension towards the other.
2. Personal strife and its implications.
Divorce is a gradual process, as mediations occur over a long duration. However, this length proves to be taxing for all involved. Implications for all those involved are a primary factor for the extension of the process, and individuals in a good divorce often spend this time considering the impact of their actions and acting accordingly with fairness and compromise. Implications are smoothed over with the aid of lawyers, and decision balance methods utilized help individuals to see beyond their personal strife in the matter.
1. Independency from court and law.
A good divorce often extends outside of the civil law system. Individuals are compromising, considerate, and cooperative irrespective of the actions of the mediators. Ergo, negotiations make headway even in the absence of the lawyers. This is indicative of a level of trust and fairness in the procedure. A bad divorce is characteristically dependent on the system for conflict resolution and individuals are often resistant to the system itself, which is a large part of the inability to proceed. A good divorce often occurs when individuals operate on a needs-based model, both in and out of court and lawyer sessions.
Divorce proceedings are stressful life events marked by intense psychological cognitions and emotions that are pervasive throughout the process. Divorcees must consider the implications and impact of the act, both on the self and on others, in order to create a healthy outcome.
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