You may be of the belief that the divorce process is stressful and infuriating. You may have told yourself that if you can just get to the end of the divorce, you will be able to move on. That is the case for many people. However, some couples use the divorce process to maintain a level of intimacy, albeit negative intimacy. Isolina Ricci, Ph.D, in her book Mom’s House, Dad’s House (1980), describes this as the “attachment of antagonists.”
Intimacy is defined as a close familiarity or a closeness of observation and knowledge of a subject. During your divorce, you may feel as close as ever to your spouse. Think about it, you are talking to your lawyer, friends, or family every day about the court proceedings and you are most likely monitoring your spouse’s spending habits, living environment, and employment situation. Many divorcing couples still live together or talk on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Fights, for obvious reasons, are frequent and it is easy to dredge up old relationship issues, which only serves to cement the continuing intimacy.
However, at a certain point, you must start to let go and begin to separate. This point usually occurs once the final judgment is entered. The battle, for the most part, is over and you can begin to rebuild. Yet, you are having a hard time moving forward and don’t know why. It is very possible that you and your spouse became negatively intimate. Breaking this bond can lead to some the same angry, fearful, and melancholy feelings as breaking a healthy intimate bond.
There was a case recently in the news about a young, recently divorced Maryland politician named Ariana Kelly. She was arrested in late Jane and charged with indecent exposure and trespassing after a dispute at the home of her ex-husband. Ariana was dropping off her children at her ex-husband’s house and became extremely upset to see his fiancé inside. She started frantically ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. When he asked her to leave, she exposed herself and started acting even more irrational. The police arrived and she was arrested. It’s unfortunate to think that this 39 year old politician possibly just threw away her career trajectory due to her remaining negative emotions surrounding her recent divorce. If you are feeling disconsolate post-decree, even if you wanted or initiated the divorce, please be informed that this is moderately prevalent and seek further assistance, if needed.