Perhaps you have gotten into terrible screaming matches with your spouse recently — one of the reasons why you’re thinking about getting divorced. And perhaps you’ve even taken out your frustration and aggression on your kids, needlessly.
During divorce, people make mistakes.
The financial and emotional stress – as well as the physical demands of the process – can overwhelm people and cause them to behave in ways that go against their values. But what do you do, once you become mindful enough to recognize that you’ve acted in a way that’s not commensurate with your values? How can you “make things right” with people you have harmed? How can you prevent similar friction later?
In this post and three more to follow, we’ll address these important questions and give you some tools and resources to make life post-divorce simpler and easier.
Let’s begin with a radical proposition: you are not responsible for other people’s feelings.
This doesn’t mean that you are not responsible TO them. However, neuropsychological research shows that emotions are internally driven. This is why someone like Gandhi felt overwhelming love in his heart for the British, who had been oppressing his people. His feelings of compassion and loving kindness were internal: they did not depend on what the British did to him.
Let’s take a less extreme example. Let’s say your daughter yelled at you for something related to the divorce. You felt angry or hurt, but she did not CAUSE those feelings of anger or hurt – she merely triggered them. The emotions came from how you processed the yelling.
Keep this concept in mind: take responsible for your feelings and actions, but not for other people’s feelings. You can only control what you can control.
If you need nuts and bolts help with your divorce or child custody case, call the Toussaint Law Firm, PC right now for a free consultation.