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When 'wallowing' during the divorce process is okay

When you were a child and you were struggling with negative emotions, your parents may have told you not to "wallow." And while it is generally good advice to avoid stewing in negative emotions for any length of time, there are situations where wallowing is warranted and can even be constructive.

For example, if you are currently navigating a divorce, some thoughtful wallowing may actually help you to process the negative emotions associated with your divorce in a healthy way. Pushing your negative emotions down may cause them to come out "sideways" at potentially hazardous times, such as during legal negotiations. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions privately and with your support system may ultimately help to move you forward.

When to wallow

Processing negative emotions including sadness, anger, guilt and betrayal is never easy. As a result, you will likely need time to sit with these emotions and to work through them. At times, your support system will be able to aid you in this journey and at times you will have to walk it alone.

As long as you are not becoming entrenched in bitterness, a need for vengeance or other potentially destructive emotional states, feel free to allow yourself the time you need in order to move forward. If your ultimate aim is a healthy, happy, stable future, your process will almost certainly lead you where you need to go, even if it takes some time to get there.

When to avoid wallowing

If you are not somewhat careful, your wallowing process can leak into the legal side of your divorce. This is potentially dangerous as it could cause you to be unnecessarily vulnerable or volatile. If part of your legal situation involves protecting property that is important to you or fighting for custody of your child, do not hesitate to speak with your attorney about the ways in which your emotional process may impact your legal case.

Ideally, you will be able to process your negative emotions away from your legal processes in order to better ensure that the former does not impact the latter. But if you are worried about overlap, speaking with your attorney about how to handle this challenge may help to set your mind at ease. 

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