Understanding Compartmentalization and Divorce

  • Unconditional love felt during the marriage can force one to compartmentalize their emotions during the taxing divorce process.
  • Compartmentalization requires rational thinking.
  • Compartmentalization can be beneficial in cases of custody.

When you marry someone, you are choosing to build a life with that person. You are choosing to participate in a married relationship with that person over the rest of the population. That becomes your spouse, just as you become theirs.

In order to get to that decision, a relationship usually has to form and get to a place where there is less emotional (and financial) risk for both individuals. They usually have to love one another and get to the point where that love becomes unconditional.

The journey of getting to that point, as well as the commitment that marriage entails, is part of what can make divorce so difficult. The unconditional love that you may feel for your spouse may be marred by the actions that they took to get you both to the place where divorce becomes an option.

It also may be marred by your actions. No one is perfect, and sometimes, it can be difficult to acknowledge the mistakes that led us to make challenging decisions. The problem stems from when those decisions affect how you are able to move forward during and after the divorce experience.

In order to move forward to a life after your ex-spouse, you have to begin the divorce process. You will need a family law attorney on your side who understands the unique needs that men and fathers have during the divorce process and are willing to help you face the challenges that will come up.

Emotional issues

One of the biggest challenges you have to deal with is your emotional state. You still may love your spouse and still wish to divorce them.

As difficult as that may be to go through, it may be necessary to compartmentalize those feelings, in order to focus on your own future, rather than the future that you may have thought you were going to build with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Understanding compartmentalization in divorce

As much as you may want to work through some of the issues that your marriage faced, you may be in a situation, where your soon-to-be ex-spouse does not have the same interest in doing so. Another possibility is that they do not have the same residual feelings that are causing you to rethink your actions.

While compartmentalization can be seen as a negative, due to how it handles the emotions of a given situation, it can be beneficial when you need to maintain a clear head and focus on what you need to do, in order to ensure yourself the best future possible.

This means that while the divorce may be a pressing issue and you still may feel love for your spouse, you are able to set that aside, in order to do what is in your best interests. This methodology is a practice of self-love and self-care, and according to Evolution Counseling, it is a way of temporarily emotionally detaching yourself from the ins and outs of your relationship, in order to productively focus on the task at hand.

It is often utilized when you are attempting to protect yourself from hostile environmental conditions that are more or less inescapable. If you choose to employ mediation, you are forced to confront your shared assets with your spouse, their attorney, your attorney, and the mediator. Your actions cannot be motivated by any residual feelings you may have for your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You have to act rationally.

Avoiding compartmentalization in tense situations pertaining to divorce and child custody can be a self-defeating behavior. Without compartmentalization, the act of ending a marriage would generalize relationships as a whole, cutting you off from meeting someone new and forging a new future for yourself and your children, if you have them.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Parents and children

The same applies to situations pertaining to the shared children, caught in the crossfire of a parental divorce. You, as a parent, would never wish to punish them for the actions or inactions of your co-parent, so you compartmentalize the negative sentiments you may have, regarding your co-parent, and wait to express these sentiments to your co-parent at the appropriate time.

This avoids the “carrier pigeon” communication that may color a child’s perception of one parent or the other and promotes honesty. As much as compartmentalization may force you to mask specific emotions until you, as a divorced individual or a divorced parent, are in an appropriate setting, dishonesty and lying are not part of the necessity of compartmentalization.

Honesty and appropriateness

The idea does not include speaking falsely against anyone or any subject, but rather, waiting until you have a healthy and honest environment at an appropriate time to do so.

Even though you may still harbor residual feelings from your marriage, compartmentalization allows you the ability to process those at a more appropriate time that does not impact the outcome of your case or your future. Getting over those feelings may take time, or may never occur, but allowing those feelings to impact your future negatively will only hurt your chances of a better fresh start.

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