The Psychodynamics of Divorce

Formally speaking, divorce is a legal dissolution of your marriage contract but as most people know, divorce is actually much more. It is the end of a relationship – the end of a life you had planned for, if children are involved it is the end of family life as they knew it (for better or worse), the process of severing yourself emotionally from someone you once loved, the division of finances and assets, and much more. In short, regardless of circumstance, divorce is complicated and hard. Regardless of whether or not you want a divorce, there is a lot to wrap your mind around and a natural grieving process and all of these thoughts and emotions are sometimes described as the ‘psychodynamics of divorce’. When a couple chooses divorce mediation over traditional courtroom divorce, the possibility for better managing the emotional, financial, and legal aspects of their divorce is at their fingertips if they are willing to work with the mediator.

Psychodynamics must be addressed because they play an important role in any mediation but a particularly large role in divorce. Divorce can become ‘nasty’ quick and we have all seen the movies where a ruthless lawyer encourages their client to protect themselves at any cost. And, wile we understand that you can never anticipate how someone will behave in a divorce, if you can discuss and acknowledge certain psychodynamics, hurtful behavior and poor choices that can have longterm consequences can be avoided.

What are the emotions involved in divorce?

Every divorce proceeding involves some level of emotional repercussions. People experience mistrust, rage, disappointment, anger, and depression during this process. These different layers of emotions will influence their mediation to some extent. Therefore, addressing the psychological dynamic or psychodynamic factors is essential to navigate through the proceedings. Working with reputed mediators is also essential to obtain favorable outcomes.

Divorce litigation or mediation?

Mistrust and resentment are common while making major decisions like child custody, assets division, and spousal support. These living arrangements will also influence the life and development of children as well. Such decisions will also help to decide between litigation and mediation. Each of this process has its own set of pros and cons. More importantly, it is better to choose one with expertise in both law and psychology to deal with psychodynamics that are involved in divorce proceedings.

How psychodynamics affect divorce?
There are different stages of psychodynamics in divorce, such as:

Subverted expectations

One should address these emotions and improve their behaviors gradually to overcome the dynamics in a positive manner. This process is vital to reach a mutually positive agreement for both parties involved in a mediation.

How to cope with divorce psychodynamics?

Emotional fallout

Any type of divorce is painful to endure if the process is ongoing for many years. Since separation is a significant loss, it is natural for people to experience all the stages of grieving. They feel deep sadness and despair over the loss of their partner. Resentment and anger are also common due to their affected emotional state. The denial stage helps them to process the changes and confront major life changes. Their mental health will also be improved during the last stages of grieving process.

Support systems

People should surround themselves with supportive individuals. It includes family members, friends, and colleagues. It is essential to establish as much face contact as possible for better positive encouragement. These trusted members genuinely care about them and provide compassionate recommendations to deal with their loss.

Find groups

One can find many support groups for divorce psychodynamics. They meet individuals going through the same difficulties. Therefore, people get to meet and share their experiences on a daily and weekly basis. Experienced people who have gone through the marriage loss could describe the details of dealing with betrayal and partner loss.

New connections

Old friends only bring up painful memories and further exacerbate the turmoil. Opening up to new relationships is essential to start a new phase of life. Start a conversation with someone at the support group. Moreover, invite old classmates or colleagues for a meetup. It is always exciting to form new friendship.


Focusing on self-care is always essential after divorce. The end of a relationship will always be painful. Rather than digging on guilt and shame, one can use this opportunity to self-improve their life and navigate a positive relationship with new partners.

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