The Introverted Spouse and Divorce
It’s no secret that divorce is hard. Whether we are talking about the spouses in a marriage that is breaking down, the children who have been witnessing the break-down in real-time, or the extended family and friends who are watching a couple they care about go their separate ways, divorce is an emotional process that brings about a lot of change for everyone involved. But for spouses who are introverted by nature, it can be even more difficult. Why? Because being introverted means that you prefer to spend your time alone or with a small group of close friends or family. You recharge your batteries by being alone, and this can make divorce exceptionally difficult over the lengthy legal process required to finalize the divorce.
Think about it. Divorce typically means making decisions about things like where you will live, how your assets will be divided, and whether or not you will have custody of your children. These are all incredibly difficult decisions to make, and they’re made even harder when you’re introverted because you don’t have the benefit of being able to talk things out with a large group of people. Or you may be too intimidated by your extroverted and outspoken spouse or too exhausted from the pre-separation arguments to have the energy necessary to invest in making all these long-term decisions as quickly as the divorce process will often require. All of this coming at you at once can be incredibly daunting.
On top of that, divorce is already an emotionally charged time. There are a lot of feelings running high, and if you’re introverted, those feelings can be even more intense because you might not have anyone to talk to about them. In many cases, the introverted spouse considered their partner their closest and best friend. Their spouse was their confidant for their most intimate thoughts, dreams, worries, and fears. If this describes your situation, you might feel like you’re bottling everything up inside, which can lead to serious emotional difficulties.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ease the burden of divorce if you’re an introverted spouse. Here are a few tips:
Find an introvert-friendly therapist.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the emotions of divorce, it’s important to find a therapist who understands what it’s like to be introverted. Look for a therapist who offers introvert-friendly counseling services such as online or text-based counseling. This will allow you to communicate in a way that is comfortable for you and won’t overwhelm you emotionally.
Having a therapist on hand will also give you a safe space to discuss your fears and worries about the process without judgment, but also with someone who can help you better organize your thoughts and feelings. Once you have a handle on how you really feel about things without the pressure or intimidation of how other people feel (i.e., your spouse), your therapist can help you find the right words to use when dealing with the various situations that will inevitably come up during this process. If necessary, they can even help you practice addressing situations you’re not accustomed to addressing due to your introverted nature but you’re now forced to face because of the divorce.
Join an online support group.
There are plenty of online support groups for people going through a divorce. This is a great way to connect with others who understand what you’re going through and can offer support and advice, but without the need to physically be around other people, something that can be physically draining for many introverts. Many of these groups also have private forums where you can post anonymously if you feel shy or uncomfortable sharing personal details in a public setting.
However, it is very important to keep in mind that your online activity can come back to bite you if you overshare the intimate details of your litigation or information that could expose you to unwanted consequences in your family court case. Try to keep your online comments general in nature by not using your real name or the names of your spouse, your attorney, your children, or anyone else directly involved in the litigation. Also, don’t talk about facts or situations where it will be easy to link your comments to you, your family, your children, or your case.
Take some time for yourself.
It’s important to remember that being introverted doesn’t mean that you don’t need time alone; it just means that you need less time around people than most people do. Make sure to schedule some “me time” into your day so that you can recharge your batteries on a regular schedule. This might mean taking a long walk by yourself, reading a book in your favorite coffee shop, or taking a yoga class at your local gym. Whatever it is that helps you relax and recharge, make sure to do it regularly!
Let your attorney advocate for you.
Being an introvert often means that you’re the last person who will feel comfortable speaking up for yourself or advocating for what is rightfully yours in any situation. This is the only reason you must hire the best divorce attorney you can afford immediately. Your attorney’s job is to advocate for your rights under the divorce laws in your state. Be honest and upfront with your attorney about what you want out of the divorce, but also about what your fears are about the process. In many cases, your attorney can help you resolve your fears and get the best possible outcome in your divorce.
Divorce is hard enough without worrying about how your introverted personality will affect things. However, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier for you. First, find an introvert-friendly therapist who offers services such as online or text-based counseling. Second, join an online support group so that you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through. Third, make sure to schedule some “me time” into your day so that you can recharge your batteries and avoid getting overwhelmed emotionally. And finally, make sure you’re communicating clearly with your attorney about your wants and needs to allow them to properly advocate for you throughout the process. Using these tips will make the process easier for even the most introverted spouse.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce, don’t make any decisions about how to proceed before talking with a trusted attorney in your area. Your divorce and any settlement you create will be subject to your state’s divorce laws. Without discussing your situation with an attorney, your agreement may not be what you want or what is beneficial to your future. If you’re in South Carolina, it’s important to contact an experienced family court attorney like J. Benjamin Stevens today to discuss your specific situation. Even if you aren’t in South Carolina, Mr. Stevens is happy to offer referrals to a well-qualified attorney located in your state.
Ben Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and he is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has represented parties in divorce, separation, and other Family Court cases all across South Carolina for more than twenty-five years. If you or someone you know is facing a situation like this, contact our office today at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation.
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Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an initial consultation.
ABOUT J. BENJAMIN STEVENS
Ben.Stevens@offitkurman.com | 864.598.9172
Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina. His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.
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