Compassion in Divorce

19th April 2015 | By More

compassion10486nDivorce is ranked the second most stressful life experience, after the death of a spouse. While some marriages end amicably, many end with partners feeling angry, resentful or overwhelmed with emotional pain. If we listen compassionately to our spouses and have the ability to translate their loudness or aggression into the feelings and unmet needs that they have, we would actually hear what they feel and need. Then we can begin the process of conversation instead of confrontation.

Susan Allan, who teaches Nonviolent Communication (NVC) says “the objective of nonviolent communication is to establish a relationship based on honesty and empathy. When others trust that our primary commitment is to the quality of the relationship and that we expect this process to fulfill everyone’s needs, then they can trust that our requests are true and not camouflaged demands.”

Once divorcing couples discover that they actually share the same needs for peace, appreciation, fairness, connection and trust, they can begin the work of contemplating solutions to meet everyone’s needs. They can start to express these needs freely, in stead of feeling hopeless that their need for understanding can never be met.

The first step may be to learn to return themselves to a calm state in the face of the partner’s anger, before responding. She says; “When a spouse uncovers his or her own feelings and needs and practices enough self-empathy to find peace, then their pain is diminished so that they can begin to hear what the partner had been saying, often for years. The old “he said; she said” dynamic of divorce can dissolve very quickly when even one party short circuits the complaining and blaming behaviours that have been building up.” In stead of responding with fear, grief or anger, emotional outbursts are transformed into a peaceful collaborative experience.

 

Compiled from an article by Susan Allan (Divorce Coach & Founder of www.thedivorceforum.com- USA)

Posted by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Stellenbosch)


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Category: Compassion, Spiritual

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