Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

Divorce should put an end to the unhealthy roles played in the marriage it is ending. However, in truth, it often extends the roles throughout the lengthy dissolution process.

The saddest and most unfortunate part? Individuals file for divorce, naively believing they are going to be able to put the pain or abuse of a spouse behind them. In some cases, it causes even worse behavior.

Regardless, in unhealthy relationships, people do assume roles. The courts are not really equipped to deal with the emotional and psychological side of divorce. The justice system deals with custody and financial issues.

It has been said that a person’s bad behavior can be exaggerated ten fold in divorce.

The Punisher: This is the individual who will make sure you pay for divorcing them. How dare you? How dare you leave me? How dare you think you are entitled to anything we built together? How dare you think you can build a life without me? The punisher is difficult to divorce because they do not want closure. They do not want to move on. There is no payoff in that. They want to continue to make life miserable as payback for leaving them. The Punisher could also be called The Bully. It is an abusive personality. They do not want divorce. They want retribution.

The Equalizer: This individual is tit for tat. You take the couch, they want the coffee table. You take the dog, they want the cat. Just like the punisher, this is the same personality they had in the marriage. You get to go out, then so do I. You got to buy something, now I get to buy something. The good news about The Equalizer is that they will eventually let go and let their spouse move on. That is, once they feel everything is 100% equally divided.

The Beggar: This individual can’t let go for another reason. They want the relationship back. They do not want a divorce. They beg to start over. They beg for a new beginning. They beg for another chance. They beg, period. Sadly, the beggar is usually leaving someone who not only doesn’t care in divorce but barely cared throughout the marriage.

The Wounded: This individual is stuck between wanting to move on and being unable to move on. They are no longer the beggar nor are they a victim. They are just too loving to come to peace with the loss of a relationship that was so valuable to them. They need a bit of tough love to remind them that sometimes they are the kind of overly caring people that don’t surround themselves with the people that they deserve. Therefore, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing when those people walk out of their lives.

The Victim: The victim is an individual that has a hard time moving forward. They feel victimized that their marriage ended. Why them? Why their marriage? Why have they been left alone? The victim lacks spirituality and a sense that all things happen for a reason. It keeps them stuck and unable to see that when one door, even when sadly closes, another is still waiting to be opened.

The Adult: This individual is mature, confident and healthy enough to do divorce as well as it can be done. They have either gotten enough counseling, enough reflection or enough spirituality to allow them to let go of anger and sadness and move on to acceptance. They want to move on and do what is best for both people as well as their children. They have gotten to a good enough place emotionally that they do not need to continue to play roles or hurt or anger throughout the divorce process.

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(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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