Risa Ennis Family Mediation and Counselling Services
Taming Your Ego


Divorce is a Painful Experience

We all know that the process of divorce can be a grueling experience, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.  For some people, it will be the most difficult crisis they will face.  For many, there can be residual pain for years after the legal paperwork is completed.

Everyone going through this most complex crisis should definitely seek out skilled and qualified professionals, both in the legal and emotional areas of expertise. The beginning stages of separation and divorce may even seem surreal to some, as one never really believes that they will be in this position where outside professionals are now front and center in what used to be your private domain with now your opponent, your former intimate partner.

Usually fear, anger and rage dominate as the primary emotions for most people at the beginning stages of separation. This is because the crisis of defusing two people who declared their love for each other is a complex one few professionals are fully comfortable navigating.


The anger and rage are self-protective in many cases, allowing some barrier to be erected while one learns how to manage the underlying heartbreaking reality of marital loss, coupled with the panic of losing the family and the ongoing relationships with bonded children.

As complex and painful as divorce is, sometimes divorce is necessary and reasons for these divorces will be given. For many couples, divorce is unnecessary and preventable and this article will discuss these relationships also.

Necessary Divorces

There are many reasons why some divorces are necessary and should be seen as actions of courage.  Unfortunately, many clients still feel shame as if being divorced is a negative statement about one's self-worth, lovability, or character traits. Nothing is further from the truth. No one has a crystal ball under the altar to give assurances that any union is completely safe from divorce. This is because we do change drastically over the years, mainly due to unresolved/unknown dysfunctions which only increase in severity over time. We also can only do our part and this never guarantees that our partner will be willing or able do theirs in keeping their vows to us. 

Divorce is necessary where sustained abuse of any kind, that is, physical, emotional, verbal, substance, financial or sexual is constant and without any contrite steps taken by the abuser for recovery.  Even with the genuine intent for recovery, an interim separation for safety is usually very necessary and important. 

Divorce is necessary where mental illness with an unwillingness or lack of success in treatment is the case. This is because marriage was meant to enrich one's personal growth. Continued abuse or mental illness will not aid anyone's personal growth. Instead it will wreak havoc on the vulnerable members of the family, debilitating everyone's self-esteem and developmental milestones.

Marriage is also about love, respect, forgiveness, tenderness and partnership. Abuse and mental illness negate all of these cherished acts between two people.

Marriage is also about fidelity- emotional, physical and financial. All of these types of infidelity, like a violent lightening storm, can rip open the roof of the marital home, leaving debris where once there was beauty. To heal infidelity is definitely possible, but extremely challenging and make take years of tenacious and sometimes exhausting work on the part of both partners because fueling infidelity are some complex dysfunctions.

Marriage is not about manipulation, fear, bondage, repressed pain or painful silence. No one should continually feel these feelings. 

An outside professional is important in navigating the necessary divorces. This is because in many situations abuse is present. Typically the abuser manipulates the other partner successfully to sustain the abuse and the abused person frequently loses sight and energy as to how to regain self-respect. Professional guidance can navigate abuse appropriately.


The Good News About Necessary Divorces

What begins as a frightening experience in navigating a necessary divorce may actually be the gateway to finding your well-deserved freedom, inner peace, joy and true love once you have done your own personal growth work.

It is not luck or timing in finding a functional and joyful relationship with yourself and another. It is working on ourselves, knowing ourselves and then bringing the best of ourselves out into the world so  that we are equipped to find the right partner, be found and heal through new love and joint mature commitment.

When a divorce is necessary, the ones who initiate/ accept this course, will heal more thoroughly and quickly because they realize that this process was meaningful, that is it helped prove that one can conquer challenging fears and losses and create a self-loving life.

Risa Ennis Family Mediation and Counselling Services

Telephone: (416) 636-2946

Email:  risasmediation@rogers.com

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