Emotions are the fire on the burning ship of your sinking marriage.

Ending a marriage is a unique challenge. Decisions need to be made at a time when emotions are high, trust is low or nonexistent, and you are vulnerable to someone you do not want to be vulnerable to.

Though emotions can be overwhelming, you need to pay attention to them while not letting them distract you from or impede your progress toward the lifeboats (the end of the marriage). A breakdown in a marriage tends to involve negative emotions; it is expected that they be present. Divorcing spouses tend not to tolerate each other’s negative emotions well — when they are expressed anyway, they are unwelcome and tend to provoke a negative response.

It’s best not to share these negative emotions with each other so as not to impede progress, however you need to put them somewhere. Emotions repressed tend to become expressed — you should share them, just not with each other. It is best to share them in a safe place, like with a friend or with a therapist.

Needing to make a decision with someone you don’t trust?

Trust and vulnerability seem to go together. Making decisions with someone you once trusted but no longer trust is challenging.

Two issues that make it unavoidable to be vulnerable to someone you don’t want to be.

  1.     Dividing an estate
  2.     Parenting relationships

How do you manage that? Try verification- if there is a description of income you get a pay stub- if there is a balance in an account you need to get a statement. Trust can be rebuilt over time, when people make and keep promises / commitments such as following through on making phone calls, showing up to meetings on time, being open about sharing income and assets, or showing up on time to pick up or drop off kids. In the meantime, it is perfectly acceptable to request verification where possible, in order to manage the difficult process of making decisions with someone with whom the bond of trust has been broken.