Most of our clients have a big problem in common: they are overthinking divorce too much.
It makes sense though: it´s no easy option, probably one of the hardest choices made in their lives. Nevertheless, if you are not lucid enough, you may end up living a life where you overthink this continuously in a never-ending cycle.
Learn how to know if you are in this situation and what to do next here.
Endless Fight Syndrome
You have Endless Fight Syndrome (EFS), a state of unrest fueled by the fact that on some level you still care, and on another, you just wish it would end.
Every day you wake up hoping it will be “normal”. Except this IS normal.
You hope the next time you see each other it will be different. Maybe you even make up. Then, out of nowhere comes a trigger.
One of you says something. Something that invited the other to respond. And they do and you’re off to the races again.
This is EFS. An endless cycle of arguments and fights that inevitably come up at the worst times.
Date night? EFS! Anniversary? EFS! Holidays with the inlaws? Definitely EFS!
What do you do?
Do I Stay or Do I Go?
You are considering divorce for the umpteenth time and let you stay.
You know if you go that route, it’s a boatload of pain for you both and especially for the kids. If you stay, maybe it will be different this time?
In your heart, you know better. Something has to change!
It begins by researching how to leave. You look for answers everywhere.
There is still love for your husband, and at the same time, you wonder how? How could there be love in the cyclone of endless fights with no end in sight?
And so you stay, even though you know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results!
We have seen this countless times. Our job is to help couples move past EFS to communication. To empathy and understanding. To freedom.
Consider Your Relationship As You Consider Divorce
When couples are locked into EFS, it’s almost impossible to see the forest for the trees.
When couples are locked into EFS they are literally stuck in the weeds. ANY alternative seems better than going on this way.
Divorce looks like an easy out. So why haven’t you taken it yet? Because you know there are NO easy outs.
Do you have children together? You are going to be in a relationship as long as you and they live.
Going to divorce without dealing with the problem simply means you will be having the same fight every time the two of you have to deal with decisions about the kids.
It will be diminished, but still present.
Being divorced with EFS means more pain and suffering for everyone involved.
How Committed Are You?
On a scale of one to ten, how much do you want out? Do you want out of the endless fight? The marriage? Both?
Let’s face it, this has been going on so long there may be no recovery for the marriage. However, NOT dealing with EFS is not an option.
Take that commitment and use it to end the fight first. Make the decision about your marriage second.
You can end the fight with the right help. Consider our eight-week program.
Already Getting Divorced?
It is normal and natural to question and overthink getting divorced while you are already in the middle of it. How could you not?
You are in pain. Your kids are suffering. And to top it off, somewhere in there you still care about him.
Cynthia’s Story: “In my heart, I knew I couldn’t live with him anymore. At the same time, I couldn’t see how getting divorced was going to fix the problem. Yes, I wouldn’t have to talk to him as much or even see his sorry ass. At the same time, I knew he was just going to poison the kids with his anger just like he has been all along. Finally, I got help. I went to Rich in Relationship to get some coaching. With Rich, I figured out how I could unplug, stop reacting. How I could disengage so that I wasn’t having the same stupid fight over and over. As my ex and I both calmed down, I was able to focus more on the kids and what was best for them.”
Getting divorced is never the end. It’s just the end of the marriage.
The relationship is ongoing and until one or both of you disengage, you can go on being angry and bickering for years to come.
Stop Living in Hell
Whether you’re getting divorced or still married, living with Endless Fight Syndrome is HELL!
It’s an endless cycle of blame and anger characterized by self-doubt, guilt, and even shame. The blame and anger are due to the fact that he often starts it.
No matter how you explain your feelings, he just doesn’t get it. He is always trying to slap a bandaid on your feelings instead of really listening to you.
The self-doubt is because you know that sometimes he just doesn’t know any better, he seems as baffled as you at times.
The guilt? Let’s face it, sometimes you start it. And the shame is all about the pain that it’s causing your children that you can’t seem to stop.
Perhaps you went to counseling and walked away feeling like the compromises they suggested between you are too tough to swallow. Maybe he just did not listen (again).
It may seem like there is no way out, but there is.
The Way Out
Here’s how you recover from EFS:
- Stop Fighting
- Stop letting your triggers manage you instead of you managing them
- Learn to release/express your feelings in healthy ways
- ID your needs
- Learn to express your needs so that they are fulfilled
- Accept that the only person you can change is yourself
- Understand who and how the other person became the way that they are
- Develop a strategy for dealing with this person effectively (married or divorced)
- Develop a strategy for nurturing and protecting your children (married or divorced)
Sounds like a tall order? This nine-point system has worked for countless couples and individuals, so we know it works.
EFS- Endless Fight Syndrome has a toll on your body, mind, and spirit.
It’s not unlike living in a war zone and we have had clients who actually had symptoms of PTSD as they recovered from ending the fight.
It’s inevitable that this is stressful when you think about it. You are not being true to yourself in this state. Not getting the rest that you need.
There is little or no room for happiness in the environment of EFS. You may be having trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much.
Similarly, with eating, you are overeating or starving yourself. You feel disconnected from your friends, your family, even your own body. These are all signs of depression and when locked in EFS long enough, depression becomes a very real possibility.
You may be in an abusive marriage, it’s very hard to tell when you are in the thick of EFS.
If you feel you can make some space to consider your options, reach out and schedule a call now.
It’s free and you are guaranteed the next steps. We will help you figure out what’s next in recovering your health, your freedom, and your sense of self.