Does the fighting ever end?

I recently read an article on Huffington Post that provided an interesting perspective on the emotional turmoil that many divorcing couples go through.  What made it interesting is that it was provided by a third party - a friend of one of the spouses- providing his insights and opinions on what his friend had been going through.

Many, but not all, divorcing couples go through at least some period of acrimony during the uncoupling process.  It truly is a natural part of the process.  Separating oneself from the person who perhaps knows you better than anyone else is difficult enough.  Layer onto that the social stigma of divorce, self-esteem issues, financial pressures, fear of the unknown, the natural emotional cycle of loss and the struggles and hardships your children will also likely face.  To say it's a lot is the understatement of the century.

I have worked with many clients over the years.  Many different types of personalities and feelings have evolved during the uncoupling process - some for the better, others the worse.  As a lawyer, I try to take a moment to sit back and listen and observe what my clients are going through; I think this adds immeasurable value not only for my clients but for my practice.

So, does the fighting ever end?  The answer truly is - it depends.  I have worked with clients who start off viciously angry, so deeply hurt and upset that they only see red.  With the passage of time, some quicker than others, red fades to pink, then white and an evolution occurs.  Others are in denial about their anger until a seemingly minuscule event triggers an explosion.  They may recover quickly or that explosion may lead to Pandora's box.  Still others come to the process accepting and even eager for the uncoupling to happen. That may last or may turn into anger or frustration over any multitude of issues.

The key is, if you want the fighting to stop - then stop.  Self-control and decision-making must rank at the top of your priority list to make this happen.  I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist and don't pretend to be, but it seems like the application of some common sense would be well served in these situations.  Pause, take a deep breath and reassess what it is you're fighting about.  Fast forward that issue and argument to determine if it’s really worth pursuing.  Maybe try bouncing the issue off a trusted friend, family member, advisor or therapist.  The decision to stop the fighting or to pick and choose your arguments is truly a liberating and empowering one.  It will not only save you peace of mind but time and money in the uncoupling process.  At the very least, it's worth a try.


Sandra C. Fava is the editor of the Riker Danzig Family Law Blog and heads the Family Law Practice Group of Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP. Sandra is resident in Riker Danzig's Morristown, New Jersey office though she practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Sandra at (973) 451-8453, or sfava@riker.com.