Conflict | Divorce Support
For most of us being in conflict is an uncomfortable experience that can quickly escalate once our fight, flight or freeze instinct is triggered. Conflict can trigger our fear and in the heightened state of arousal we can say and do things that we later regret. Conflict | Divorce Support.
As we examine conflict with couples facing divorce in our practice, many find that there is a great deal of emotions that stems from memories and feelings from the past predating meeting their spouse. These old emotions may be fueling the intensity of arguments without you being aware of it. Examining the emotions that are present during conflict, and better understanding where they are coming from, can shift how you deal with conflict dramatically.
The fight, flight or freeze responses are key physiological responses to be aware of when managing conflict. If we were living in the wild and confronted by a tiger, the body would produce stress hormones and increase our heart rate to distribute blood to muscles in order to maximize our physical response, while taking blood away from other vital organs, including the brain. Once this fear response has been triggered, our brain therefore has a much lower capacity to process thoughts and feelings, and as such our ability to deal with conflict is greatly diminished.
While you are not facing a tiger the level of threat can be perceived as being equivalent, from a physiological standpoint, when facing conflicts with your spouse in divorce. When considering the heightened sense of arousal, that is most often disproportionate to the level of danger being encountered, we can understand why small arguments can become all out wars.
Research has shown that once the fight, flight or freeze response has kicked in, it takes an average of 20 minutes for the body to return to normal levels of functioning, and we once again have restored our brains normal ability. This is of course provided that the source of the danger has dissipated, or the danger is perceived differently.
Small disagreement can escalate into an all-out argument when our body’s fear response is triggered. In this deregulated state couples often bring up multiple issues and suppressed resentments as hostile and unfiltered attacks. There are many ways to successfully regulate your emotions and responses, and learning these is key to keep yourself calm, safe and express your needs clearly. It is also key to have professional help that can with expertise and confidence help facilitate communication.
We help each of you manage your emotions while expressing clearly what you need to say. With expert help by your side you will be more relaxed, learn to trust your abilities and transform conflict into constructive dialogue and creative collaboration. You will turn towards one another through a new opening for your relationships or face divorce while taking good care of yourself and collaborate on positive solutions.