GUEST ARTICLE: Is Divorce Contagious, by Sharon Zarozny

 Is Divorce Contagious?

It’s amazing how often people flinch when I explain I am a divorce
coach/consultant. Some even respond as if I am saying, “Hi, I’m an undertaker.”
That observation was underscored when, upon being introduced to an attorney, I
commented “I understand you are a divorce attorney.” He winced and quietly
replied, “We don’t use the “D” word. We call ourselves family law attorneys.”
Why is “divorce” such a loaded word? True, it’s devastating and claims roughly
half of all marriages. However, I assure you it is not fatal or contagious.The
afflicted among us promise we will not pass it along. So, the next time you find
yourself with someone caught in its trauma give him/her a much needed hug.
Think how you’d respond if s/he was newly widowed and show the same compassion.
Knowing how to help someone in crisis is often difficult. With that in mind, I’m
sharing some tips below to help you comfort someone touched by the challenges.
Of course, you can always bring your friend chocolates…
Listen, and then listen, and listen again. It is the greatest gift you can
give. Just as when a partner is lost to death, there is the need to tell and
retell the story. To make wise decisions your friend needs to do this. It is the
first step to recovery and an important way for your friend to separate the
emotional pieces from the legal and business aspects of dissolving a marriage.
Be patient and supportive. My friend’s greatest comfort during her divorce
was friends saying: “When you hate him, we hate him. When you love him we love
him.” She promised to do the same for me. I treasured her words because it gave
me the freedom to explore both separation and reconciliation, without
jeopardizing our friendship. Many couples reconcile several times before making
the final decision to divorce. If your friend is on the fence give him/her a
copy of the book Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum. Many of
my clients have found it helpful.
Your friend needs you, but you need to take the initiative. S/he is in
crisis, and probably too paralyzed to ask for help or companionship. Rather than
telling your friend “call me if you want to do something” contact him/her and
say “I’ll be by at 7pm Friday to pick you up and treat you to dinner.” Then do
it, even if your friend sits in silence or sobs the entire time. S/he will
return home knowing you care.
Learn about the divorce process. It’s overwhelming, especially when emotions
are running wild. As a rational friend you can be a great guide. There are many
ways to divorce. As Debbie Marson, a divorce financial analyst, puts it:
“There’s the easy way or the hard way. The cheap way or the expensive way. The
easy way is the cheapest.”
Please, do not tell your friend to hire the meanest attorney possible to
take his/her spouse “to the cleaners.” The system doesn’t work that way. As my
own attorney kept telling me, “divorce is not about justice”. It is about
splitting the marital assets, debts, and time with children. When conflict
drives up the attorney bills assets deplete quickly and your friend could end up
with very little, even in the case of abuse, adultery, and more.
Plan to do something with your friend the first few times s/he sends the
kids to visit their other parent. Adjusting to this, and holidays without kids,
is often one of the most painful aspects of divorce.
Remember, divorce is not contagious. It just might be the catalyst you need
to work on making your marriage better. Finding an Imago therapist or enrolling
in a PAIRS program could help you and your spouse revive a very happy marriage.
© 2008 Brilliant Exits™LLC
Sharon Zarozny is the founder of Brilliant Exits™LLC. She is passionate about
helping individuals, and couples, take control of their divorce because she
knows first hand how devastating the process is. Visit http://www.brilliantexits.com
to learn more.
Name: Sharon Zarozny
Email: info@brilliantexits.com
Phone: 703.658.2060
Website: www.brilliantexits.com

 

 

 

 

 
 


 

 

 
 


 

 

 
 


 

 

 
 


 

 

Divorce Saloon welcomes Sharon Zarozny as a new guest writer!

Is Divorce Contagious?

It

 
 


s amazing how often people flinch when I explain I am a divorce coach/consultant.

Some even respond as if I am saying, “Hi, I’m an undertaker.”

That observation was underscored when, upon being introduced to an attorney, I

commented “I understand you are a divorce attorney.” He winced and quietly replied,

“We don’t use the “D” word. We call ourselves family law attorneys.”

Why is “divorce” such a loaded word? True, it

 
 


 

?

s devastating and claims roughly half of

all marriages. However, I assure you it is not fatal or contagious.The afflicted among us

promise we will not pass it along. So, the next time you find yourself with someone

caught in its trauma give him/her a much needed hug.

Think how you’d respond if s/he was newly widowed and show the same compassion.

Knowing how to help someone in crisis is often difficult. With that in mind, I’m sharing

some tips below to help you comfort someone touched by the challenges. Of course,

you can always bring your friend chocolates…

 
 


Listen, and then listen, and listen again.

 
 


 

It is the greatest gift you can give. Just

as when a partner is lost to death, there is the need to tell and retell the story. To

make wise decisions your friend needs to do this. It is the first step to recovery and

an important way for your friend to separate the emotional pieces from the legal

and business aspects of dissolving a marriage.

 
 


Be patient and supportive

 
 


 

. My friend?

s greatest comfort during her divorce was

friends saying: “When you hate him, we hate him. When you love him we love

him.” She promised to do the same for me. I treasured her words because it gave

me the freedom to explore both separation and reconciliation, without jeopardizing

our friendship. Many couples reconcile several times before making the final

decision to divorce. If your friend is on the fence give him/her a copy of the book

 
 


Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay

 
 


 

by Mira Kirshenbaum. Many of my clients

have found it helpful.

 
 


Your friend needs you, but

you need to take the initiative.
 


you need to take the initiative.

S/he is in crisis, and

probably too paralyzed to ask for help or companionship. Rather than telling your

friend “call me if you want to do something” contact him/her and say “I’ll be by at

7pm Friday to pick you up and treat you to dinner.” Then do it, even if your friend

sits in silence or sobs the entire time. S/he will return home knowing you care.

 
 


Learn about the divorce process.

 
 


 

It’s overwhelming, especially when emotions

are running wild. As a rational friend you can be a great guide. There are many

ways to divorce. As Debbie Marson, a divorce financial analyst, puts it: “There’s

the easy way or the hard way. The cheap way or the expensive way. The easy way

is the cheapest.”

 
 


Please, do not tell your friend to hire the meanest attorney possible to take

his/her spouse “to the cleaners.”

 
 


 

The system doesn’t work that way. As my own

attorney kept telling me, “divorce is not about justice”. It is about splitting the

marital assets, debts, and time with children. When conflict drives up the attorney

bills assets deplete quickly and your friend could end up with very little, even in the

case of abuse, adultery, and more.

 
 


Plan to do something with your friend the first few times s/he sends the kids

to visit their other parent.

 
 


 

Adjusting to this, and holidays without kids, is often

one of the most painful aspects of divorce.

 
 


Remember, divorce is not contagious.

 
 


 

It just might be the catalyst you need to

work on making your marriage better. Finding an Imago therapist or enrolling in a

PAIRS program could help you and your spouse revive a very happy marriage.

© 2008 Brilliant Exits™LLC

Sharon Zarozny is the founder of Brilliant Exits™LLC. She is passionate about helping

individuals, and couples, take control of their divorce because she knows first hand how

devastating the process is. Visit
 
 
http://www.brilliantexits.com to learn more.