By nature, women are nesters and work hard to make their house a home. When divorce happens, the process of dismantling personal effects, carefully gathered and arranged through the years can be heart wrenching.
Packing stirs up feelings of loss surrounding the dreams of a life together that have ended. This can be a traumatic experience not only for you, but also for everyone in the family. Not only is the home being lost, all the items of familiar comfort are being divided. In its place, shattered dreams and the lack of emotional safety and security fill the space. Packing under these conditions requires thoughtful and deliberate steps. Following the tips below will make the process a little easier.
Inventory Agreement. Prior to packing, generate a list of household items that you plan to take. Have your husband review the list and sign the bottom of the page to show that he is in agreement. If there is any thing under question, now is the time to discuss it. When the time comes to do the physical move, emotions will run high enough so having this laid out in advance will make it easier to get through this delicate step.
A Life in Pictures. Pictures have a way of flooding women with emotion. To minimize the impact they bring, you will want to do a clean sweep of your house and organize them systematically. To start, gather the framed photos, collect the albums and grab two boxes (one for you and one for the kids). This is the time to let your pictures tell a new family story. For each child’s room, replace frames with photos of the kids and their father. This will communicate that, although the marital relationship ended, the one with their father continues.
Children usually have a secret hope that you and your husband will reconcile. To avoid giving them false hope, replace the remaining frames with photos that do not include your husband. This will let the kids know the family still exits; it’s just different now.
Marital Momentums. Marital Momentums. Just because the marriage is over does not mean you should throw out keepsakes from that phase of your life. Remember, as much as your momentums are shared tokens from your days as a couple, they also represent your life experiences as an individual. For now, while you heal, box your things up and put them away. There will come a day when you will want to look back and appreciate that part of your life.
With moving day upon you the message is simple—be prepared. Boxing up your married life will be an emotional experience. But if you follow these tips, the overall experience will be more manageable and help you avoid and emotional meltdown.
Bio: Nancy Fagan is the founder of The Divorce Help Clinic LLC™ (divorce planning & divorce mediation services), a Huffington Post divorce writer and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Romance” (Macmillan Publishing) and “Desirable Men: How to Find Them” (Prima Publishing). As a nationally recognized divorce and relationship expert, dubbed “The Divorce Reporter,” she has appeared on countless television and radio shows, and quoted in national magazines and popular On-line publications since 1997. In addition, she is considered a pioneer in the field of pre- divorce planning and frequently sought out to speak on the topic. Nancy holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with extensive training in divorce mediation and alternative dispute resolution. To learn more, visitTheDivorceHelpClinic.com.