Prepare to Fight

When one person only wants to control and sabotage during the divorce, mediation is usually not an option and a waste of money. I have seen victims of emotional abuse in their marriage be victims of mediation because they are the only person bringing adult behavior to the mediation table. Mediation requires two people who want to come to an agreement. If you have identified yourself as the victim of emotional abuse in your marriage, I recommend you prepare for an adversarial divorce. Hopefully your lawyer, with experience in these situations, will be able to recognize the signs of a hostile “ex” and prepare to fight for you. Sit down with yourself first and then your lawyer to decide what is important to you and then strategize on how to get it. Your “ex” will know you well and know what is important to you and work to make sure you don’t get it. Hopefully, you will have journaled the abuse, kept the abusive texts and emails, and documented any attempts to counter the abuse. E.G “I will not continue this discussion until you stop yelling”. Obviously, you cannot counter if you feel you will be physically abused. Journals are very important during divorce particularly when the other party hasn’t journaled. Your “ex” will also disobey agreements requiring you to either let the issue go or use money to require the courts to enforce the agreement. The goal of the emotionally abusive partner is to keep you engaged, keep you from moving on, and to control the situation. Do not count on the courts to make your “ex” behave. Pick your battles and fight hard for what is important to you. Work to get everything hashed out and spelled out specifically financially, medically, parenting, holidays etc. Do not leave anything unaddressed or for a later date to revisit. Do not expect you can negotiate any divorce issues with your “ex” on your own. And don’t expect he/she will follow the agreement the way you will.

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. Anne’s approach is especially applicable to people affected by divorce. Backbone Power is a no nonsense self help guide to making decisions while having backbone and integrity in all your choices, short term and long term. In addition to helping the divorce community, Anne has over twenty years experience as the trusted advocate and advisor to influential corporate leaders, trial attorneys, athletes, leaders, physicians and others seeking actionable guidance. Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do. You can contact Dr. Anne Brown through her website: .