divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

it is so unfair! just because my spouse wants out, I have to change my life!

{3:18 minutes to read} Separating couples each have a personal story and their own reasons for seeking a divorce. Even when the narrative of the breakup is it is so unfair! just because my spouse wants out, I have to change my life!similar, there are still many differences, if only because of the personalities involved.

But there is one line that I hear quite frequently:

Just because he/she wants a divorce, I have to change everything in my life. It is so unfair!

  • I can only have my children part of the time.
  • We have to sell our family home.
  • I will have to move into a less expensive home, possibly in a different neighborhood.
  • I will have to start working again, reentering the workforce with no recent experience, because we had decided together that I would stay home and be a full-time parent.
  • I will have to cut down on my expenses.
  • Our children may no longer be able to be involved in as many extracurricular activities or enjoy vacations like the ones we took as a family.

This is a sad reality for many families going through divorce. It is hard to accept emotionally as well as financially, especially in households with limited incomes and/or with one working parent.

How does the spouse who feels unfairly treated move forward and start a new life? It will be hard. It will take time and effort to settle into the next chapter, but it can be done.

To the spouse on the receiving end:

  • Do you really want to stay in a relationship where your partner no longer wants to be?
  • Think about it: Were there really no signs that your relationship was not going so well?
  • If you need a little more time to adapt to the new plan, ask for it, but recognize that at some point, you may not want to remain in limbo either.
  • Participate fully in all the decisions going forward so that you have an equal say in the results.

To the spouse asking for the divorce:

  • Be patient, as your partner may still be in shock.
  • Take each step slowly.
  • Work together with your spouse to find solutions and make decisions.

There will be hard days and better days. There will be big hurdles and smaller ones. Work together as a couple to create your separation agreement. If you are in mediation, your mediator will assist you in so doing.

Life may look very dark at first, and yes, it’s not always fair, but with a road map and a structure in place, it will become a little easier and lighter each day.


Comments from Social Media

Well done Jennifer!

Honey A. Sheff, Ph.D.


These are wonderful observations. One of the questions i hear a lot is “Why do I have to pay for HIS mid-life crisis”. Or ‘it came out of the blue – he was a doting husband’ . But just as you said, when i take their ‘financial’ history, anecdotal stuff always comes out that strike me as signs.

Vickie Adams


This is a wonderful description of what I often see in actual clients. The most common is : ‘Why do I have to pay for HIS divorce ? His mid life crisis ‘ Also, one party might say the divorce was out of the blue but when I take their marital financial history, there were incidents along the way that were red flags that predicted future problems that precipitated divorce.

Vickie Adams


Working as a neutral party (financial) for divorcing couples, there clearly are at least two (sometimes radical) different perspectives from each spouse. As Vickie points out, sometimes there are clear indications that this was a long time coming. Sometimes, when communications have eroded, it seems to come out of the blue to the one being told, but the teller has thought for a long time about it. I am now working with a couple where the husband is still in the merchant marine (for past nearly 40 years) and she is stay at home, running everything while he is away. They are nearly 65 and he told her more than six months ago he wants a divorce. She is still so angry that she is refusing to accommodate him in any way. “If he wants a value for the house, he can make the arrangements and let the real estate agents or appraiser in. I’m not going to do that for him.” Even though I am the neutral financial professional, I work with them separately (although communications are always to both), as she cannot be in the same place with him. As you say, Jennifer, life isn’t always fair… Makes for challenging work…

Sandy Voit, MS, EdS, LMHC, CDFA


Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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