Divorcing? Move Out of Denial and Into Reality

06/07/2013 04:12 pm ET | Updated Aug 07, 2013

Facing the truth is much easier than staying in denial, but we do get trapped into thinking otherwise. When facing the end of a marriage we can find ourselves trying desperately to hang on to every little bit of hope -- that perhaps this is just a passing phase and our marriage will be fine.

We each have a filter system that we use to filter experiences, perceptions, our reality and what others say or do. Our personal filter system is based on our personal beliefs, values and experiences. So that is why when given the same situation or experience two people will have an entirely different take on what happened.

In a divorce or marriage breakdown this filter system can actually be used to keep us in denial of the fate that may await us. One partner does not want the marriage to end and may be grasping at straws to try and "fix" things while the other person may have one foot out the door. What is very interesting is that people will always speak their truth - we just need to learn to listen without judgment or overlaying our personal filter system.

There are usually a ton of words or clues of exactly what is going on in the marriage for the other person. Often times you will hear things like "I have been telling him/her for years that I was not happy or that I was needing a change -- how can she/he possibly not hear me." This is a symptom of chronic "not listening." In other words, we are applying our personal filtering system to another person's words and then labeling it as the truth when in fact it may not be even close to the truth. We do this to protect ourselves from facing the reality of what is unfolding. The irony is that facing reality is not only smarter and easier in the long run, but in fact it does give you a chance to perhaps save a failing marriage.

Try and catch yourself when you are filtering and really hear what people are saying. If someone is saying that they are no longer in love with you or that they want something different - then believe them. Shifting yourself from denial to reality will actually free you in the end and speed up your recovery. It is not what happens but rather the fear of the unknown that can paralyze us. We can actually handle almost all that comes our way so trust what your partner tells you and then focus on that reality vs the one you want to create.