“Whose decision was it to end the marriage?”

The person who makes the decision to end the divorce is often referred to as the “leaver.”

The spouse who did not make the decision to end the marriage is referred to as the “leavee.”

Psychological studies show the leaver is often 9-18 months further along emotionally than the leavee. I have seen a wide variation in this timing.  I have also noticed that men seem to able to move on faster even when it was not their decision to end the marriage. Women need more time.

If you were not the one who decided to end the marriage, you may still be dealing with the disappointment of the ending of the marriage and are not ready to be rushed into making decisions about your future. When we feel rushed or pushed into something, our normal human reaction is to resist. When resistance happens in the divorcing process, it increases conflict and adversarial positioning, eventually leading to decisions being settled by the court. When divorcing spouses take their fear and resistance to court, it may become the place to cathartically work through their personal emotional lack of readiness. But it’s a shame that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent because one spouse is in a hurry and the other just needs time before they are able to make decisions and  move forward, when all that was really needed was just a little more time.

It is also a shame to see one spouse unreasonably delay the process because they did not have the tools to prepare themselves. Spouses who are willing to be patient, pacing the divorce to respect both parties’ needs, will save not only thousands of dollars, but also avoid additional pain and conflict.

The divorce mediation process is intended to prepare couples emotionally and practically to move forward in a timely manner and how to ask for the time needed for preparation.  But it is also critical not to drag or slow down the mediation process in such a way it frustrates the other spouse.  Let a highly skilled mediator help you with the divorce process.  Call today to schedule an appointment.