Monday, April 25, 2011


We all have different responses to stress. Several couples, myself included, are trying to sort out the separation of stuff and $. It can take a LOT of energy or a little depending on the people and the approach. It's extremely hard to come back from icky, so setting parametres or goals or intentions for how to split can be helpful.

For example you can set the intention that throughout the parting process as well as afterward both individuals wish to be as psychologically, emotionally, physically, financially, and socially healthy as possible, then you "design" your process with that outcome in mind. No fear evoked so no fear response required. More a "gather and tend" response which stress researchers say females prefer because of the way estrogen, and stress hormones cortisol & norepinephrine interact. (Abstract here).

If you set the intention that "I'm going to make you act or feel a particular way," you might have an icky mess on your hands as the fight, flight, or freeze response kicks in--testosterone mixing with cortisol and norepinephrine. Similar results show up with the "If I ignore it, it will go away," stress response.

I've had a $500 divorce where the first intention was invoked. The parting was mutually respectful where no one tried to take advantage of the other.

In my current split, we've become polarized in the Tiger and Turtle paradigm--one drawn into a protective shell with the the other pawing at the shell. Frustrating and hard to change the dynamic of.

Listening to Imogen Heap's song "Shine" on her Leave Me to Love CD, these two lyrics really struck me as descriptive of the dynamic we're in:
"Crawling through a brick wall is hard to say the least." No kidding! A brick wall calls for dynamite or a ladder.

"Yes sir, yes sir 3 bags full. It's easier to say 'yes' than say 'no' to a fool." Which is to say that if you want easy, you gotta let the fool take the lead. Hmmm.
So, where's the I have to build it or merely discover it?