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jump to last post 1-4 of 4 discussions (7 posts)

Do you suffer from the post traumatic effects of divorce?

  1. KatyWhoWaited profile image81
    KatyWhoWaitedposted 5 years ago

    Do you suffer from the post traumatic effects of divorce?

    I'm wondering if there is a PTRD (my term for Post Traumatic Reaction to Divorce) Many of the symptoms of PTDS seem to be similar - irritability, sense of a limited future, outbursts of anger.  I would categorize people with "PTRD as those having symptoms10 years or more after the divorce. Maybe this has been identified already.  If so, I wonder if there are support groups specifically for those who appear to have "gotten over" the inital divorce, perhaps even re-married, but have lingering negative effects that interfere with their present day productivity and ability to "self-actualize".

  2. janshares profile image96
    jansharesposted 5 years ago

    Yes, I believe there is such a reaction, KatyWhoWaited. In my work with couples and individuals going through marital issues, they often display symptoms of PTSD. I must say though, that I've seen this primarily with those where betrayal and infidelity were involved that lead to separation and divorce. The same constructs are involved as in any traumatic event, i.e., shattered assumptions about safety, flashbacks of arguements or discovery of the betrayal, intrusive thoughts about the spouse's whereabouts, and visualizations and imagery about the spouse's sexual activity. I do think your term should be coined when referring to the complications of divorce and its psychological impacts.

    1. KatyWhoWaited profile image81
      KatyWhoWaitedposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Jnshares, Thank you so much for your response.  I totally agree that there is a different dynamic that occurs for the "leavers" and "the left".  The left (including children) are those who seem to experience this. Maybe help could start right here!

  3. Lisa HW profile image72
    Lisa HWposted 5 years ago

    Since Janshares has already answered your question better than I could, I'm only adding something that I think is related and something that I think you may want to learn a little more about IF it applies to your divorce:

    It has now been established that there can be PTSD when people become the targets of what is called "legal abuse".  This is essentially abuse directed at someone by the court system/court process in which lies are presented about the person; and the person hasn't had the opportunity to see those lies corrected in court records.

    I've been building a site that focuses on this and other divorce-related matters.  There's a page on it that has several videos on PTSD from court/divorce proceedings; and clicking on the videos will get you to some links to more information.  There's also a section on "verbal/emotional abuse", but what's interesting with that is that verbal/emotional abuse aren't always a matter of just a nasty tone used.  Evans points out the kind of things that people say that can have serious effects on their "target".  She prefers "target" over "victim" because a lot of people don't like to think of themselves as "victims".  Whether it's legal abuse or emotional abuse, quite a job can be done on people who either don't get the right kind of help, don't see something happen that might help them feel as if "reality" has been acknowledged, or else never quite get back to feeling their "full size self inside" and instead continue to remain feeling very small inside.

    "Self-actualizing" is believed to be what can only happen once other needs (including emotional) have been met.  (If you haven't seen Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, or seen it recently, look it up.  It may give you a starting point to start addressing where/what is is that's stopping you from emotionally getting past things.)  (With the legal abuse thing, one example in the videos is a woman (the case isn't a divorce) who continues to suffer the effects twenty years later.

    I wasn't going to post a link to my personal writing site because a lot of stuff there (and on the related sites) is nowhere near complete; but if you want, go to my profile, click on the link I'm going to post now, get to my personal writing site, and then there (in the left-hand sidebar) you'll see a link to "Divorce Perspectives".

    I'm just wondering if it's something about how the case was handled, or something leading to it, or following it, that's really at the root of things for you.

    1. KatyWhoWaited profile image81
      KatyWhoWaitedposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Lisa, thank you for your well thought-out and thorough comment! The resources you provided will be helpful to many.  My question was meant to be generic and address a curiosity about issues of loss that courts can't address. Will chk your hubs, etc.!

  4. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 5 years ago

    I didn't. Of course it all depends on the state of the marriage. If you're in a situation where the marriage has been going downhill for years there is not much shock when one person brings up the "D" word.
    I imagine if I thought I was in a "happy marriage" at the time and my spouse came home one day after work and said she wanted a divorce... or I came home and she had moved all of her things out of the house that would cause me to be shocked. Life goes on. Eventually you look back and you feel everything happens for the best. Underlying definition of a soul-mate is someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the marriage, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and has mutual love/desire/ and respect for each other. In order for him or her to be "the one" they'd have to see you as being "the one".
    Every breakup or divorce I have ever witnessed had "clues" that all was not right in wonderland. Either one person assumed that no matter (what) they would stay together or they believed silence implied agreement. Just because you're not fighting doesn't mean your mate is "happy". It's important to be "emotionally plugged" into a marriage. When one person is all about the kids they are neglecting their spouse, When people "relax" in a marriage they stop putting in the same kind of (effort) they did to win the heart of their spouse.
    "When we change our circumstances change."

    1. KatyWhoWaited profile image81
      KatyWhoWaitedposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Dear Dashing, Thank you!  So glad you can look back and feel that everything was for the best- a great attitude. The importance of being "emotionally plugged into" a marriage is truly important as well as all of your points about marriage per se.