Sudden Unexpected Divorce

Grieving is a matter of re-learning how to be in the world.

~ Thomas Attig

Sudden Unexpected Divorce

While it takes two people to decide to get married, it takes only one person to decide to divorce. Sudden, unexpected divorce is more common than many people realize until they find themselves caught up in the pain of this major life event.

Once one spouse decides that they no longer want to be in the marriage, there is very little the other spouse can say or do, to reverse this decision.  The partner who is ending the marriage has been mulling the decision over and planning to make a move over what sometimes, is an extended period of time.  This person has only to make the announcement to their horrified spouse, closing the door behind him/her with myriad unresolved pieces of the relationship flying in the wind.  The one who is left, including any children of the marriage, may be left reeling, trying to understand what just happened, and how they can possibly move forward.

As the spouse who decided to end the marriage leaves, the other spouse is shattered and demoralized.  Recognizing for the first time that although it takes two people to decide to marry, it takes only one person to end it, which is a hard reality to absorb.  Oftentimes the one left feels numb; frozen in place, feeling unable to go on.  Where does one go from here?  What traumatic process does the spouse who is left go through? How does that person know how to put one foot in front of the other to go forward?  What if there are children?  What if there are young children, what does that parent say to the children?  What exactly is the process this person and this family goes through to come out of this ordeal, stronger?

Sudden, unexpected divorce is a topic about which very little has been written.

This is an interest area of mine and was the topic of my Dissertation Research.  This groundbreaking, original research, qualitative study told the stories of men and women whose marriages ended, who never saw it coming.  Their richly quoted narratives are more than stories; they are openly revealed lives of men, women, and children whose lives were forever changed by the decision of one person.  Filled with faith, determination, and perseverance, parents guided their children forward, finding ways to go forward with new hope, new meaning, and new Selves in ways they never dreamed possible.

As the Graying of Divorce continues to proliferate marriages at the 25 year and beyond mark, it behooves us to understand more about sudden, unexpected divorce along with its many challenges and vicissitudes.

If you are experiencing the pain and loss of relationship through divorce, whether sudden, unexpected, or anticipated, I am here to help you.  You will find compassion and a listening heart as together, we try to understand what happened, its effect on you and any children you may have, strategies to begin trusting your Self and your instincts again, and forging new pathways forward with grace and dignity.