In a divorce, the thing which takes up the most time, emotional energy, and money is fighting with our spouse over the divorce settlement. Rationally, everyone knows that calm and sensible discussions are more effective. So why do we get into towering arguments at all?
The reality, in any divorce, is that both spouses are going to need to divide everything: time with children, money, and property. That means that each person will walk away with less than they had when they were sharing a household with their spouse. This sense of loss can be hard to accept. These feelings can lead to fantasizing –or even plotting– about how to get more than the other spouse.
These thoughts and feelings are normal. Both spouses in a divorce may have them. Since both people can’t possibly walk away with it all, there’s conflict. Adjusting your expectations and expecting something closer to a 50/50 division can reduce friction.
Even if we’re not plotting to get the better of our spouse in a divorce, we may fear that they’re trying to get the better of us. This fear, even if it has no basis in reality, can lead to pre-emptive anger over what might happen. Staying in the present, and reacting to what is happening, rather than what might happen, can help us keep our cool.
If you are getting a divorce, chances are, you have grievances with your spouse. What would really be satisfying would be a scenario wherein a neutral outside observer looked at our spouse and recognized all the pain and suffering they caused us. This can tempt some people to go to friends, family, or even a judge, and try to make them understand how much worse our spouse was to us than we were to them. For some of us, wanting to get more than our spouse is a way of seeking repayment for the pain and suffering we’ve gone through. It’s only fair. Or is it?
While in some cases, one spouse is genuinely the aggrieved party, it’s more common that both spouses have suffered and that each sees themselves as the person who has suffered most. Each spouse will need to make time to process those feelings. Separating this from the process of reaching an agreement will make fights less frequent.
So What Do We Do?
It’s in everyone’s best interest for divorce to be settled quickly, sensibly, and out of court. If we can achieve this, the divorce will be less expensive for everyone, both financially and emotionally. By understanding why we fight, managing our emotions, and our expectations, we can make great strides toward a smoother divorce. Many couples also find that a skilled mediator can make the process of figuring out what is genuinely fair easier. If you’re ready to put the past behind you, consider getting started with a BlissDivorce mediator today.