The Shocking Emotional Fallout of Divorce (and You Thought Zombies Were Scary)


Separation is emotionally volatile.

What’s surprising is that it surprises people.

I’m not sure why. It’s perfectly logical.

When a previously deep and intimate connection disintegrates, it does not go quietly into the night.

The connection doesn’t simply become dead. It becomes… undead.
It continues living but in a new, twisted form.

Divorce seems to poison its victims, transforming one or both into claw-bearing, fanged creatures who rip and tear relentlessly to satisfy their new thirst for blood. What was once passionate love becomes an insatiable desire to inflict pain, ironically in an effort to relieve pain.

Logic becomes calculation.
Reason becomes justification.
Love becomes hate.

Suddenly the dining set bought together years ago, while holding hands in the furniture store, becomes the mountain on which each is willing to die.

Discussions about the house, the furniture, and the car, each become an opportunity to slash and bite and howl.

Unfortunately, the children also fall victim to the poisonous effects of divorce. They, however, do not grow fangs. They become the table or the car – a thing to fight over. There, smack-dab in the middle, they can’t help but get in the way. As they watch their parents slash at each other, and as they are tugged and coaxed and pressured back and forth, they are soon scarred by slash marks too.

It’s an ugly unfolding.

As a real estate agent, I’ve had a front row seat to many such stories. My clients have suffered the grief and shock and pain of divorce. Luckily for both of us, the deep pain of divorce is something I’m personally acquainted with, so I can empathize.

I understand. I’ve been there.

My experience – both personally and as an agent helping my clients through this gut-wrenching process – also means I can hopefully start a conversation that helps others understand how to help their clients.

Whether you’re a real estate agent, banker, or lawyer, it’s tough to watch clients suffer, and difficult to navigate the volatile transaction.

The biggest way we can help our clients is by empathizing. Let’s not be surprised or critical of their emotional state or outbursts. This is the nature of the beast. Instead, let’s look past the claws and fangs and realize all the howling is not about dining sets or houses. These are the final twitches of death – the pangs of regret and hurt that themselves cause hurt.

Hurt people hurt people, as they say.
Let’s not add salt to the wound.

As the professionals helping them through it, we can offer an ear, a kind word, and maybe even suggest alternative, more effective ways to salve their wounds. But our advice can’t come out of a desire to fix them. It has to come from a place of compassion and empathy.

It’s all any of us wants – to be loved the way we are. To be understood. To be known.
Luckily, every human interaction – even acting as a real estate agent – offers the opportunity to provide exactly those things for another.


Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Herman Klassen

    Dear Tina :
    Thank you for helping me through a very difficult time. Selling our house after putting in so much dreaming of making a “PALACE” for my queen. It was something I didn’t want or certainly didn’t understand .
    Dreams shattered….
    Hopes dashed….
    Trying for 4 years to make it better.
    I am struggling deeply with letting go!!!
    The last nail in the coffin ….not meaning to be morbid….has been the past week.
    Loosing my oldest grandson tragically and no response or coming along side by Susan has been beyond heart wrenching. I will be blamed for filing for a divorce. I have to move on….as you know an extremely difficult thing to do.
    Nobody deserves a time in there life like this…nevermind twice!!!!
    I am not a guiter. ..but a survivor. …
    The sun came up this morning…all be it behind the clouds. How ironic….
    Thanks Tina….keep on shineing

    1. tina

      Herman, I am saddened to hear that your grandson passed away. It is in these times of deep emotions we want to turn to a spouse for support. It’s in moments like this where the loss becomes very real. When someone is no longer your spouse, they are not requied to be next to you. The awareness of their absence is just so real in times like these. Over and over, these emotions can confuse a person. Grieving a marriage can take some time. Grieving your grandson will be part of your forever changed future.
      I hope you can surround yourself with family and friends and take comfort from them.

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