I have spent two weeks discussing anger and what it can do to us, using quotes from some very wise people. However, anger is not the only emotion that can control divorce negotiations. Other strong emotions are part of separation and divorce and need to be acknowledged.

I want to insert a disclaimer at this point. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed counselor. However, as a teacher, I used some effective techniques learned through the years (which sometimes worked) to guide middle school students through those turbulent hormone-fueled years. Some of the principles make sense in our discussion.

Emotions are, in and of themselves, what makes us so very human. We are the only species with such a variety of emotions, which are valuable tools as we live our lives. However, emotions on steroids, or out of control, can make us less than human.

We must control our emotions, not let them control us. That is a difficult challenge in the midst of stressful situations. In the last two posts, I discussed what can happen when anger is uncontrolled; the same principles apply to other emotions such as joy and grief. When people exhibit manic forms of any emotion, they are usually put on medication to get them into a “zone” of normalcy.

Grief, for example, is dealt with in stages. Not all people go through all the stages, and they are in a different order for some, but for all grief is a process. Denial, that stage of “numbness”, usually starts the process; maybe, just maybe, this didn’t happen. Anger usually follows, trying to fix blame on someone or something else. Depression, that overwhelming, debilitating sense of sadness, follows. At some point, acceptance and hope arrive. People start realizing that they can overcome their grief ad move on to normalcy.

If, at any point in this process, a person gets “stuck”, then emotions have taken over, and the person is unable to function. Emotions are normal and healthy, but appropriate responses to life (and decision making) are thwarted if emotions take control.

Joy is a positive emotion, but an ongoing unbridled expression of what looks like joy is called manic behavior because it becomes the focus rather than healthy, balanced living.

The professionals who guide people through divorce in a Collaborative manner know how to work with the natural emotions people experience during the process so that logical, fair decisions are made that will help ensure a return to normalcy for all involved. There is hope at the end of the tunnel; let Collaborative professionals guide you there.

Copyright 2013. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.