The cross : How do couples make the decision to separate?
Musa Nabati: In some couples, two adults talk to each other to carry out a work of elaboration of this choice, where thought and reason have their place. For others, it’s a one-sided, impulsive decision made by an inner child.
The little girl or the little boy inside the adult decides to put an end to the relationship because a situation awakens in him old problems such as the feeling of abandonment, the impression of seeing another person preferred, not to count, not to exist. Overtaken by his insecurity and his distress, this person decides to separate, often with the illusion that someone else, elsewhere, will be able to help him feel fulfilled. In fact, most of the time, the expected paradise is not there.
What impact does the way the decision to separate is made have on spouses?
MN: When the decision has been considered and taken together, it is easier for everyone to live with and does not cause great suffering, even if the separation is not trivial because it gives the feeling of a failure and that it does not spare us guilt. But to what extent is this choice really joint? Is it so harmonious? Isn’t this common agreement a mask, a screen?
Often one is more of a decision-maker and the other reluctantly accepts it. Those who did not want the separation can feel abandoned and take time to rebuild themselves, the rupture reviving the much more central, fundamental and original ordeal of that with the mother.
After the separation decision, there will be others regarding children, housing, property, etc. How best to take them?
MN: The essential question is: can we act like two thinking adults or are we in the grip of emotion alone? During a divorce, the most serious thing is forgetting the love we felt for each other. Decisions are even more likely to be made by the inner child, with a violence that prevents separation. Conflict is a way of staying connected for lack of having mourned the other. Through his ex, everyone settles his accounts as a child, with his parents in particular.
Court decisions provide a framework and benchmarks but they are often not respected (alimony, distribution of custody of children, etc.) when the child’s share encourages people to think of themselves as disadvantaged, misunderstood. We must remember that we loved each other and know that the pages of love and light written together do not disappear. When we have loved someone, we will continue to love them all their life. Not fighting this feeling makes later decisions easier. Divorce can be an opportunity to become aware of the child in us to become a little more adult and facilitate the common choices to come.