It is not uncommon for one party to be more ready than the other party to end the relationship. He/she may have been thinking about separating for quite some time and even reached the conclusion that the relationship is over. That party may likewise be interested in dating or have a vision for the future that is separate from their partner.
It can take time and possibly counseling for the other party to get become more accepting of a separation and/or divorce.
Some considerations for either or both parties:
Seek the assistance of a counselor with training and experience relating to separation and divorce (research shows that if parties work through their emotions first they are less likely to have a high conflict divorce and, if children are involved, their children are more likely to process the divorce in a healthy way);
If consulting with an attorney, seek the assistance of an attorney trained in Collaborative Divorce or Mediation, and who views litigation as a last resort (only when necessary);
Give each other time and space (possibly separate living quarters within the home);
Set parameters for the separation
- How and under what circumstances to use text, email, phone, or mail?
- Schedule time to talk with one another gradually increasing length of conversation if such conversations are successful;
- Listen for understanding;
- Avoid being positional;
- If conversations become emotional or uncomfortable, agree in advance to discontinue the conversation and possibly schedule another date/time to talk;
- Resist getting emotionally or physically involved with a third party until matters are resolved and your attorney advises you accordingly;
- If possible have a written agreement signed by the parties that outlines the terms of a separation (interim or permanent);
- And avoid arguments and fighting whenever possible, especially when there are children or extended family present.
Remember, time can heal when given the opportunity to do so.