A Dysfunctional Kind of Comfort: The Role of Routines in Your Divorce

couple sitting side by side with angry gestures
Sep 30, 2018 | Sara Khaki

Why do humans crave routine? Why do days feel more comfortable and more productive when the same series of habits are repeated? In a world where spontaneity is celebrated and creativity is rewarded, I’ve always found it ironic that the human race (myself included) spends so much of the day trying to replicate the previous one to provide structure, reduce stress, and curb decision-making. Think about it. We wake up at the same time every morning to the same alarm sounds, we commute to and from work on the same busy streets, and we relax on the same sofa watching sitcoms televised on the same night every week. But when it comes to navigating the aftermath of a divorce, it is the shift in these day-to-day routines that seems to wreak the most havoc on people’s psyches. When our attorneys ask their clients to describe the most difficult aspects of divorce, they explain that the pain never stems from some monumental change that occurs overnight; it stems from a series of minute adjustments that slowly strip them of their confidence, independence, and motivation to face life on their own.

You see, even in the most volatile of relationships, maintaining a routine is often the glue keeping a couple together. There is a dysfunctional kind of comfort that exists in an unhappy marriage because, over the years, husbands and wives figure out a system that works, at least on the surface level. Many couples divvy up chores or activities. She might cook dinner most evenings, but he prepares breakfast on the weekends. He might mow the lawn and take the trash to the curb every Tuesday, but she folds the laundry and drives the kids to soccer practice. She might balance the checkbook and purchase groceries, but he changes the oil in the cars and helps the kids with their math homework. Then when he or she moves out, the responsibility to complete all of these tasks falls on the shoulders of one person. They go from being part of a team (albeit a dysfunctional one) to feeling alone.

This is not to say that people aren’t capable of navigating this emotional minefield. Our team has seen our clients persevere through these initial feelings time and time again. Human beings are far more adaptable than they know, and the stresses that keep them up at night eventually fade into the background as new routines emerge. They realize that the person they once believed they couldn’t survive without assumes a very different role in their present. Still, these adjustments take time, and people need help with the transition. That is why we created our Concierge Divorce Service to help our clients navigate all of the social, economic, logistical, and emotional aspects of their divorces. Beyond assuming new roles in the household, some recently divorced people have to re-enter the workforce, buy a new house or vehicle, and find childcare services. My team sets clients up with companies or professionals we trust to help them. From real estate agents, career coaches, and counselors to mechanics, handymen, and mortgage lenders, our concierge advocates get clients in touch with partners we have vetted and trust wholeheartedly.

So if you or someone you know is struggling with any of these small but very real transitional issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Atlanta Divorce Law Firm. We understand that getting the legal divorce decree is sometimes the least complicated aspect of the separation process, and that the things that keep you up at night often have nothing to do with paperwork. Let us help make this seemingly impossible task just a little bit easier.

~ Sara Khaki

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