How can I cope with the trauma of separation and divorce?

Q: How do I get back to being the happy person I used to be?

My wife of 20 years told me six months ago she'd had an affair 16 years ago. The same evening she told me this she also admitted to climbing out of another mans bed not 12 hours beforehand. I was distraught, devastated. My world fell apart. She abandoned the family home saying as she left how she wanted to leave everything, this family, this life behind. All in front of my 2 daughters, aged 19 (lives away) and 15. The 15 year old has nothing to do with my wife.

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Parenting after separation and the grief that gets in the way

When a relationship ends, even if you are the one who decided to end it, it can take a long time to grieve, let go and move on. What often helps, as much as anything, is to put as much distance as possible between you and your ex. But if you have kids together, this is easier said than done, and the children need the two of you to be able to communicate about them and their needs. When separated couples come to Family Dispute Resolution to sort out parenting agreements, often old wounds reawaken.

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Relationship breakdown and Post-Traumatic Growth

It is perhaps not talked about enough, but many people actually respond to distressing events by experiencing post-traumatic growth - that is, they may become stronger personally. They may say things like "I wouldn't ever have chosen to go through that painful break-up with my partner, but because of it, I have changed in some powerful and profound ways". I think an unfortunate aspect of being human is that we often don't make changes until the level of discomfort and stress in our lives, for whatever reason, compels us to do so!

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